Gautrainer - Etiquette is not a label on a shirt...

2014-04-08 14:27

Etiquette = Manners, politeness, decorum, as per Thesaurus. In other words how we treat other people in our daily lives, and in this instance specifically our fellow passengers.

I have also done a little style survey, just for the fun of counting things.  Now, it is important to keep in mind that this " style survey" was done between the times of 06H00 and 07H30 in the mornings, and 16H30 and 17H30 in the afternoon. Also for purposes of clarity I took different busses and trains so all of these findings are for these times and en route from Pretoria to Johannesburg and visa versa.

I have noted that for every 4 (four) impeccably dressed men of color (black, Indian and Colored) there are 3(three) impeccably dressed women of color. For every 8 (eight) impeccably dressed white women there are 3 (three) impeccably dressed white men (and the gay men upped this figure considerably). What I found astounding was how many big game hunters use the train, hunting in Gauteng must be a huge industry. So my survey concluded that black men are definitely the best dressed, and most stylish Gautrain users as far as color coding, shoes matching and clean and good fit is concerned. Even when wearing jeans, the fit is perfect, the shirt is good quality and color coded almost (yes, even when wearing T-shirts) and the shoes stylish not always new or label, but very stylish.

Now as the heading indicates I want to talk a little about etiquette and because this is a blog any inputs are welcome and I merely want to highlight a few points, maybe etiquette differs from person to person but I'm sure there are similarities, and this is what I experienced.

- If you can not type/sms/bb/whatsapp whilst walking - do not do it, there are people behind you who want to get to either the train or the stairs, pull over, type your message and go on.

- When you enter the cart/bus rather fill the seats next to the windows first and not the passage seat, it is difficult to climb over someone to get a seat. Also filling up from the back to the front works much better - it really does.

- Do not put your hand luggage on the seat and wait for someone to ask you to remove it, put it between your feet or in the space provided overhead - again this is just good manners.

- If you have a backpack it is much better to take it off before you get onto the train, then put it at your feet, it is not meant to be used as a space creator and people get entangled in it.

- These suitcases and bags on wheels, was not meant to be battering rams, the amounts of times people have been bumped or toes driven over by these makes me thankful that some people are not on the road in cars. Your bag does not always go where you go, and because it is behind you, you might not see this, so a little consideration would go a long way.

- it is still and will always be good manners to give your seat to an elderly person or a woman, I  will get up for an elderly man, not because I want to prove a point but out of respect. Maybe that's a good word because if you have self respect, etiquette will follow you.

- "please allow passengers to disembark" means: "let the people in the train get out first", not see if you can get in before anyone else gets out. The amazing thing here is that if someone gets off there is space that was not there before. The train will not just leave you there, there are actually people watching and monitoring.

- Let us try, say hello, or good morning, even if it isn't -  its paying forward a smile, and that goes a long way.

How many people can you fit in a space that is approximately 2m x 4m? 28, standing, very uncomfortably, but at least we can go home. This is the size of the space at the door, let's call it the entrance, this is how many people fits into that space when a four cart train stops at a station in peak time. A four cart train at 16H45 in the afternoon. Makes me wonder and I'm not well versed in legalities but, in a case where there are huge disclaimers printed protecting local Government and Bombela, will said disclaimer still be valid if it was found that the train was overloaded, as it is currently? Let us do the math, the new advertisement states proudly, 50 000 passengers a day - paying passengers that is, surely we can expect better service and planning just as we are expecting a fare increase at the end of this month.

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