The Most Annoying Metro Person

Photo courtesy of
‘day144 :: year three’
courtesy of ‘erin*carly’

People cause me great consternation on my commutes in and out of the city. I have this vision in my mind of how everyone should behave on the metro in order to make a perfect commute.  People would be kind and considerate, they would move briskly, no one would tote rolly book bags, and those two teenagers at the end of the car would stop their shouting.  But no, it’s not like that.  Maybe I’m just growing cynical, but the longer I take the metro, the more it seems like a virulent trap of obnoxious types intent on making commute as unpleasant an experience as possible.  It’s gotten to point where I’ve started grouping people into certain personalities.  There’s the “stand in the doorway” guy, the “pole dancer“, the “I’m sorry my bag is sitting here” guy, and so on and so forth.  It’s really been weighing on me for the past few days.  I’m sure this is something that you rehash this with your peers every so often, but let’s share: who is your least favorite metro personality? Mine: rolly book bag person, without equivocation.

Kirk is a Maine-born, military brat who moved no fewer than 12 times during his childhood. He came to the DC area in 2004 for his undergrad and decided that it was the place for him. Since graduating, he’s nabbed a job with the Fed and spends most of his free time hunting for cheap thrills in the city. Find out why he loves DC.

29 thoughts on “The Most Annoying Metro Person

  1. Mine would be “won’t move to the center of the car when everyone by the door is squashed together and there are still more people trying to force there way on”.

  2. The most annoying person to me is The Talker. I like to ride in peace and the last thing I want to do is make small-talk with a random person.

  3. I sat near a guy a few months back who was dipping tobacco and spitting the juice into a small plastic cup (almost full, by the way). I made it two stops before having to switch cars. He’s currently the worst I’ve seen.

  4. People who don’t take off their HUGE GIGANTIC TYRANNOSAURUS REX sized bags when getting on to a crowded train, so they take up the vertical space of two people. I take off my bag and place it between my feet. It’s not difficult!

  5. Train walkers: those people who think they see a seat at the other end of a packed car (I’m talking two doors down, not a row or two away), and feel the need to walk through a packed train to get to it. There is no seat, and you are only making a crowded situation worse, by asking me to move (or not asking, just expecting, which is often the case)!

  6. Gotta be the guy (it’s usually a guy) who sits in the outside seat of a crowded or soon-to-be-crowded train, in the hopes that he can keep two seats to himself. Move over, jackass.

  7. Mr Rude – When the short person who must strain on tiptoes to reach the overhead bar on the train asks Mr Rude (who is tall) to switch places with her so she can reach a vertical pole to hang onto, Mr Rude gives a dumb look and does not respond.

  8. OK my bigger pet peeve is when you’re sitting on the outside row, and the person on the inside seat wants you to get up, except you’re like 5 minutes from their stop and you have to get up for them. Bothers me especially when I happen to be getting off at the same stop.

    I saw a mutant variation of this person this week on my ride. We’ve just left X station, and woman on the inside says “Excuse me” to me. I am getting off at the next station, I get up, nearly bump into someone else, this woman takes forever shuffling her bags and I’m in this guy’s personal space trying to let her go by, so I just decide to walk to the door. I look over, and the woman has stopped pretending to get up and has put her two huge bags on my seat. So she just said excuse me so I would get up and give her bags a seat. I’m pretty positive she didn’t get off at the next station either, the nerve.

  9. The “I’m Getting Off At The Next Stop!!!” guy. The bus or train is a minute or two away from his stop, but he must go stand by the door NOW! He has an inside seat, so the person in the outside seat must stand up while the bus/train is moving and shove a few standing folks aside to let him out. Then he shoves through the crowd to get to the door and stands there until the bus/train reaches his stop.

    His stop is always something like Farragut North in the AM rush, where everyone he just shoved past is getting off as well and there is no danger of him missing his stop.

  10. Mr. Ringtone: This guy needs to review his custom ringtones for each contact in his list at full volume. Yet somehow, I’m the rude one for asking him to turn his volume down because he’s drowning out my earbuds.

  11. anyone carrying a big oversized umbrella – very few people know how to carry these in a way that doesn’t annoy/obstruct/hit everyone else around them

  12. “solicitor guy”. Whether it’s kids selling candy, or a fellow down on his luck, I’m in my little Metro bubble, people – not trapped here for the express purpose of giving you money – leave me be!

  13. My most annoying Metro personality is the very overweight person who knows they take up two seats but still squeezes in to that one seat next to you because they refuse to stand thereby pinning you into the window where you either get the nasty window grease all over you or get a pinched neck from straining to keep your face from touching the nasty window grease. Either way, its nasty.

