I don’t hate a lot of things; hate’s a strong word. I hate very few people and very few programmes and I only dislike the next door neighbour who built a seven-foot fence where there was once a nice hedge. I only come across the things I hate every now and again, so they don’t really bother me. I can get through life without having to spend a second thinking about them and the potential angst they could cause me.
There is one experience, however, that happens all too often, that causes my blood to sizzle at a high temperature before adding a generous helping of rage topped with a seasoning of disgust. It can happen multiple times in a week or even once a day. You will have experienced it and it is, in my opinion, humanity at it’s worst,
I hate when people attempt to push onto a train while people are still getting off. There it is in black and white. The incident that has on more than one occasion caused me to audibly tut and then look at the person next to me seeking agreement. Trying to board while people are still disembarking from the train doesn’t work for the same reason that water won’t drain out of the sink while the plug is still in.
This repulsive routine happens in the most innocent of places: in railway stations. It requires a series of regular events to conjure the right circumstances to let it happen. Firstly, it generally needs to be busy for this to happen, so rush hour either in the morning or early evening when people want to get to the office quickly or home even quicker. Secondly, it needs a lapse in a person's morals. It seems harmless and if you do it you might not think twice about the people you’re inadvertently hurting but you could be causing unnecessary angst.
Why do I hate this so much? I was practically brought up on the railway. From the age of 5 I'd rode the train to Edinburgh and back. I worked as a railway errand boy for the rich people of central Scotland: carrying their bags, shining their shoes, walking their dogs on the roof of the trains and selling them The Scotsman newspaper. They taught me how to ride the train like a gentleman. In between stops, I would sit in the guard carriage dangling my legs over the side of the car while playing the harmonica and wearing a flat cap. Now this unnecessarily detailed image may not be true, but I did spend a lot of time on trains growing up travelling all across the UK. That's why I have an appreciation for rail travel and the the people who keep the network running. I've also seen and been a railway commuter for a while and we need to be nicer to each other.
How can we fix this epidemic of douchebaggery? We need to, all of us, be better commuters. Don’t push or elbow to get on the train; it’s ugly and if done on the Glasgow Low Level, can lead to a black eye. Don’t put bags, coats or handkerchiefs on seats; seats are for people, not your half-empty rucksack. Finally, the one way we can improve the commuting experience for everyone is by waiting for everyone to get off the train before attempting to get on. The train will leave at the same time (probably) and the number of seats will not change, but the way we commute can.