I hate pole hogs!

Photo courtesy of
‘Metro Opens Doors’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’

My metro ride this morning was the exact opposite of the tranquility pictured above. I was one squishy sardine on the Orange line this morning (hey, at least it works today!) but the worst part of my metro ride was that a man on it was hogging the only accessible pole by leaning his body up against it. That, my friends, is my METRO PET PEEVE (all capital letters). It is rude and inconsiderate to hog an entire pole with your body. Even the crook-of-your-arm-hug annoys the crap out of me, cause I can’t fit my hand where it should comfortably go without hitting your private bits, lady! I used to hate it when people would stand on the left, but we all hate that, it’s an unoriginal Metro pet peeve that can usually be solved by saying “EXCUSE ME THAT IS MY TRAIN!”

My friend Rebecca hates it when people blackberry and walk at the same time. My boss hates it when someone sits on the outside seat blocking the empty window seat, or spreads out on one of the benches on the platform. My roommate hates it when someone stands in front of the door when she’s trying to get off the train instead of stepping out and waiting.

So I need a therapy session – let’s share, cause sharing is caring. And maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about which of your metro habits is annoying someone. What is YOUR metro pet peeve?

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

29 thoughts on “I hate pole hogs!

  1. Wow, where to begin? This is petty, but I hate when people wear their sunglasses on the Metro. Hello! You’re underground where the sun can’t reach you!

  2. I love people who stand in the aisle, then won’t move when people need to get off the damn train. Bonus for having a suitcase or something like that to assist in making sure there is NO WAY to get to the door.

  3. People who don’t take their backpacks/shoulder bags off. I take my shoulder bag and lunch pack off my shoulders and place them between my feet. It makes more space for standees, and helps my sea-legs.

    The people next to me invariably have large backpacks filled with angular and heavy items that bang the crap out of me because they can’t keep their balance.

    TAKE THE THINGS OFF, PEOPLE. I am not poking you, so STOP poking me!!

  4. I too have many a Metro pet peeves – Tourists are my number one. Please don’t have obnoxious conversations while riding. My favorite example of this was the 20 plus student group from Atlanta who kept walking up and down the aisles during the Inauguration and pushed people out of the way.

  5. I also passionately hate pole hogs. My other pet peeve is people with wheely briefcases who don’t understand that their turn radius is greatly increased by the bags rolling behind them, and end up tripping or cutting off other pedestrians. I also hate when people stop walking or slow down at the bottom of the escalator, forcing me to stop short and cause a pile-up.

    Yeah, I take the bus now…

  6. Metro pet peeves? Oh, there are many, but for the sake of time, I’ll only give one: people who go through the faregate and then just stand there, bewildered like a deer in headlights. No utterance of “Excuse me” or “F***in’ move” budges them.

  7. @Max:

    I wear sunglasses on the Metro because I’m so awesome, no matter where I go, the sun shines on me.

    Nope, couldn’t keep the straight face there. Damn. Next time.

  8. Pole hogs, standing on the left side of escalators, people playing crappy music way too loud, stopping at the top/bottom of escalators, not moving out of the doorway of the car, not moving to the middle of the car, and the guy with the huge bag who was in everyone’s way on my orange line train this morning.

  9. Definitely people who stop cold at the bottom of the escalator – rude AND dangerous. Second place would be to people who lean on the poles right on top of your hand – they can feel your hand but they don’t move – rude AND gross.

    Ergh. It’s why I usually take the bus. For some reason, people show more courtesy on buses.

  10. Jenn, that is what happened to me! The man like squashed my hand on the pole with his back. Plus another girl was doing what I was doing and edging her way in so he was ignoring two of us! AH! GROSS – I don’t know where you’ve been! And RUDE!

    If only there was a bus direct from Arlington to Union Station, I’d be the first girl on it.

  11. I admit, I’m really passive-aggressive about pole hogs, since I’m short and can’t reach the top horizontal bars, even with the handles and I think this is on my top 10 inconsiderate things people do on crowded trains.

    If someone is leaning on the pole, I just shove my hand in there behind their back so they feel it. If they glare at me, I glare back. If they lean back against my hand, I start twisting my hand back and forth on the pole so they get a nice dose of my knuckles against their spine. Usually they take the hint and stand the hell up. Jerks.

  12. Great topic…I could go on forever, so I guess I’ll just say one of my favorites. People eating. I completely understand if it’s for a medical reason and not just for the sake of being hungry. Just the other day I saw a girl eating chicken wings and disposing of the remains right on the train floor. Grrr!

  13. People who stand on the left side of the escalator is one of my biggest pet peeves, but it drives me NUTS when people take 5 minutes to insert their paper ticket into the slot when exiting the Metro – get a SmarTrip already! :)

  14. @Katie and Jenn and Tiffany:

    When someone leans on my hand I usually give them a little tickle with a finger – makes them move real quick!