  14. Mr. I-have-to-wait-until-the-gate-closes-before-I-can-use-my-SmartTrip-card.

    OK, there are lots of newbies on the Metro who don’t know that you don’t have to wait for the previous guy to fully clear the turnstile before the next person enters. I know that. What gets me are the SmartTrip users, folks who, you’d think, ride Metro enough to have noticed that one doesn’t have to wait for the gate to close before scanning one’s card. That gate can stay open for hours, if folks are willing to keep moving. Keep moving!

  15. Mrs. “I’ve just come from my Sex-and-the-City audition” with her 3 oversize, fake LVMH bags.

    What exactly do they need so many bags for, again? I always wonder if they’re just *extremely* well-dressed, stylish couriers.

  16. @ mrmoonpie: YES! I hate those guys! I also hate the people who are cautious about getting on and off the escalators. I’m always like “seriously, haven’t you been doing this your whole life? Do you really need to stop to time your step?”

  17. the person that clips their nails on the metro.
    or the person that chomps their nails on the metro (while standing) and spits them out, thus causing nail chunks to rain down on those sitting.


  18. My favorite is the inconsiderate local who rolls their eyes at the yokel tourists talking about where they are going next, particularly if they are going in the wrong direction rather than just letting the hapless visitors know that they are on the wrong train.

  19. “Try to hold the doors open so I can get on THIS train, even though there will be another in 2 minutes” guy. Seriously? You can’t wait 2 minutes?

  20. Last night, a woman sat down in the outside seat of the first row of benches after the handicapped seating. When I tried to get into the Tetris vortex she’d created by sitting on the outside, she couldn’t even be bothered to shift her knees to the side. I, likewise, could not be bothered to avoid her toe with my Doc Martens. It was accidental, I swear.

  21. My favorite was the guy having a very… private… marital issue discussion (the kind solved by purple pills) at the top of his lungs on a Blue Line train last week. Part of me wanted to shut him up, and part of me was amused that he was shouting about his issues in bed on a full Metro train.

  22. I’m tired of people listening to their ipods on the train. There’s at least one in every train car and I can always hear their music because they always have it turned up way too loud. Worse though are people who can’t even be bothered with earbuds to play their music.

    I’m also sick of those middle and high school kids playing musical seats or running in and out of the doors between train cars and people who aren’t handicapped or elderly who sit in the handicapped seats when there are plenty of other available seats and extend their legs to cover the entire aisle. I’m not getting married anytime soon, I don’t need to practice my broom-hopping skills.

    And the comment about rolling backpacks? I work from home one day a week so I’m going to take my rolling laptop bag with me when I commute.

  23. Anyone talking on a cellphone on a train. While it’s nice to be able to surf the Internets or send/receive texts or e-mails underground, the downside is having to listen to people yelling on their phones because they can’t hear the person they’re talking to, and they think shouting solves that problem.

  24. Seriously, the rolling backpack is the one thing that may be necessary. Like Jamie said, many people who have many documents, laptops, or books with which to travel have no other option. As long as they are considerate and try not to hit anyone, I have no problem.

    The other ones, like standing at the door when the middle is free, getting up way before your stop, or listening to music too loud are all easily fixed and there is often no legitimate reason not to change the behavior.

  25. I can’t stand the pole-huggers on a crowded train. I need to grab the pole and I’d rather not have your whole body rubbing up against my hand. And if there are five people grabbing the pole, please keep the swaying awkwardly into our hands to a minimum.

    Then again, some guys might enjoy the female pole-huggers.

  26. @The Denverite: my favorite loud overheard phone conversation was from a guy who had some unauthorized charges on his bank account, and was on the phone with the bank: “ok, my account number is …..”

  27. Three groups of people:

    (1)The person who steps on the escalator on the left side and immediately comes to a complete stop, ignoring that everyone in front of her is using the left side to walk, the right to stand. She then looks at you like YOUR the bad guy when you say “coming up on your left!”

    {2}People that talk on their cells are bad, people that use the push-to-talk cell phones are worse.

    (3) People who complain about people using their iPods. Seriously. The reason why people listen to their iPods is to drown out the inevitable wanna be Gangstas and phone calls.

    Heck, let’s add a 4th person: The guy eating or drinking, usually loudly, on the trian. Usually right underneath the NO FOOD OR BEVERAGES sign.

  28. I’m surprised it took so long for somebody to mention the “ipod at full volume” person. That and pretty much anybody that is not totally silent for the entire ride.