stories/photos/overheard conversations/anything else on the LIRR.
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When my city-dwelling friends ride the LIRR, it inevitably results in texts like these. I would have posted this sooner (I got these texts last week) but I was in the middle of watching The Hunger Games when my friend texted me, so you understand.
The man sitting across from me on my way in this morning was really stressing me out. He was a bigger guy (I promise this becomes relevant) and had a backpack on the seat next to him. We were in a 6 seater and it filled up at Jamaica, so he was forced to put his bag on his lap. (Among other places, the empty seat next to you on a packed train is not where you should put your bag.) Except like I said, he was a big guy. So he was struggling to hold on to his bag, while at the same time holding an empty styrofoam coffee cup in one of his hands. Then the conductor came by and the man barely kept it together as he struggled to locate his round-trip ticket.
Like I said, watching this go down was really stressing me out. I wanted to just tap him on the arm and point to the overhead rack. I sincerely felt bad for him. I’ve been there. Sometimes your load is just too heavy. You have too many bags. You’re struggling to keep it together. We’ve all been there. Overhead racks are your friend. Can the LIRR start a PSA campaign about the benefits of overhead storage racks? I’m so serious about this. Too many people just ignore them. Think of how much more pleasant and easy all of our train rides would be if people stowed their packages overhead.
I can’t believe this is even an issue. Are there people out there who like dealing with cumbersome bags and packages on the train? Juggling them with your ticket and your coffee? Being in the way? No one likes this, especially and including the people around you. JUST STOW IT. PLEASE.
MTA, if you’re reading this: get at me. I’d love to help design a campaign for overhead storage rack awareness.
- Redhead conductor: Yeah, you know, yesterday [St. Patrick's Day] wasn't so bad.
- Tall conductor: I kind of like it in a way, ya know?
- Redhead: Yeah yeah, like busy but not in a bad way. Though I did have one guy, caused a little bit of a problem.
- Tall: Oh yeah?
- Redhead: Yeah, real douchebag. Kept arguing with me about paying for a ticket. He was real big though, I was just hopin' for no fights. Real big guy.
- Tall: You think both of us could take him?
- Redhead: I dunno man, he was a big guy. I dunno.
- Tall: Nah, kick 'em in the nuts. Just knee 'em right in the nuts. He'll go down.
Ladies and gentlemen, once again, we do want to sincerely apologize for the delay earlier. There was a disabled train causing congestion. We also apologize for the fact that we are short 4 cars this evening, I know many of you are standing in the aisles. You will notice though, there are plenty of seats in the middle of all those 3-seaters. You can sit there…or not. Up to you. Also, it is not the train crew’s fault that our train was delayed! Additionally, this was not the last train out of Penn! You didn’t have to ride this train! The delay is not our fault. Please. Don’t. Abuse. The crew. Thank you!
Actual (not verbatim but pretty close) announcement on my train home this evening, after we sat outside of Jamaica for 15 minutes while being short 4 cars. I think I love him.
Submitted by Grace, who saw this polite young man on an AM peak train out of Mineola. She says, “I have no idea where this guy thinks he is. But its definitely not his sofa.”
There’s an epidemic on the Babylon branch: MEN WHO CAN’T KEEP THEIR KNEES (or belongings) TO THEMSELVES. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband because they’re invading EVERYONE’S personal space.
Personally? I’m not a man. I’ve never been a man. But I know that men generally sit with their legs apart. That’s fine. It’s not fine when you spread your legs so far apart that they could be assigned separate zip codes. On a train. When you’re sitting in close quarters with at least two other people. Throw in a backpack tossed on the seat next to you while ~10 people stand and you’ve officially earned the title of “inconsiderate douchebag.”
On Tuesday, I had to deal with this guy:
When I tell you that it was literally impossible for me to not touch his leg with mine, I mean it. His knee was so far over, it was ridiculous. And he was sleeping. I kicked/nudged his leg about six times and he didn’t move. Fuck my life. Eventually someone else sat down and he had to readjust himself. He was slouching down, too. Like, this isn’t your fucking living room, bro.
Then on Wednesday, I sat across from this polite gentleman:
The problem here is that his knee wasn’t that awfully far over, he was just slouched down so far in his seat that he was engulfing the legs of the woman next to me and bumping into my left knee. I was sitting up straight AND trying my best to keep my thighs together and he would still slouch further and further.
