Tips For My Fellow Train Commuters

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Tips For My Fellow Train Commuters

Commuting to your job is probably the worst part of your day. Whether you’re driving, taking a bus or riding a train – there is no enjoyable option in getting to and from work.

As for me, I take the railroad and a subway back and forth between Long Island and New York City. They say you only really get to know someone by living with them. Well, if you ask me, everyone’s true character comes out on a train commute when they believe no one’s watching.

Work takes a lot out of us all. Few things in this world bring out the kind of emotion that going back and forth between the office does.

These are some tips and advice for my fellow train commuters:


Snacks are okay. They are the only acceptable form of eating on the train. Rule of thumb is that if you can eat it with one hand, chances are it’s okay by me. However, it cannot be a food that peels; this isn’t Mario Kart, and I’m not slipping on a banana peel on my way to work. Unless that would allow me to sue someone so I never have to take the train to work again. In fact, the more I think about this I might just start “accidentally” slipping on the train until I find the right person to sue.

Anything that is packed away in tupperware and requires silverware is a no-no in my book. No one wants to watch you eat a five-course meal. And if it was packed away it probably has an odor, although it might smell better than the guy sitting next to me. I can’t deal with that kind of food temptation on the train. What kind of self-respecting commuter would eat on the train anyway? Look at the people sitting around you. I would need to hose my car down with Lysol before I even thought about eating in that setting.

If it requires the use of a napkin, it’s not meant to be eaten on the train. That’s probably the easiest way to decipher your train eating habits.

Seating etiquette

If you have a bag, it can go one of three places: 1) Overhead storage rack, 2) Your lap or 3) The floor between your legs. This means you should never place your bag on the seat next to you. It’s bad enough I had to aimlessly stare at my computer screen all day and pretend to work today. I don’t need your laptop taking my seat now, too. We’ll all have our jobs replaced by computers one day; let’s not let them take our train seats just yet.

This isn’t the recliner in your living room. There will be no sprawling out. Don’t even think about pretending to “sleep” across an extra seat to snag some extra space. I invented that move, okay. Nudge these people “awake” to get that second seat from them. As for your feet, they can stay on the floor. Both of them.

Women have been fighting the good fight for years now to receive equal rights with men. Well, then that applies to fighting for seats during the rush hour commutes. Don’t get on giving the sad puppy dog face and hope some poor sucker will get up for you. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. You really want me to give my seat up, fine. I’m going to need you to return the favor and throw some maternity leave days my way.

Elderly lady or a mom with small children, I’ll get up and stand the entire trip. Cute girl, here, take my seat. While you’re at it, how about I get your number and take you out some time like the gentleman I am. No? Okay, maybe next time…

Basically, your average woman is where I draw the line.


I’m all for using your phone/computer/tablet or whatever else to pass by the time. By all means, do what you have to do. But don’t let it intrude on my personal space.

I don’t need you going through your entire phone book calling people one by one to catch up on life. I have enough complaints about my own family members and coworkers; I don’t need to hear about yours on top of it. Save it for your lunch break.

Headphones are a must. There’s no other way to put it. I don’t care what you are listening to – I don’t want to hear it. There’s always that one asshole on every train ride that uses their cell phone like a boombox. One day I will get up and smash that person’s phone right at their feet. Okay, I probably won’t ever do that. But I ride the train in all its misery and envision myself one day having the balls to do it.


This one is simple: none. Let us all sit and stare straight ahead in silence for the duration of our commute. We aren’t here to make friends. This isn’t my support group. This isn’t the time to share how your boss is up your ass or that big presentation coming up. No, you’re all nameless faces that I hope continue to stay that way.

I gotta run now and catch my train before I get stuck in the middle of a three-seater.

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