Until very recently I hadn’t been on public transport in about 10 years, probably not since I was a student. As a student I had to use trains and buses (oh the injustice, having to mingle with the similarly unwashed) but at that time I had no real concept of the code of public transport. Well, after 10 pints of snakebite (a drop of blackcurrant juice is one of your 5 a day when you’re a student) you usually don’t understand the code of being human let alone some code of public transportation.
Fast-forward ten years and after working in sales (yes, I’m a wanker) and enjoying company cars for the majority of that time, I find myself without a car. Me? A man without a car? Bollocks. Starting over again in my career resulted in me having to face facts, one of which was that I was going to have to use public transport – properly this time.
And there is most definitely a code when using public transport. Few people follow it as rigidly as they should. The code goes like this.
One: you turn up at the bus stop or the train station, whatever takes your fancy. Look around and gauge who is there before you. This will come in handy.
Two: the vehicle arrives. It doesn’t matter if the fucking thing stops right by you, rolls out the red carpet and you get piped aboard by the Royal British Legion Marching Band – let those that were before you get on first. You should know who these people are if you’ve taken note of point one of the code. You do this because it’s common, human decency. Do not goose-step past these people in order to get on the train/bus/tube before them. This is neither decent nor humane; it only tells all of the passengers entering the vehicle that you are, in fact, a wanker.
Three: you are on board your chosen mode of public transport. If you are using a mode of transport which allows you to see the human who is paid to be there (the driver of the bus for example), say “thank you” as you get on. Why? Because it is called showing some fucking manners you rude, ignorant pile of goat dung. The driver doesn’t want to be there; no-one grows up wanting to be a bus driver. They probably had dreams of being a sailor or a landscape gardener and here they are, carting about the feral, ignorant and mentally retarded. The least you can do, as a relatively sane member of the public, if you are one, is to say thanks.
Four: find a seat. What this doesn’t entail is walking up and down, stopping by every spare seat, before continuing your hunt for what I can only assume is some of automated masturbating chair. All seats are created equal, unless you’re on Ryanair, so just pick one.
Five: if you find yourself in an aisle seat and the person on the inside of you needs to leave before you reach your destination, stand up. Don’t just swing your legs out into the aisle and expect them to squeeze past, even if it’s fucking Twiggy next to you ,and frankly you’ve more chance of sitting next to Shergar than her on public transport.
Six: you reach your destination. Let’s be honest, you know when it is. It’s announced before you reach it, you see others get off before you so you know roughly whereabouts you are on your journey and you may well even recognise the surrounding area. What does all this mean? It means get ready to leave before you reach your destination. Don’t get to your stop and then suddenly have a book, headphones, hand cream, makeup or anything else to pack away – it holds everyone up and is fucking infuriating.
These rules aren’t overly hard to follow. If someone who hasn’t been on public transport in a decade knows them, then you should too. Read it, learn it and practice it so we don’t end up throwing ourselves and each other in front of the poor bastards ferrying us about the country.