It’s important to stand up for the oppressed. Many think of me as a girlish Che Guevara. An example? On the weekend I was waiting for my order in a coffee shop when the barista started berating the teenaged girl serving for mixing up an order.

Do you offer a seat?

The customers, he told her, would not come back. I felt the hot flush of injustice rise to my cheeks. “You know what else will make us not come back?” I retorted, the defiant strains of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” pounding through my righteous mind. “You, being so rude.” He was properly shamed as I swiped my coffee and stalked triumphantly from the store.

Only thing is, ten minutes later I walked past the same coffee shop and the girl was leaning over the counter chatting idly with her yappy friends and being all feckless and self-absorbed and Gen Y as the orders piled up for the harried barista. I realised I’d backed the wrong horse. The point is, most strangers - strangely - don’t want our help.

It’s a problem that regularly confronts commuters. Last week the UK tabloids leapt on a study that suggested a large proportion of pregnant women find themselves strap-hanging for whole bus or train journeys because no one offers them a seat.

Which obviously speaks volumes about the downfall of manners and society and common, old-fashioned decency and floods websites with reader comments that begin with the words “It just goes to show….”

Except it doesn’t really go to show anything. Further probing reveals most commuters aren’t being deliberately rude (or feckless or self-absorbed or Gen Y). Mostly they’re just scared that the ladies might be fat.

Same thing with old people. I’m constantly scrutinising the elderly on public transport and leaping responsibly from my seat when I think one’s pushed past middle age. But if you make the mistake of standing up for a 60-something-year-old whose face is rigid with Botox and dresses in natty Country Road casual wear you’ll quickly learn they have right hooks to shame a 30-year-old.

Mothers know better than anyone about the interference of do-gooding strangers. In a single trip to the shops a mother with a pram can expect to be told her baby is too hot, cold, hungry, tired, cross, underdressed, overdressed or otherwise disagreeable by complete unknowns. I know this better than anyone because I am myself a mother, and I tell other mums off all the time.

The other day I walked past a teenager carrying a naked newborn along the street in the late evening, both looking tired and hungry. I asked her if she was okay or if I could help in any way. Her eyes widened and she scuttled away.

Maybe it had nappy rash and its clothing chafed. Maybe she was taking it for a brisk, nippy stroll. Or maybe she could have kidnapped it or just given birth to it in secret in a toilet bowl or something. Whatever the case, my getting involved didn’t help any.

We’re often told we should keep an eye on our elderly neighbours and look out for signs that they might have died, forgotten, in their homes.

A friend of mine once noticed a terrible smell emanating from the apartment of the older lady across the hall. She dutifully rang the buzzer. But things fell apart a little when the woman answered. “Hi. Look, this is a little tense but I thought you might be dead,” my friend stammered. “It was the smell, you see. But I guess you’re just having an off-week with the cleaning. I’ll go away now.” 

Or at least that’s what would have probably happened. As it turned out the lady was actually dead – but if she wasn’t it could have been very embarrassing for everyone involved.

The fact is strangers should be approached with great caution. They’re right when they say strangers are just friends you haven’t met. All except for the bit where it’s suggested they’re friends.

Most commented

131 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • BTS says:

      07:22am | 17/06/10

      So women want equality, equal pay, equal rights, equal treatment, but demand the seat on the bus because they are women?

    • Peppy says:

      08:21am | 17/06/10

      BTS - Only the pregnant women want to sit on the bus. The rest of us are fine standing up. The pregnant ones are carrying a load and it is a huge toll to stand for any long period of time. Also, your balance is compromised when you are pregnant.

    • KH says:

      08:31am | 17/06/10

      Geez you are an idiot.  Pregnancy can result in numerous issues - one of them is dizziness, and it can be severe.  Falling over in that condition is probably not ideal - not ideal for anyone, but particularly when you have a baby in your abdominal area.  Standing for long periods of time can bring on that dizziness, which is why women who are pregnant probably should have a seat.

    • PG says:

      08:32am | 17/06/10

      Er No read the article BTS Alexandra is talking about the dilema of when you should help and when your help is not needed. I think if people ask for help then that might be the time to think about assisting them.

    • Liz says:

      08:37am | 17/06/10

      So you wouldn’t stand to give a heavily pregnant woman a seat.Point made!

    • iansand says:

      08:42am | 17/06/10

      A possible explanation for this is that very few blokes get pregnant.

    • Nola says:

      09:28am | 17/06/10

      BTS, when you are nine months pregnant THEN you can talk about who should get the seat on the bus.

    • kelly says:

      12:13pm | 17/06/10

      BTS, did you actually read the article? Or are you eric in disguise and using a new name for your women-whinging dribble?
      A as young, non - pregnant woman, I am happy to stand on the bus. I believe pregnant women, the elderly, or someone who is injured (we had a guy on crutches this morning)should get a seat - it’s just basic manners and doesn’t hurt anyone!!
      My bus is so packed, people will take a seat if offered, they tend not to be offended that you offered it…

    • Steven says:

      02:05pm | 17/06/10

      It’s a choice to become pregnant. You want a kid, you live with the consequences. Don’t come crying to me.

    • Moi says:

      03:31pm | 17/06/10

      BTS it warms the cockles of my heart to read the bollocking you have just got for your mind-numbingly stupid comment.  Consider this just adding to the list.

    • RICHIE says:

      04:04pm | 17/06/10

      How can you tell a woman is pregnant? There are loads of fat ladies out there

    • BTS says:

      07:15pm | 17/06/10

      Well I did reply to some of these other contributions, but none were printed (AND none of them were abusive or derogatory in the slightest!).

      Not much point having a site if you seek to portray someone in a ‘certain light’ and not print their contributions.

    • Kristymac says:

      08:06pm | 17/06/10

      no just pregnant women want a seat it is not so easy to stand on the bus or train you are a little front heavy and keeping upright in the late stages can be a tad bit hard.

    • DF says:

      08:55pm | 17/06/10

      I had no trouble getting a seat on a train with a broken foot.
      I had to fight for a seat when (obviously) pregnant.

    • fif the mooch says:

      08:35am | 18/06/10

      I must’ve overlooked the part where women believe people should stand up for them for merely being female ? Dont you “mens rights:” types get sick of hearing your own gears grind all the time ?

    • Jon says:

      09:43am | 18/06/10

      I’m not old - just old fashioned, but I was brought up to stand for a lady, open doors and offer my seat for a lady (irrelavant of her condition) and daily stand to offer my seat on the bus to a standing lady.  I am proud of my values and will be teaching my kids the same respect.
      However, when I stand and get asked by the lady “do I look that old” or “I’m not pregnant” and basically told off for it, why should I?

