I caught the 10 AM Acela back to DC this morning. It was nice because the train was not too crowded. I sat in the quiet car, as usual, and this time, I was a little annoyed.
The quiet car is a clearly labled car reserved for people who don’t want to hear other people talking on cell phones, or carrying on loud conversation. Usually, it is like a library within the quiet car. Today was a little different. The woman seated in the seat directly in front of me did not turn off her cellphone as the signs and conductor instructed her. She received at least 6 phone calls during the course of the trip, and answered all of them, trying to talk quietly, but without success.
Now, maybe this shouldn’t bother me. I didn’t say anything to her, because I kind of felt like it wasn’t my place to do so, but also it seemed selfish to do so. But I fumed. It’s not unusual for a phone to ring in the quiet car, but in almost every instance, the person will silence their phone and then step out of the car so that they can take the call. Everyone is happy! No so this woman! She answered every call, remained seated as she did, and seemed oblivious to the fact that she was disturbing the people around one. (One other woman, sitting across from me, got up and found a different seat.)
The frustrating thing for me is that it seems that if you say something to the person who is clearly not following the rules, it makes you seem like the jerk. On the other hand, most people excuse themselves from the car when they have to make or take a phone call. Or they seat themselves in one of the 4 other cars on the train that were not designated quiet cars.
As I mentioned, I didn’t say anything to this woman. I eventually just put on my iPod for the rest of the trip. But if I had said something to her, who would have been the bigger jerk, me or she?
I got into Union Station at about 12:45 and was back here in the office at just after 1 PM. And I’ll be back in NYC in three weeks to see the New York Yankees play the Los Angles Angles of Anaheim Orange County California with strausmouse and rmstraus.