Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Lack of Manners

     The only seat available on the way home was in a forward facing side by side seat - I don't like these, as I feel trapped against the other person.  A chic was already in the window seat with 2 small bags on the adjacent seat.  I stood there for a count of 3 Mississippi staring at her, with her not moving, before I said, "excuse me, may I please sit down."
     She sighed a little, grabbed one of the bags and put it on her lap where she had a notebook open.  I sat, with one cheek on, tried to skootch over a little more, but finding resistance, made due.  I proceeded to take my scarf and hat off, put them in my second bag at my feet (purse on my lap) and grabbed my phone from my pocket.  Apparently my settling in disturbed her, so she huffily shut her notebook, put it in her bag and took out her mittens.  All the while staring straight ahead.  
     She sat this way for three more stops, until she picked up the handles of the bags.  I took this to mean she was departing.  I turned and looked at her, waiting for a verbal indication of her need for me to move.  Nothing ... She stared straight ahead, refused to look at me, refused to acknowledge that proper manners dictated the need for her to excuse herself to get by me.  She stood before the train stopped, then I stood and said, "here you go" making room for her to pass.  I believe I heard a thank you through gritted teeth.
     In general, I like people.  I want to help, to problem solve.  I actually consider serving others a blessing and a duty.  Weird, I know.  But every so often, I meet someone like this woman, and I become quite disappointed.  It doesn't dampen my need to help others, but it does make me tired.

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