Author Topic: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?  (Read 9999 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6131
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 02:42:45 PM »
The OP was not rude, and this is the friend's issue to deal with.  I grasp that different people fear different things, and while I don't understand this particular fear, I sense it is a big one for the friend.  That doesn't mean the OP needs to change her plans to accomodate that fear.  Adults, barring disabilities that prohibit it, should be able to get around on their own, in my opinion.  I take this to the extreme in that I don't even ask people for rides to the airport and am always surprised by how many people do ask friends or family to spend 2+ hours driving them around!

If I were the OP, I would let the friend know that I am not changing my plans and she cannot come with me.  I might comfort her that she can take the train alone, or suggest a cab, or ____, but I would not do this for her.  And if the friend insisted that it was my issue to accomodate her, I would not be likely to make plans with her again.


TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6131
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 02:46:00 PM »
I'm just pointing out that the generic "everyone over X age should be able to do it" mentality isn't, necessarily, correct.

I agree with WillyNilly still, though, because the ability to navigate is essential in life.  The first time I took public transportation I didn't know what I was doing and I was in a foreign country.  I considered a challenge to figure it out but it never occurred to me that I would not have to figure it out, if that makes sense.  I don't think it's a statement of "everyone should inherently know how public transporation works" so much as a statement of "people who wish to be treated as independent should be able to navigate the world on their own."

EMuir

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1383
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 02:55:33 PM »
I am not sure of the level of fear this person has, but telling someone to just "get over it" is unlikely to work with anxiety.  If I was really this person's friend, I would offer to meet her somewhere in four hours this one time, and forego the option of extending my appointment.  From then on I wouldn't travel with her unless I would be returning with her. 

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 02:57:59 PM »
Quote
I expect anyone over the age of 12 or 14 or so to be able to take a train by themselves.

I'm assuming you mean someone in a place where trains/subways are common.  Because I can remember the first time I was in a city that had one, and I sure didn't feel comfortable doing it alone.  And I was well over the age of 12 or 14.  Some people don't grow up with that experience and don't have the slightest clue what to do - even on what a resident feels is "so simple" a trip or one that seems to just be a mere Point A to Point B thing.*

Heck, I needed help just getting a ticket and then getting on the thing.  I wasn't familiar with any of the steps involved with it.

* I realize my comment may not apply to the OP's situation, as it could be that both she and Mary are in a place where Mary has encountered the trains before.  I'm just pointing out that the generic "everyone over X age should be able to do it" mentality isn't, necessarily, correct.

Wouldn't it be better to assume that WillyNilly's comment was made in the context of the OP's post? And yeah, at a certain point, a person has to take responsibility for her own transportation. In a city where public transit is the norm, that means learning to navigate the system and/or figuring out where to get additional information if needed. If she has to ask for assistance or guidance from transit officials or other passengers, that still counts as "being able to take the train by [herself]" in that she's not relying on the OP, or any other one person to be her caretaker.

If you, Dotty, realized that you need to get from Point A to Point B, realized that you need to use the train to do so, realized that that means you'd need to find schedules and learn how to purchase a ticket, and then went about doing so with or without the help of others; then congrats, you did take a train by yourself.
Utah

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4864
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 02:58:58 PM »
If the return journey is exactly the same as the initial journey, except in reverse, I would take special pains to explain the trip to Mary on the way into the city.  And then for her return journey, I would probably see her to her train platform and onto her train, if it isn't too long a wait, and then continue on with my plans.

I would not be OK with Mary waiting for me in a cafe or something, especially if she had my cell number.  I would feel badly having someone wait for me like that and it would drive me nuts to start getting texts at the 3 hour mark.  (Are you done yet? for example.)

And if I was really enjoying my time with the second activity and felt like extending it, I would like to have the freedom to do that.

This

it would not be Mary's first time taking the train even though she has not done it by herself before.  The OP should not have to be responsible for another adult.

If Mary really doesn't want to take the train, she can leave earlier and drive into the city before meeting OP.  She's going to have to get herself home some way or the other.  She just has to decide whether it's by train or by car

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4864
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 03:05:00 PM »
I am not sure of the level of fear this person has, but telling someone to just "get over it" is unlikely to work with anxiety.  If I was really this person's friend, I would offer to meet her somewhere in four hours this one time, and forego the option of extending my appointment.  From then on I wouldn't travel with her unless I would be returning with her. 

All this does is allow Mary to dictate the terms of the friendship from this point forward in a way that is beneficial to her and not the OP.  Mary and OP are adults.  Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for yourself even if it means doing something outside of your comfort zone.


And the whole "If you were really a friend" comment seems a bit PA and not really necessary.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6131
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 03:08:01 PM »
All this does is allow Mary to dictate the terms of the friendship from this point forward in a way that is beneficial to her and not the OP.  Mary and OP are adults.  Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for yourself even if it means doing something outside of your comfort zone.


And the whole "If you were really a friend" comment seems a bit PA and not really necessary.

Agreed.  In my opinion, the OP is being a good friend by encouraging her friend to step out of her comfort zone. 

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 03:09:59 PM »
Quote
Wouldn't it be better to assume that WillyNilly's comment was made in the context of the OP's post?

Which is why I, specifically, added the last paragraph in my post.


FoxPaws

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5395
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 03:11:03 PM »
Would knowing Mary is doing something that is a huge stressor for her affect the rest of your day? I ask because you wrote that you felt guilty about not being able to accommodate her.

