Updated: 9 Annoying People on Your Commute

Posted On 2014-01-23 by dwirch
Tags: Blog General 
Views: 9754

As some of you may know, I've recently taken a position at a software company in downtown Seattle.  This has changed my once serene commute into one of frustration against some of my fellow commuters.

This isn't really a technology related post; it's just me venting on my website about goofballs that I see daily my journey to Seattle.  My commute covers two modes of public transportation.  I travel by bus from the park and ride near my home to the ferry landing 16 miles away.  From there, I jump on a ferry to downtown Seattle.  Once in Seattle, I hoof it five blocks up hill, then five blocks north.  Not a bad commute really, except for a few individuals who think there is nobody else along for the ride. 

Sleepy Dwarf

These guys are denizens of the Washington State Ferry system, although, they can probably be found on any public ferry system.

On ferries in Washington, there are bench seats along the windows, each of which can hold around five people comfortably.  In the morning and afternoon commutes (especially the mornings), the Jumbo Mark II class ferries fill up to near or above their rated capacity of 2500 passengers.  This means every seat is full, not to mention that 200+ vehicles downstairs.

This is where Sleepy Dwarf comes in.  He will lay down on the bench seats, because by god, he paid his $7.85, and he is going to take a nap. It wouldn't be so bad if the boat was half-full, as it is in the off-commute hours.  But this guy doesn't care that women and children have no place to sit during rush hour.  He needs his beauty sleep.

The Tourist

You can spot this guy coming a mile off, as he wanders the aisles of the ferry, trying to make eye contact with anyone, so that he can ask questions about the ferry, the city, the state, the color of the sky, or what ever else he can think of.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud of where I live, and usually I love to pass on information and history about the local area.  But when you see me sitting there quietly in the corner, with ear buds firmly planted in my ears, and my eyes closed, that is not an invitation to ask me for dissertation regarding how the Olympic Peninsula might have looked during the Mesozoic era, or ask me for an exact measurement of rain received in Wenatchee last year.  Pick up an almanac, or use this thing called the internet to access a thing called Wikipedia.  It's really cool, I promise.

Long Lost Compadres (LLCs)

These people are not necessarily confined to commuter pains, but can be found in a variety of places, such as shopping malls, sports stadiums, airports, and anywhere else there are large groups of people trying to get from point A to point B.

LLCs are the people (two or more) that recognize each other while they are en route to a common destination.  They immediately come to a stop directly in the flow of the crowd, and begin to loudly catch up the time they have been apart.  Meanwhile, the flow of the crowd gets hampered, or even stopped (if they are in a choke point such as a doorway or gangplank), while these people gab and gossip about how little Timmy had his first poopie, or Aunt Irene's gallstone removal.

Very similar to The Stopper, who is found at trade shows.

Sunday Driver

This is the person that strolls down the middle of the sidewalk, aisle, or hallway at the speed of cold maple syrup.  This person has no regard for the rush that other folks are in, and has no particular place to be.  Some of us have a job to get to, or a connecting bus, or we got to get to the bank before they close for the day.  

You're not alone, Sunday driver.  Get to one side, so the rest of us can get to where we need to be.

Pole Position Pete

This is the bane of the multi-mode transportation commuter.

If you've ever ridden the ferry in Seattle around commute time, you'll notice that about 10 minutes before docking that the walk-on passengers start lining up at the pickle fork.  We do this because we damn near have to run to catch a bus outside the ferry terminal.  No joke; the bus is only there for about 2 minutes, and it's about 100 yards from the ferry to the far end of the bus stop, where the express busses are.

Pole Position Pete (PPP) is actually a relative of Sunday Driver.  This is the guy that gets right in front of the line because he just has to be the first person across the gangplank.  This is also the guy that walks in the middle of the hallway, swinging his luggage to and fro, while walking at half the speed of the rest of the herd of humanity that is trying to get somewhere quickly.  PPP gives no regard to the rush that other folks are in; he usually gives a stink eye to whoever pushes past him, but has been known to actually cuss and shake a fist at the first brave soul that shoves him aside.  

