Social Question

idream3r's avatar

Was I wrong in this situation?

Asked by idream3r (439points) June 7th, 2016

Before I begin this happens a lot. I live in NYC, and take the subway to work. It takes me 2–2.5 hours to get to work and back. So in total I spend close to 5 hours on the subway. Once I get on the subway I go to sleep. I don’t get a lot of sleep so I make up that time on the subway. Very often people tend to step and kick my leg when getting on and off the train. Sometimes so hard that it jolts me awake. I always have my legs very close to body, so I can’t understand how I am always getting stepped on and kicked.

Today while I was asleep, I felt pressure on my left leg. It did not take me long to realize that someone had placed their heavy bag on my leg. I then moved my left leg closer to my right. I could feel the bag slip off my leg. I overheard her saying “Are you Serious”? really loud. This has happened to me many times before. People will just place their bags on my leg knowingly or unknowingly. I just paid no mind and kept sleeping. It was not worth the trouble.

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21 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

The way you describe it, no, you weren’t wrong. But I will ask, anyway: were your eyes open? Did you have a clear idea of what would happen when you moved your leg?

And was the bag actually sitting on top of your leg, or just leaning against it?

Next time, be a bit more cordial and say, “excuse me” to the person who put the bag against you.

By the way, are your riding from the Bronx to Rockaway?. You need to find a job closer to home.

CWOTUS's avatar

Isn’t it a so-called “crime” to sleep on public transit in New York City? I’m not defending that it should be, but I know that I’ve seen stories and videos of people who have been arrested for exactly that.

No, I don’t think you’re wrong in an ethical / moral sense, but… if you could be arrested for being asleep, I’d be more careful if I were you.

LornaLove's avatar

It sounds to me as if you really need more sleep at home. Falling asleep like this is really an indicator of lack of sleep. I just think sleeping in the city can make you vulnerable to certain things as you have found out.

ucme's avatar

My guess, because that’s all anyone can realistically give, is that some view you sleeping on the train as an affront & kick or place their bag on your leg deliberately.
Offended arseholes is about right

stanleybmanly's avatar

You have to do something about your living situation or your job. That’s 25 hours a week on the subway. It amounts to 25 hours of overtime without pay!

Mariah's avatar

For safety’s sake, never mind etiquette, I would strongly recommend finding a way to avoid sleeping on the subway.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I would have done the same thing. I don’t care what the motivation of the person with the bag is. It’s rude not to be aware of how you are taking up space on public transit, and ruder still to knowingly infringe on someone else’s space. They should at least have indicated that they wanted to sit where you were sitting or lying down, or better, asked politely if they could sit or put a bag there if they wanted to.

Jak's avatar

Wait, I assumed you fell asleep sitting up until I saw @dappled_leaves’ post. Are you lying down? I’m just curious.
Either way I would think it unacceptable to place an object on a person, (Bitch, do I look like a fucking shelf?) but if conditions were crowded I would think it might be necessary for something to make contact with or fall against a person. Two very different things. I would certainly not expect a person to hold still to keep my crap upright, that’s on me.
And I would say something like “Please excuse my parcel, it’s awkward to carry so I set it down. I see that it is touching your leg, I apologize.”
I believe just acknowledging things helps a lot towards keeping the peace.

Seek's avatar

If you’re in NYC and laying down on the Subway during commuting hours, you are wrong. Period.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@CWOTUS It is not illegal to sleep on the subway in NYC unless you are taking up more than one seat to do so. However, it is now police policy to wake people up (“to protect them from crime”). A lot of news outlets erroneously reported this as Commissioner Bratton making it illegal to sleep on the subway. But Bratton does not have the authority to make new laws. The only thing his officers can do under the new policy is wake you up. They can’t charge you with anything.

@Seek “I always have my legs very close to body, so I can’t understand how I am always getting stepped on and kicked.” This makes it sound like @idream3r isn’t laying down.

Seek's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield – Yes, others have brought up the possibility of laying down. That was what my post was reacting to.

