I had to share the experience I had on the bus this morning….it’s a first world type of problem and I seek your forgiveness in advance for even bringing it up.
There I was, on the number 111 on my way to work. Just approaching Woden town centre, about two or three stops away when we stopped to pick up some more passengers. Minding my own business, sitting close to the back door in a normal forward facing seat – not one of the extra room seats. Not paying much attention as to who got on but seconds later was alerted to someone standing right infront of me….seemed a bit odd as I wasn’t aware of the bus being so full, so I looked up to meet the eyes of my newest travelling companion.
This is were it got weirder. My new travelling companion, (a youngish looking & decently dressed woman, obviously on her way to work), just stared at me….no problem, thought I, and I moved my gaze down again and promptly notice that she was pregnant. Looked up again into the still unblinking eyes of my newest companion and said “oh, right, ok, you want to sit down…”….no response still. I stood up…still staring, still no response, not a thank you…and moved to stand by the back door. As I stood up I caught the gaze of another passenger who was giving me a “WTF is going on?” sort of look. I gave one back.
Managed to get a seat as the strange pregnant lady got off a few stops later and was told by my new neighbour that it was one of the weirdest things they’d ever seen.
Anyway, after my strange non-verbal confrontation with weird pregnant lady, I just had a quick look at the Action website to see what they say about giving up your seat. It says “we request…” when referring to giving up your seat. I have to say that I was quite miffed at the way that she went about “asking” for the seat, and spent the rest of the journey considering what I could have said to her. I’ve been there and done that pregnancy wise and no one, not one person got up to give me a seat, and you know what, I didn’t mind. I had people climb over me on planes and experienced security officers watch me haul heavy baggage onto their table for checking when going through airports. Not to say that they were right, and not to say that I should not have given up my seat today – which I always do if I see someone who is more in need than I.
But what’s the etiquette? Is it right to stare somone out so they are psyched out enough to move? Should you be allowed to target which seat you want, and BTW there were some of the folding seats available nearer the front of the bus.