Had Some Horrifying Mass Transit Experiences -- Tell Me Yours
December 18, 2004 3:27 PM   Subscribe

After having 3 bad experiences commuting on the train in as many days, what nightmare stories have you had on your commuter grind? (MI)

So as you can guess I've had a few bad days:

Thursday - train was delayed by 30 mins so made a dash off the train and left my christmas pressies on the train. Reported to Lost Property who have a don't call us, we'll call you policy that you know will never happen. Later on I topped off the day by a glass smashing whilst washing up and slicing my hand to pieces.

Friday - On train home with senior manager after office christmas party (who I see as a dad like figure) who then tries it on with me. All creeped out and not looking forward to facing him Monday morning as I told him leave me alone and couldn't escape the train because it was the last train home.

Today - Had to put up with a gang of teenagers slinging racial slurs to anyone different to them, who also refused to move their legs out of aisle to let anyone pass including a guy on crutches. Had my magazine ripped outta my hands and torn up and the final straw that broke the camels back was having a seat flung at my face as they got off the train. Until that moment no-one had stuck up for themselves for fear of being attacked and no-one came to my aid when I had to stick up for myself from a complete bunch of arseholes.

Someone please have a better 'worse' story than mine to cheer me up :D
posted by floanna to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Maybe this will cheer you up.
Back when I was taking the bus through downtown Buffalo at late hours in the evening, there was a driver on the #8 who also had a part time gig on one of the urban radio stations. He was always a trip, as the drivers had to announce stops, and he always had something funny to say.
I was sitting close to the front when a rather drunk man got on and would not leave me alone- trying to talk to me, trying to move closer, etc. I actually got up and moved at one point, and the only open seat was next to a man my age, coming off work. He sympathized with me, and began to just make small talk as a way of keeping Drunkie from intervening. In the mean time, Drunkie was commiserating with the fun driver about how I would not talk to him, that women all wanted the same thing- "Coin, cock and a car". The driver, trying to keep it light, joked along, while Drunkie began to say some pretty nasty stuff about me and the guy who was sympathetically trying to talk to me and keep me "busy". So at the next stop, the fun driver spins around in his seat, makes the sign of the cross while yelling "By the power vested in me by the NFTA and the State of New York, I now pronounce you man and wife, you may kiss the bride, young man!" and turning to Drunkie, "Now leave her the hell alone, or you'll get her husband mad!"
Putting aside any social commentary about me needing a husband to protect me, blah blah blah, it was pretty funny, and the kid I was talking to and I began to laugh. He got off with me and ended up walking a few blocks to his destination, as Drunkie decided to get off at the same stop as I did, and heckled us the whole way to my apartment.
But it was pretty weird, scary, funny and odd all at the same time.
posted by oflinkey at 3:59 PM on December 18, 2004

This may not be worse, but I was in a bus here in LA when an old man who seemed to have problems walking put out his hand for me to help him across the aisle.

I thought I'd be a nice guy and put out my arm so he could cross. He did, but after he sat down, he sort of refused to let go. He just starred at me while I tried to squirm away. It's amazing how quickly a helpless old man turned into a creepy old man. I peeled his hand off my arm and moved away.
posted by SAC at 4:02 PM on December 18, 2004

I was on a greyhound bus and the woman next to me was holding a baby. Somehow, the baby ended up between us and peed on me.
posted by sophie at 4:11 PM on December 18, 2004

No offense or anything, but the point of AskMe isn't to cheer you up.

Cheers ;)
posted by The God Complex at 4:51 PM on December 18, 2004

NYC subway. A dirty smelly bum-type person next to me had a coughing fit and coughed a cream-colored bloody chunk of bodily tissue onto my shoulder. I think it was a piece of lung.

On preview:
the point of AskMe isn't to cheer you up

no, it's to gross you out.
posted by TimeFactor at 4:56 PM on December 18, 2004

Want a nightmare?


After working twelve days straight, I'm headed home back to philly from DC. I'm taking the acela, so I can finally get home faster.

