All aboard for the pain train!

My daily commuting experience on NJ Transit is almost always marred by some sort of delay, over-crowded and under-heated cars and a cell phone user who insists on sharing his conversation with everyone.

December 14 - makeup The worst offenders, though, are the women who 'put on their face' right alongside me. As I'm reading a book or paper, or editing a bylined article, Jane Doe has her compact out and is carefully applying her lipstick, powdering her nose and fine-tuning the eyebrows. Recently, I sat across the aisle from a woman who was actually plucking out her gray hair and flicking the strands in the aisle.

I was simultaneously amused and appalled.

Leaving behind one's newspaper and empty coffee cup is one thing (and, in some ways, it's a silent 'up yours' to NJT for its horrific service). But, yanking out one's hair in public is way, way over the line.

Ah, but there's the rub. There is no line anymore. As the pillars of society implode so, too, do the rules for conduct and behavior. I think it's actually worsened in the wake of the recent economic downturn. I see and experience behavior that leaves me speechless.

I believe one should be prepared for work when one boards the 7:28. So, here's a note to Jane Doe: leave the damn cosmetic box at home. In fact, if you don't immediately cease and desist, I'm going to bring my shaving kit along and lather up as you're plucking. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Readers, please feel free to share any other particularly egregious behavior you’ve witnessed by others during the morning commute.

9 thoughts on “All aboard for the pain train!

  1. Thanks Lunch. I have to give credit where is due, though. Names like Hinklebottom are inspired by Stanley Bing, my all-time favorite business humorist (if such a job description exists).

  2. Nice additions, Julie. Here’s another one. The asshole sales manager who likes to demonstrate his power and authority by screaming at a subordinate over his cellphone. Linguini is one thing. Listening to poor Hinklebottom being ripped a new one is something else entirely.

  3. You raise a great point, Lunch. Drivers who text should be locked away ASAP. I run near a local community college and have had countless close calls with students who are so busy texting they don’t see the hapless jogger in their path.

  4. I also don’t like people who take up two seats on a crowded train. Usually, I’ve noticed that women like to use the one seat next to them for their shopping bags, while men just like to spread their arms and legs out.
    Regarding cell-phone etiquette (or lack thereof): Why has it become so important to let the entire train know that you are cooking linguini for dinner? Most (if not all) of these conversations are trivial and unnecessary.
    And the guy standing next to me blasting hip-hop from his iPod will most probably be deaf in a few years anyway…

  5. The most offensive behavior to me is when young people happily remain in their seats as elderly or injured passengers struggle to hold on. Oh, one more: The folks who rock Busta Rhymes at 8am through early 80’s Sony Walkman headphones that project sound like mini speakers so the whole bus can sing along.

  6. I agree with your post, but nothing is as offensive to this reader as those who drive and talk on their cells. Those that type while driving are even worse.
    As for the train, some of these ladies need the makeup, Rep. You can’t fault them for trying to make them look a little less gawdawful looking (but, I agree – that should be done before leaving the house)!