Both of those men had backpacks hanging out on the seat next to them while they watched people stand in the doorway. Inconsiderate, at best.
Every day I see lots of considerate people on the train - using the overhead racks for items/coats, keeping their elbows and knees to themselves, sitting up straight when facing other people, staying out of the aisles when taking off coats, things like that. Which is why I get even more annoyed when I encounter these asshats. Literally everyone around them (usually) is only taking up one seat and is behaving politely and respectfully towards the other passengers. You’d think they’d realize that they’re doing something different.
It’s just like…this is such a minor thing overall, but it’s so annoying. Maybe I’m being high maintenance, but the LAST thing I want to deal with when sitting across from someone is their fucking knee banging into mine the whole way to Penn. It feels like a huge invasion of my space, and knees are typically not a body part it’s ok for strangers to come into contact with anyway. What really gets me is that the other person MUST feel when our legs come into contact, but they don’t shift position or try to prevent it from happening again.
Am I seriously in the minority here? Overreacting? Should these people wise up and be more considerate of others or should I chill the eff out?
GUYS. I did it. I brought popcorn on the train, and guess what?
I didn’t spill it everywhere like a toddler discovering fine motor skills for the first time. I dropped a few pieces but SHOCKINGLY ENOUGH I picked them up. And most of them just fell on me/my seat. NOT all over the goddamn floor.
So all the rest of you who eat popcorn on the train but end up with half your bag all over the floor: get it together.
SPOTTED: Hump day seat hogs. Oh, I’m sorry, did you want to sit down? Please note the woman lounging was taking up two seats to PUT ON MAKEUP when I boarded the train. Also the laptop of the man across from her is probably the biggest laptop ever. Like, it might as well be a full-size desktop monitor. Very considerate.
I thought the two annoying and manners-free teenagers on my train were going to be the worst part of my commute home last night, until we stopped outside of Jamaica and the conductor made the following announcement:
We will be held in Jamaica - service on the Babylon branch is suspended until further notice due to an unauthorized person being struck on the tracks west of Copiague station.
Fortunately for me, since I fall into the category of “recent college graduate living with parents on Long Island” unlike the rest of my super cool and hip friends, I was able to call my dad and have him pick me up in Farmingdale, then bring me to my car in Massapequa. I thought this was a pretty brilliant plan, but I wasn’t alone. I think I heard “Yeah, we can just go to Farmingdale” about 50 times from the people around me as we pulled into Jamaica, detrained, went upstairs to crowd around the one tiny departures board, and then shuffled down to the track for the next Ronkonkoma train.
That’s what it looked like as we descended to the track level. Not as bad as the time in September 2011 where no trains were running anywhere ever, but still a clusterfuck.
So we waited around, an Oyster Bay train passed us by (“Guys, this is us! Why is it a double decker?” “No, Suzanne, this is the Oyster Bay train, ours is next.” “Are you sure?!?!?!” “Look at the sign” - conversation behind me), and the announcer at Jamaica announced a track change for the train we were all waiting for. I’m convinced the woman behind me was moments away from shanking someone out of panic and rage when they announced the track change. For one horrifying second I thought the end was near - surely if this maniac behind me didn’t murder me in a blind fit of rage, I would be trampled by the massive stampede of people clamoring to get to the proper track.
But it was just on the other side of the platform. Thank god for that.
Anyway, we get on the Ronkonkoma train and it’s obviously standing room only. I’m hanging out in the middle of the car, trying not to accidentally bump into the faces of the poor people whose train we’ve just hijacked. I got the following email while on the train:
“No ETA on bus service.” Oh, ok. This is probably the least helpful email I’ve ever received from the LIRR. No service between Wantagh and Babylon? No ETA on buses? Buses provided by the LIRR are a nightmare anyway, but for those people who HAVE to rely on them, you can’t even GUESS how long it’s going to take for them to show up? Ballpark figure? Guesstimate? You really have NOTHING on this, guys? This is your best plan? Just say, “fuck it” and hope people don’t get too mad?
The scene at Farmingdale was like trying to leave the parking lot at Nassau Coliseum after a concert - A HOT. ASS. MESS. I even walked about a block away from the station so my dad could pick me up easily and he nearly got hit by about 3 different people trying to navigate out of the area. Disaster. Happy Valentine’s Day!