Lessons in Being (im)Polite: The CTA Edition

Since I’m sure you have a deep-seated passion to become as impolite and rude as a lot of people on the CTA who drive me (and most likely secretly you too) up a wall on a daily basis, I’ve put together some tips on how to achieve such role-model-public-transit-relient-citizen status. Follow these quick and simple tips and you’ll be on your way to contributing to the annoyed state of the Often-Annoyed Designer.

To make it simple, I’ve listed out the following annoyances as they typically occur on my commute. From stepping foot into a CTA station to finally escaping the veritable hell that can be my morning/afternoon commute to any given ride to Target, Michigan Avenue, or any destination really…behavior like this consistently drives me nuts.

  • Form a bottleneck at the turnstiles. If a train has just arrived and a ton of people are coming through, by all means, feel free to form a football line or play Red Rover and not let anyone through. Clearly you’re the most important person in the station and everyone should step aside to let you through. If they refuse to let you play Moses, grunt like a caveman in disgust. See how many people care.
  • Crowd the doors to the train as they open. Everyone knows this is how you’ll get on quicker. Don’t worry about the people trying to get off either. They can shove past you just as you’re trying to do to them.
  • Blast the music in your headphones. Because everyone wants to listen to your music too. Especially over the normal volume of the music playing in their respective headphones.
  • Take up two (or more) seats. Didn’t everyone know the train was much like a lunch table in elementary school where it’s socially acceptable to save a seat for your imaginary friend? Or your sandwich in some cases?
  • Have an obscene conversation with your friend. Since you shared a bed with a Russian prostitute last night (and probably a few fun diseases while you were at it) why not share it all with everyone around you? Sharing is caring.
  • While we’re on the topic of sharing, share your sickness too! Don’t cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Spreading infection is the new black.
  • Keep standing in front of the doors when they open and don’t let people off. Also mention how them saying “Excuse me” as they bump into you while they try to get off the train is rude. Don’t take note from the other people stepping out for a moment to let people get off and on the train. They’re crazy for wanting to be accommodating and polite.
  • Stand on the escalator. Walking up the moving stairs? That’s just absurd! It’s so much better to stand and block it while you yap away on your phone loudly or blather with your friend while you block the way for everyone else who’s seemingly in a hurry to get somewhere.

Now go out and try these simple tips. See how many people you piss off in any given period of time. Perhaps even keep score. One point for every glare. Two if they say something to you and call you out on how awesome you are. I dare you.

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