Subway etiquette, or why is this man sitting on the floor of the 1 train using his laptop?By
Earlier this week, amidst the brouhaha of the mayoral campaign, the above image hit the Internet, and it immediately created a stir. Why is this man sitting in front of a door on an obviously crowded 1 train while working on his laptop? The doors will inevitably open, and he will inevitably be the one sitting on the floor as though everyone can just walk around him.
The comments on Reddit were not kind, and then the subject of the photo showed up to defend himself. From there, it got ugly. His response was equally as galling as the public shaming that ensued ahead of it:
Some background: I’m wrapping up my PhD thesis. In parallel, I started a new job, my wife went back to school, and we have a new baby (second kid). My wife and I generally sleep 3-4 hours on a good night. Rest of the time is work, work, work, weekends included, with the exception of one free weeknight a week each of us gets in order to preserve some meager amount of sanity.
This means I could either get some work done on the subway or reduce the aforementioned amount of sleep even further. (BTW, at this specific instant I am reviewing the latest comments my adviser gave to my method section.) Usually I manage to get a sit but I got delayed at daycare this morning, hence this pitiful situation. I apologize for inconveniencing you- personally, I did not feel that the train was so packed (the aisle was quite empty). I switched to a sit at 72nd St.
Anyhow, have a good day and I hope poor sods such as myself will be your greatest sources of consternation in life. And to all of the worried parties, the subway floor is relatively clean (you discover this when your toddler throws a temper tantrum on it…). As far as I can see my pants are fine.
So who’s worse: the people who refuse to ask him to move or the obnoxiously holier-than-thou response to the obnoxiously holier-than-thou actions? It’s a tough call, but I can’t say this guy’s reasoning rings anything more than hollow. Millions of people ride the subway to and from work, and millions of people have busy lives, families and obligations. New Yorkers like to say the world revolves around them, but this guy is putting it into practice. He’s sitting on the subway floor of one of the crowded train lines in the city at rush hour, and as the picture was apparently taken outside, he did this from at least 125th St. down to 72nd St. It’s not considerate, but I’m not the final arbiter of subway manners. What say you?