Commuter Etiquette: Chapter Three – How To Stand

by isabelleldn

Sometime ago, Cosmopolondon gave you a simple masterclass on how to sit on the train, which I hope you’ve been putting to good use. Now it’s sticky summertime, the tubes and trains are unbearably hot (unless you luck out and get an air conditioned one… the elusive cool…) and, during busy times – which seems to be all times these days – I’m sure by now you’ve been standing far too close to a sweaty armpit for comfort. So, here are some simple tips of how to avoid causing yourself and others extreme discomfort whilst standing.

Golden rule – never ever EVER lean on the poles when it’s busy. Ever been leaning comfortably and looked around you? You see all those people swaying to and fro with every twist and turn of the line, giving you the evil eye? Who look like they would go flying down the carriage were they not packed so tightly together? Well, none of them can hold on because you are so thoughtlessly leaning on an entire pole. Four or five could enjoy blissful stability if you stood up and shared that pole. I mean, it’s not even that comfortable to lean on. Don’t hog the pole people!

Talking of the pole, to all you lovely tall people out there – I know you already have to ensure you don’t hit your heads on the poles / handles along the ceiling of the carriage / doors, but once you’re done with all that, spare a thought for the little guy. I can’t reach those handles up there – I’m vertically challenged. But for you, hey that ceiling handle is conveniently placed for a nonchalant hang. I promise not to lean on the pole in return.

Got a backpack? Please, take it off and place it between your feet. That goes for all bags unless they are small handbags. I do not want to go crowdsurfing because I’ve taken an unexpected ride on your bag. And whatever you’ve got in it is crushing my insides. Got tonnes of shopping bags because you’ve splurged on Oxford Street. Pack them all into as few bags as possible. Less bags, less stuff for others to trip over on their way out.

Are you standing in the doorway, but not getting off for a while? I appreciate it’s not pleasant having your body squished up against those doors, and every time they open it’s a genuine sigh of relief as you manage to exhale again, but, if you’re able and it’s in reach, do us all a favour and push the button to open the door (trains only people – life hack alert, you don’t have to push the button on the tube!). It will save me playing Twister around your limbs to reach it.

Plus, us Londoners are generally pretty polite (despite the urban legend that we’re all hard and rude and horrid). If you hop off and stand aside, and make it a little easier for those further in to get out, I guarantee at least one person alighting will smile at you (ok… maybe they won’t… but inside they will be!) and those still onboard will welcome you back with open arms into the hot and cramped underworld. Or, you could just take a walk…