  15. Hmmm.. Metro pet peeve… well, that’d be Metro itself.

    I agree for most of these (I actually DON’T use the poles due to sanitary reasons and rather Metro-surf because I have a good sense of balance (and big feet). But the general lack of common sense and courtesy keeps me off the Metro and on my bike.. I arrive at work a lot more refreshed and relaxed.

    TO top your “chicken” and foot rant. I was on my way to DCA one day, and was in the front car and looking into the control booth… I already know you really don’t need anybody there to drive the things.. but what did I see… the Metro operator with a full set of BBQ wings and eating them while driving… so gross ont he sticky button issue.. but two.. one of those do as we say don’t do as we do moments as well…

    But all in all, we know there will be a special place in hell… karma’s a bitch.. for all of those Metro violators and peeve creators! w00t!

  16. I meant to say “food” rant… but I was talking feet earlier and can’t type… does anybody actually read these comments?

  17. Pingback: We Love DC » Blog Archive » New Java Green

  18. I’ve many peeves; I see many of my own already listed. Here’s one, though: People who, despite the fact the train IS ALREADY FULL, will force their way in anyway, jamming the doors and delaying the entire train until they’ve successfully squeezed in to the “delight” of everyone in the train.

    Bonus points when it’s at a car immediately ahead of a nearly-empty one. HELLO!

    The Red Line is where this happens a LOT, though the Orange can be a big culprit too.

  19. These are all good. My slightly rarer pet peeve: when a crowded train clears out, but the person in the outside seat doesn’t get up and move to a now-empty row.

  20. I hate people who try to get on while I’m trying to get off. JUST WAIT ONE FREAKING MOMENT YOU MOFOs!!!

    Also, in other cities there’s this thing where all the single people use the last car on the train. It’s more fun that way.

  21. All these are great examples. I especially hate when Tom Bridge wears his sunglasses on the train just because he is such a stud.

    Something I really dislike is the lack of general courtesy many riders have. As a young(ish) able-bodied person, I readily give up my seat when appropriate to young kids, people with babies, especially tired looking people, older people, etc. I very rarely see others doing this. Is there no more courtesy for folks who might need the seat more than you do?

  22. @AJ In principle, I agree with you 100%. It’s just ridiculous. But I once tried to get on a train that had been packed, and was mostly emptying out (it was a big station like L’Enfant or Metro Center) and apparently the driver wasn’t paying any attention, because they tried to close the doors right as the passengers were finishing getting off, and before anyone else had a chance to get on. And then he made a bitchy announcement about “stand clear, the doors are CLOSING” when people were still trying to get on.

  23. My Metro pet peeve is on the bus when, I’m sitting at the window seat and have to get off the bus and the person next to me can’t be bothered to get up. Instead, they turn their legs to the outside and force me to squish my body between the seat in front of me and their body. How lazy are you that you can’t stand up for two seconds to allow me not to shove my butt in your face as I pass by!?!

  24. This isn’t a pet peeve, but there was a pimply teenage out-of-towner standing on the left side of the Foggy Bottom escalator looking down with amazement at the steps like he’d never seen an escalator before in his life. And then stopped short right after stepping off. At rush hour. I nearly crashed into his back and said “Careful, watch it,” as I stepped around him.

    His nearby drill-sergeant-like dad immediately yelled to his son, “What’d he say to you? WHAT’D HE SAY TO YOU?!??!” and then started heading threateningly toward me.

    Fortunately they didn’t have farecards yet, so I Smartrip’d nonchalantly away. Asses.

    Oh, actual pet peeves: rowdy teenagers, escalator bottlenecks, and jerky stop-start-stop-start train movements.

  25. Hmm, i thought pole dancing was a good thing. My biggest pet peeve: people who do not observe the stand right, walk left rule on escalators. Since this is my pet peeve, let me rant for a sentence longer. Why cant Metro just place visible signs ovehead escalators delineating the behavior pattern one would like to induce?

  26. @Radman – There are laws that there can’t be any signs with directives within x amount of feet from the escalators other than the emergency signage, which is why they’ve never put up signs ala the London tube.

  27. I ride the yellow line down to the Pentagon every day, and people hog the bejesus out of those poles – especially when it’s crowded. It’s awful because I am legit not tall enough to reach the bar on the ceiling without standing on my toes.

  28. Pingback: The Most Annoying Metro Person » We Love DC

  29. I ride two of the worse lines in the metro system. The people are rude, rowdy and ignorant. The men push and rush past you for the seats more than the women. The riders sit in the seats for elderly or handicapped person. The riders lean back on the pole making it impossible for someone else to hold on. It is annoying to hear someone’s loud conversation whether on the phone or talking to another passenger. Why do folk think that other people want to hear their conversations? It’s rude and ignorant to talk so loudly. The same with playing their music with ear plugs. If your music can be heard by someone standing or sitting next to you than it’s too loud! The DC Metro and some of the riders suck. I’ve watched Metro deteoriate over the years. It’s disgusting how riders eat and drink on the metro when the sign clearly indicates not to. The escalators hardly ever work, and most riders do not understand the sign that reads: DO NOT LEAN ON THE DOORS.