What Did I Do? (F/21)

Several months ago while taking a SkyTrain from Granville (towards Commercial), I was sitting on a semi-full cart listening to my iPod. Despite looking off into the distance and with headphones in my ears, I could hear someone near me talking, and it wasn’t until I looked at them that I realized they were talking to me. The person was a white male, who didn’t look much older than me, and was standing to my left (I was sitting). When I took out my headphones, I was confused and asked him what he said. I guess he’d asked me a couple times (which I had no idea of), because he sternly huffed and asked me, “Is that seat open?” and he pointed to the free seat beside me.

Seeing as we were now 2 stops into this transit ride, it should have been obvious the three empty seats beside me were all vacant. I shrugged my shoulders and said “Go ahead.” The male then threw his arms up in the air, moved directly in front of me and snapped saying, “I’m just trying to be polite!” before sitting one seat over from me. He glared at me even while I moved around a cart, and I hurriedly left at our next stop.

I felt threatened and I felt uncomfortable. I had no way of realizing I’d done something wrong–not that I had. It was this man’s intent to make me feel like I’d been the cause of anything he could have done after that. And of course, no one sitting around us bothered to intervene or even react.

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2 thoughts on “What Did I Do? (F/21)

  1. I hate to say this, but you sound like one of those passengers who doesn’t consider others when sitting down, and that there may be other potential riders wanting to sit on the seat that you’re blocking entrance to. No one should have to ask you if they can sit in the empty seat next to you. I had a situation a few years ago where I donated blood for the first time, and I had to Skytrain it out of there. I spent the first two stops standing, but then I decided I needed to take a seat. I sat down in this spot that was facing the exact opposite direction I was facing. I found that too nauseating after having given too much blood and realized I need to sit somewhere that’s facing the direction the train was moving so that I don’t get sick. I turned around and saw an empty seat, but the way to it was blocked by an inconsiderate passenger. I had to ask her multiple times to move so that I could sit, and she “didn’t notice” me, cause she too was looking away into the distance with headphones in her ears. When she finally noticed me she was like, “You have other seats on this train too. Why do you want to sit here for you creep? Get away from me!”
    By that point someone else got off their seat at a different spot where I was able to sit facing the direction the train was going, so I didn’t have to sit to that inconsiderate rider.

  2. I don’t think she sounds like one of those passengers who is rude. If you go into a cart and there are plenty of seats available, you just take the first seat that you want. Obviously when more people come you adjust to accommodate those people; I do the same thing. Sometimes I want to sit in the aisle to put my backpack on the seat, or simply just sit in the aisle–one doesn’t think twice about it. It’s clear that this man wanted to sit beside her because there were other seats that were unoccupied but he chose her. Maybe I wouldn’t feel threatened by his actions but I would find it a little odd.

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