    • Freddie says:

      08:35am | 17/06/10

      I’m all for unsolicited advice.  Seems like a follow up serve to the teenaged barista girl was required, too.

      The “I thought you were dead” comment seemed a bit harsh, though.

    • James1 says:

      10:55am | 17/06/10

      As opposed to “Your place smells like something died in there…”

    • TimmyB says:

      04:30pm | 17/06/10

      I think it was a joke to show how extreme one COULD go… not necessarily how the situation would play out.
      Use your head Freddie

    • Muttley says:

      09:11am | 18/06/10

      So i assume you have no problem recieving unsolicited advice? Otherwise that would make you a hypocrite, no?

    • Carter says:

      08:51am | 17/06/10

      Granted tehre isn’t much of it in this column, but why do people insist on putting down GenY? Is it some sort of cure all pick-me-up trotted out by anyone aged over 30 to make themselves feel better for losing their youth?

      I guarantee you that EVERY previous generation had similar qualities to GenY when they were young adults.

      And for the record, I’m GenY and I always stand for women (regardless of whether or not they’re pregnant). As I do elderly and disabled people. It’s just common courtesy.

      Please leave off the fahionable bashing.

    • gil4d says:

      11:24am | 17/06/10

      same reason your always blaming baby bommers for all your problems i suppose

    • Anthony says:

      11:35am | 17/06/10

      For me, it’s the scarves, man-bags and silly haircuts.

    • Robert Smissen , rural SA says:

      11:57am | 17/06/10

      Well said, as a baby boomer I am constantly embarrassed by other baby boomers being rude to young people everywhere & you then wonder at their lack of respect. Age doesn’t automatically deserve respect, it has to be earned. Take some time out of your “busy” life & talk to a young person, you’ll definitely get an education!

    • Robert Smissen , rural SA says:

      11:59am | 17/06/10

      Sure Anthony yours was the only “cool’generation, NOT! !

    • maree says:

      12:15pm | 17/06/10

      Agree Carter. I cringed when I saw that ‘gen y’ comment thrown in there. I had a lot of respect for this writer, but that judgemtal generation crap makes me lose it fast…
      I could go on about the gen y bashing, and it’s crazy hypocrisy, but I’ll save it for another day.

    • Kelly says:

      12:25pm | 17/06/10

      News Bulletin: Proof of all negative Gen Y stereotypes:
      **One young gen y barista caught talking to people for a few minutes while working in a coffee shop**
      -This of course, adds weight to every gen y hate campaign. In fact, now people can in fact simply refer to someone as ‘gen y’ to imply self-absorption….
      Gen X and Baby Boomers of course still shake their heads….After all, every single member of those generations work diligently at all times, never had conversations about non-work related material, and when they were young, were never distracted by anything but work for a moment…
      Sigh. If ONLY gen y were more like them…..

    • Leah says:

      02:15pm | 17/06/10

      “For me, it’s the scarves, man-bags and silly haircuts.” - Anthony

      HA. My grandparents’ generation thought the Beatles had silly haircuts. Does that make it ok for their generation to put down the Baby Boomer generation? No. Yes, I think a lot of Gen Ys have silly haircuts too (I’m Gen Y) but it’s not a legitimate reason to bash an entire generation. Shall I bash Baby Boomers because they’re going grey?

    • Jessica says:

      04:57pm | 17/06/10

      I’ve been on the bus surrounded by fellow Gen Y uni students. On a variety of occasions, the elderly have caught the bus and been offered seats only to politely refuse the offer.

      I cringe as well when I see Gen Y portrayed badly in the media. Isn’t every generation going to have lazy, rude people? Yes. And people seem to only focus on the bad points.

    • James1 says:

      05:25pm | 17/06/10

      I’ve been on a bus with my gen Z daughter and have asked her to vacate a seat for an old lady.  The old lady, instead of thanking my daughter, said “I should think so,” with as much venom as she could muster.  I (a gen y) and my daughter were shocked at this lady’s lack of manners.  Lead me to the question, where are the older generation’s manners…

    • Mark says:

      08:55am | 18/06/10

      Stereotypes come from somewhere. City born and bred Gen Y kids are useless self absorbed workers. I was responsible for staffing a bar in Sydney and learned quickly that if you want good young staff. Get kids from the country!!

    • Kordez says:

      09:09am | 17/06/10

      Similar to last nights brutal murder of NSW, what this really comes down to is survival of the fittest. We continue to increase density in our already over populated communities, well with this comes the downfall of regard for others. What Gen Boomer, X, Y or Zed cares if you don’t stand up for an pregnant baby boomer? When the chances are your likely to never cross paths again.. Why should we care when it’s not a requirement to do so?
      Really all I got out of your article is that you are yet another reporter using generational gap to fuel support from the majority of baby boomers, an outdated attempt of popularity also desperate.

    • KH says:

      11:12am | 17/06/10

      a pregnant baby boomer?????!!! I think you mean Gen X/Y - baby boomers are past their fertility years, for the most part!

      If you are happy to watch someone heavily pregnant fall and potentially injure themselves and/or their baby (who in fact could die, not just be injured), then you are exactly the kind of inconsiderate selfish tool I think you are.  Oh, and population density has no correlation to courtesy and manners - I’ve been to Japan recently - Tokyo is vastly higher in density, and they are 1000x more polite to others than in this country.  Manners and courtesy to others is individual behaviour that is influenced by the larger culture, and today, in the west particularly, the attitude is ‘I’ll do what I want, screw everyone else’.  It hasn’t always been that way, and I remember a time when it wasn’t.  It was better.  That’s why older generations have something to say about it - you simply weren’t there and don’t know any different, which is sad.

    • Kordez says:

      01:22pm | 17/06/10

      @KH, I was sad last night when NSW scored, 34 nil sounds so much better. So perhaps I am selfish.
      However I was being facetious, as the writer insinuated that all Gen Y is represented by one waiters behaviour.
      Japan has suffered high density living for a long time, the majority of us are only just starting to experience it. Therefore it’s not unreasonable to expect an effect on human behaviours. I do agree it’s a shame to see a heavily pregnant woman standing but no one has to stand for her, if I were in her shoes I’d be hailing a cab or driving instead.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      01:44pm | 17/06/10

      I agree kordez.  It’s just as well that all pregnant women are rich and can automatically afford taxis or a car.  Their decision to travel on public transport purely for the love of being squeezed into small places with hundreds of stangers is a mighty inconvenience to us all.

