Metro and seat hogs

The Washington Post has an interesting article about seat hogs on the metro/subway. According to the Post seat hogs are folks who sit in aisle seats with empty spots beside them but make no move to slide over and offer another passenger a seat or get up from the aisle seat so another passenger can sit in the window seat.   Seat hogs are also those who sit in window or aisle seats and place their bags, wet umbrellas, briefcases, etc. in the empty spot beside them or those who decide to take up the entire seat by sitting sideways with their feet propped up on the seat.

As Metro congestion grows, so does anger at ‘seat hogs’

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 19, 2010; A01

Brooke Timmons grasped a bar in the middle of a crowded Red Line rail car and held on, looking exasperated as she tried to keep her balance while the train jerked and accelerated down the track.

On both sides of Timmons sat riders referred to on commuter Web sites as “seat hogs.” A man and woman occupied aisle seats with empty spots beside them but made no move to slide over and offer Timmons a seat.

“There is a self-centeredness about it. ‘My space is more important than you,’ ” said Timmons, 37, a lawyer from the District. “It’s epidemic” and reflects a lack of etiquette in Washington, said Timmons, who grew up in Vinita, Okla., population 6,000, where she said gentility prevailed.

As Washington’s public transit network grows more congested, with Metro projecting “unmanageable” levels of saturation on its rail system by 2020, the phenomenon of people taking up more than their share of space is becoming increasingly touchy.

“It makes me mad,” Soulman Bushera, 26, an IT recruiter in the District, said as he rode a packed Red Line train downtown one recent morning. “I ask them to move,” he said. “You find a whole aisle of them sometimes, and the one you pick gets disgruntled.”

Twitter users and commenters on transit blogs such as Unsuck DC Metro frequently sound off about people who place purses, briefcases, feet or wet umbrellas on seats next to them in jammed trains.

I guess I’m somewhat of a seat hog.  I almost always get a window seat during morning and afternoon rush hour and place my tote bag on the other seat.  But I only do this when the train isn’t crowded and there are plenty of empty seats.  If I notice that the train is becoming more crowded I move my tote bag and put it on the floor.  Most times I put my tote bag on the floor anyway as soon as I get on the train, especially during the afternoon rush hour.

During the few times I’ve sat in an aisle seat I have my tote bag on the floor and if someone wants the window seat I get up so they can sit down. This usually happens when I’m on the train for only a few stops and I have to transfer.

One of the things that irritates me and some folks have commented on it in the comments area of this article is when you’re sitting in the window seat and Big Mama decides to sit next to  you.  Not only is Big Mama sitting on her side of the seat but her ample behind is taking up part of your seat as well.  I’m not small by any means but my butt manages to stay on my side of the seat.  Unfortunately Big Mama wants part of my side of the seat too.

“Seat hogs are so prevalent, and there is such a sense of entitlement among certain passengers,” he said, calling those who sit on the aisle, blocking empty seats, particularly “passive-aggressive.”

You can read the entire article here.

One thing I noticed about this article is that some folks aren’t asking the aisle sitters if they would either scoot over to the window seat or if they could get up so they can sit in the window seat.  Most folks aren’t mind readers so you need to let the aisle sitters know.  When I’ve been on a crowded train I ask the aisle sitter if I can sit in the window seat. Haven’t had any problems yet.

A few years ago during morning rush hour I was sitting in the window seat and a woman was sitting next to me. When it was time for me to get off at my stop I said excuse me so I could get off the train. Well this wench refused to get up.  After saying excuse me several times and not getting up all she did was move her body over and face the aisle.   And she was no small woman either.   Since she acted like a real bitch I had to fight my way of the seat and my purse knocked her upside her head.  Did I apologize? Hell no!!!  Since she was too damn lazy to get up from the seat so I could get out of the seat normally she took that risk of my bag hitting her upside her big head.

One response

  1. I agree with you that folks should get a backbone and say excuse me to someone, then sit down in the window seat. Seat hogs only exist because others allow them to continue with their selfish ways. Why shouldn’t they keep trying to get away with it if nobody steps up?

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