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pet peeve: people who stand on the left on metro
November 11th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

this time, it gets local.

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i suspect very little contributed more to my high blood pressure than riding on the metro each day. yes, it’s a wonderful system, and i hope more is done to alleviate its overcrowding and underfunding. but when you commute each day on this system, you tend to see the worst in people. it’s like never-ending cases of walking competitors for the darwin awards…

people standing in the doors of the cars, not letting others in.

people eating on the train when it’s strictly prohibited.

people taking strollers down the escalators.

people stopping at the top or bottom of the escalator.

and my personal favorite: every protestor whacking you with signs from his or her day exercising her G-d-given rights as an american to share her perspective with members of congress. or staffers. or most likely, with other tourists who think this passes for excitement. i used to dread the anniversary of roe v. wade each year, not because i’m against the decision (i’m for it — pro-choice all the way, baby!) but because at 7am, pre-coffee, no one should have to be barraged by a bunch of middle america’s finest, grinning broadly and wielding signs containing pictures of aborted fetuses.

no one.

but the mother of all my metro pet peeves: people standing on the left-hand side.

this is the walking lane, people. it isn’t safe to stand here, especially not during rush hour. this is the lane that provided people like me with exercise for the first five years of my life as a commuter in DC: running down the escalator in rosslyn; running up the escalator in dupont circle (which is impressive if you’ve been there.) if you want to stand, stand to the right.

you really don’t want to get in the way of cranky, time-crunched commuters. once upon a time, just before christmas 1991, i was in the left lane, walking down the escalator at metro center. suddenly, a blue line train to maryland pulled in. someone pushed me from behind, and i fell all the way down to the bottom of the escalator.  bump de bump de bump i went on my back. i laid crumpled in a heap at the bottom of the escalator. and you know what? no one stopped to help me or even ask me if i was ok.

they stepped over me. and they got on their train.

so think of this as your public service announcement should you ever come to DC. stand to the right. walk on the left.

and for G-d’s sake, try to stay off metro during rush hour.


4 Responses  
  • Elaine writes:
    November 11th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I’m becoming that annoying commenter, aren’t I? I knew I had become a true DC person when there was a middle-aged couple standing side by side on a step of the metro escalator and I said “Excuse me” and the man stood there (the one on the left) and his partner said something like “honey – step down and to the right, this lady is trying to walk” and he turned to me and said “what’s your problem” in a pretty nasty voice. I looked right at him and said “my problem? What’s your problem that you can’t step to the right when someone says excuse me?”. And with that, I began my commute one day.

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    November 11th, 2010 at 11:58 am

    you are not an annoying commenter; and i wish other people would comment on the blog instead of on my FB page, but there it is. i love feedback.

    and good for you on the escalator front. people don’t get the rules. i’m polite until someone pisses me off. and then, not so much 😉

  • Liz writes:
    November 11th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve become the lady who says “for f*cks sake” at a lot of people on metro lately. And, I’ll just repeat my comment from facebook because I don’t always remember to come here – I like to walk up behind people quickly and loudly say “Excuse me” Then, when they don’t move, they get the “for f*cks sake” and I give them the bums rush at the bottom of the escalator. I also growled at someone once, not a particularly high point in my professional life.

    Your experience was horrible, being tumbled down the steps. Not fun.

    I do have to admit that I have been the annoying lady with the stroller on the escalator, but I always stay to the right, when Monkeyboy and I break the rules like that. And I only do it in Maryland, I use the elevators (which always smell like pee, not particularly inviting) in D.C.

    I always had a bigger issue with the ones who pretend they are asleep so they don’t have to give up their seat to the elderly/handicapped or pregnant. I just love them. 🙂

  • MomZombie writes:
    November 11th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    We don’t have anything quite like that here in the Motor City. Unless you count our many clogged roadways and expressways because no one can be bothered to car pool it or walk anywhere. My pet peeve? People driving in the right lane, usually under the speed limit, who do not permit drivers to merge into traffic. I wish I’d thought of 30 days of pet peeves. Brilliant.


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