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I’m Too Educated To Have Manners

A woman traveling on New York’s Metro North train line was recorded by a fellow passenger telling train employees that she is too “well-educated” to be told to quiet down and not use profanity in her cell-phone conversation.

“Do you know what schools I’ve been to? How well-educated I am?” she asks the train employee, who is seen explaining to another employee that she asked the passenger to stop using the “F-bomb.”

“I’m sorry do you think I’m a little hoodlum?” she asks, then demands her money back and dares the conductor to stop the train.    Read the rest of the article here.

{ 57 comments… add one }
  • SillyMe June 21, 2011, 9:41 am

    Dear Admin: Please don’t ban me, but ……
    New York? Not Boston? Are you sure?
    (As someone who sees these types all the time in my part of Boston, I just couldn’t resist. Please forgive.)

  • Pixie June 21, 2011, 9:46 am

    Some people. -_-;;

  • Just Laura June 21, 2011, 9:48 am

    My grandfather always says that if one must resort to swearing, then one must suffer from a lack of vocabulary.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do swear. But I refrain from doing so in situations such as this, where those who have no part in the conversation would be subjected to the harsh language. In addition, neither of my highly ranked private East Coast universities ever taught me that my education equals a right to be rude to those who are doing their jobs.

  • G-Radical June 21, 2011, 9:49 am

    I hope that was some kind of psychological experiment from one of her well-educated institutions. Otherwise, that was just ridiculous!

  • ferretrick June 21, 2011, 9:50 am

    I guess the old saying that money doesn’t buy class should be updated to education doesn’t teach it either.

  • Snowy June 21, 2011, 10:05 am

    I took her comment to mean, “You claim that I was swearing, but I’m too educated to be swearing like that, I was not doing it.” Not that that’s much better. She definitely earned a ticket to Etiquette Hell.

  • Lisa June 21, 2011, 10:10 am

    After the altercation, the conductor came on the loudspeaker and reminded people to keep conversations quiet, “especially those people who went to Harvard or Yale or are from Westport.”


    This woman is just a brat, plain and simple.

  • Elizabeth June 21, 2011, 10:19 am

    Self-absorbed! And how dare anyone correct her because she is too well-educated to be corrected. Why should others’ train trip be disrupted by her rantings?

  • Chocobo June 21, 2011, 10:22 am

    Wow, what a classist. “I am more educated than you and therefore above common courtesy.” This is why we end up with the current American class war wherein the Blue Collar believes they may ridicule the White Collar for seeking education, and the White Collar believes they are above the Blue Collar for obtaining it.

    I was recently speaking with my husband about manners and we came to a consensus regarding our stations in life. Regardless of whether we end up paupers or extremely wealthy, extremely educated or not, we would like to be the kind of people whom, when visitors come to our home, may think privately to themselves: “I never knew they were _____.” I hope to be that gracious of a person in public that evidence of my station in life is not readily apparent, and perhaps surprising to those who see the small bits of evidence and piece it together.

  • badkitty June 21, 2011, 10:24 am

    My absolute favorite bit is that after being asked to quiet down she had the nerve to berate the conductor and others for listening to her “private conversation”. Funny, I hold all of my private conversations IN PRIVATE. Not on a crowded train. I also got a giggle about her “well educated” remark, supposedly evidenced by the schools she’s “been to”. Doesn’t say she got a degree, or even that she attended as a student. Kudos to the conductor and other employees for not allowing this woman to escalate the situation any further – she was clearly hoping that if she kept it up long enough one of them would respond in kind.

  • Eternal Dreamer June 21, 2011, 10:25 am

    This type of behavior is too over-the-top for me to even discuss. But I especially like the first user comment in that article:

    Years ago, as a county jailer, I was booking in a woman that was considered to be in the upper echelon of our local community. She looked around at the various people in the booking area and stated, “I dont belong here with THESE people.”
    My Sergeant replied, “Lady, you ARE these people.”
    Education and social standing do not equal class.

    A sharp comment indeed.

  • A June 21, 2011, 10:51 am

    I thought well-educated people didn’t speak or behave that way. I suppose it’s yet another sign of the decline of our educational system…

  • Ashley June 21, 2011, 11:03 am

    Actually, if she was so well educated, she would realize that swearing in a place where people might get offended by it is generally frowned upon, so is talking on a cell phone loudly enough that other people can hear it without even trying. Because I am educated, and yes, I do swear. However, if I am out in public, I keep it to a minimum, and I NEVER EVER swear if someone in the room might be under 18.

