Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Pushy people

Manners. Being polite. Consideration for others.

...do these words mean nothing to the youth of today?

Every day I get the bus to and from work, and am shocked by the brazeness of people who simply push their way onto the bus, usually by cutting in front of me and various other people, just to suit their own needs.

It might be my British upbringing that has taught me to queue and wait politely for pretty much anything, but these old world values don't seem to have carried over to the present day.

Just when the bus arrived and stopped right in front of me, I stood to the left side of the opening doors - maybe one metre away from the entrance - to allow people on the bus to leave before I climbed on board. I was amazed and shocked to see the other people at the bus stop, who were behind me, brush me aside and force their way onto the bus, without giving a second thought to the departing passengers.

I've seen old ladies brushed aside as well, so I'm not the only victim. Earlier this year when I was on crutches after an operation on my knee (see my blog entry "So...What's New?") and my wife was heavily pregnant, we headed down to the local shop to get some supplies. Walking up to the entrance, people exiting the shop literally pushed past us and expected us to move out of their way, despite our very obvious handicaps (I know being pregnant is not a handicap, but you know what I mean). The nerve of these selfish bastards!

Has society now decided that we don't need to wait for anything any more? Is it now socially acceptable to be an ignorant git?

What irks me more is that some of these pushy passengers proceeded to get off the bus at the next stop - a mere 300 metres down the road. They are quite content to push me out of the way so they can clamber onto the bus for a ride that lasted less than 2 minutes.

This all happens in Switzerland, by the way, so I cannot really comment on the state of queuing in England. When I do get back to my birth country it seems we, the British, still have some level of consideration and respect for other people waiting for the same thing, with a strong "first come first served" attitude. In Switzerland that is definitely not the case - be it with buses, trams or trains, queues are either non-existent or not respected.

It's quite a big change for a Brit to get used to, as we have this need to queue built in from an early age. My first experience of catching a flight from Geneva airport showed me that the queue-free chaos applies to flying as well, evidenced by the mass bundle to get on the easyjet plane.

Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to push my way onto public transport, or elbow any old grannies to get into the shop a split second faster. Maybe after a few more years and a lot of practise I'll be able to do it, but by the time that day comes society might have completely crumbled.

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