    • megan says:

      09:51am | 17/06/10

      I dont think its a matter of people thinking a pregnant woman is fat. People are just rude. When I was a pregnant commuter I looked very pregnant and still no one stood.

      By the end of the pregnancy I just gave up and started telling people to stand up for me. Well if you’re sitting in the vestibule area on a train which is clearly marked “For those less mobile” with pictures of pregnant woman and elderly people then too bad. Get up!

      I would also add that on the occasions that someone did stand for me, it was always a woman, not a man.

    • Anne71 says:

      12:22pm | 17/06/10

      Good on you, Megan.  There are at least two seats on every bus and in every train carriage which are designated for pregnant / elderly / disabled people.  Anyone can sit there but the understanding is that able-bodied people are expected to vacate it for pregnant / elderly / disabled people if required.  So, pregnant ladies, if there are no seats available just go up to the people in those seats, point to the sign, and ask politely if you can sit down.  And I do mean ask politely - manners cost nothing and you might receive a more favourable response than if you just demand that they give you their seat.  Respect works both ways, even when you’re pregnant.

    • Kevin says:

      12:58pm | 17/06/10

      Why - because a woman calling a woman sexist carries no weight, but on many occasions I’ve been berated by women as being sexist for offering a seat to a woman, pregnant, fat, “less mobile” it doesn’t seem to matter. Some people just need to vent and hurl abuse at everyone, including those thinking not of themselves but of others.

    • Ducks says:

      01:02pm | 17/06/10

      “I dont think its a matter of people thinking a pregnant woman is fat. People are just rude. “

      The comment that people don’t stand becuase there is the risk they may just be fat was actually based on a UK study. A lot of respondents had been previously caught out or seen others caught out and didn’t want to risk the embarrasment of a public telling off.
      Usually I can tell the difference between a pregnant woman and a fat woman especially in the later stages. But whether everyone can is a different matter.

    • Ish says:

      01:12pm | 17/06/10

      Ditto Megan. I was carrying a great big bub on my rather small frame and very obviously pregnant but people just stuck there noses further into their books and what not and pretended I wasn’t there. One trip I eventually got a seat and the women I sat next to said “Didn’t anyone stand up for you?” and I thought well no and neither did you.

    • Neil says:

      01:24pm | 17/06/10

      I am a man and I always get up when I see an elderly/disabled/pregnant person get on the train. It’s common courtesy, however a simple “thank you” is as well. I gave up my seat for a woman with crutches on the train this morning and she said nothing. I wasn’t expecting a medal of course, but a simple “thank you” would have been nice. Politeness works both ways.

    • James1 says:

      03:06pm | 17/06/10

      My trick is to stand and move to the back of the bus when I see the old/pregnant/fat/disabled person waiting at the stop, rather than waiting for them to hop on and seeing if anyone else moves first.  That way there is no offense given if they are fat, or too proud to admit their age, as they do not even realise that I have vacated a seat for them.

    • Lauren says:

      07:43pm | 17/06/10

      Ish - Maybe that woman had a disability or injury that wasnt immediately obvious, and thats why she didnt offer you her seat? You cant always tell just by looking at someone that they require a seat for medical reasons.

    • Chris L says:

      10:04pm | 17/06/10

      It’s true that you can’t always tell. You might consider yourself “obviously” pregnant, but you’re very familiar with how you normally look. I have seen many people that look “obviously” pregnant but weren’t. If you need a seat how about you ask for it? That’s no more risky than offering your seat to the “obviously” pregnant woman who just has a fat gut.

    • EssBee says:

      09:56am | 17/06/10

      Given the obesity epidemic telling pregnant from fat is not always easy… pregnant bellies seem to come in all shapes and sizes and getting it wrong is mortiphying for both paries. Hell, I’m working with a woman that is around 5-6 months pregnant and looks vaguely plump and is probably still wearing size 12 pants!

      The other issue is that if you are seated on a crowded train and there are already people standing around you, if someone were to get on that is pregnant you wouldn’t see them at all, let alone the fact that they were pregnant.

      Don’t get me wrong, if I think someone is pregnant or elderly I will vacate my seat but it’s not always a case of people being rude and self absorbed. Although it’s not ideal, why do people who need a seat not ASK for one?

      What annoyed me were the few times where I boarded my bus on CRUTCHES and no one offered me a seat it was invariably the little old lady or the pregnant woman who got up rather than the guy in a suit reading email on his blackberry pretending not to see me or the uni student listening to their ipod… you can’t get more obvious than crutches can you??

    • Kordez says:

      10:38am | 17/06/10

      @EssBee, I agree completely that the more people we pack into small spaces, the less we will notice each other.
      It’s a shame it has come to this, but I also sit on a bus and watch TV during my journey. Short of an explosion or unreasonable slamming of the breaks, I’m unlikely to acknowledge those around me.

    • persephone says:

      10:19am | 17/06/10

      Well, I don’t agree with you.

      One of my elderly relatives went missing a few weeks ago. Within hours, her friends and neighbours raised the alarm.

      They hit the phones and - after dozens of phone calls and a couple of hours - were able to work out which hospital she had ended up at (she had rung the ambulance herself in the middle of the night).

      For her family, knowing that if anything happens, her community are looking out for her is very comforting.

      I had another experience recently. I was driving into the shopping centre car park, and noticed one man belligerently trying to attack another. A crowd of bystanders looked on, heckling.

      I parked the car, and walked over to the man being attacked and started talking to him.

      As soon as I did this, the other guy (who was obviously drunk and confused) turned on his heel and walked away.

    • Katos says:

      11:34am | 18/06/10

      LOL Chris L - my feelings exactly!  I was on crutches once and had a situation where I had to ask someone to vacate a seat for me as I felt like hell, which they did.  Those seats are there for a reason and if I need to use them again I will.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:31am | 17/06/10

      mobility seating tickets. After all we have the designated seats already.

      Such tickets can cost slightly more (to reflect the price of a guaranteed seat on a crowded train) the holder of the ticket can show the ticket to any person sitting in a designated seat and be entitled, by law, to take the seat.

      A person who holds such a ticket must hold a current medical certificate (that is valid for not more than 2 months, except in relation to persons over 65) in the same way that students/pensioners are required to carry their proof of entitlement.

      That way a person who wants special treatment can get it - If they want to take their chances on the kindness of others they can do so.

      As a person who has ongoing knee problems (and spends a couple of weeks a year on crutches) I know how frustrating it is when people watch you struggle (try holding on in a bus or train when on crutches) and then pretend that they can’t see you when you look at them with pleading eyes to help you pick up the bag you’ve just dropped. There’s no chance that they are giving up their seat.

