There will come a time in everyone’s life when they have to commute to work. Given that trains and tubes are pretty inhospitable, here are the 5 unspoken rules of commuting that should be followed at all times.
1. Eye contact? What’s that?
Nobody gets on the tube or on a train to make friends. Sure, films might depict beautiful friendships blossoming from the shared experience of being trapped in a metal container, hurtling towards a shared destination, but this a barefaced lie.
Eye contact is most definitely a no-no. If you can’t occupy yourself with your phone, a newspaper, or the intricacies of your fingernails, then consider reading the safety messages and the atrocious adverts. If in doubt, the floor can consume your attention for a good four minutes or so. Gum stuck to the floor can make the most interesting shapes…
2. Don’t make never-ending phone calls
You might think your phone call is of paramount importance, but your fellow passengers won’t be inclined to agree at 7.30 am. In fact, you discussing the latest gossip or having a romantic conversation with your other half might tempt to some to reduce your phone to a pile of dust. How will you play Candy Crush then?
If a phone call is absolutely necessary, then keep it brief and succinct. The morning or evening commute is not a suitable social setting for you to practice your Shakespeare monologue. Oh, and try to keep the sweet-nothings to a minimum. Your love life is meant to be private, not available for the whole carriage to hear.
3. Consider getting a seat as ‘winning’
An expert commuter will do anything and everything to gain a seat for their journey. Altruism, selflessness – both go out the window. Now, there are some exceptions, but for the most part it is the very definition of a dog eat dog world. My favourite tactic is to position yourself directly where the train doors will open and gain control of the train door button. This will nine times out of ten give you the pick of the seating available. Use this knowledge wisely, young grasshopper.
4. You might want to deafen yourself but we don’t want to hear it
Listening to music is a good way to occupy yourself during your journey, but don’t for one minute think that your fellow passengers will want to share in the experience. Some might be hungover, others might prefer to throw you out the window than listen to you hum Wrecking Ball. Oh, and for those of you with a taste for drum and base, politely consider finding an alternative means of transport.
5. A crammed train is not the place for your Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct pose
There is nothing worse than that one person who takes up far too much room with their legs. They’re either spread apart or crossed like they’ve paid for extra legroom. Yes, you might be more comfortable with legs akimbo, but when there’s barely any room to breathe, it really isn’t ideal. Believe me, if you try either of these two positions, you’ll feel the angry eyes of your fellow passengers burning into your head. The best option is the simple and considerate knees together position, something you do not need a yoga class to teach you.