Don't be a Pole Position Pete. You'll do nothing but piss people off, and possibly get hurt in the process. 

Lonely Guy

Have you ever been on a nearly empty bus, and had someone choose the seat next to you for some strange reason ?  I have.

Lonely Guy is the one that usually hasn't showered for abour 3 weeks, and not only reeks of body odor, but usually has some other strange smells coming off him.  Mostly it's sour milk or worse, ass stench.  

On a bus that seats 60 people, which is currently carrying four people, there are plenty of seats to utilize without invading someones personal space.  I don't mind sharing if the bus is full, and am more than willing to give up my seat for a lady.  I just don't like to have a rotund and smelly part of humanity overflowing into my lap while I am trying to get home.

Got More?

Have I left anyone out?  Who have you run into on your daily commute ?

Update: A few more!

Hobo Smoker

This is the bum that spots you with a cigarette in your hand while you are walking to your destination. Of course, he'll ask if you can spare a smoke, and of course I always say no, go buy your own. The really bold ones will actually come back with a request to take a drag off the one you are smoking. Dammit, if I wanted to supply the homeless population of Seattle with cancer sticks, I would come to work daily with a case of them.

Clean yourself up, get a job, and get a life. Stop mooching off of people who work for their dirty habits.

Perfume Bather

The perfume bather is the person who purchases perfume, cologne or aftershave at $0.98 per gallon down at CostCo. I have no problem with PBs need to save money. Heck, we all could spend a few less pennies.

However, when PB takes a bath in that perfume, and there is a yellow cloud that envelopes them as well as anyone unlucky enough to be within ten feet of them, well, that I do have a problem with. If you notice that everyone in your immediate vicinity begins sneezing, rubbing their eyes, and choking on the cheap fumes that you are emitting, you might want to revisit the morning ritual of dumping half of your perfume supply over your head in the morning.

Gold Miner

I've spotted two of these on my trek to the big city, recently. One stands out especially, and not just to me. Every bus rider in the vicinity sees this guy.

Personal grooming habits are a good routine to get into. But let's be real, you don't take care of that business in a public place. I spotted this guy about 3 weeks ago, happily digging his car keys into his ears, pulling out globs of wax, and dropping said balls of goo onto the floor of the bus. Disgusting, right?

This morning, he took it to a new level. So I am sitting on the bus, listening to a podcast and playing checkers on my phone, minding my business and not bothering anyone. Towards the end of the ride, I begin to put my stuff away, I glance up, and Gold Miner is there, and he is staring at me. Not so bad, except for the fact that his left index finger was two knuckles deep into his sinus cavity. I can't believe how far this booger prospector had his digit up his schnozz. He had to be tickling his frontal lobe, it was that far up. The hilarious part is that he tried to play it off as, "Oh, I was just scratching the side of my nose."

Even better, the lady sitting next to him offered him a tissue. He took it, wiped is finger off, and tried to give it back to the lady. Major stink-eye was given, and she RAN off the bus.

About the Author

dwirch has posted a total of 189 articles.

Comments On This Post

By: dwirch
Date: 2014-02-13

Interesting thing about Gold Miner. He is one of three things: well off, a cheapskate, or a big bullshitter. I've seen this guy at the end of the ferry ride, digging through the recycle bin, assembling newspapers. He does it almost every day, without fail.

Funny thing is, 35 minutes prior to this he was bragging to his seatmate how many houses he has across the country. I don't blame the guy for riding the bus or ferry. I don't want to park in downtown Seattle, either. But really, if he was that well off, you'd think:

a - He would have a little more couth than to be digging through his ears and sinus cavity in public.
b - If he indeed is as well off as he says he is, shouldn't he be able to afford a newspaper ?

I think he is just a bullshitter myself.

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