    • Talker says:

      11:20am | 17/06/10

      Anon - just wondering if you have you tried asking politely for help, or for a seat? In my experience the vast majority of commuters are not amoral a*holes (quite a few exceptions I admit). There is the real issue of “do I or don’t I” offer my seat. Will it be taken as an affront for some reason - such as a mistaken pregnancy? Who knows. If you ask - the hesitation dissolves. If you need a seat, forget subtle communication - go for overt but polite. That way if they still refuse they will feel guilty as hell (well hopefully).

      Fortunately there have been very few instances where I have required help from Joe or Jane stranger, but plenty of offering on my part when it was clear it was needed. When I asked (politely) for help now and again it was always offered and I was most appreciative - and Igenerally made a new temporary friend. Talking is not an outdated communication technique.

    • Anonymous says:

      04:02pm | 17/06/10

      I don’t ask for the simple reason that I have a ticket just like everyone else. My ticket does not entitle me to a seat.

      Equally, no person should be, or feel, compelled to give up their seat because I ask for it. It is an act of kindness, not an entitlement - nor should it be (unless I have paid more for that entitlement).

      I sometimes wonder why people believe they have an entitlement to a seat on a train whether they be knocked up, injured or elderly. I agree that it is frustrating to see that no one cares about the pregnant, injured or elderly to stand, but that’s just a reflection of the society we live in. It is a reflection on the absence of kindness, the apathy of our work-a-day lives.

      Even as I read some of the other comments I see people preaching of their entitlement to a seat because they are tired, their back hurts or whatever their ailment may be. That entitlement simply does not exist. Perhaps it is that arrogant sense of entitlement that turns people off offering a seat, as much as the the fear of embarrassment.

      Again, if I am on crutches and someone offers me a seat it is an act of kindness and generosity on their part. It is not recognition of my entitlement, nor should they be bound by some compulsion to give up their seat - their claim to the seat is equal, if not stronger (since they are already seated), than my own. If I give up my seat to another it is an act of kindness, the same is true for any other person who gives up their seat for any other person.

      Lets acknowledge this kindness for what it is rather than perpetuating the sense of entitlement that has gotten us into this mess.

    • Chris L says:

      10:11pm | 17/06/10

      Strueth Anon! Talker was just suggesting you ask for a seat, not hire a lawyer!

    • Prune says:

      10:43am | 18/06/10

      Good luck telling the old pensioners their bus fair is now going up!

    • Fots says:

      11:03am | 17/06/10

      I once offered my seat to an obese woman who appeared to me to be pregnant… After getting the look of disgust that you normally do in that situation, I then asked her if she still wanted the seat, my reasoning being pregnant or not, your feet have to hurt under that much weight.

      She didn’t like the logic presented to her to say the least…

    • Sue says:

      11:26am | 17/06/10

      The most embarrassing situation I experiences was seeing a vehicle one night trailing this young teen walking along a residential street.  I saw the teen turn a corner, the car pause, and then turn after the kid.  I took off in my car and wound up pulling up next to the child and asking if they were being bothered by the driver of the following vehicle.  It turned out that this was the parent, a disabled person, who was simply following their child home and seeing them there safely. I didn’t regret stopping them and the parent was very understanding and I would do it again to ensure a kid was safe.  But, still… *red face*.

    • Richie says:

      12:34pm | 17/06/10

      Good for you Sue. I remember reading in the Keyra Steinhardt murder case, an elderly couple saw her killer (Leonard Fraser) beat her up and load her into the boot of his car. Apparently they assumed Fraser was the child’s father and thus did not call the police. It may not have prevented her death, but now we’ll never know. Once again good for you.

    • Katos says:

      11:38am | 18/06/10

      Why on earth didn’t they just have their child in the car with them I wonder??

    • Louisa says:

      11:33am | 17/06/10

      Whatever happened to basic manners?

    • Missy says:

      11:43am | 17/06/10

      Anyone notice that young men are way more willing to offer a seat than young women? I find teen boys twice as polite as most teen girls these days.  This of itself would make a great article.  Our striving for equality has simply seemed to rear a bunch of self-absorbed princesses. I will be thanked by young men for allowing them to say go first in a line but not often a young woman.  I will be waved a thanks for stopping for a young man to cross the road, rarely a young woman.  What IS this bad manner scenario among our young teen females all about?

    • Anne71 says:

      12:30pm | 17/06/10

      Missy, you are so right. The number of teenage boys that jump to offer me a seat when I get on the bus is amazing, compared to the teenage girls who just pretend they don’t see you. I don’t always accept the seat - sometimes, after a long day sitting down, it’s good to stand and stretch the legs a bit - but regardless I always thank them for their offer and tell them how much I appreciate it.  There are some wonderful young men out there and I hope the girls of their age learn to appreciate that sooner rather than later.

    • Leah says:

      02:30pm | 17/06/10

      “Anyone notice that young men are way more willing to offer a seat than young women”

      A previous commenter said that when they were pregnant, it was always women more likely to give up their seats.

      Don’t be so judgmental… you probably see what you want to see, or you just live in an area with ‘self-absorbed princesses’. At 22 I’m not exactly a teenager anymore, but my sister is, and she and her friends are very polite, especially to their elders.

    • Zombies! says:

      11:46am | 17/06/10

      Re: Pregnant women strap-hanging for the entire length of a trip: How about the women ASK for a seat before huffing and puffing about people not letting them sit down? Social etiquette goes both ways, and it does no harm to say “Excuse me, I’m pregnant and need to sit down, could someone please let me take a seat?”

    • Leah says:

      02:20pm | 17/06/10

      Read the article again. It doesn’t say pregnant women were voluntarily sending complaints (“huffing and puffing”) to some social etiquette police force, but they were polled in a STUDY. So someone ASKED them what their experience was, and they told the truth.

    • Chris L says:

      10:14pm | 17/06/10

      And you didn’t just read a bunch of comments from women complaining that no-one offered them a seat when they were pregnant Leah?

    • Athol says:

      12:04pm | 17/06/10

      A few years ago I was walking up to some double doors. A woman holding a large package was right behind me. I held the door open out of courtesy because she didn’t have a free hand. I didn’t expect the torrent of abuse from her for daring to hold the door “just because I’m a woman”. I calmly replied “I didn’t hold the door open because you’re a women, I held the door open because I’m a gentleman”. She was speechless.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      01:06pm | 17/06/10

      If I hadn’t seen that joke in Readers Digest in the 80’s, I’d believe you.

