Sheesh – How many letters do I have to write?

I know, I know. It takes time to effect change.

Here’s the latest in my series of letters to NJ Transit about the apparent lack of any policy or campaign to enforce or encourage courteous cell phone usage on trains.

Disclaimer: Many passengers whisper into their phones so quietly that I barely notice they are on a call. But there are a few on EVERY train who chat loudly, longly, and blah-blah-blah-ly.

Thank you for your response. I am a little confused by it, since I don’t understand how providing a quiet car would limit seating availability. It is pretty clear that there are only a few disturbing passengers in each car during rush hour. Maybe there would be 30 throughout the whole train – they could easily all fit in a single noisy car, leaving plenty of seating for the other passengers who like to be quiet. Just curious whether this option was considered.

I also wanted to point out that there has not been any indication of any sort of cell phone courtesy campaign on any of the trains I have taken since I started commuting on NJ Transit in November. Not even a single announcement. Whatever campaign there may have been in the past no longer exists, unfortunately. Is there someone I can talk to about this?

Finally, I would appreciate some advice. I would like to start approaching passengers who are disturbing others and asking them (politely, of course) if they would mind moving to the vestibule, or completing their call later. Do you think this is acceptable? I kind of feel like I will just get yelled at, but it certainly seems reasonable for me to ask, no?

Any advice is appreciated. I’ve also started writing about the situation on my blog (in a sort of tongue-in-cheek style). It is a serious issue, and you might enjoy reading my post, which is a little more light-hearted. đŸ™‚

Thanks again.. shannon

Got a complaint of your own? Send it to NJ Transit management.

And, if you disagree with my one-sided view of the situation here, PLEASE let me know in the comments. I want to be fair-minded. I would very much like to hear all sides of this debate.

A Public Etiquette for a Busy Social World

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that it is a bit of a mish-mosh. I am using it as a place to develop ideas, before publishing them in a more polished form on one of my other blogs, or somewhere else.

So I got an idea yesterday – I had one of my epiphanies. I realized that I have spent a lot of time getting frustrated with how things work. I am realizing that in most cases, it is the people involved who are really frustrating me. It is the lack of politeness or consideration that irks. A bad situation with a good person is fine. Any situation with a bad or indifferent person is, at best, tolerable and lukewarmly irksome, and at work, just plain bad.

But I like people, and I like to get to know them. People are fascinating to me – I love interaction. So I’d like to find a more positive way through this.

Hence a new writing project: A Public Etiquette for a Busy Social World

Probably this will be an essay, hopefully with some significant feedback from friends, strangers, and those I trust.

More details (and initial draft) to follow soon..

Personal Policy

Every company has a set of  policies. They are the wall between you and what you want or need, oftentimes, and they are in-place for a reason: they protect the interests of the company. (One might also say that they do this in such a way to maximize value to the customer..)

Recently, I’ve become quite a grump. And I’ve had to, unfortunately, create and implement some personal policies. Most of these have been informal policies for many years. For example:

A retail store may not hold my bag while I shop, unless the store is willing to take responsibility for the contents of my bag.

No store is willing to take that responsibility. Weird.

Continue reading “Personal Policy”