Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Commute Story for the Week -- Pregnant Women

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Last summer
, my co-worker was 7 months pregnant, and every morning, she would commute from Hoboken, NJ to Midtown, NYC. Being pregnant in the heat of the summer in the city, she would take the PATH to and from work, and it made me appreciate that if she can do the commute, I can do it. Everyday, we'd ask her how the commute was, and she would unequivocally state that it was horrible. While most decent, well-mannered people understand that a pregnant woman deserves consideration, help, or certain privileges, there are still some socially-retarded people who lack the maturity to recognize this simple, obvious fact. It's really not that hard, unless you're one of those people who only thinks about themselves.

Everyday, my co-worker would tell us the same horrible story about how people would not give up their seat near the door for her on the subway . In fact, this happened nearly everyday, and since I ride the subways everyday and see how people act, it didn't surprise me. She went on to state that, more often then not, it was the men who would just not notice initially, but once asked, would politely give up their seat, but the women would always look at her like my co-worker was asking for something worse than a panhandler. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical, until recently, and have come to realize that some people get it, and these folks will be self sufficient, understand manners, and truly be an adult. Unfortunately however, there are some who will walk this earth unaware of how ignorant they truly are. In fact, I'd take someone who admits they're ignorant; at least they know their limits and you know what you get. A worse situation is the ignorant person who doesn't realize or know they are, and actually believes all the crap that's happened to them, or their perceived "hard lot in life" is somehow not partially their own fault. We all know someone like this.

So my commuter story goes like this. Last week, while riding the 7 across town to Penn Station, a woman got on the subway who was very pregnant, and looked visibly tired. She looked around at the packed train, and then, upon realizing there were no seats, she politely asked the woman sitting next to the door if she could have her seat and sit down. Well the woman obviously thought she was the Queen of England, because she proceeded to exhale loudly, and give the pregnant woman a look like "are you kidding me, I own this seat." It was pretty shocking to all of us who witnessed this. Two people promptly offered their seats once they realized the situation and were absolutely stunned since the initial woman did not give up her seat. Even though I had heard my co-worker's perspective last summer, I still entertained the idea that maybe I was over-reacting. But since most on the train gave this insensitive "piece of garbage" (not my words, I heard them uttered by several people...) dirty looks all the way across town, and then let her know when getting off the subway that she was "brutal" and a "miserable person," I realized, maybe I wasn't over-reacting.

Karma is a beautiful thing. While truly unbelievable, it's really sad in the end that people can be so clueless and think the world is really all about them. If you see a pregnant woman, it's pretty simple; give her a hand and help her out.

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