Monday, April 4, 2011

AMTRAK Quiet (except for ME) Car

I ride AMTRAK trains to work and on trips to NYC 4 or 5 days each week.  Recently AMTRAK added quiet cars on the Keystone service between Harrisburg and NYC.  The rules on the quiet car are No Cell Phone Use, No Loud Talking.  But every other time I get on one of these cars, someone will talk on their cell phone.  Sometimes they are oblivious and did not see the signs on the door and every ten feet along the roof.  Sometimes.  Not often.

Mostly what they want is a quiet car for everyone but them.  They get to drone on about their latest deal or horrible date.  I know a guy who works in a bakery in Lancaster and commutes to Temple several days a week.  He is taking classes toward a PhD.  He sits in the quiet car hoping to do homework.  Then someone starts talking.  He said he waits up to 10 minutes to say something.  He likes having me on the train.  I wait up to three seconds before saying something.  Usually, "There are five other cars on this train, go there."

Since I think people are like gardens--good only with effort, full of weeds in their natural state--I assume the person who takes the call--or worse dials the call and sits on their ass making disturbing 80 other people is a jerk.  So I ask them to leave, shut up or both.  It is worth the hassle because the same jerks who flaunt the rules they want others to obey are cowards.  When they see it is a hassle to act like a jerk they do something else.

Since I am already being a Judgmental Bastard (my favorite segment on Jay Leno.  If you have never seen it, search it on YOUTUBE) I can say that I have never asked a soldier or someone who looks military to be quiet on the quiet car.  The worst offenders are guys in suits.  The hardest to shut up are women.  When they act like jerks, they are used to getting slack.  Last trip back from NYC a large woman across the aisle made a call in the quiet car.  She said "I'll just be a few minutes."  I asked her to spend that few minutes elsewhere.  She stormed off.

Civilian life is being the bad guy for enforcing even an obvious ten-freakin'-signs-and-five-announcement rule.

I let you know if I end up with a broken nose.

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