Protest America

Seeing a protest on TV is much different than experiencing one as it goes on around your workplace.

-Metro skills
—getting in the metro system
—getting off the escolator
—getting out of the metro system
—scooting over
—-seat vigalante
—transfer train tricks
-How to protest
—Not wearing flags of other countries
—having remedial metro skills
—taco salad
Before I reflect on the protests around here I would like to take a moment and comment on what I have learned in my 6 months of daily metro commuting.

There are two basic metro skills that are required.

The most basic of which is how to get through the turnstiles/gates that every metro rider must go through when entering and exiting the system. I realize it may not be the most straight forward process, but only because there are 2 types of cards. Metro tries to make this as obvious as possible. The cardboard cards go in the slot. They have a big arrow to show you how. The slot is right there in the front. There is also a plastic RFID card that you must touch to the gate – there is a picture of the RFID card on the receiver so you can match. Once you get past this you should be good.

Skill number the two: How to ride an escalator. Yeah, there is “walk right, stand left,” but that is a courtesy more than a skill. The real skill is getting off. When you get off an escalator you should resume walking and exit the general getting off the escalator area. No matter what you see. You do not have to walk on the escalator, it does that for you. But when it is ends you must resume walking. I recommend you resume in the same manner that you used to get on it in the first place.

I have developed my own tips and tricks. Lets look at an example. From my quiet observation I have figured out how to transfer trains that use the same platform. This only works on same-platform transfers, which are extra tricky because when you must perform one of these conditions are probably less than ideal. I call this tip: Riding the blue line to Roslyn because the orange line is way too crowed to consider getting on. Here’s how it works:

• Ignore that crowed Orange line train, wait for the next blue line
• Board the blue line train when he arrives, enjoy sitting in your seat.
• When the train approaches Roslyn (the last transfer point to the orange line) try to be the last one off the train.
• Make sure you get off the car at the center door.
• Once you exit the train side step once and press up next to the train.
• Have fun getting shoved as people crowd around you when boarding (this is a necessary evil)
• As the train leaves don’t move in any direction more than one step.
• When the Orange line arrives you should be situated right next to a middle of the car door, this is good, more people can board in the middle doors (as you get on half go right, half go left and you meet the people form the end doors and stop).
• Enjoy your slightly less crowded ride.

There are certain courtesies that really need to be in place in a civilized mass transit system. Many people overlook these and instead revert a selfish approach. The best way to test a person would be the seat-scoot. When you are riding on the outer seat and the person next to you vacates their seat you are allowed to retain a seat, but should scoot over to the inside seat. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if there are no standing riders, but for the most part the lack of scoot would be akin to shouting “I’m a big fat selfish jerk” real loud.

As a person who commonly watches as completely capable fully grown men refuse to scoot, I see the need for seat vigilantes. The attack of the seat vigilante is simple: If you won’t scoot over the SV will come over and ask to sit next to you. SV’s will eagerly ignore any other open seats (I’m assuming the other standing people would like them, and they don’t want to deal with the anti-scoot-jerk) . Climb over you and spread out comfortably.

You can’t become a seat vigilante and just go around haphazardly sitting, one must carefully observe the situation and determine if someone needs to be taught a lesson. Possible exceptions would be people with lots of luggage or someone in a full body cast.


I have no political leanings on the immigration policies that were being protested.

With that said