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Psyched out on the bus

By 24 April 2012 55

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.

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55 Responses to Psyched out on the bus
#1
Kurva7:36 pm, 24 Apr 12

You actually got up and gave her the chair? You should have shoved her sense of self-entitlement right back in her face and totally ignored the idiot. I am appalled that you didn’t have the balls to sternly ask her what she wanted.

#2
screaming banshee7:36 pm, 24 Apr 12

My wife never had anyone give up a seat for her when with child. Re psycho lady, my two year old doesn’t get what he wants by pointing or staring at something he has to ask. If someone notices and willingly gives up a seat fair enough, otherwise if she doesn’t ask she doesn’t get.

#3
arescarti427:49 pm, 24 Apr 12

I believe the accepted thing to do is to give up your seat to the elderly, pregnant, disabled, etc. if there are no free seats left. Simply staring at someone seems rude and aggressive to me, and if there were other free seats around I would’ve continued ignoring her.

Incidentally, if you’re elderly, pregnant, disabled etc. and you want to sit down, and no one has made the offer, then I don’t think that necessarily means that no one wants to. Most people travelling on the bus are probably totally switched off, and just may not have noticed or made the mental connection. I would have thought a polite request to those around would do the trick.

It reminds me of a similar situation I found myself in, on a bus in Kyoto a few years ago. I had managed to get a seat on this packed bus, when this old Japanese woman got on. Not wanting to be the rude foreigner, I got up and offered her my seat, which she refused. I think she may have actually been offended that I thought she was old enough to warrant being offered a seat.

#4
ScienceRules7:51 pm, 24 Apr 12

Sounds to me like you were just unlucky scoring a pregnant nut job. Probably a good thing that you gave up your seat though (aside that it’s the right thing to do anyhow) just in case she was a violent pregnant nut job.

#5
HenryBG7:53 pm, 24 Apr 12

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

#6
Woody Mann-Caruso8:04 pm, 24 Apr 12

Do it because it’s the right thing to do. Not getting a smile or a thank you doesn’t matter if that’s not why you did it in the first place.

#7
maniac8:20 pm, 24 Apr 12

It was her choice to be pregnant, so if she is plain rude, then don’t stand up for her. If she was blind/disabled/sick then that is not a choice and those people deserve a seat.

#8
Slumlord9:16 pm, 24 Apr 12

ACTION buses and the interchanges attract these sorts. It’s like a circus.

#9
steveu9:24 pm, 24 Apr 12

ScienceRules said :

Sounds to me like you were just unlucky scoring a pregnant nut job. Probably a good thing that you gave up your seat though (aside that it’s the right thing to do anyhow) just in case she was a violent pregnant nut job.

Spot on.

#10
arescarti429:34 pm, 24 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

I think what you’ve just described might now be considered chauvinistic and sexist.

#11
astrojax9:41 pm, 24 Apr 12

it’s nice to be nice, my da always says… you done good in giving up your seat; as others here have pointed out, s’nice to give up your seat for elderly, women, etc irrespective of their vitality. know your reserve of karma is duly replenished, if preggers nutjob’s is depleted – that’s her pigeon…

#12
chewy149:57 pm, 24 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

Do that and you’re liable to get abused and given a lecture on sexism and equality.

Polite society disappeared years ago.

#13
Gerry-Built10:10 pm, 24 Apr 12

arescarti42 said :

HenryBG said :

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

I think what you’ve just described might now be considered chauvinistic and sexist.

Personally, I think it would be nice to at least offer, though… Although you do risk a response like “arescarti42″ highlighted – of course, the appropriate response would be; “I’m sorry, I was raised with manner, unlike you”…

But the scenario outlined in the OP; out-of-the-box weird… I think if someone expects such manners, they need to respond in kind (ie with manners; if that wasn’t clear)…

#14
Gerry-Built10:13 pm, 24 Apr 12

chewy14 said :

Polite society disappeared years ago.

That is no reason to give up; actually, more of a reason to hit people in the face with UR kindness :)

#15
p110:22 pm, 24 Apr 12

Some people are just dicks, irrespective of gender or gestational capability.

#16
gospeedygo10:31 pm, 24 Apr 12

Slumlord said :

ACTION buses and the interchanges attract these sorts. It’s like a circus.

I’ll testify to that. The only place I’ve ever seen a pregnant lady smoking her lungs out was at Woden Interchange. I decided against mentioning anything because I like my nose unbroken.

#17
Spykler10:56 pm, 24 Apr 12

Last trimester I would think about it…Just up the duff- not a chance..Also, my legs might be sore from a full days toil..

