Friday, April 1, 2011

Human Nature

The other day I went down town Chicago for a job interview.  Everybody knows how expensive is to drive and park in Chicago, so I took Metra.  It has been five years since I took Metra, regularly, to down town Chicago, and I had quite an experience.  Instead of reading, I decided to do some people watching, trying to see if anything changed from five years ago.  On my trip down, the train wasn't very crowded and some riders took this as a permission to play their portable game units' sound volume to the max.  Conversation on cell phones seems to have got louder, and people do not seem to bother anymore to hide their bad habits.  Some of them down right disgusting.  Seriously?!  Isn't there anymore time at home to trim your nails?  Or to clean your ears?   Do I need to be subjected to that on my 45 minute Metra ride?  Eew!

After my interview, I had some time to kill before boarding my train for the ride back home.  I start looking around Ogilvie Station and, to my surprise, I had a pleasant experience.   Mostly due to my 20 minute browsing experience through the Bath and Body shop.  Mmm!  All those lotions and body washes, with all the new fragrances and packaging.  Wow! Yeah!  Alright, back to reality, Olivia!

Anyway, that was blown away by what I experienced on ride back. 

I board the train thinking that one ride doing people watching is enough, so I pull out my book and start reading, looking forward to a quiet and peaceful ride home.  No such luck!  I barely finished a page when I was jarred from my quiet state by a yelling toddler that wanted the train to go "Awaaaaaay!"  I am turning around toward the disgruntled tot to see if the mother is going to calm him down.  To my surprise, I see that he is accompanied by his older brother, who is sitting quietly, and their nanny.   The nanny is chatting away on the phone and doesn't seem to be bother by the screaming child.  By now, people started to clear out from the car.  The tot is screaming continuously, and the nanny continues to chat, unfazed, on the the cell phone. 
Needless to say, by now I am quite irritated and, refusing to leave the car, I turned around and told the kid that he can't yell like that, and the train will leave soon.  A few minutes later, the nanny finally hangs up and tries to keep the child quiet.  That until she starts chatting up a couple of girls that were sitting across the isle from her. 

Is it too much to ask to have a seemingly peaceful ride on the train?  Was I like this nanny when my kids were young?  I don't believe in not taking your small children out on trips on the train or in a restaurants.  I do believe in making this trips an opportunity to teach your children what behavior is appropriate when you are in public.  And, like that wasn't enough, while the train was approaching my station, I was in the vestibule and the guy in front of me proceeds to scratch his scalp, and pulling something out of his hair, and then, with the same hand, goes and cleans his teeth.  Gag!  I almost lost my dinner from the previous night.

Seriously?  This what we've become?  Am I getting old and intolerant of other people, or people just got ruder? Is our society decaying to a level where we don't care anymore how we offend or hurt the person next to us?  Isn't there any consideration for manners and public behavior?  What are we really teaching our children?

Until next time ....

1 comment:

  1. That's why I did the happy dance when Metra instituted quiet cars during prime commuting time. The second cars from either end are the ones you want!

    P.S. -- How did the interview go?