Over the susquehanna (sp) river the train hits someone. Clearly committing suicide. Now, we can't go anywhere because we have to wait for the police to show up.

And we wait. and wait. Two hours later, they bring another train and cattle car us into one car. A full train into one little car.

I felt terrible for feeling bad for not being home...and then really felt bad over the guy whose life was upset enough to want to kill himself. And then felt bad over being annoyed about not being home. Rinse, repeat.
posted by filmgeek at 5:22 PM on December 18, 2004

Response by poster: the point of AskMe isn't to cheer you up

I know, but thought that it would bring out a few interesting stories. No offense taken.

In retrospect, commuter hell is quite depressing but feel free to tell a tale of unexpected acts of kindness by fellow commuters.

TimeFactor that was gross!

oflinkey - loved the story. I wish that all drivers were half as funny and I was half expecting you to continue and say that you ended up dating/marrying the nice guy after all. In fact I once met a bloke at a bus stop who I ended up dating and my parents met on a train, so there are some nice stories out there.
posted by floanna at 5:37 PM on December 18, 2004

Chatfilter. We've had one very recently. We don't need another.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:53 PM on December 18, 2004

My commuting experiences have all been lovey-dory, but have you checked out This Is Grand? Like this thread, only more of it, and Chicago-centric.
posted by jtron at 7:59 PM on December 18, 2004

sometimes it's kind of chilly and/or raining when i walk or ride my bike 1 mile to my office.

posted by glenwood at 9:00 PM on December 18, 2004

This tale isn't exactly a nightmare, though it could be if I chose to think of it so. It wasn't exactly a 'commute', but a business trip instead.

There was a time long ago when major corporations flew its employees First Class on long business trips. I was in Los Angeles, the corporation's HQ city. I was returning to my work base, Stavanger, Norway.

I was booked on TWA first class to London Heathrow, continuing to Stavanger on British Air, with a two-hour layover. The TWA plane had mechanical problems that day and didn't get onto the LAX runway until it was already 4 hours off schedule. Right from the start, I knew that my connection was blown and that it was the only flight of the day from Heathrow to Stavanger.

I could have been aggrevated by that, but why worry? It wasn't like I was about to miss a critical meeting or something like that. TWA would make some arrangements on arrival the next morning. Why spoil a perfectly good first-class flight?

What TWA came up with was a charter helicopter, Heathrow to Gatwick, so that I could connect to SAS's mid-afternoon flight to Copenhagen, SAS's evening flight to Kristiansand (the last international flight into Norway that night), and then a Busy Bee prop flight up the coast to Stavanger (the last commercial flight in the air in Norway that night). I arrived home at 1 a.m. instead of before noon. I could have made that into a nightmare, but it wasn't.

That incident that made the flight memorable occurred at Heathrow a couple of hours after arrival. About 200 passengers on TWA's 747 missed connections and needed new arrangements. TWA opened a service counter for in-transit passengers, one line for first-class passengers, three lines for the rest of the plane, perhaps 60 passengers to a line.

After the counter had been open 30-40 minutes and the long lines had formed, three French men strolled in, went up to the front of one line and told the ticket agent there that they had to be on the next plane to Paris. The agent replied that TWA would do its best to make suitable arrangements but that they'd have to wait their turn in line behind the people who got there ahead of them.

That was not acceptable to the French guys and they told the agent that she had to take care of them NOW. She again told them politely that they'd be helped but that they needed to move to the back of one of the lines.

NOT ACCEPTABLE! The French guys got into a loud, heated argument with the agent and neither side was budging. The last (and loud word) from one of the French men was that when he went to bed that night he would pray to God that he never have to fly TWA again.

To that the TWA agent replied that when she goes to bed that night she would thank God that she was not born a Frenchman. For that one comment she received a standing ovation from the entire crowd. The Frenchmen stormed off somewhere and presumably didn't get home until late at night.

Well.... this could have been a nightmare story, but it's one I rather enjoy remembering and sharing.
posted by PlanoTX at 10:41 PM on December 18, 2004

Oui, oui!
posted by Doohickie at 1:02 PM on December 19, 2004

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