Welcome to what may turn into a regular installment of the right way vs. the wrong way of doing things in this city. This first installment will include some classics that my fellow New Yorkers will recognize all too well:
1. Soliciting money on the train.
– Right way: ask for it. You just might get it.
– Wrong way: proselytize and damn the entire train to hell if they don’t give you what you’re asking for. Yes good sir, getting yelled at and being generally annoyed with your existence, is certainly going to prompt me to give you a spare dollar.
2. Entering the subway station.
– Right way: have Metro card out (with an actual fare value on it) and ready to swipe through. Swipe card and move forward.
– Wrong way: there’s a myriad of ways to get this one wrong…including but not limited to: a) walking into the turnstile, realizing “oops, I don’t have my Metro card out, der. Now where is that thing,” and proceed to dig through your wallet, bag, pocket, nose, etc. trying to find it while a line is forming behind you; b) swiping your Metro card only to learn that you have no fare left and rather than leave the turnstile to buy a new one like a sane individual, you continually swipe it and look at the readout that’s clearly telling you there’s insufficient fare like it’s from outer friggin space; and my personal favorite, c) standing in the turnstile and speaking to your friends/family/whoever who is currently buying a Metro card from the machine at least ten feet away, and neither searching for your card nor swiping a card with insufficient fare…you’re just doing nothing.
3. Ordering coffee:
– Right way: walk up to the counter and put your order in because you’ve been here a dozen times and you already know what you want and how, OR stay away from the counter until you’ve had a chance to peruse the menu in order to figure out what you want.
– Wrong way: walk up to the counter with NO idea what you want, how you want it, or if you even want coffee in the first place. You stand there and stare at the menu as I get more and more aggravated behind you. Sometimes you engage with the clerk behind the counter and continue to not order anything. I continue to get more and more aggravated, and start plotting your ultimate demise. The other people in line behind me have joined ranks and we are plotting a coup. Maybe you order something, maybe you don’t, but the havoc you wreak on our caffeine withdrawals is undeniable and you will pay…
4. Selecting a seat on the train:
– Right way: step onto the train and survey the empty seats. Determine that your width is appropriate for the open space and sit if it is, or do not sit if it isn’t. If there are no empty seats available, hold onto the poles located conveniently throughout the train and wait for a space to open up.
– Wrong way: step onto the train and survey the empty seats. Determine that you couldn’t care less if the space that’s available is appropriate or not. Sit down a) on top of someone or b) in a manner that causes a tidal wave of commuters in opposite directions in order to accommodate your, ahem, “wide” load. Alternatively, if there is a lot of space available, you sit down and then proceed to spread your legs, bags, garbage, etc. on the seats next to you rendering it impossible for others to sit down in the empty space that would have made for an appropriate seat.
Hmmm, so this was a commuter-heavy installment but there’s plenty more where that came from!