#18
Very Busy10:56 pm, 24 Apr 12

So she’s not just a rude ignorant lady, she’s a F&%$ing rude ignorant lady!!!

#19
kakosi11:17 pm, 24 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

Nice to see there are still people with good manners out there – you’ve renewed my faith in humanity tonight :)

#20
bigfeet11:20 pm, 24 Apr 12

chewy14 said :

HenryBG said :

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

Do that and you’re liable to get abused and given a lecture on sexism and equality.

Polite society disappeared years ago.

I have always, and will always, give up my seat for any woman who is standing on public transport.

I have on occassion got the lecture on equality, on on a couple of occassions even been abused.

Mostly though, it is accepted in the way it is meant…a thoughtful gesture as part of a society.

It is the polite thing to do and I will continue to do so.

#21
Kalfour11:29 pm, 24 Apr 12

That’s weird enough that it sounds like more than just rudeness.
Maybe she was spaced out and happened to be staring in your direction.
Maybe she was foreign/Deaf/otherwise unable to communicate.
Maybe she has some kind of mental illness (OCD – only likes to sit in the one place).
Or she could have just been rude. If you think someone’s being unreasonable, you don’t have to move.

#22
matt3122112:00 am, 25 Apr 12

I would of tried to psych her back by breathing heavily and rubbing my groin whilst staring back hard. If she still didn’t move I would definitely give the seat up as +1 to violent pregnant nut job.

#23
toriness12:08 am, 25 Apr 12

sounds like she was just being a mole if there were other seats available – don’t worry about it!!

#24
milkman5:02 am, 25 Apr 12

Slumlord said :

ACTION buses and the interchanges attract these sorts. It’s like a circus.

…or a zoo.

#25
taninaus7:03 am, 25 Apr 12

You were very nice to a very strange lady and in such close confines I get not wanting to make a fuss. It would depend on my mood whether I would have stumped up and said WTF to her or done exactly what you did.

And HenryBG – you might be a little out of date with your chivalry but I appreciate the intent. I would probably be saying thanks but no to you but I would appreciate the offer.

#26
trevar7:57 am, 25 Apr 12

I love the way you’ve described this, madamcholet. I’m enjoying everyone talking about these things as “first world problems”, too. It puts it in perspective, but I think the more first world problems we solve the more first world we become.

As for etiquette, I think any sense of unspoken social expectation is outdated and obsolete. As Henry BG said, most people under 30 haven’t had the “rules” of polite society explained to them, which indicates that everyone older than that (who could have explained these vague and sometimes chauvinist conventions) didn’t think it was worthwhile explaining these conventions. Thus those conventions’ obsolescence was partly a choice of these older folk.

And as for the seat, just as many people would be offended by having a seat offered to them as would actually expect it. I would probably be like you, minding my own business until someone or something brought my attention to the people around me and how I might be kind to them. I don’t just stand up on public transport for anyone, but I often ask people—whether elderly or pregnant or just looking a little tired—if they would like my seat. About half of those I ask say yes, and then I stand for them. I think this is a better kind of etiquette than simply making assumptions about what another person might experience as kindness, which often causes offence instead.

#27
Alderney8:07 am, 25 Apr 12

Very Busy said :

So she’s not just a rude ignorant lady, she’s a F&%$ing rude ignorant lady!!![/quote

And extremely important it seems with a well developed sense of entitlement.

I would have said something in a loud voice like, oh, you would like me to give up my seat for you?

Or turned to the nearest male and said, I think this lady would like you to give up your seat for her.

Then sat there quoting passages from the bible about ask and ye shall receive etc.

Best way to confront a nutter is to show them they don’t have a monopoly on such a state of mind.

It can be quite fun at times, especially when you are on the bus longer then they are and can prove your sanity with a quick comment as they depart.

I was recently on the skytrain in Bangkok travelling from the hotel to the conference venue with a couple of collegues and when we got up up to offer seats it was literally every man for himself in a mad scramble for the 3 now available seats, thought I might be crushed by little asian people in the stampede.

#28
Elizabethany9:10 am, 25 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

If a lady is standing, I always give up my seat regardless of whether she is pregnant or not.

I’m not sure the basic rules of polite society have been explained to people under the age of 30, though.

There is a difference between chivalry and sexism, and this comes firmly under the first category.

As for the pregnant lady, feel a warm glow that you did the right thing, despite her behaviour.

#29
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:28 am, 25 Apr 12

Pregnant women are fully capable. They do not need anyone to give up seats for them.
Also, what a creepy way to get a seat.

#30
Postalgeek9:44 am, 25 Apr 12

God, imagine being the guy who knocked her up. He must’ve been wholly focussed on the job at hand, or had her facing the other way.

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