Yesterday I took the 5:15pm train home from Baltimore. It is, without a doubt, the most crowded train of the day; rarely is there an open seat. I boarded the train about five minutes before departure and found myself in front of a man about my age. As the train departed, I pulled out a presentation that needed editing and went to work. Just as I was getting into the groove - editing a presentation on statistical methodology doesn't come naturally to me - the guy behind me makes a phone call to his brother.
You might ask how/why I know he was talking to his brother... and that would be because he was yelling his entire conversation into the cell phone and across the train.
In the 45 minutes from Baltimore to College Park, MD, I learned that this guy and his girlfriend, Samantha, are living together and just found out she is pregnant. They've decided to keep the baby and get married (in a Jewish ceremony) - both events are happening at the end of the summer. They are planning a bachelorrette party and baby shower for Father's Day weekend. His family is not handling the whole pregnancy very well. Dad is being sarcastic and unsupportive; mom is acting out with passive aggressive behaviors.
As David and I were out running last night, we came up with a few funny/smartass remarks I could have made to this guy as I got off the train (my passive-aggressive way of telling him he was talking too loud):
--"I'll be praying for you, Samantha, and the baby."
--"Planning a wedding while being pregnant must be a real challenge. God bless both of you."
--"Your mom would be disappointed if she knew you were talking about her in public."
Can you think of others?
For all you cell phone users (read: everyone), please think about the volume of your voice and the nature of your conversation when talking in public. Sharing all your personal business on a train full of commuters is not appropriate. Be aware of angry looks others might be giving you when talking on the phone. Those looks most likely are an indication that you are talking too loud or too much in public. And finally, no need to yell into your cell phone. You can speak softly into the receiver and still be heard by the other person.
Bottom-line: be courteous to others.