Today our beautiful receptionist, Felicia, was delayed over 45 minutes getting back from lunch (a trip that should have taken about 5 minutes) because someone had fallen onto the tracks of the D.C. MetroRail and trains in both directions were stopped cold (obviously). And this brought me back to something that has been annoying me mightily for the past 3 or 4 months.
Most of the people riding the MetroRail system here steamroll ahead wearing little earbuds from their iPods, with an additional Blue Tooth attachment for the cell phone they are busy using for conversation or texting. As a consequence, they don't look where they're going and are genuinely shocked when someone objects to being shoved out of the way, so intent are they upon their headlong rush to a train that isn't even due to arrive for another 4-6 minutes!
One of the "conventions" for riding the escalaters that deliver one below ground to the various Metro stops is that people who don't wish to walk down the escalator (or cannot) stand to the right and people who want to walk down, use the left side. There is nothing in the rules about running down the escalator, shoving people standing quietly to the right because they are mature folks who don't believe in rushing around like hysterical prehistoric birds, chirping and running and shoving.
Is this why a person ended up on the tracks this afternoon? It wouldn't surprise me. Etiquette and the Metro have long since stopped going together in any form or fashion. Try walking along the platform to the spot where you normally board your train and people will pass you on the left, shoving you out of their way as they do so. It's dangerous and it's really annoying. And people "of a certain age" are more at risk than any others because some of my fellow "seniors" aren't as steady on their pins as they should be. And, unlike me, they don't proceed down the platform with their left elbow strategically placed to knock the wind out of some rude little shit who is endangering my safety!
I may be over 65, but I'm meaner than hell.