    • Lauren says:

      12:06pm | 17/06/10

      Don’t know about you, but its actually difficult to shoo away people when you are trying to serve others.

      How do you know the people that ‘feckless, self absorbed Gen-Y’ was talking to were her friends? Whenever I work I have complete strangers trying to strike up a conversation, and its not like I can shoo them away because I have a company’s reputation to uphold. And THEN I get the glares from the baby boomer customers and the baby boomer coworkers (because, you know, why should they do any work when there is a Gen-Y to be pushed around?)

      Other than that, on the Melbourne trains I often find that it is the Gen Xs and Baby Boomers that will not give their seat up for pregnant women or the elderly. They will only give up their seats if it is bleeding obvious the person needs it (say if they’re on crutches).

      My mother always taught me to be polite and courtious to strangers, even if they do snap back at you (but thats no different to the stranger customers I serve…) The worst they can do it snap at you with a “NO!” but at least you feel better knowing you tried.

    • Kate says:

      03:32pm | 17/06/10

      In the country - That is so true, I always get stuck being polite and talking to customers. And it is especially the older customers who maybe just need someone to be friendly to them. My previous boss assumed one man was my family, but it was just an elderly man who needed to have a chat and there wasn’t even anyone waiting. so i got in trouble for being too polite!

      In the city - i always make eye contact and smile at anyone i think may need a seat. Or like lots of others are saying, they just look grumpy and dont even ask.. but acknowledging them they can ask for a seat if they want. LIke Lauren says it is the middle aged people who are demanding respect just because they are older or appear to be more important by being too busy to look up to see if the person standing right in front of them needs a seat. It is always school and uni aged kids who thank the bus driver or say excuse me or sorry i bumped you.

      Its not hard to be polite. But it can change someone’s day from being shitty to giving them a smile.

    • nickylou says:

      12:16pm | 17/06/10

      Anonymous, what about permanently disabled people under 65? I agree with your comments about having a permit, perhaps a mobility parking permit would suffice. The cards are the same size as a credit card and you can get a temporary one or a permanent one, the cost is $35 or it may be free if you are on a government funded pension.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      01:03pm | 17/06/10

      I once saw a guy stting down on a train while a heavily pregnant girl stood nearby.  A very hot girl got on the train and he offered her his seat.  She happily took it, leaving the pregnant woman standing.  I always regretted not verbally challenging both the guy and the hot girl.

      I’ve also seen an elderly man give up his seat for a heavily pregnant woman on the bus, while young and fit people sat nearby.  I didn’t want to have further regrets, so I asked a teenager to stand up for the man.  He suggested I go and fornicate with myself as he was not sitting in a priority seat.  Thankfully, someone else got the hint and stood up.

    • Tony Smith says:

      06:49pm | 17/06/10

      I hate nothing more than the hereos like you who will offer someone else’s seat. I realise that in this story you have suggested that you were standing but in my observations the hereos like yourself are generally sitting on their lazy @ss whilst telling some young person to stand up.

      Just Sayin’ HOW ABOUT YOU STAND UP?

    • Paul J says:

      10:03am | 18/06/10

      What’s a hereo? Is it like an oreo? Yummy!!

    • Just Sayin' says:

      02:05pm | 02/07/10

      I was already standing up.

      But yeh, my bad.  It makes perfect sense for you to assume that I was just sitting there being a hypocritical.

      My observations are not consistent with yours.  I have never seen a sitting healthy hereo tell another person to stand up.

      I think you’re just trolling.

    • Old Salt says:

      01:26pm | 17/06/10

      I don’t be nice for the other person, i do it for myself.  It might seem selfish but if it can help out in a little way and i feel as though i have done some good for the day.  And for the record i’m on the borderline for GenX/GenY, but actually think that has nothing to do with how you behave.

    • Melissa says:

      01:30pm | 17/06/10

      I am currently 31 weeks pregnant, and so tired of hardly anybody hopping up to give me a seat, i only ever go to the area on the train which clearly states this area is for pregnant, elderly or disabled. I don’t accept the excuse that people can’t tell, I am very obviously pregnant. And now that i am at a point with terrible back pain, easily tired and suffering high blood pressure I feel i have no choice but to ask people to hop up now. And no i shouldn’t have to ask for a seat, people should hop up when they see me!! discusting!!

    • Amelia says:

      03:34pm | 17/06/10

      I would glady give you my seat *nods*

      =]

    • RE says:

      05:46pm | 17/06/10

      So would I, I can’t believe people don’t.
      I was once on the train sandwiched between 6 people, and out of all the people on the carriage I was the only one to shuffle out of my spot.
      People pretend that they don’t see, but they do. And just to break the nasty stereotype so many people have, I’m GenY.

    • TJ says:

      06:52pm | 17/06/10

      Maybe if you learnt how to spell “disgusting” they maybe more receptive. Haha

    • Chris L says:

      10:20pm | 17/06/10

      You shouldn’t have to ask for a seat? Why not? How is that more risky than offering a seat to someone who might just be fat? (and “obviously” pregnant doesn’t cut it. Strangers don’t know how you look when not pregnant.)

    • Andrew says:

      01:37pm | 17/06/10

      I resolve this issue by being a sexist gentleman. I offer my set to any standing women on public transport, hold the door for a lady and offer assistance to any women I see struggling with a heavy or awkward load. Some graciously accept my offer, others give me a frown and some enter into a tirade. As a gentleman I accept all 3 positions and apologise for any offence if it appears to have been caused.

      It costs me nothing to be polite. If it makes someone else feel special great, if not I tried.

    • Al says:

      01:45pm | 17/06/10

      Sorry but I take a fairly simple approach to this:
      1) Get up for pregnent/elderly/disabled etc people no matter how packed the bus/train.
      2) If asked, vacate said seat for the person asking (usually, unless its a buisnessman in a suit with no real reason to need the seat).
      3) Accept that most people (no matter what generation) are completely self centered, rude and ignorant. As such, make sure you ask for the seat/challenge them to give up the seat. It just makes them aware they are not behaving acceptably.

    • James Shaw says:

      06:56pm | 17/06/10

      “unless its a buisnessman”

      You are a m0r0n Al. Are you a doctor who can tell if someone has a bad back, leg etc?

      So you are happy to stand up for all women who have no reason to want to stand and any tradesmen? It is just business men who are the problem. How insightful

    • ess says:

      01:49pm | 17/06/10

      Well, I don’t care about anyone but myself!  I have had it with helping people, doing the right thing and often putting myself at risk to help another person and for what, bragging rights, the adrenaline or the notoriety?  - not even a smile from the reprobates half the time… as far as I’m concerned, none of you are worth helping!

