Another passenger shouted from the back, “We’ll have an extra seat if you remove her.” They were about to face an even worse situation!
Jessica observed as the arrogance flooded her face. The young woman yelled, “This is my personal space!” Another passenger retorted, “No, it’s not. The policeman was running out of patience rapidly.
Jessica Huit was coming home after a long day at work. It was rush hour, and she was racing to catch the train.
Living in New York City, she had gotten used to the hustle and bustle of the streets. The long commutes and the constantly packed out trains. She had witnessed just about everything on these trains, or so she thought.
By the time Jessica boarded her train, she was exhausted. She had already anticipated some overcrowding, but she at least hoped that she could find a seat to rest for her hour-and-a-half-long journey.
She shoved past people standing in the aisle and looked for an open seat. She walked through the carriages in vain until, finally, she saw one.
It was the last carriage. A seat lay empty besides a young woman. She looked around at all the people still standing and wondered why no one had taken the seat.
Besides a bag resting on the seat, it looked fine. She walked over to the young woman and asked her if she could have the seat. Little did she know what was to come.
The woman ignored her, with earphones in her ears and her eyes fixed on her phone. She acted as though she didn’t know Jessica was there.
At this point, the train had stopped again, and security had entered the carriage. It was then that Jessica felt the tension in the train surrounding her. She looked around at annoyed faces aimed at the young woman.
Jessica suddenly realized she wasn’t the first to ask for this seat and to be ignored or rejected. It was immediately obvious that these officers were here to see her.
Jessica stepped back and watched the scene unfold. The officer passed her and made a beeline for the young woman. Someone must have already reported her. What did she do?
The officer reached out his hand to get her attention. “Don’t put your hands on my stuff!” she snapped as she took out her earphones and looked up from under her cap.
The officer took back his hand and asked calmly, “Can we have somebody sitting there?” “No”, she replied, “I don’t want anyone sitting next to me. There is more seats available!”
Now the annoyance of the crowd became undeniable as the surrounding passengers answered in an uproar. “There isn’t!”, “No, there isn’t!”, “There’s standing room only”, they heatedly declared.
Jessica thought this woman must have been denying everyone this seat. There were so many people standing. The officer continued.
He was getting more stern now. “Ma’am, take off that bag, or I’ll take you off the train right now”, he said. Jessica could feel the anger of the crowd. She must have been acting in this entitled manner for a while.
“If you remove her, we’ll have one more seat”, another passenger yelled from the back. But this just made things worse.
“This is my personal space!” the young woman screamed. “No, it’s not,” replied another passenger. Now, the officer was quickly losing his patience.
She continued, “I don’t care if I’m 90 pounds, 50 pounds, or 300 pounds. This is my personal space!”. Jessica suddenly understood why everyone took disdain for her. Meanwhile, the officer reached his boiling point. He had enough.
“I want her off the train. Get her off the train”, he said angrily as he waved at his fellow men to escort her off. The young woman looked shocked. She was completely unrattled that anyone could tell her what to do.
“You want your personal space? You’ll have it outside”, he declared as an irruption of applause echoed in agreement from the passengers.
Reluctantly, the woman sat, unmoving in her seat, until the other officers started to stride toward her. She rolled her eyes and shook her head as she rose from her seat and took her bags.
She left the train with the officers with an attitude Jessica had never seen. Jessica wondered how someone could feel so entitled as to make other people stand for her.
The video was posted online by a fellow passenger, and its viewers were equally as frustrated with the young woman as the train passengers.
“Perfect example of someone who feels “entitled”. Just plain selfish”, one user wrote. While another added, “When a whole bunch of strangers ask you to leave, you should know something is wrong”.
After the young woman left and the officer gave the train the all-clear to start moving again, Jessica was gestured to take the seat by another passenger standing beside her.
It was such an opposite reaction to what had just taken place that Jessica couldn’t help but feel extremely touched by this kind stranger. It was like he restored her faith in humanity right there and then.
Thankfully, Jessica has never encountered such selfish behavior on the train since that day but still wanders around the packed train after work in the hope of an empty seat.
In the same city, a similar yet very different scenario took place. Three unsuspecting individuals found themselves shoving each other for a chance at a seat. What they didn’t was the mistake they were about to make.
