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21 February 2013 @ 09:10 pm
Such a little thing...  
But it bugs me like crazy.

Since Christmas there's been a lady who gets on my bus in the morning, three stops after me. If the seat next to me is still vacant she makes a beeline for it, even though she walks past numerous vacant seats to get there. Must be some special bus feng shui or something, I don't know. It annoys me - not that I expect the seat to remain vacant, but the way she acts once she sits down has me mentally wishing for a hypodermic needle attached to a syringe full of deadly, fast-acting poison.

See, I like to sit still, in silence. The bus is like my own private Diogenes Club where I can sit and just let my mind wander where it will (yes, it is old enough to be out by itself, thanks for asking). This lady breaks my trance and I find I'm paying attention to her instead of drifting.

Firstly she ferrets through her handbag for a few minutes before retrieving her phone and her book. I don't know why she bothers with the latter as she never reads it; instead, she spends the duration of the trip - and by that point there's usually a good 40 minutes to go - texting furiously, and I mean that literally, stabbing at her phone like it's offended her somehow. She keeps this up practically non-stop; how can she have that many texts to send? Maybe she's writing a novel, although you think she'd have a more user-friendly keyboard than that on a phone.

Today though she really took the cake. Five minutes along and she decided instead of texting she needed to have a conversation on her phone. Loudly. With hand gestures. I noticed people opposite frowning so I wasn't the only one bothered by it. She was bugging me so much by this point that I got out my earphones and popped them in my ears, without actually attaching them to anything, in a passive-aggressive gesture meant to convey how annoying she was being. I think she must have noticed because she ended her call shortly afterwards and went back to the texting.

The coup de grace, however, comes when we finally reach the city. The bus usually almost empties out on the second-to-last stop, and at that point this lady moves seats, to a seat she doesn't have to share. Every fucking time. And then, one minute later, the bus stops again and we both get off. What is up with that? If she so dislikes sitting next to me, why does she make such an effort to sit there every single day?
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Trepkostrepkos on February 21st, 2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
I would immediately move if she sits by me again.
miwahni: Pros Ouchmiwahni on February 22nd, 2013 10:17 am (UTC)
But I'd have to ask her to get up and move in order to get out of my seat... :-(
Trepkostrepkos on February 22nd, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was going to say, put your bag on the seat you usually sit on, and sit by it, so there isn't room for her.

I wonder whether she has OCD of some kind?

Or ... maybe she's doing a psych test on you, to see how long you will put up with it.

Or perhaps she's afraid someone SHE finds offensive will sit next to her.
miwahni: Pros Ray frownmiwahni on February 23rd, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
If this is some sort of social experiment or psych test, I failed big-time when I put the earphones in. *g*
entropy_houseentropy_house on February 21st, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
ARGH. I'd try to make sure I was sitting next to someone else before she gets on. Even if they were annoying it would be a *different* annoying. And maybe if you did that a few times, she'd latch onto another victim. *hugs*
miwahni: Boosh I don't like cricketmiwahni on February 22nd, 2013 10:19 am (UTC)
It's a good idea, but I get on at the first stop. Me and two others. It would look a bit odd if I ignored a bus full of empty seats in order to sit next to one of the other two people on the bus. Plus I like a window seat. :-(
entropy_houseentropy_house on February 22nd, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, you know, sometimes the only answer to rudeness is to be rude back. If all else fails, then I'd nerve myself up to say 'excuse me, I want to change seats' and make her stand up while I move to another window seat.

But definitely I'd try the discouraging her from sitting there in the first place trick first, just by taking the outside seat and spreading out- with a notebook to scribble in, would be good.

Edited at 2013-02-22 02:24 pm (UTC)
miwahni: B7 BlakeAvon Watching over youmiwahni on February 23rd, 2013 01:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I do think that's the best option.
Strike while the irony is hot: [EMATE] CUPPAdraycevixen on February 21st, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC)

It sounds to me like she's chosen you as her "safety blanket." She sits next to you as opposed to taking an empty seat because then she isn't at the mercy of whoever gets on after her. That's why she moves once you've reached a stage where she knows no one else is likely to get on.

Try picking someone else to sit next to when you get on or sit on the outside of your seat and be absorbed in something when she gets on where it would be really rude of her to ask you to move over when there are empty seats available.
miwahni: Pros Ray frownmiwahni on February 22nd, 2013 10:21 am (UTC)
Try picking someone else to sit next to
See reply above :-(

sit on the outside of your seat and be absorbed in something when she gets on
This. I was all set to have my handbag on the seat next to me, and be rummaging in my briefcase at my feet when I reached her stop - only to find that she didn't catch my bus today! Ah well, will try it out on Monday.

Newsynewsy891 on February 22nd, 2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
Are there ever two vacant seats next to each other when she gets on? If there are, maybe while you're doing the "take one seat and block the other" thing, you could suggest she do the same in those seats. She might be a bit like me: I really want to sit by myself in a row, but if I MUST have someone in my personal space, I'd at least like it to be someone who will not try to force me into a conversation.

The difference is: I have no qualms about stretching out over two seats on a less-than-full bus or train. Perhaps she does; perhaps she was raised, or told at some point and remembered it, that to save a seat for her own comfort was a wrong or rude thing to do... or, perhaps it's all a moot point because there are never two vacant seats next to each other on the bus by the time she boards. And in either case (no vacant rows, or not wanting/"allowed" to save a seat), the safest thing for her to do on the bus in order to avoid conversation is to sit next to you, because she knows by now that you won't make her be social. If she sat in an empty row, the next person to sit there might try to talk to her.

...Maybe, if she sits next to you again despite all the tricks here, just start the most vacant and ridiculous conversation you can think of. If this theory's right, she'll pick another security blanket straightaway because you'll have been pegged as "person who will make me socialize." In other words, get her away from you by doing what you would find most disruptive! =)
miwahni: MFU What did you say lovermiwahni on February 23rd, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
I really want to sit by myself in a row, but if I MUST have someone in my personal space, I'd at least like it to be someone who will not try to force me into a conversation.
Absolutely. I'm not sure what it's like in the states, but in Australia - as in the UK - it is the done thing to sit in absolute silence and basically ignore the other passengers.

At the point that she gets on, there usually are a few pairs of vacant seats left. That's what makes it even more bizarre IMO. But within a few more stops the bus is usually full, with the latest boarders forced to stand, so it's not practical or polite to take up an additional seat. I have no qualms now about doing it when she boards, but would have to move my bag within the next couple of stops.

Heh. I can just imagine myself turning to her and asking
"so, who do you think was the best Doctor?" Except I can't imagine myself actually talking to a stranger :-(. And I'm not even sure if she speaks English; I've only heard her speak what sounds like Chinese.