    • DJ says:

      10:09am | 18/06/10

      yes that’s the sort of ‘community’ spirit we are lacking, no wonder the worlds going to the dogs with attitudes like this, not just yours but the thinking in general. Now I may have a ME, ME, ME mentality and no I’m not an only child, I wont stand for people on the train mainly as I don’t sit near the doors and if you can walk down the stairs to where I am sitting then you can stand for the 2 stations until you get off

    • It's not always Gen Y's fault says:

      01:51pm | 17/06/10

      What’s worse is when a person with attitude (doesn’t have to be young) leaves their feet / bag on the seat and refuses to move it. I have on a few occassions either sat on the bag, or moved the bag to the isle - Figure stuff them, if they don’t move it the first time when asked politely, they deserve the same respect!

      What’s more annoying is seeing a parent with a child, and when a pregnant person or elder gets on board, they don’t move the child to open a seat - It doesn’t take much to move the child to your lap!

      I’m a gen Y and have always been taught to stand on buses for those less mobile -

    • bec says:

      04:21pm | 17/06/10

      Actually, I have a bag-related gripe, and the person was in their late thirties…

      Went to a gig last year and wanted to get up close to the barrier. Only thing was that there was this insane woman with a giant duffel-bag right up on it, the bag taking up nearly a square metre of room. She wasn’t dancing or singing along: she was staring at the musician with her mouth agape, as if she believed she was married to him on the astral plane or something. When I asked her to move it, she said “I was here first”. What the hell! There was a cloak room right outside that she should have left it in.

      So I just moshed on her bag instead. It felt *amazing* and to be honest, I hope I broke something valuable in it. I am usually a polite and courteous person, but if you’re going to be a knob at a music event and leave your stuff in prime territory, don’t expect it not to get damaged.

      Oh, and if any of the female readers are in their thirties and went to a gig at the Tivoli last November wherein they left their bag against the barrier, I hope I broke your iPod, you cretin.

    • Kate says:

      01:57pm | 17/06/10

      Apparently women using public transport in England can wear ‘Baby on Board’ stickers or badges which let people know that they are pregnant, not overweight, and should therefore be offered a seat.

      I’ll usually stand up for the obviously pregnant, disabled, injured or elderly, unless I’m not sure how they’ll react. I once stood for a woman who had to be well into her 70s, only to get a very cross “NO, I am not old!” in return.

      Still the whole standing up for people thing is not perfect even if people are courteous enough to do it. It sucks to be someone who appears perfectly healthy but in reality is in need of a seat. I’m on blood pressure medication which often makes me very dizzy and lightheaded, but being an otherwise fit and healthy young woman, nobody’s going to stand up for me and I feel like a bit of a sook asking to sit down.

    • Jane says:

      02:00pm | 17/06/10

      Having one of those tummies that could be mistaken for being pregnant and being in my early 50’s I am never sure if people stand because of my age or my stomach. Do I get offended because they think I am old or am I pleased that they think I am young enough to be pregnant… whatever the reason I politely say thank you and take the seat to save embarassment either way. I will however be the first to leap up to give the elderly, pregnant or just someone who likes like they need it, a seat

    • over it. says:

      02:11pm | 17/06/10

      “persephone says:10:19am | 17/06/10

      Well, I don’t agree with you.

      One of my elderly relatives went missing a few weeks ago. Within hours, her friends and neighbours raised the alarm.

      They hit the phones and - after dozens of phone calls and a couple of hours - were able to work out which hospital she had ended up at (she had rung the ambulance herself in the middle of the night).

      For her family, knowing that if anything happens, her community are looking out for her is very comforting.”

      Once again, another ignorant comment from you. 

      So because you have experienced one isolated case of a small community looking out for a neighbour, you immediatly disgard the ideas raise in the article?

      Pathetic. Your self-righteousness is overwhelming.

    • Chris L says:

      10:28pm | 17/06/10

      That’s a pretty aggro response Over It. Are you sure you disagree with Persephone’s point or are you just politically biased against everything she says?

    • Leah says:

      02:13pm | 17/06/10

      Don’t feel bad about your retort to the barista. It doesn’t matter if the server was lazy, he shouldn’t have berated her in front of customers. It’s both rude and he runs the risk of doing exactly what happened here - making himself look bad to customers who don’t know the whole story.

      Besides, how do you know the girl - when you walked past later - was actually doing the wrong thing? Maybe she was finishing up her shift, or about to go on her lunch break? Maybe technically she wasn’t actually supposed to be taking orders at that point? (eg. maybe she was supposed to be cleaning and had already finished?) Perhaps there was plenty of other evidence, but you didn’t put it in the article so I can only go off what you did print.

    • FatCat says:

      02:22pm | 17/06/10

      My very young children were once sitting on a bus that was very crowded.  They politely offered their seats to two elderly ladies who politely declined. If they had of stood up they would likely have been knocked around anyway, being only waist high to those of us standing body to body.  One stop on, two more elderly ladies got on the bus and stood quite some way from my children and unseen to my children through the crowded bus proceeded to speak very loudly about how rude the children are now days for not standing for their elders - implying that my children were rude for not standing up for the elderly ladies they had just previously offered their seats to. 

      Moral of the story - some people are just looking for any excuse to have a whinge.

    • Beck says:

      02:23pm | 17/06/10

      So people will sit there and make an pregnant woman, elderly or injured person stand on public transport because of a small chance they may get it wrong and face a little embarrasment? That’s really sad. I personally would take the risk. How would you feel if that was your wife, sister, mother, etc being made to stand on a train for an hour pregnant and no one offered her a seat? You would most probably be quite upset. I think people need to stop being so self absorbed and occassionally think of others who are not as mobile or are unwell. It won’t kill you.

    • Just have to ask says:

      07:58am | 18/06/10

      If they really need the seat, why can’t they politely ask??? This is the part I don’t get. Excuse me, I am __________ would you mind terribly if I took your seat. Easy. Done. Next…

    • hank says:

      02:23pm | 17/06/10

      bts, you goose. it has nothing to do with equality;  it’s called good old-fashioned manners. same with elderly commuters. if yr able-bodied there is no reason for you to offer yr seat to a less able-bodied commuter. but as for the coffee scenario ... what’s this barista palava? they’re coffee jerks. next we’ll be calling the kids in maccas chefs, and the ones who put the goop on the burgers sous chefs.

    • hank says:

      07:19pm | 17/06/10

      whoops. that should have read there is no reason for you NOT to offer yr seat to a less able-bodied commuter.