    I have no issues with swearing. I have enough of a vocabulary to realize that I can get away with swearing now and then. But I also realize that there is a time and place for it. On a cell phone in a crowded train car is not it. It is good that this is all on tape because it shows that the conductor kept her cool, and did her job.

  • The Elf June 21, 2011, 11:05 am

    Oh yeah, that’s pure class!

  • AKatC June 21, 2011, 11:06 am

    I’ve lived in NYC and I live in Boston now (born and raised) and honestly it could be either or. 🙂 I’ve seen it all on trains to and from both locations. LOL

  • --E June 21, 2011, 11:12 am

    “I am not a crazy person. I’m a very well-educated person.”

    Not well-educated enough to know that those two sets are not mutually exclusive. Must have slept through statistics class, eh?

    The internet is a double-edged sword. When you do something stupid in public, the odds are good that someone will record it and post it, displaying your stupidity for all to see. A well-educated person should know that.

  • lnelson1218 June 21, 2011, 11:30 am

    One question: how do you have a private conversation on a train?

  • M.Amanda June 21, 2011, 11:30 am

    I recently watched “Meet Bill,” where the main character was repeatedly recorded attacking a local newsman who had an affair with his wife. Periodically, Bill would be approached by random citizens who had seen clips of the attacks and repeat what he’d yelled at the newsman – “Hey! Crazy News Fan! ‘Apologize! Apologize!'” I wonder how often this woman and the woman who violated the Quiet Car rules get that treatment. Will this woman hear “Do you know what schools I’ve been to?” quoted back at her enough to realize how stupid she sounds?

  • SillyMe June 21, 2011, 11:35 am

    Chocobo, regarding your comments on the class war: should we ever meet, you get one coffee or dessert (or maybe both) on me. That was very insightful. On that however, there was an acedemic study done recently (the past few years) on college students that concluded that students coming from more affluent and priveleged backgrounds had less (or less developed) social skills than their peers of more modest means. One theory explaining this was somewhat evolutionary or survivalist: that those of more modest backgrounds rely on social interaction and reliance for survival, whereas the more affluent did not. It can be googled. I am not disagreeing or agreeing, but in the part of the city where I spend a good deal of time, I have had interactions with people from all walks of life that make me inclined to agree.

  • Danielle June 21, 2011, 11:42 am

    I love the part where after the conductor walks away, she gestures to all the passengers as if to say, “Can you believe these people?” She is so full of herself, she actually believes that the rest of the crowd is on her side.

    If you listen very closely at the very end of the video, you can hear her make some sort of snooty comment about “working on a train”. As if *thats* going to help ingratiate her to the group.

  • Louise June 21, 2011, 11:54 am

    The video has been removed, but I read the story. Just bizarre.

  • SML June 21, 2011, 11:59 am

    Wow! I worked in a coffee shop in university and one of the girls there got into a discussion with another employee (in front of customers) about how she believed that the students from our university should be paid more because our levels of education added sophistication to the shop. We were undergrads, not royalty for Pete’s sake!

  • Lilya June 21, 2011, 12:15 pm

    In my English class we were once warned against “false friends” (i.e. words that look familiar but have entirely different imeanings): one of the examples was not to confuse “educated” with “educato” (well-mannered).
    Thanks to this lady, I don’t think I ever will.

  • karen June 21, 2011, 12:34 pm


    The “people who work on trains” bit was my favorite. I didn’t see the first part of the altercation, so I didn’t want to judge her *too* harshly, but anyone who demeans someone for having a job they consider “beneath them” makes my blood boil. ESPECIALLY when she needs that person to do her job.

  • Lynne June 21, 2011, 12:57 pm

    I didn’t get the video — was it taken down in just the past few hours?

  • AS June 21, 2011, 12:58 pm

    The video has been removed! OH! No…!!! I wanted to watch it properly; I had just seen the beginning this morning. She sounded quite annoying and embarrassing.

    Does she get booked in the end? I hope so – otherwise she’ll probably think that she succeeded! People who are so full of themselves need to be trimmed down.

    There is an old Sanskrit saying, which when translated means “and empty vessel sounds much”. If this woman thought she needed to play her education card when told that she was being rude, there must be something wrong with her.

  • LaurenP June 21, 2011, 1:02 pm


    I love the way that her question, “I’m sorry do you think I’m a little hoodlum?”, could be answered with ‘yes’.

