Cal-Train(ing): A Brief But Helpful Guide For Proper Behavior While On-board Cal-Train.

Cal-Train

Cal-Train is a unique gift of blessings and curses for those of us unfortunate enough to have the pleasure of using this public utility. It’s rather dependable, especially when compared to the average bay area commute on any of our major highways, freeways, expressways, main roads, or popular ‘escape-routes’ from traffic (which typically add 50% more time to your commute). *

Aside from Cal-Train’s dependability, it’s a great way to text without breaking the law and endangering everyone with or around you… One also avoids traffic related stress, such as, tickets, accidents, road-rage, frequent delays, and some of the expenses associated with maintaining a vehicle.

Furthermore, reading, watching a show or movie, talking to the people around you, checking emails, or sleeping, are all activities welcomed on Cal-Train, that are usually frowned upon during your abominable weekday commute. However, there are a variety of activities that will have to be placed in the “curses” category of our gift.

I have spent approximately 314.64 hours, or 13.11 days of my life aboard Cal-Train. According to Malcolm Gladwell, I haven’t mastered the field of Cal-Train ridership, but until I reach the additional 9,685.36 hours require to do so, these are my suggestions for a happier, healthier, commute aboard Cal-Train:

(Disclaimer: This doesn’t, but scratch the surface of addressable grievances.)

Boarding: When a train arrives at any station’s platform and the doors open, wait. Humans will begin to immediately disembark the train. Once the steady stream of those leaving the train stops, proceed to board in an orderly and civilized fashion. If only standing room remains, be sure to walk to the back of the train so that others might board behind you.  

One would assume this to be a simple concept, but it’s fumbled enough to embarrass even Brett Favre.

 Sunnyvale, not only are you a city without a soul, you’re the worst violator of boarding etiquette. To help in your understanding of this concept, I’ve translated this rule into something you all might understand:

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Disembarking: Those closest to the exit, exit first. Exiting is a time for walking off of the train, not staring at your phone.

 Another seemingly simple concept, but often ignored, more by those continuing onward, than those exiting.

 There are occasions when the train is at near capacity and you will need to exit the train even when it is not your stop. This allows those who are at their final destination to maneuver more easily. Standing in the stairwell pretending you’re a starfish makes me want to return you to the ocean; from a high place. No human is small enough to make that a two-lane stairwell, so please don’t try.

Seats: Sit down in your seat and be mindful of your neighbor’s personal space.

 They’re not made for feet, if they were, they would be called shoes. They’re also not made for luggage, backpacks, or bags. If the train still has available seating, than fine, place your belongings on the seat next to you, but as soon as it begins to fill up, don’t wait for a passenger to ask if they can sit there before you do the inevitable.

Backpacks: As a rule, it is safer and more considerate to remove your backpack from your back before boarding the train. Hold it in front of you to avoid swinging it into the face of those sitting, or hitting passengers who are standing, as you clumsily stumble your way to your resting place.

 Are you seriously unaware of the protruding mass on your back? Hopefully you never place one of your offspring in a child carrier backpack…

Now, this can quickly become a rather long post, but in an effort to maximize output and efficiency, below is a brief list of behaviors that I have personally witnessed that are in the “Don’t” bucket:

 DON’T:

  •  Leave the lavatory door open upon exiting.
  • Engage in loud phone call conversations of any kind, especially personal disputes.
  • Listen to electronic device without earphones, including podcast about anxiety.
  • Scroll through cleavage photographs on your iPad or any device.
  • Clip your fingernails.
  • Moisturize your feet.
  • Pick earwax out of your inner earphones and smell it.
  • Put makeup on (foundation/blush, etc.). It doesn’t compliment the man sitting next to you, or his black pants.

*http://corporate.tomtom.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=851820