I’m certain that the OP would not be so rude as to take up four seats and then complain people are touching them with their parcels. That would be unthinkable.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@Seek Oh, sorry. I did a quick Ctrl+F for “lay” and didn’t see anything, so I wasn’t sure where the comment was coming from. I guess I just missed it in the previous comments.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Whatever happened to Petula Clark?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield The OP may lay a bag on the seat, but would have to lie on the seat in order to take up too much room. ;)

I didn’t address the morality of lying down on the train, because that isn’t what the question is about (though it would be hard to tell that from most of the responses). I addressed the question asked by the OP.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@dappled_leaves I used the word that was in the post I responding to. But also, I said that the OP wasn’t laying down. Technically, that’s still true even with your clarification. ;)

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield Ah, yes – I saw that you were looking for “lay” then realized you wouldn’t have found it. But yes, what you say is technically still true. :)

Now, @Seek

idream3r's avatar

@zenvelo Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. The bag was most definitely sitting on my leg due to the amount of pressure. Yes, I should of been more cordial and said excuse me. But since it happens so often I decided to just move my leg. I live in the north Bronx and I work at Brighton Beach. I am trying to find one closer to my house at the moment.

@CWOTUS Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. It is not illegal to sleep on the subway. Only if you are laying down. I was sitting up when the incident occurred

@ucme Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. Well said.

@LornaLove Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. Very true, I get home pretty late from work. When I get home I do freelance graphic design for clients. I am trying to find a job closer so I can get more sleep. Yes sleeping leaves people vulnerable to many things. However in NYC during morning rush hours, many people sleep on the train. It has become routine for me. My body kind of knows when to wake up.

@stanleybmanly Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. I am trying to find a new job. It is really hard thou. Considering moving somewhere else where there is more opportunity.

@Mariah Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. When I say sleep, I do not mean laying down. I sit up when I sleep. In NYC sleeping on the train is really normal. Especially during the morning rush hour.

@dappled_leaves Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. Very true, well said. However that is NYC for you. That’s how many people here are.

@Jak Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. Well said. I was sitting up when the incident happened. I never ever sleep laying down lol.

@JeSuisRickSpringfield @Seek @dappled_leaves Thanks for the response I really appreciate it. I was sitting up when the incident happened. I always sleep sitting up and have my bag between my legs so i don’t cause a space issue for anyone. I never ever sleep laying down. In NYC you can always find people sleeping on the train. Some may be going home from a night shift or others are going to work. The trains are always crowded in the mornings. Mainly because people push and shove their way into the train car when there is no space left. I get little to no sleep due to work and my freelance job as well. Working on finding a job closer to my house. Once in a while an older person, people with kids etc… will tap me and ask to sit down. I gladly give up my seat to them. Many times since there is no space to move, people just find themselves placing there things anywhere. Since I am fast asleep I guess they feel I won’t notice and they might get away with it.

Mariah's avatar

@idream3r Okay cool to hear. It must just be different there. Here in Boston I would be really uncomfortable letting my guard down like that because of some creepy experiences I’ve had on the subway.

JLeslie's avatar

As long as your legs are side by side and at 90 degrees bent at the knee, or even tighter in towards your body I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. Except to say during rush hour even with your legs close to your body, being awake helps you to shift a little here and there as people move around. If you can try to be down at the end of a car it’s probably best. Less movement of other people around you. I hope you have your money in a place that isn’t easy for someone to grab and run.

You’re certainly not the only person nodding off between stops.

You’re commute sucks. So far. Are you able to switch to the express train in Manhattan? Or, maybe you already start out on the 5 train?

idream3r's avatar

@Mariah Thanks for understanding, really sorry about your creepy experiment. I’ll try to be more careful and aware of my surroundings.

@JLeslie Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. I always try to stay at the end of the train to avoid this type of thing. However sometimes those seats are taking up. I begin my transit at the first stop of the 5 train. I then transfer at Atlantic Ave for the B or Q, mainly the B since it is express.

JLeslie's avatar

At least you’re on a train and not driving. Driving you have to be alert.

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