  • Chocobo June 21, 2011, 1:09 pm

    SillyMe, if we ever meet I shall take you up on your offer with my thanks. The campus study is interesting, and in some ways I am not surprised. However, I am somewhat cautious of the results since it was a study taken specifically of college students, and not of the general population. What that really tells me is that people of lower economic status who attend college are more likely to have developed social skills. This makes sense; we can assume people of lower income who attend college are more likely to do it through their own hard work, and we know we are much less likely to take for granted what we gain with our own sweat. This statistic may generalize to the general population who do not attend college (the rich and poor alike) as well, but that would have to come under another study.

    To that end, manners are not above or below any station in life, and I think all of our fellow commenters would agree that politeness benefits the whole of society regardless of background.

  • JennJenn68 June 21, 2011, 1:23 pm

    So, apparently she’s better than the train employees because of her “education”, hm? I’d like to see her try to keep the railway operating the way they do. Those “uneducated” people are, in fact, generally quite well-educated and are also doing something practical and utterly necessary. (Can you tell that I’m a railwayman’s daughter??)

    Conversely, I wonder if Ms. I’m-so-smart is even employed? Lots of those ivory tower types end up unemployable, thanks to their “education”… With an attitude like that, I highly doubt that she’d be able to keep any type of job for very long.

  • DGS June 21, 2011, 1:38 pm

    She may be educated, but she is a huge jerk. Unfortunately, educated =/= cultured. Those are two separate entities. One could have a multitude of degrees but be socially inept, clueless, entitled or otherwise, inappropriate, or not have much formal education but have been brought up with good manners.

  • --E June 21, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Danielle@20: Well, she is on Metro North, which means a significant number of her fellow passengers are likely wealthy, well-educated people themselves. (Metro North runs to the most affluent suburbs of New York City.) OTOH, I’m sure many of them were dying a little inside, fearing that people will associate them with boors such as this woman.

  • Kippie June 21, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Bummer. The video was taken down. 🙁

    • admin June 21, 2011, 4:06 pm

      This is the second video taken down by users. I’ve now updated with a third one. We’ll see how many get taken down over the next few days.

  • Anon June 21, 2011, 3:21 pm

    The linked article also mentioned that this occurred on the QUIET car. I am sure that “well educated” individuals must know that the definition of “quiet” . . .

  • Twik June 21, 2011, 4:20 pm

    SillyMe, I wonder if the sense of some 2nd generation members of wealthy families that they don’t need manners to prosper is what created the American saying, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generations” (i.e., that one generation makes the money by their own efforts, the next generation loses it, and the 3rd generation is back to working for a living again.).

  • PrincessSimmi June 21, 2011, 4:43 pm

    You know, I’ll never forget the client that got all stroppy and said to me “I pay your salary!”

    I retaliated with “Yeah, well, I do your payroll, so I pay your salary too.”

    This guy earns $600k and feels that he can treat everyone on my team like poop because of it. Nobody has a right to treat you poorly, regardless of education or income or social standing. I almost lost my job over that comment, but my boss told me she wanted to say the same thing to him, and ‘lost’ the paperwork with my reprimand on it.

  • PrincessSimmi June 21, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Oh my! I just watched the video (or the half that loaded- I’m on the train) and she says TWICE “do you know how educated I am?” and then says “do you know where I…” (I think the end is ‘went to school’ but it’s drowned out)

    Holy guacamole!

  • --Lia June 21, 2011, 5:06 pm

    I’m not sure why we’re talking about the relationship between education and manners or money and manners. An ill-mannered woman said some things. That doesn’t make them true, either for herself or for anyone else.

  • Jillybean June 21, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I posted an earlier comment that did not get through. I’m guessing because it referenced a previous ehell story and the Admin didn’t want to start up that debate again (don’t blame her if that was why). But what I think was relevant from my post I’m posting again, because I think based on the fact that the video keeps getting removed, others must agree with me. I think it’s rude to videotape (unless you are merely doing it in case you get questioned as a witness by police) and broadcast such events. I’m not sure why people think it’s polite/necessary/acceptable to broadcast other people’s indiscretions. I think it’s kind of mean. Of course, this is why I don’t behave like a moron in public, because people carry video cameras 24/7 now thanks to smart phones. That said, the woman in the video was wrong – she very well might be well educated, but she also might be crazy. Or she just might have been having an extraordinarily crappy day, and when confronted lashed out.

  • Weeblewobble June 21, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Seriously, surviving mass transit is not a great mystery. You follow one basic rule, be considerate enough that you’re not a nuisance to the people around you.

  • Lynne June 22, 2011, 1:31 am

    I did a little googling — it seems that the woman in question has threatened to sue at least one YouTube account holder who provided a video response to the story. Perhaps that’s why the others pulled their videos.

