Author Topic: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?  (Read 10031 times)

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perpetua

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2013, 03:30:46 PM »
Barring some kind of medical anxiety issue or learning disability, Mary needs to grow up and figure this out, and the OP does not need to change her plans.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2013, 03:34:38 PM »
For some reason this makes me think of the women my bff tells me about who come into the store she works in and say "Oh I don't know how to do this, my husband always took care of that and now he's gone so I have no idea how to do this!!"  This sort of thing drives my friend crazy because of the helpless attitude these people take rather than trying to figure it out for themselves, only cause it's just easier to get other people to do it for them and hold their hand.

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Mikayla

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2013, 03:35:41 PM »
From the OP:  Mary is not comfortable driving in or out of the city so that is not an alternative.

Given this, you might want to reschedule or cancel the entire event.  The only thing left is a boat.   

I'm not unsympathetic to the friend, but it sounds like this was never meant to be.  And I don't think it's rude if you can't accommodate the one and only option she has for transit, which is you sitting next to her on the train.  Also, I agree with others that the request on her part is a tiny bit snowflakey.

Moray

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2013, 03:37:01 PM »
Barring some kind of medical anxiety issue or learning disability, Mary needs to grow up and figure this out, and the OP does not need to change her plans.

Even with some kind of medical anxiety issue or learning disability, Mary needs to figure this out. If she has severe anxiety or a disability, it's still her responsibility to make arrangements in a way that don't depend on guilting a friend into altering their plans.

There's a difference between "Hey, you know I don't like to travel alone in the city, can we schedule this so we can ride there and back together?" and "Can I insert myself into your pre-established plans?"
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2013, 04:08:21 PM »
About the best you can do for a friend in this situation is to remove any negative consequences from your reaction: don't pooh-pooh her feelings, don't criticize.

That way, your friend feels comfortable confiding her fears, and that may be all they need: knowing that someone supports their choice.
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acicularis

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2013, 04:27:00 PM »
Mary's fears are very real, and it may not be that easy to "just get over it." However, that doesn't mean she gets to make it everyone else's problem.

If she doesn't want to drive, and doesn't want to take the train alone, she doesn't have to. But she has to accept that there are consequences for these choices. One big consequence is that she may miss out on things she would like to do.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 05:16:04 PM by acicularis »

wheeitsme

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2013, 04:53:02 PM »
Mary and I have taken the train into the city together several times and all has been well. This time, I have other plans in the city after my plans with Mary, so we would be parting ways after our time together.

Unbeknownst to me, Mary has never traveled on the train by herself. She confides that she is very nervous about doing so.

It is literally a 10 minute train ride that goes one stop, the same route coming as going.

She reiterates her nervousness and asks if she can join me in my later plans so we can come home on the train together.

So Mary has made this trip before.  Several times. Just not alone.  The train part of the trip is only 10 minutes and only goes to one stop. 

And Mary is supposedly so nervous about taking a 10 minute train ride where it is impossible to get off at the wrong stop, and that she has taken several times before (only not by herself), that she asked to join you in your "Later plans"? 

I do not see where you could have seen that coming.  And I don't think it's rude to continue with the plans "as is".

No, you weren't rude. 

Tea Drinker

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2013, 06:17:29 PM »
No, it's not rude. I have sometimes offered to guide/escort people on transit systems, but that's been things like someone who was going to be dealing with the (rather complex) New York City subway system for the first time. Or an entirely monolingual friend who was worried about doing bus to subway to another bus in a city where the transit signs are entirely in French. Not someone who was going to be traveling one stop, on a train line she had used several times before.
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miranova

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2013, 07:08:59 PM »
It's an interesting topic.  On the one hand, I agree that a reasonably intelligent adult should be able to figure this out, even if there is some discomfort.  Certainly.

On the other hand, I think any reasonably intelligent adult should be able to file their own taxes, it's really quite simple especially since there are instructions for every single line of every possible form available online nowadays.  But a lot of people don't do it themselves and don't have any interest in learning.  Why is it that certain things we are ok with never learning while others are "grow up and learn" territory?  The vast majority of people who think their taxes are too complicated to do themselves have probably never tried.  Because when I ask what makes them complicated they mention something completely common and simple to do if they just spent 2 minutes learning about it.  But they don't want to and that's fine.  But it's still a largely irrational fear.  (I am not an accountant and everything I learned about the topic is self taught).

