*Disclaimer: Before I begin this rant, I’d like to emphasize that this post is not about chivalry and its death, despite the fact that all of my “victims” are female. It is about rudeness in general and is not gender specific. End scene.
Though one of my goals after reading The Happiness Project was to not sweat the small stuff, I’ve decided this is worthy of a post, since this stuff is not so small. I’d like to file a complaint. This complaint is directed towards rudeness, a broad topic but one that seems to rear its ugly head whenever I, or others, have a suitcase in tow. Allow me to explain.
I’m lucky enough to have a pretty simple commute for work. I walk a little over a half mile to the train, take said train, then walk 2 blocks to my building – reversed for the journey back home. While the commute certainly isn’t lengthened distance wise when I’m carrying luggage, it is a bit more difficult. (But not as difficult as it was prior to the purchase of a small, wheeled suitcase. Those are the things of the gods.) For example, it makes the two pretty long flights of stairs seem about twice as long. Yes, one of these stops has an elevator, but alas, I am stubborn.
What does my commute plus luggage have to do with rudeness? I’m not going to say that the people on the train are oozing with politeness on a regular day; however, I tend to be physically shoved out of the way or cut off when I’m traveling with a bag. I’ve been putting this post off because I didn’t want to come off as whiny, but I can bite my tongue no more. Just yesterday I opened a door, started walking through with my bag wheeling behind me, and an individual walked through the door as I was about one step in. This individual was not under the age of 10-years-old, so age was not an excuse. The same thing happens nearly every time in the same doorway and I don’t get it. I also not-so-secretly hope that he or she trips on my bag after doing so. Next time I may have to stick my foot out to speed the process along.
Unfortunately, I’m not the only victim here. About a year ago, an older woman was struggling with a bag nearly as large as she was on the stairs exiting the train stop. Other commuters chose to look at her, crowd the stairwell and inevitably bump into her on the way to the exit. Not exactly helpful when you’re already struggling with a bag. As soon as I got to her, I asked if she needed help and she thanked me, but said she did not. No one else offered. How do I know? I walked a bit slower in front of her to stall traffic. Karma, my poor mannered commuter friends.
Another time, I was on my way to the train yet again (Planes, Trains and Automobiles? No, just trains, thank you.) and saw a group of women trying to figure out how to carry a stroller, with a baby, down the stairs. The elevator was out of order at the time. They were standing at the top, discussing different options since they had a bunch of bags with them, too. I watched 5 able bodied individuals walk by, stare at them, and not at all slow down or contemplate asking if they needed help. Face palm to the human race. (Yes, I helped them.)
Recently, I also bumped into a young woman at another train station with a large suitcase, purse, and all the signs of a successful shopping trip in the city. She shouted to a group of 4 conductors and asked if they could help her carry her bag up the five or six steps to the train platform. They turned, looked at her, turned back to the group, and continued talking. Because I have taken a stand against luggage rudeness, I asked her if I could help. This time, I was taken up on the offer…and that’s an understatement. She said yes, handed me everything but her purse and marched up the steps to wait for me. Without a thank you, she took everything out of my arms and went on her way. I’m not saying I needed a parade, but a thank you would have been nice. How ironic that I chose her to pity. I suppose rudeness is a two way street.
I won’t say that no one has offered to help me when I’ve been with cargo. I have had two offers for help while carrying a suitcase, but did not take either person up on it due to the aforementioned stubbornness. I’d be lying if I said my bag didn’t feel lighter after that, though. Rant said, I encourage you to join my battle against rudeness, but I must warn you. When I say battle, I mean battle.