Passive-aggressive politeness reaches epidemic levels on the Orange Line

Limeduck was puzzled, at first, by the politeness he started seeing on Orange Line platforms recently, in which people agreeably let other people board the train first:

That’s when it dawned on me, this is not any kind of selfless behavior, it’s the opposite kind! These people are trying to be the last on so they can be first off at their stop, and it’s starting to delay the whole boarding process when first they dawdle and squabble about who’s to be last, and then they bottleneck the door area making it harder again to get on or off at any stop till theirs.

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    and?

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    and?

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    LOL

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    It's a dog eat dog world. I admit I like being by the door that opens on crowded trains, especially if not going too far, it's commonsense.

    People wearing big ass backpacks rather than holding them, on crowded trains and buses, piss me off more.

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    do you really think we'd be taking the T if we had options?

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    People with large backpacks, carts of groceries/laundry, and pretty much any thing else heavy or difficult should be respected on the T by other riders. These are the people working hard to function in a society where the deck is stacked against them.

    I wish I was lucky enough to have laundry within walking distance, a grocery store within walking distance, a job or school that let me store stuff so I didn't have to carry it all in my large backpack every day, and I sure as hell wish I could afford to take cabs or have a car and drive everywhere but unfortunately like many people who take the T I don't make a living wage so I'll just have to figure out a way to cover that fare hike.

    How about the next time you see someone with a large backpack you offer them your seat like a decent human being and stop being a selfish jerk.

    Never seen this...

    ... and I ride the (south end) of the Orange Line everyday. My observation is that OL riders have gotten much better about not blocking doors when trying to board over the past couple of decades.

    The south end is different

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    I might just be saying this as I go from Back Bay to Forest Hills (and reverse, of course), but the fact that in my part of the commute, the doors only open on one side, changes the equation. People rush to the unopened doors area, since they will be close to the exits and out of people's way. That said, I have seen people get on at Back Bay, sometimes attempting to get on early, and grab one of those poles right by the entrance.

    And I do have to admit, on those rare days I have to get to North Station from Back Bay during evening rush, I totally do the "you first" move to end up at the door. Heck, the next time the door opens is after my stop.

    Not new

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    I've been using this tactic for years

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    I do this

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    I take a short one-stop connection on the Orange Line (only if the train is already there or close, not worth waiting), so I try to be at the back of the line boarding. I don't want to have to push my way deep into the train only to push my way back out 45 seconds later.

    Doing this for a multi-stop trip is stupid. Nothing worse than being next to the door at a busy stop when you're not getting off.

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    Elephant in the Room

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    Little Asian women are the most aggressive little buggas the MBTA has ever seen. No matter how empty or crowded, whether people are boarding or still getting off, they will leave it all on the playing field getting on that damn train. So discourteous I almost respect it.

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    I think you're right.

    And before anyone gets into a tizzy, I don't think it's a racial thing. I think it must be a cultural thing. Wherever these ladies have emigrated from, that must be the way it's done on public transportation: survival of the most aggressive!

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    It is a cultural thing

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    Koreans and Mexicans have much smaller bubbles for personal-space, than Americans do.

    I don't know about Asian cultures other than Korea. And I don't think it's Women only.

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    What will happen to your

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    What will happen to your theory the day you see a little Asian woman who doesn't do this?

    Simple

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    I'll complain about the pig that flew by me to get on the train first

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    If you've been China, you

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    If you've been China, you will quickly see why. There is no such thing as queues or lining up in an orderly way. It's a dog-eat-dog shove-fest to the front of wherever you are: getting on the bus, getting to a ticket counter, etc. The ticket counter at the Beijing Zoo when I was there was basically a giant mob of about 200 people. It takes a period of adjustment after coming to the US to realize that most people self-organize into first-come first-serve lines.

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    Queues and culture

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    Can't speak to Asia but Latin America generally has similar rules to the US regarding lines at airports and such but people sort of disregard them until things get so chaotic someone in charge complains. In the US there's always someone (not a transplant, but a 'Murrican) who will push things until other people in line threaten his/her life.

    In Europe...not done (mostly).

    But Africa....fuhgeddaboutit. I got bounced around in Managua, but I got trampled in the Addis airport. Definitely a cultural thing, with a dash of mob mentality depending on the scenario.