    • marchingant says:

      02:36pm | 17/06/10

      I usually board a train with iPod in and a book in hand, anything to distract from the cringeworthy conversations around me, particularly by people on their mobiles, (“Did you do a wee? Mummy wants to know if you did a wee.”)

      So I honestly may not notice someone in need of my seat. But if you get my attention, I will be more than happy to stand up.

      On the topic of offering help in general, my husband is always quick to volunteer, be it carrying someone’s groceries or helping push a pram upstairs.

      But he has said he feels more comfortable if I am there, because he is a tall, strong guy, and he worries people may be intimidated when approached by a ‘strange’ man on his own.

    • Jenni says:

      02:49pm | 17/06/10

      I worked in customer service for over 20 years (finally left to come work in a prison - way less stressful - no, i’m not kidding wink and I always found that rudeness transcended *all* boundaries ... colour, culture, gender, age, income - it didn’t matter. Rude, miserable sh**s come from all walks of life in my experience. I used to console myself with the thought that I only had to deal with them for a few minutes at a time, whereas they have to live with *themselves* 24-7 LOL

    • Yong says:

      03:22pm | 17/06/10

      We often gave up out seat to senior, pregnacy women and also children.  However, we found that often we got the refection from particular senior people. We don’t know why would be the case, perhaps they didn’t want us to treat them as a senior? So, we stop giving up the seat so not to ofense anyone!

    • Duane says:

      10:32pm | 17/06/10

      I have no idea what you mean by ‘refection’. I really hope English is your second language.

    • Amelia says:

      03:30pm | 17/06/10

      Sigh. I feel ashamed to be Gen Y because of all the stereotyping, not like I have a choice anyway…

      I will always go out of my way to make other people happy and comfortable in most public situations. Even if I see a seemingly fit and healthy person looking around for a seat on the train or bus I will always offer.

      I just .. like making people happy =(

    • Frank Merlot says:

      03:51pm | 17/06/10

      Personally i prefer to stand on the bus/train/tram anyway.  Who wants to sit with their face at flatulence level?! EWWW!

    • StuF says:

      03:54pm | 17/06/10

      Just a thought on the Gen X/Y business… I am a Gen X, and think people would have to be blind not to notice how many Gen Ys have attitude problems…and my generation had more than a few themselves, compared to the generation before them. In Gen Y’s defence, you have to admit they have Gen X parents that obviously aren’t doing a great job teaching them the basics of how to be a thoughtful person. It isn’t the sole responsibility of the TV or a school.

      Before Gen Y’s start squealing, I do see plenty that are good people, as good as any decent elder… it’s just an increasing minority. The funniest thing will be when you have been around another 10 or 20 years, and start noticing the same thing in Gen Zs smile My 20c worth: call out out bad behaviour (politely) in any member of any generation.

    • Fattie lols says:

      04:28pm | 17/06/10

      I’m fat. I stick my belly out to make myself look pregnant to get a seat on the train.

      *giggles* =]

    • James Shaw says:

      05:31pm | 17/06/10

      On buses the answer is pretty straight forward and complicated only by those who need the seats. If a pregnant woman, incapacitated or elderly person needs a seat they should ask someone to move who is in the first third of the bus that is reserved for such people. Is that hard? People who are sitting in those seats realise that they could be moved on.

      Come on, most women it is not blatantly obvious they are pregnant until after 6 months and more likely later than that. How are people on the bus or train meant to realise it?

      What annoys me about this whole situation is that way too many times I have seen these incapacitated people walk straight past the seats dedicated for them and hover around giving the impression that everyone should offer their seat. I for one have no problem standing up and offering my seat however with the seats their dedicated it just should not happen.

      One instance I hated being involved in was standing up for an older woman to then have her make a big deal out of it. The top of her lungs she yelled something about at least their are some gentlemen left and looked around at the other people on the bus. I couldn’t let it pass so I looked at her and said a simple thank you would have been fine. I wished I hadn’t stood up for the old hag.

    • Jay says:

      05:40pm | 17/06/10

      Hahahaha, really? “Gen Y” is the problem? To anyone who actually thinks that, listen to this:

      Listening to music and reading a book on the train ride home (less than a month ago), I noticed a pregnant woman board the train. Seeing how the train was packed, she had to stand for about one station or so. I wasn’t the closest person to her so didn’t immediately offer my seat to her. But after witnessing those closer to her neglect to offer her their seats, I began packing my book and iPod into my bag, ready to show that at least one person on the train would be courteous. Just as I was about to stand up, a woman sitting opposite from me yelled at me to “offer my seat to the poor woman”. She then began to usher the pregnant woman over to my seat and apologise for “my rude behaviour”. An old man to my left then told me how “disrespectful and rude I had just been” (seriously?). Anyway, I got up amidst a swarm of glaring eyes all showing signs of disapproval and the pregnant woman took my seat…...and then began to thank the woman who had seconds ago yelled abuse at me. So as I walked into a corner of the train, embarrassed and angry I wondered to myself why; firstly, I had just experienced this (I was speechless at the time), and secondly, why no one else on the train thought it was their place to stand and let this pregnant woman take their seat (I was probably the youngest on the train at the time, though there were people not much older).

      Obviously there was some meeting before I got on the train where all the passengers decided that if a pregnant woman got on the train, I would be the one who had to give up my seat. Just wish they would have told me first. Well anyway, that’s the end of my rant. Amidst a sea of Gen Xs/ Baby Boomers, I not only got harassed by them, but was looked down upon as a social delinquent. I was probably the only courteous person in the whole carriage that afternoon but received no recognition, and I’m Gen Y. Maybe next time I’ll stay put in my seat and yell at someone for not offering THIERS.

    • TJ says:

      07:09pm | 17/06/10

      You see these are the people that I can not stand. The women who offers your seat and the man who puts his two bobs worth in. How about people worry about offering their own seat before having a go at other people. Crazy world we live in with some very self-absorbed people.

    • Capt says:

      07:27pm | 17/06/10

      Do you even know who Che Guevara is or are you just going off the tee-shirts? 
      Capitalism 1 - Che 0

    • Ian Matthews says:

      08:04pm | 17/06/10

      Che Guevara was a murdering communist bastard. How many of these girlish traits are yours?

    • Alexandra Carlton says:

      09:21pm | 17/06/10

      Good point. Our hair is the same colour though - that was the parallel I was going for.

    • Chris L says:

      10:35pm | 17/06/10

      On the other hand he had a tremendous singing voice.

