9.19.2011

A Day on the Subway

I was on the subway this morning, late to a meeting. As I got on, I noticed a man occupying three seats. (He was sitting in one and a half and had his bag on the third.) I had to stand for a bit, until someone else got off, in order to sit. Before someone else got off, I thought about asking him to move his bag, but realized that he seemed to be down on his luck, so decided not to bother him. As I stood up to get off at my stop, he first fell sideways, into the empty seat beside him, and then off the seat entirely, on to the floor. The teenagers near me tittered and got off, but I said, "Sir, sir" to him as loudly as I could muster to try to wake him up. He did not move or appear responsive to me. But I was late for a meeting! And this was my stop! What would you do?

On the next train that I was on, a bit later that day, I saw a credit card on the floor, halfway under a seat. A few people were standing near it; I wasn't sure which of them had dropped it. Then I looked up and saw a woman standing with her wallet open, looking for something in it. It was a somewhat crowded car and there were several people between me and her, but I didn't want her to get off the train with her credit card still on the floor. What would you do?

As you get off the train, you notice that something is dripping out of the plastic bag that the woman in front of you is holding. She seems to be carrying a lot--a backpack, a purse, multiple plastic bags. You have no idea what it is, but it looks pretty gross. Is it really any of your business what's leaking out of someone else's plastic bag? Maybe she knows and doesn't care. What would you do?

You see someone crying at a Starbucks as she puts milk and sugar into her coffee. What would you do?

This all happened to or around me in the past twelve hours. A day in the life, as it were. A follow-up post with what I or others did will appear at some point in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.

6 comments:

Clarissa said...

Case 1: I would alert the subway officials.

Case 2: I would ask the woman if that was her card lying on the floor.

Case 3: I'd do nothing.

Case 4: that would depend how I feel about the person in question after I observed them for a while. I might come up and offer assistance or ignore them based on how I feel about them.

EmFish said...

1) Uch, if I weren't late for a meeting, I would try and call on the emergency phone thing. But as I am late for a meeting, I'll probably get off and hope I see a MTA worker to tell.

2) I would definitely try to get her attention.

3) I might ask "do you know that your bag is leaking?" I do the same thing when someone's backpack is unzipped. Then they can either close it or say "yes, I do know" and move on.

4) I probably wouldn't do anything. But it would affect my mood for a number of hours.

toby said...

Wow, I can't wait to find out what you did! What a cliffhanger :)

Laura said...

I want to know what you did too!
I would probably help that guy, and I'd probably alert that lady about her card, and I'd probably try to stay away from that leakage. I try to stay away from crying people though; they make me nervous.
Wow, what a crazy day you had.

mother in israel said...

Nu?? :)

Abacaxi Mamao said...

Oh, whoops! Sorry to leave you all in suspense. I've been ridiculously busy! I will post what happened now.