    Within US Differences, Too

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    I once heard a gate agent in Seattle brusquely scold people who were mobbing up into the usual Bostonian "15 lines with me in front of my line" to go to Boston:

    "form a line - a SINGLE line- not five lines A SINGLE LINE - with one person after the other ... we know you are headed for the east coast but you CAN do this!".

    2 Q or not 2 Q

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    When we were in Italy we noticed that the Americans and Italians would notice who had come in first and keep the line order in their heads as we looked at displays and waited for the tourist office staff to arrive, but the Germans would go right up to the counter as soon as the staff person showed up if there was no obvious line formed.

    I do this all the time

    I take the Orange Line in the evening, but in the morning, I take the E Line from Haymarket to Heath/VA. If it looks like I won't get a seat, I step back, let everyone on, I board, I have a hands-free standing spot where I can lean back a little. The only stop where the doors open on my side is Park St, and I simply get out as though I am leaving and go to the back of the line of people getting on so I get the same spot again.

    I employ the same tactic all the time, just depends on the situation, like the crowding, how much of a rush I'm in, etc.

    And now my secret is out!

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    One thought

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    I do totally agree with many points here about those who are inconsiderate and aggressive, take up two seats with stuff, wear large backpacks, and don't move out of the doorways. I do none of those things...but I do suffer from serious claustrophobia,

    and thus, I do try to be as near to a door as I can.

    That doesn't mean I will block it or anything like that, but I do, since I suffer from this to the point of anxiety attacks if the trolley stops for emergencies too long...

    I do sometimes think that others MIGHT have that same problem too, and give them a little slack. I think you can usually tell "us" from "the passive aggressive"...we have a slightly panicky look, I bet...at least I do when I catch my reflection in a window.

    If you're claustrophobic, that's acceptable...

    … as long as you're willing to get all the way off the train to let people out at stops, and-- this is important-- take a seat next to the door if it's available.

    My biggest pet peeve on the T -- besides backpacks-- is when a car is so crowded that you cannot get on, or barely can, BUT you actually see empty seats. Some riders don't seem to understand that standing next to an empty seat on a crowded train basically means one more person cannot get on the train.

    But if it's not rush hour, stand away.

    End of sermon.

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    sure

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    Well, I do try to sit, since I also have lousy balance on trolleys AND I'm very short so I really get closed in if there,s a crowd of taller people most adults) standing around me. But frankly, this is more explanation than I think I owe at this point. end of sermon.

    As a fellow very short person

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    As a fellow very short person on the T, I will add that I aim for the door space on crowded trains because tall people (i.e., everyone else) will often reach over me to hold on, which means I have people bumping into my head the whole time while my face is in their armpits. That's enough to make anyone claustrophobic.

    I like the people who put stuff on a second seat

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    Don't get me wrong, they're either complete jerks or situationally unaware, but since nobody else ever seems to ask them to move their stuff, I get to. It's like they're waiting for me to come over and say "excuse me."

    Most people look sheepish and quickly move their stuff. Some folks, usually teenage girls, will exhale mightily at the injustice of it all and begin to move their stuff as slowly as possible. In these cases I like to commiserate by saying something helpful like "I know! Life is just so unfair, isn't it?"

    From my new seat I get to experience the glares of all the people who were there before me and acknowledge them with a small nod of "That's right. This middle aged guy had the sack to challenge the sulky girl and now I'm savoring my reward. This could have been you."

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    I just get on board when I

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    I just get on board when I can, but when I get off you better get out of my way or at least make an effort to. I have no patience for people who block the way.

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    Green Line is best choice

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    This issue is why I take the green line instead of orange line since it comes more frequently and so close to nearby orange line stations.

    I do this, but only at Porter

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    I do this, but only at Porter, because I know if I'm the last one in, the exit doors are on the opposite side at Harvard and I don't have to worry about moving out of the way when the doors open again. It just guarantees I'm not moving about the train or standing over people during my ride. And while we're in these hot months, that is very important (for me, and you) due to my susceptibility to utilize my body's cooling mechanisms.

    Why I now bike to work

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    All of these T inconveniences are why I switched to biking to work from Wellington year round. Besides that I find cycling to be the fastest, funnest and most reliable way to get in and out of the city during rush hour.