I have no idea why my mind went there but I think it's because some people seem to be very judgemental on this thread about Mary needing to "grow up" when I imagine that there is at least something in every poster's life that they simply have never even tried to do for themselves because they fear it.  (if not taxes, something else).  Most people have an irrational fear about something.

I don't think OP has any obligation to alter her plans whatsoever, but I don't think she needs to be dismissive either. 
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 07:11:57 PM by miranova »

gen xer

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2013, 07:12:24 PM »
 I know you shouldn't dismiss someone's fears but I don't have a lot of patience for this kind of baseless paranoia.  She's been hearing too many silly urban legends and serial killer stories. 

You wre not rude and could not have anticipated an adult being afraid of a simple, one stop train ride.  Nor would I want it hanging over my head that someone is loitering around a cafe for hours waiting for me. 

If she has some sort of anxiety problem then she needs to address it so she is not making ridiculous requests of people for the things most people should easily be expected to handle on their own.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2013, 07:24:15 PM »
It's an interesting topic.  On the one hand, I agree that a reasonably intelligent adult should be able to figure this out, even if there is some discomfort.  Certainly.

On the other hand, I think any reasonably intelligent adult should be able to file their own taxes, it's really quite simple especially since there are instructions for every single line of every possible form available online nowadays.  But a lot of people don't do it themselves and don't have any interest in learning.  Why is it that certain things we are ok with never learning while others are "grow up and learn" territory?  The vast majority of people who think their taxes are too complicated to do themselves have probably never tried.  Because when I ask what makes them complicated they mention something completely common and simple to do if they just spent 2 minutes learning about it.  But they don't want to and that's fine.  But it's still a largely irrational fear.  (I am not an accountant and everything I learned about the topic is self taught).

I have no idea why my mind went there but I think it's because some people seem to be very judgemental on this thread about Mary needing to "grow up" when I imagine that there is at least something in every poster's life that they simply have never even tried to do for themselves because they fear it.  (if not taxes, something else).  Most people have an irrational fear about something.

I don't think OP has any obligation to alter her plans whatsoever, but I don't think she needs to be dismissive either.

I think taxes are actually similar to Mary's situation. If I don't want to do my taxes for whatever reason, I pay an accountant or tax advisor to do them for me. I have to decide if it's worth the money not having to do them myself. And I think the same applies to Mary: If she neither wants to drive nor take the train she can pay for a cab.

snowdragon

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2013, 07:31:29 PM »
life's scarey....but you don't get to control other people's plans ( by  inserting yourself or other ways) because of it.  Mary is very rude. The OP is not at all rude.
  When I was in my 40's I traveled to Philly for the 1st time - from Buffalo to NYC to Philly by myself. The first time I was met by my friend, the next time I had to get from the greyhound station in Buffalo to the NYC port Authority station to Philly's 10th st station, and then deal with the SEPTA system - alone. I got directions and still got horribly lost. Got off on the wrong stop and ended up walking around 52nd to 54th streets around dusk...the cops stopped to make sure what the heck I was doing there - finding I was lost and from out of town, they had a laugh and got me on the right bus and I made it to the school my friend was at....in NW Philly. 
  Was I scared? Heck yeah, but at some point I realized that my life would be immeasurably better if I could deal with that fear and go past it...Mary is not doing that..she's trying to limit other folks because of her fear.  Mary can deal with it or not - but she does not get to insert herself or limit other people's freedoms because she has this fear.
  If I had to treat a fellow adult as a child and either walk them through a train ride or not do things because of them, means that this person has gone from a companion to a dependent...I don't need that and I would be limiting what I do with them to things they can handle on their own.  I like the idea of Mary paying for a cab, if she can't deal with driving or a train - it puts all the responsibility on Mary.
  It would not work for me to have her waiting in a cafe to babysit her on the way home, or to have to painstakingly explain to her how the bus would work,,,,Mary needs to find a way to get around that does not turn another adult into a caretaker.  that road leads to resentment.

miranova

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2013, 07:34:43 PM »
It's an interesting topic.  On the one hand, I agree that a reasonably intelligent adult should be able to figure this out, even if there is some discomfort.  Certainly.