Charlie had been a New York resident for most of his adult life. An Alaskan native, he’d come to the Big Apple in search of job opportunities.
But although he’d do his best to try and secure an excellent job in his trained field, he soon learned that not everything in life came easy. It would all culminate in that terrible morning on that train.
Charlie worked as security in one of New York’s high-end hotels. After many months of job searches and rejections, he decided to find something that would ensure he didn’t freeze in the cold at night or sleep with an empty stomach.
The security job was perfect for him since he’d spend the day searching for other jobs, attending interviews, and then working nights.
Charlie’s life was simple. After a long night at work, he’d take the 6 am train to his apartment to freshen up before returning to the city to job search.
He’d head back home in the afternoon for a nap before waking up at 7 pm to repeat it. His life followed a strict system that he never deviated from. But that morning, things would change.
The week that the incident occurred was unlike no other in Charlie’s life. The hotel had seen an influx of customers following a local event in the city.
Many people from across the globe came over to be a part of it. The hotel was bustling with activity, so Charlie had to clock in some extra hours for additional pay. He wasn’t ready for the consequences of his decision.
The night that would lead to the event was a slow one for Charlie. He’d already worked three similar nights, only sleeping for four hours on each of them.
This was his final one, and he was excited to clear it so he could rush home. But his excitement stemmed from something else entirely.
Among the many job applications that Charlie had applied, one of them called him back for an interview. It was among his dream jobs with a company he’d always wanted to work for.
The excitement that washed over him was unlike anything he’d ever felt. He was giddy all week even though the amped-up night shift threatened to bring him down. He couldn’t wait to attend that interview.
Charlie’s interview was set on the final day of the week. After slogging through the hellish week, he was glad to end it before a panel of interviewers.
He cleared his shift and got his affairs in order. After a quick goodbye, he left the premises at 6 am, hoping to make the train before seven. His morning was about to change.
The first thing Charlie noticed when he reached the subway was how bloated it was. People walked everywhere, some going to work and school, others traveling, and others like Charlie heading home.
He hurried over with his Metrocard in hand, ready to get this part of his day over with. But it would all turn sour when he walked into the train.
After settling the train’s bill, Charlie hurried in. But he found no empty seat to take a breather on. Given how many hours of sleep he’d had over the week, he’d hoped to catch a small nap on the train before reaching home.
His sight swept around, hoping to find a seat he could crash on. But there was nothing. He took a deep breath, releasing it in a sigh. He wasn’t ready for what happened next.
A fellow sitting a few paces from Charlie suddenly stood up. He was dressed in shabby clothes, with a scraggy beard that needed dire washing.
Charlie didn’t bother with him much. His sight was set on the seat the man had just vacated as he hopped off the train. But unknown to Charlie, other boarders were also eyeing the seat.
Charlie took his first step toward the man’s seat. And that’s when he saw it. Two women dressed for a nine-to-five job rushed for the same spot.
Charlie couldn’t feel his legs, given he’d been standing and walking all night. He knew he needed to be chivalrous, but his tiresome limbs wouldn’t allow it. He broke off in a hurry.
But the two women, who were nearer to the seat than him, beat him to it. Stopping with a grin, he gave them a slight nod and eased back to where he’d been standing earlier.
Whatever fight was left was up to the two ladies. Charlie didn’t want any part of it. But what the women did leave him speechless.
Instead of elbowing each other for the seat as some angry locals did, the two women plopped on the seat with smiles.
Their builds were small, so it was easy for them to fit. The curves on their lips held on as they said “hi” to each other. They didn’t know what a grave mistake they’d made.
The train rumbled across the track as it transported everyone where they needed to be. It didn’t take long for one of the two women to come to her stop. But as she stood, the one she left behind noticed something that made her shriek.
The commotion caused the other one to turn around. What she saw made her stumble back. How could she have been so blind?
Plastered down her impeccable office suit was thick streaks of human waste, vile and disgusting. The last person to occupy the seat had left an unsavory gift before leaving.
The other woman saw the material and jumped up, realizing her suit was painted in the same. The two women screamed, and meters to their side, Charlie stifled a grin. This city was truly one of many surprises. Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.