Members of a popular internet forum have shown their support for a woman who recounted the testy exchange she had with another train passenger on his way to the airport.
In a viral Reddit post posted to r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/controllingkind (otherwise known as the original poster, or OP) said she was riding in a nearly empty train car when a stranger made a fuss for not being able to sit in the seat right next to her.
Entitled, “[Am I the a**hole] for asking why a man wanted the seat next to me (instead of other empty seats)?”, the viral post received over 10,000 votes and 1,500 comments in the last day.
Explaining that it was early morning and she was “juggling a suitcase, a laptop bag, a purse, breakfast and a coffee”, the original poster stated that she had found a seat empty window in the middle of a train cabin and had packed her things in the seat next to her.
However, as the original poster started to eat breakfast, she said a man entered the cabin, walked past a myriad of empty seats and stopped right in front of her before asking s sit on the seat containing his luggage.
“I look confused but I start moving things around to free up space, sitting on my coat, knees almost in my ears so I can squeeze my suitcase under my feet, put away the breakfast I don’t won’t be able to pick up and have my two bags on my lap,” she wrote.
Instead of taking a vacant seat nearby, the original poster said the man was waiting for her to rearrange her possessions and sit down next to her. As he sat down, the original poster stated that she only asked one question.
“I ask him: why this seat? The rest was empty and would have been easier and faster for both of us,” she wrote.
“He then goes on a rant that people shouldn’t be taking seats for things rather than people – and gets furious when I say I’m ok if the train is busy, but in that case, it’s almost empty,” she added.
Last year, the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Census Bureau, found that only 5% of commuters rely on public transit for their daily transportation.
However, large portions of the country’s metropolitan populations are entirely dependent on public transit. In New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston, more than 30% of commuters regularly take the train to and from work, according to data collected by WorldAtlas.
For commuters in these high-traffic areas, train etiquette is sometimes like an unspoken language, silently communicated by millions of passengers each day. Other times, what isn’t usually said needs to be vocalized.
In the case of vacant seats in nearly empty carriages, there are no official regulations determining who should sit where and when.
But according to many viral posts on Reddit, Facebook, Quora, other social media and the original poster’s comment section, sitting directly next to someone when other vacant seats are available is a taboo. known from the train.
“If there are plenty of free seats, you can use the extra seats for your business,” Redditor u/sandwhale- wrote in the lead comment of the post, which received nearly 19,000 votes.
“Chances are he just wants to start s**t or hit on you or something,” they added.
In a separate series of comments, a trio of Redditors speculated that the man made a scene about the original poster’s belongings occupying an empty seat just because he could.
“He probably did it on purpose just to be that guy who makes a show about his stupid rants,” Redditor u/LadyMjolnir wrote.
“He was intentional to be a jerk to ‘teach you a lesson’ that he thinks you need to learn,” added Redditor u/Percentage_Express. “But you didn’t need a lesson since there were plenty of empty seats elsewhere.”
“Some people are bored and bitter and like to create trouble where there is none,” Redditor u/grianmharduit added.