  • Enna June 22, 2011, 5:04 am

    I don’t like it when people look down on others. Working in transport is a very important job – getting people to work on time, transporting goods so people can live in a safe way. The way the rude person was saying “I’ve been working all day you work in the morning” – she doesn’t know how many hours that lady she was rude to works. For all rude person knows the train lady might be in a more senior position. Even a sterotypical “lowly” job as a cleaner and dustmen is important – could you imagine the world without cleaners and dustmen? It would be a right dump and there would be so much disease and illness.

    Swearing is bad. Private conversation on a public train? Can’t be that private. If she had to swear she shouldn’t have done it loud enough for people to hear! There is a time and a place for it. One thing if she had tripped over or dropped something heavy on her foot.

  • The Elf June 22, 2011, 7:08 am

    Do you ever wonder if the EHell residents wander over to this site and read their story and the comments? And then wonder what they think? I can see that happening here, with the “too educated” woman exclaiming to her computer “But I’m not a snob! I’ve gone to all the best schools! They just don’t understand because they just aren’t educated enough! I never even said the F-word!” and completely missing the point.

    I think today I’ll be optimistic and assume she came here, read everything, and realized how rude she was. Her next train trip will be a lot nicer.

  • Xtina June 22, 2011, 8:02 am

    I can’t see the video, but based on what I’ve read, apparently an uppity, supposedly well-educated (by her description; no telling what her definition actually is) woman was being rude and got called out on it, and retaliated by insulting everyone around her while trying to make herself sound so above it all.

    Rude, rude, rude–as others have said, money nor education buys class. I hope this woman has been seeing herself in these videos after the fact and realizing exactly how haughty, ridiculous, and horse’s-ass-like she outed herself as.

    On the “I’m better than you because I’m educated” school of thought–first off, nobody is better than anyone else. A person who has it all one day could lose their job and/or connections the next day and be there right alongside those they consider below them the very next day. Luck of the draw, grace of God; whatever you want to call it–that’s all it is. Hard work may get you somewhere, but any little situation can destroy it.

    I am a college graduate that has also completed part of a graduate degree. I was working as a clerk in a store for a while, while I was studying and planning a wedding. I can’t even count the number of people who tried to talk down to me or acted like they were better than me because they assumed that since I was “just” a clerk that I must be an uneducated, poor simpleton.

  • Margo June 22, 2011, 9:52 am

    When I was a (law) student I spent a fair bot of time sitting in courts observing hearings. I remember one where a defendent was presenting mitigation for himself, having been found guilty (I don’t remember the exact detaisl, but I think he’d been vebally abusive to staff in a bar or restaurant, and then smashed a window when he was asked to leave – he was facing fines and maybe community penelties, but not prison)
    He spent a lot of time telling the court about what well-educated, sucessful person he was and how they shouldn’t treat him ‘like a criminal’. At the end, the sentancing remarks included a comment that as he was, as he had said, clearly well educated, sucessfull etc. etc. there was really no excuse at all for him, as he obviously ought to have known better….

    I don’t think he was very happy about that.

  • Alexis June 22, 2011, 10:45 am

    ‘Educated’?!? She may have gone to the best schools in the country, but she obviously learned nothing. The mark of a well-mannered person is how they treat the people they don’t have to be nice to. People who are rude to conductors, clerks, and waitstaff are ignorant boors, ESPECIALLY if they’ve been to all the best schools. Good manners are free. Perhaps that explains why so many ‘educated’ wealthy people think they’re not worth having.

  • Clair Seulement June 22, 2011, 12:31 pm

    “PRIVATE CONVERSATION”!! Conducted at the top of her lungs in a confined, otherwise quiet space, with a captive audience of strangers sitting six inches apart from one another. The Get Off the Phone revolution will be YouTubed

  • --E June 22, 2011, 1:11 pm

    lnelson1218@17: You can have a private conversation on a train by turning to face the wall and speaking quietly into your cell phone. Most phones have much better pick-up than people think; they feel the instinct to shout because the ambient noise where they are (on the train) makes it hard for them to hear.

    The Metro North trains such as shown in the video have very high backs. They have the same sort on the LIRR, which I commuted on for more than seven years. I saw a lot of people–even in the same row as I–who could converse on their phones such that I heard nothing more than a slight mumble.

  • Just trying June 22, 2011, 1:57 pm

    This video has made it to Anderson Cooper’s “RidicuList”.

  • LS June 22, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Well-educated? Certainly not at a charm school.

  • lkb June 22, 2011, 4:36 pm

    As viral as this video now is, I think the lady in question will either be looking for a job soon or, if she is already looking for a job, it will now be a lot tougher.

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