On the other hand, I think any reasonably intelligent adult should be able to file their own taxes, it's really quite simple especially since there are instructions for every single line of every possible form available online nowadays.  But a lot of people don't do it themselves and don't have any interest in learning.  Why is it that certain things we are ok with never learning while others are "grow up and learn" territory?  The vast majority of people who think their taxes are too complicated to do themselves have probably never tried.  Because when I ask what makes them complicated they mention something completely common and simple to do if they just spent 2 minutes learning about it.  But they don't want to and that's fine.  But it's still a largely irrational fear.  (I am not an accountant and everything I learned about the topic is self taught).

I have no idea why my mind went there but I think it's because some people seem to be very judgemental on this thread about Mary needing to "grow up" when I imagine that there is at least something in every poster's life that they simply have never even tried to do for themselves because they fear it.  (if not taxes, something else).  Most people have an irrational fear about something.

I don't think OP has any obligation to alter her plans whatsoever, but I don't think she needs to be dismissive either.

I think taxes are actually similar to Mary's situation. If I don't want to do my taxes for whatever reason, I pay an accountant or tax advisor to do them for me. I have to decide if it's worth the money not having to do them myself. And I think the same applies to Mary: If she neither wants to drive nor take the train she can pay for a cab.

I completely agree with you.  This is Mary's problem to solve.  I simply think some people were being very harsh about her having the fear in the first place.   :)

Kiwichick

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2013, 07:39:12 PM »
Time for Mary to "grow up." Well, that sounds harsh, but maybe "grow in this one area" is a better, more accurate phrase. She's got a "learning opportunity" here; don't worry about it.

Some people handle "learning opportunities" better than other people. But just be breezy. And if she brings it up again or tries to make her difficulties be your, then maybe stop being so reassuring and be a little dismissive.

I respectfully disagree.  Public transit really isn't perfect for everyone.  My Grandmother, for example, would have been very confused by the process and ended up lost.  She just got discombobulated going underground.   This may not be a growing opportunity, but a complete deal breaker.

Your Grandmother's situation bears no resemblance to Mary's.  Mary has no problem using the train she just doesn't want to use it alone, for one ten minute trip that she's travelled more than once before.

OP you weren't rude, Mary's a grown up, it's up to her to arrange her life not you.

TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to expect someone to take public transit alone?
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2013, 07:44:18 PM »
It's an interesting topic.  On the one hand, I agree that a reasonably intelligent adult should be able to figure this out, even if there is some discomfort.  Certainly.

On the other hand, I think any reasonably intelligent adult should be able to file their own taxes, it's really quite simple especially since there are instructions for every single line of every possible form available online nowadays.  But a lot of people don't do it themselves and don't have any interest in learning. Why is it that certain things we are ok with never learning while others are "grow up and learn" territory?  The vast majority of people who think their taxes are too complicated to do themselves have probably never tried.  Because when I ask what makes them complicated they mention something completely common and simple to do if they just spent 2 minutes learning about it.  But they don't want to and that's fine.  But it's still a largely irrational fear.  (I am not an accountant and everything I learned about the topic is self taught).

I have no idea why my mind went there but I think it's because some people seem to be very judgemental on this thread about Mary needing to "grow up" when I imagine that there is at least something in every poster's life that they simply have never even tried to do for themselves because they fear it.  (if not taxes, something else).  Most people have an irrational fear about something.

I don't think OP has any obligation to alter her plans whatsoever, but I don't think she needs to be dismissive either.

I don't do my taxes myself, but it's not because I think they're "too complicated"--it's because it would take more of my energy than I want to devote. So I find a professional and I pay them.

If this lady didn't want to take the train herself, she can pay someone to ride with her, or she can take a cab. I wouldn't be saying, "Oh, grow up" (though I didn't mean it that harshly, and I thought I said so). I'd be saying, "it's too bad she handicaps herself that way, but whatever--it's her problem, and she's solving it."

« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:40:46 AM by War_Doc »