Your Friday Etiquette Quiz

A few modern-day urban commuting conundrums that I’ve been pondering recently:

a) When the train arrives at your stop, how long should you wait after the door button light goes on before shoving the person who’s just standing there blankly staring at it out of the way and pressing the button to open the door?

b) If the person just standing there is not intending to get off at that stop, but just likes blocking everybody who is, does that make it better or worse?

c) How bad of a day do you have had before violence is acceptable in these circumstances?

d) How about the people who stand idly at pedestrian crossings – sometimes for up to a week – waiting for the lights to change without actually pressing the button that tells the crossing they’re waiting? Is hanging good enough for them, or too good?


e) If the person in question is on their mobile phone, into which orifice should you be aiming to shove it?

I’m pretty sure the answer to a) is 10 seconds, but I’d appreciate your input on the rest of them.


16 responses to “Your Friday Etiquette Quiz

  1. Sorry but as a non commuter, thankfully, I don’t feel qualified to answer such questions. It’ll be interesting to read other responses though.

    I’ll content myself with saying that I hope that you have a good weekend.

  2. I have similar questions relating to ticket machines:

    How long does one:

    (1) Watch someone poking their finger at the screen in teh misplaced belief that it is a touchscreen; or

    (2) Stand dribbling failing to notice they have to press the “purchase ticket” button;

    before leaning across them, calling them a knobhead and doing it for them?

  3. Flighty – you are excused (although even you can’t avoid pedestrian crossings, surely?)

    Moobs – that’s easy. Ten seconds in each case, although if you’re going to miss your train you’re allowed to shoulder them aside, cancel their purchase, and substitute it with your own. But you must emit a warning growl first.

    (spam captcha says ‘relax’. Like that’s going to happen …)

  4. a) One and a half second, tops.

    b) Slightly worse.

    c) It’s not a question of being acceptable (it never really is), but it kind of happens sometimes anyway – in these circumstances even aften a not all that bad day.

    d) It’s good enough if they’ve been standing there for less than one week.

    e) A mobile phone really won’t do. Try the stop light, and any orifice will be okay.

  5. Bill – I’m shocked. We think of the Danish as being such happy smiling people …

  6. Really? You’re all wrong

  7. Aah! I had hoped you’d gloss over that. I’m the world’s worst when it comes to jay walking. So what are pedestrian crossings?

    Actually I’m quite a good boy nowadays as I’m nowhere near as nimble and quickfooted as I used to be. Also there’s a lot more, and faster, traffic to contend with.

  8. Bill and Flighty – that’s two of my illusions shattered. Flighty – I hope you at least press the button on the crossing …

  9. On a (conversely) linked note, I find people who stand there pressing the button repeatedly on the train doors OR at the pedestrian crossing just as frustrating. It’s not going to make anything happen any faster. Well, apart from their untimely death as I strangle them, of course…

  10. Oh yes – and those impatient people who reach for the door button before it’s lit up and is ready to open the door …

  11. a) im with you, 10 seconds

    b) worse

    c) I’d say, colleaguelookinbetterinthesametopyou’rewearing bad, or payrisedeniedbyboss bad, the second probably more than the first

    d) not good enough, but a good push into the busy traffic should do the trick

    e) depends on the size of the mobile phone and which one hurts more

  12. But, really, 10 seconds?? Won’t the train have started again by then?

  13. Er, have you considered a course in anger management, dude?

  14. Bill – but the Guardian just said you guys were the happiest people on the planet – are you telling me they’re lying? (oh and our trains are obviously a bit slower than yours)

    Hannah – I’d go for the denied pay rise, for actual violence

    Birdy – you’re reading it …

  15. Birdy: I actually took a test once:

    Disgruntled: I’m not telling you they’re lying. But I must admit I’m surprised!

    (By the way it might be a question of how quickly the trains leave again. In the Danish metro we’ve had serious problems with doors closing too quickly. People usually get off their trains, but many have complained that once everyone’s out, new passengers don’t get a chance to get on the train before the doors close (automatically). To me, 10 seconds is a matter of… well, not life and death, but maybe getting off the train or not.)

  16. I’m going to try to be more patient as a commuter. The question here is: how long will it last? I suspect the answer’s ‘ten seconds’.

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