Five steps towards a comfortable commute

If you commute to work via public transport like I do, you’ll appreciate it when you find you have two seats to yourself rather than one. This isn’t always possible, especially when you get a busy train or bus, but if your vehicle is only moderately busy, being that not every seat is filled, then I have formulated a five step plan on how to increase your chances of getting two seats to yourself.

The problem I find isn’t with people who are fat or smelly1 but even with someone like me2 fitting two of me into two seats on my coach is uncomfortable. The seats are just too damn small. To get enough leg room, you must use up the leg space of the other seat, and to be able to sit comfortable, one person must squeeze their shoulders into their body.

The five step plan

  1. Sit on the outside seat. This is the obvious one, people are less likely to ask you to move over if there is someone else sitting on the inside seat near you.
  2. Put all your stuff on the other seat. People will see you have lots of stuff with you, and it will likely create a hassle for you to remove it all, so they are less likely to ask you to.
  3. Look down and avoid eye contact. Eye contact is one of the worst things you can do, if you lock eye contact with someone, this massively increases the chances of them asking to sit next to you.
  4. Sit close to the entrance. The closer you are to the entrance, the less likely you are to be asked to move over or vacate the seat next to you. People are going to keep going down in the vain attempt to find two vacant seats.
  5. Pretend to be asleep. This one is the killer one, unless the seat next to you is the last one, people are highly unlikely to wake you up to get that seat. I recommend practicing your “sleeping face” in front of a video camera. Make sure your lip is slightly ajar, otherwise you’ll just look like you have your eyes closed, and don’t “wake up” until you are sure that everyone has passed you.

  1. Obviously they are considerations too, but this problem is far less common and would have much less of an impact were it not for the size of the seats.
  2. I don’t think you’ll find anyone who would call me “broad” or “large”.
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