I know what I want to say in this blog but if it comes out right is another thing lol. Just bear with me on this one.
I also want to know what you guys input is on the subject.
And I also know that about 98% of you reading this would give your seat up on public transport for those who are ill/elderly/ pregnant or in need. I also used to be a person who wouldn’t hesitate to abandon my seat for either anyone who needed it or anyone older than me.
But are we right to expect a seat to be given up?
I am going to give you examples of situations that have recently happened to me.
As you all know I dailysis 3 times a week and rely on transport from the Nhs. Sometimes I need it if I’m feeling poorly or if I’ve had a gruelling session. What I’m experiencing lately is finishing early. This means I’m done by 4. It’s really unheard off to become as frequent as it has been. This also means sitting around for up to 2 hours waiting for transport and a further 2 plus hours on transport. Making my home time average 8pm. 4 hours.
So whilst I’m feeling well I’ve been using the train to either meet Nick at barking or mum at station. Maximum time on both is 90 minutes.
I do struggle using transport and the first time I did I was expecting a seat. I even took of my hat to make it obvious I was ill.
10 seats. Ten full seats. 4 sleeping passengers, a pregnant one, an elderly lady, so I’m down to four. The labourer had been at work all day and was tired and the other three claimed no English and didn’t understand.
So I stood. Slightly annoyed that I had too. I’d been dialysising. I felt ok but felt shitty. But it was my choice to leave and use train. I saved myself 4 hours. Surely I shouldn’t have expected someone to give up a seat for me? Aren’t they entitled to stay sitting sitting?
You see London underground do baby on board badges. pregnant ladies display them with pride and see that as a given opportunity to turf someone our of their seat for them. They don’t do disability awareness badges. I’ve written to them three times. Three times I’ve had a baby on board badge sent to me. no note. No explanation as to why they don’t do them. Just sent me the badge. So does that mean wear that instead?
The next time I finished early I decided to approach it differently. I was sitting on the platform next to a 20 something lady. I decided to take my hat off before I got on the train. The lady then started tutting loudly. I looked at her she heavily sighed and turned away. When the train was approaching we both stood up. Then I saw it. Her magic baby on board badge. As the train slowed we both noticed one spare seat. She shoved me out the way. Jumped on the train so fast and almost pole vaulted herself into the seat and stared at me with a smug look on her face. Needless to say the other 9 people also turned away from me.
So I glanced down the other end of the carriage and caught the eye of a man who was eagerly waving to me to take his seat. I walked past 26 seated people to take up his offer.
Just as I got there he stood up and a teenager went to grab it. I think she needs it more than you do don’t you think? I got death stares for the next 8 stops.
Today is a different story. I went to get a blood test done. When you go in there’s a ticket machine which you take a number from. Mine said 83. The last number called on the screen was 49. 33 in front of me. There’s Small waiting room with 20 chairs in it and about another 8 or so chairs in the corridor plus another small waiting room for a different dept round the corner.
I decided to look in the blood test waiting room and there was one seat free. There was a man in his late 20s waiting and his partner was with him. A young lady of similar age with a child anout 4. All had chairs. The next youngest was me . Average age of everybody else was 55 to late 60s.
We all had a long wait in front of us.
I caught the eye of a few who were staring at my hair. The sympathetic glare reserve usually for cancer patients. I’m used to people assuming this is what I’m going through .
I’m also assuming because we’re all waiting for blood tests we aren’t the fittest bunch of people in a waiting room and are there for a need rather than actually wanting to be or for a day out just because we feel like it. Glancing round you could see there were people with forms and people without. It seems that alot of people take a friend or spouse with them. So about half of these seats had healthier people than the one they came in with in them.
Then in walks a little old lady. It wasn’t really a walk. It was more like a shuffle. She was so unsteady on her feet it looked painful. She took her ticket, 87 then came into the waiting room. You could see it was clearly an effort for her. You could also see she had long wait for her turn. How many people offered her a seat? How many people turned away or suddenly engaged a very serious conversation with the person they were there with? How many people in the room then focused on me? The person with the viassable illness signs but the incorrect assumed illness. 20 seconds this went on for then the elders in the room started tutting. So I offered her my seat. Gratefully she took it.
I became the person I used to be. Giving up my seat rather than expecting to be able to sit there. In this situations when you’re in ticket queue what was wrong with the next ticket number giving up their seat? Or the mum sitting the child on their lap? Or one of the healthier people accompaning someone standing up?
I will never change who I am if I’m well enough to stand I will stand. Especially for little old ladies who are struggling. Even if they aren’t struggling I’d still offer as a sign of respect. But is it so wrong of me just because I have an illness to expect other people to do the same for me?
Lots of love as always