If worrying about how she's going to deal with the train is likely to affect you negatively, I'd call and ask her to reschedule for a day when you can ride together.

While I agree with the previous posters who've said this isn't your issue, we can choose to make allowances for the people we care about. I have been flexible many times to accommodate allergies, dietary restrictions, phobias, anxiety triggers, and just plain old preferences and people have done the same for me. I have always appreciated it and I'm sure they did, too.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 03:12:05 PM »
Quote
If you, Dotty, realized that you need to get from Point A to Point B, realized that you need to use the train to do so, realized that that means you'd need to find schedules and learn how to purchase a ticket, and then went about doing so with or without the help of others; then congrats, you did take a train by yourself.

If y'all are counting that, then I'll agree and stand corrected.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 03:12:26 PM »
Quote
I expect anyone over the age of 12 or 14 or so to be able to take a train by themselves.

I'm assuming you mean someone in a place where trains/subways are common.  Because I can remember the first time I was in a city that had one, and I sure didn't feel comfortable doing it alone.  And I was well over the age of 12 or 14.  Some people don't grow up with that experience and don't have the slightest clue what to do - even on what a resident feels is "so simple" a trip or one that seems to just be a mere Point A to Point B thing.*

Heck, I needed help just getting a ticket and then getting on the thing.  I wasn't familiar with any of the steps involved with it.

* I realize my comment may not apply to the OP's situation, as it could be that both she and Mary are in a place where Mary has encountered the trains before.  I'm just pointing out that the generic "everyone over X age should be able to do it" mentality isn't, necessarily, correct.

No I don't only mean someone from a place where subways/trains/public transit in general are common.  I mean any normally intelligent person over the age of 12-14 or so.

But please don't forget I went on in my post to say I think all the details should be gone over in advance - what to look for in a sign, how to read the signs (because honestly someone might not know what a hooked arrow means, or abbreviations, or whatever quirks that systems signs have), going over the map, what to expect, etc.

Its like anything else someone does for the very first time ever - go to school, grocery shop, job interview, sporting event - if they are given good instructions and an understanding of what to expect and how to navigate it, they should be able to do it.  No one should be thrown into a situation blind, but I do expect a person to be able to figure out "go to train station/buy ticket/find train/get on train/go one stop/get off train" so long as things like "this is how to buy a ticket" and "this is how to determine correct train" are known/explained in advance.

I would expect a rural person to be able to explain something similar to me and expect me to do it too. Remember this isn't a dangerous thing - its not "perform open heart surgery and if you mess up someone might die", its more a "worst case scenario you end up lost and have to take a very expensive cab home" situation. Does the worst case suck?  Yeah, but its survivable.  And its unlikely.  Chances are, well prepared in advance, the person will find their way home on the train.  Maybe a few minutes of disoriented, maybe a missed train and a 20 minute delay, maybe feeling a bit foolish for a minute, but ultimately most people won't hit the not-so-terrible-anyway worst case scenario.

Dalek

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Am not amused!
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 03:13:12 PM »
Sounds like the problem was resolved. ( Friend isn't angry and lady doesn't have to adjust her schedule ).

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Minmom3

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2435
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2013, 03:19:02 PM »
Quote
I expect anyone over the age of 12 or 14 or so to be able to take a train by themselves.

I'm assuming you mean someone in a place where trains/subways are common.  Because I can remember the first time I was in a city that had one, and I sure didn't feel comfortable doing it alone. And I was well over the age of 12 or 14.  Some people don't grow up with that experience and don't have the slightest clue what to do - even on what a resident feels is "so simple" a trip or one that seems to just be a mere Point A to Point B thing.*

Heck, I needed help just getting a ticket and then getting on the thing.  I wasn't familiar with any of the steps involved with it.

* I realize my comment may not apply to the OP's situation, as it could be that both she and Mary are in a place where Mary has encountered the trains before.  I'm just pointing out that the generic "everyone over X age should be able to do it" mentality isn't, necessarily, correct.

Except Mary ALREADY does ride the train/subway, she just makes sure she has a companion with her when she does so.  IMO, this is a matter of timidity and a willingness to stretch her comfort zone, and it isn't LadyL's job to hold her hand.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 03:22:26 PM »
Quote
Except Mary ALREADY does ride the train/subway,

I know.  That's what the last paragraph says.

Also, I realize that my post may not have been correct anyway.  See my later post on it.


TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30846
Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 03:26:34 PM »
you know, getting a ticket and getting on the train are just not that hard. It's certainly not impossible. And the vast majority of stations have a clerk of some sort. And there are friendly strangers.

Expecting that everything you do will be immediately familiar to you is unrealistic. Special Snowflake, even.

it's one thing to say "I expect them to be able to" (because honestly, you are able to, even if you've never done it before) is not the same thing as saying "I expect them to be experienced at it" or even "I expect them to be comfortable with it."

And expecting your friend to change her plans to help you so you don't have to be *uncomfortable* as you learn is completely unfair.

Right now, Mary's had a foot over the line into Special Snowflake territory--asking the OP to add her to her pre-existing plans. It's really very childish. Yes, childish, because it reminds me of my actual children, who didn't want to do something simply because they'd never done it before. (Even writing the letter S.) Everybody has to start somewhere, and you are not going to be comfortable when you learn. You get to choose whether you enjoy the discomfort or whether you don't.

If she "whines" or "wheedles" again, she's really out of line.