Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Friday, August 03, 2012
It's one way to stop someone sitting next to you.
Researchers have found commuters use a range of sophisticated ruses to keep the seat next to them free.
The most important aim of commuters on public transport is to stop the ‘crazy person’ sitting next to you.
The greatest unspoken rule of bus travel is that if other seats are available, commuters should not sit next to someone else, as it “makes you look weird”.
Advice given by passengers to keep a free seat, include leaning against the window and stretching their legs out, pretending to be asleep and putting a large bag on the seat.
Some cheeky commuters put a coat on the seat so it looks taken, while others lie and say it is already occupied by someone else.
Passengers even sit in the aisle seat with their music turned up so they can pretend not to hear when someone asks for the empty window seat, while others place several items on the spare seat as it is too much hassle waiting for them to be moved.
Instead of avoiding the crazy person, commuters gaze out the window with a blank stare to emulate them, while some passengers just avoid eye contact.
Researchers were told the objective is just ‘getting through the ride’, and to should avoid fat people who may sweat more and so may be more likely to smell.
the study concludes, 'this deliberate disengagement is a calculated social action, which is part of a wider culture of social isolation in public spaces. 'We live in a world of strangers, where life in public spaces feels increasingly anonymous.
'However, avoiding other people actually requires quite a lot of effort and this is especially true in confined spaces like public transport.'
My pet hate on buses, is people wearing too much perfume or aftershave!
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