Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I'm an observational commuter. Occasionally on the T, I'll get into a book and politely keep my head down, but for the most part I'm a starer. Actually, I take advantage of the fact that most people are not starers. I'm that person that you don't think is watching you pick you nose or send cheesy texts to your girlfriend or listen to Ace to Base on your IPod. (Side note: I am always amazed at the things people will text/email with the assumption that no one is reading. Scandalous.)
Before you go and think I'm a creep, I'm going somewhere with this. For the most part, the findings of my staring are overwhelmingly positive and even uplifting. I find that most riders are more than happy to give up their seat and try to clear the way as much as possible on a packed train. Even cell phone gabbers aren't that bad. I actually enjoy my T observations because they sort of give me a little faith in the benevelance of Bostonians.
So, imagine my surprise to find that this week the MBTA put bright posters on 600 subway cars and 400 buses with messages such as ,"Don't be a drone on the phone.","Be sweet. Offer your seat.","Don't be a lout. Let them out." and "Don’t dash without your trash."
Umm question: What is a lout? Are there people that seriously use the word drone? The "Courtesy Campaign" is a valiant effort, but based on these signs I'm guessing that the MBTA is not working with the likes Arnold or Hill Holiday.
In past "Courtesy Campaigns", MBTA employees distributed $2 Dunkin' Donuts coupons to passengers performing small acts of kindness. That's my kind of a brownie point. But last I heard the MBTA was in some serious financial trouble so I doubt I'll be getting free Dunkies anytime soon.
I do appreciate the MBTA encouraging common courtesy, but I think that there's a bigger picture as well as other issues that I'd rather have my Charlie Card fee go towards, like safety for woman traveling at night.
For now, I'll have to settle for the new signs adding a little comedic relief to my commute. And I'll add drone hunting to my staring routine.