Tuesday, 10 January 2017
You know that look when you see people on the bus or subway during Rush Hour or as I like to call it Rush Day. It kind of looks like people at a funeral. Everyone is wearing black and their heads are tilted down and the look on their face is of sadness, anger and depression. There are thousands of these people flowing through public transit everyday.
You know them or you are one of them.
The Miserable Commuter
Why are they so miserable? Here are 10 reasons.
Well here is a list of what I think makes them so miserable.
1. People squish you into your seat so you can't even move your arms to scratch your nose.
2. People with backpacks stand in your way when you try to get out of the bus or subway.
3. People with backpacks hit you in the head or back up into you forgetting they have the size of another person on their back. Can you tell I am not a fan of backpacks? When you are 5' tall this is a problem frequently.
4. There are a lot of crazy people on public transit so you don't want to make direct eye contact in case something sets them off.
5. You can't get a seat unless you get on at the beginning of the line and are one of the first ones on.
6. You have to stand and get pushed out of the way your whole commute.
7. Unless your eyes are closed the whole time you have to witness people doing obnoxious, disgusting and rude things. People eating, people making out, people grooming themselves, and other things I don't even want to get into.
8. Sometimes people smell really bad. It doesn't even have to be homeless people that smell bad, did you ride the Bloor subway in the summer? Everyone smelled bad then. Some people smell like salami and some people smell like they haven't had a shower or couldn't make it to the washroom and you have to sit or stand beside them because there is no room to move somewhere else.
9. You wish you could afford to stay in bed and take a day off and skip the commute but then you remember that your living expenses suck up your whole salary.
10. If you hear "We are sorry for the inconvenience" announced through the train you know you are going to be late for wherever you have to go and there is nothing you can do about it. It sets off a domino effect to your day and sucking out more time to live a real life.
Oh, I could go on. If you have lived in Toronto for more than 10 years you know this is a rapidly growing situation. Too many people, and not enough ways to get around the downtown core.
They keep building huge skyscraper condos and pack them with people, but they don't build the transit to move them around to and from work and their daily lives.
That funeral look you see everyday on these commuters is their work life balance being sucked away from them.
15 years ago people could drive to work, take a bus, take a subway and they could get to work in a reasonable time and pretty comfortably. Those days are gone. If you are driving you are sitting in traffic with bad road raging drivers. And if you are on public transit you are praying that nobody jumps on the tracks or there isn't a snow storm to slow everything down.
Have we reached the point of no return where this just keeps getting worse and we have to just live with it?
Living in Toronto used to be easy but now the salaries aren't going up and there aren't any new permanent jobs with benefits but the housing costs, public transit costs, food costs and other daily needs are sky rocketing. Hence that miserable commuter look when people sit silently thinking about how their life is being sucked away while they are squeezed into subway trains like sardines.
Sometimes I think we need a revolution in the way we live and work but how do we do it?
Do we chuck everything and move to the wilderness and live in a tent? Pretty soon there won't be any wilderness because they will cut all the trees down to make room for condos and highways for foreign investors to suck up.
Somebody people find some solutions so that our future isn't set in the place where Zombies live to live on the treadmill of life.
Yes, I had time to think about this post while being one of those miserable commuters riding on a packed subway train. At least I used the time to do something constructive like write this blog post.