    • Just a thought says:

      09:59pm | 17/06/10

      It’s pretty easy to avoid the embarrassment of mistaking a big woman for a pregnant one, or an older, fiercely independant person for an elderly person in desperate need of your seat. I’ve found simply catching a person’s eye, smiling and standing up usually does the trick. Those ‘gallantly’ offering thier seat with a dramatic wave of the hand and a loud “Please, sit down” are often trying just as hard to ease their social conscience and demonstrate just how polite they are to those around them. By being more subtle, you can make the right people more comfortable and avoid publicly embarrassing a woman who carries her weight in the stomach.

    • Joel says:

      11:40pm | 17/06/10

      A decent man will get up and offer his seat to a woman, regardless if she’s pregnant or not.

    • Stephanie says:

      09:38am | 18/06/10

      I agree! I have been catching public transport for five years, and I think in that time only three men have offered me their seat. I think it’s such a nice gesture when they do though! A lot of men are probably worried about appearing to be sexist.

      Oh, and I have quite a small waist, so there is no way they offered me their seat just because they thought I was pregnant.

    • DMc says:

      11:59pm | 17/06/10

      To me, the interesting question is not so much about why people do or don’t offer their seat but, rather, why don’t people ask for help when they need it?  I think this is a problem in society in general and asking for a seat on the bus is just about the most trivial example, which makes it all the more perplexing as to why it is not done more often.

    • K says:

      12:21am | 18/06/10

      Who cares if you offer a fat person a seat, thinking they might be pregnant. I’m fat, and have been asked if I was pregnant a couple times (at work, not on a bus), most people don’t mean to be rude (except one woman who asked me if I was pregnant asked “are you sure”  at least 10 times in a row after I replied no, then asked if I was on pills). Being overweight is my own problem, and if I cared more about what people think then I’d be going for a run rather than replying to a blog.

    • Kellie says:

      08:05am | 18/06/10

      God I am so freaking fed up with people saying “It was your choice to get pregnant, deal with the consequences” to justify everything from not giving up a seat on a bus to ooooh just about anything. Fair enough, noone held a gun to my head prior to conception. But perhaps these people would like to give me their contact details so that when my sons grow up and are doctors/rubbish collectors/taxpayers they can be excluded from any services to humanity they provide?

    • Pregnant says:

      08:57am | 18/06/10

      It’s really not so complicated. Just be nice, and observant. People who want or need a seat are usually obvious. Maybe they’re tired, maybe their shoes are hurting, maybe they’re pregnant and want to keep their baby safe by sitting. They usually have a ‘looking for a seat’ face on. Just stand up and say ‘have a seat’, no need to imply they are old or pregnant or anything. If they don’t want it, that’s fine. If they are rude enough to abuse you (I suspect this rarely happens) then that’s their problem and not yours. If you are tired, pregnant, etc, then keep your seat. If I don’t get a seat I will ask the people around me- I don’t want sudden braking to harm my baby.

    • Trav says:

      09:04am | 18/06/10

      So when did gentlemen start deciding it was okay to let a woman stand, regardless of whether pregnant or fat or old ?

    • Jase says:

      11:41am | 18/06/10

      Perhaps around the same time women started demanding to be treated equally?

    • DJ says:

      01:33pm | 18/06/10

      Exactly, the rise in feminism has seen the decline in chivalry and I for one weep for that loss

    • Val says:

      09:43am | 18/06/10

      I have no problem offering my seat to someone else who I think needs it.  This could be an older person, a pregnant woman or a kid on crutches.  That said, there are times when I simply don’t notice that a particular person could use that seat.

      However, people who do feel they need a seat can make the effort to ask people for one…

    • justsmile says:

      10:16am | 18/06/10

      I am all for being polite, but it works both ways just you are pregnant does not mean that it excuses you from following common courtesy. Not hard for pregnant women to hold the door or stand aside so you can get through. Not hard for disabled people to say Thank you if you have held the door and moved aside for them. I think if everyone just stopped and took a moment out of the their self obsessed lives to look around and smile at people life would be so nicer.  just before all you pregnant women start i am also pregnant but just get fed up with people who automatically assume everyone owes them. It works both ways.

    • Trollhunter says:

      10:50am | 18/06/10

      On the train, If you sit in the section of seats at the end of each carriage expect to move for someone, that’s pretty much why they are there.

      If you don’t like it go upper level of the train or if on a bus go right to the back smile

    • Louise says:

      10:51am | 18/06/10

      Recently I had to tell some spotty private school kids to stand up for a pregnant woman on a train - while her husband just stood there fuming that no-one stood up for her.  After ONE of them stood up he turned to me and said “thank you.”  Why he didn’t do it is beyond me.

    • Robbie says:

      11:05am | 18/06/10

      Just because good, proper social behaviour sometimes leads to awkward situations, that doesn’t mean that your chivalry is at fault. For instance, your rushed defence of the unworthy teenager was only in error because it was in haste - had you taken the time to become aware of the circumstances, you would have taken another course of action. 

      In any case, there are more appropriate ways for a barista to (discreetly) reprimand a negligent junior. By standing up for the server - whatever their shortcomings may have been - you reminded the barista that indignation does not justify bad manners.

      Too often, people make excuses for why they can be excepted from acting courteously, politely, and with good conscience. A good person doesn’t think like that. They see what’s right, and they do it. And if, in doing so, they make a mistake, they try to make up for it later. But in our increasingly selfish and amoral world, who wants to be good anymore?

    • BBW says:

      11:11am | 18/06/10

      Im an overweight woman and i am sick of when i catch the bus that noone gives up there seat for me, dont people know that benig overweight is a handicap and its hard for us to stand up on the bus because of the excess weight we carry! im so sick of skinny Gen Y stick thin bimbos who never give up their seats! its called respect for people who have an handicap!

    • DJ says:

      12:09pm | 18/06/10

      Since when did being fat become a disability? seriously? if you don’t like it lose the weight so you don’t have to carry the excess, sheesh

    • Katos says:

      12:20pm | 18/06/10

      Ummm BBW being overweight is not a handicap.

    • BBW says:

      03:58pm | 18/06/10

      I cant lose weight because of medical problems, also who has time to be a gym rat anyway. i am so sick of the way society treats us larger ladies! we should have the seats on the bus also because our weight is a medical condition! also society must treat us with respect and understand that us bigger ladies are attractive also! i am so sick of the skinny thin twig bimbos taking all the hot men for themselves! real men want a girl whos not afraid to eat!

    • N says:

      04:56pm | 18/06/10

      Girlish Che huh? Unless you’ve murdered people and intend to make the streets flow with the blood of you enemies, they’re all way off the mark.

 

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The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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