David, a young software engineer who commutes to work by train, faces judgment and ostracization from fellow passengers after declining to carry an elderly woman’s bags due to an important meeting, leading him to question whether he should sacrifice his own priorities to accommodate others.
He Enjoys Listening to Music
In a moderately sized American city, a young software engineer named David rides the train to and from work every day, preferring to listen to music and avoid talking to people, especially in the early morning, as he has a lot of responsibility at work and cannot afford to mess up.
He Was the Only Man
However, one day, an elderly woman and a young man carrying multiple bags got on the train, and when the man left, the woman started talking loudly about needing someone to carry her bags to a bank near a certain stop, causing everyone to look at David, who was the only man on the train.
He Politely Declined
Despite politely declining and explaining that he had an important meeting with a client in a different time zone, David was met with glares and whispers from the other passengers. The train driver informed him that he could only wait for five minutes before having to leave, meaning that David would have to walk the woman to the bank and wait for a new train, which could take a while, causing him to miss his meeting.
He Felt Judged
Although another woman eventually offered to carry the woman’s bags, they were not even down the ramp by the time the train left, and David was left feeling ostracized and judged by the other passengers.
An Uncomfortable Remaining Journey
David was faced with continued glares and whispers about him for the rest of the train ride and in the days that followed, as it was a regular journey for most of the commuters, which caused him to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome on the train.
His Mother Didn’t Agree
David confided in his mother about the situation, who suggested that he should have shown more respect for his elders and carried the woman’s bags to at least shut her up.
Straight to The Internet
David was left questioning whether he should have to sacrifice his own responsibilities and priorities to accommodate others and whether he should be judged and ostracized for making a decision that was best for him. For this reason David decided to ask for advice on a popular internet forum.
The Internet Responds
One person says, “When there are certain things I can’t do physically, I make a plan and get help. I don’t put myself in situations where I’ll be helpless and reliant on the kindness of a stranger. You can’t depend on that, and that fact would drive me batty if I were her, I’d be so anxious on those train rides. Who knows, though. Maybe she was unintentionally stranded or something despite her plans. Just like I don’t know her story, those other folks don’t know yours, and they should have minded their own business! You did what you had to do. It sucks. A lot of folks on the train are going to/from jobs/places they need to be at certain times though and can’t spare the time.”
A Further Response
Another person writes, “If she has money for all those groceries, then she can afford an Uber or cab every couple weeks or whatever. It is nobody’s fault that a woman goes around accosting strangers, expecting them to take an hour + out of their day to cater to her. It’s just weaponized incompetence at its worst.”
A Final Comment
A third person says, “What if he loses his job by assisting the old lady? Moreover, the entitled behavior of the old lady, she knows she can’t lift the bags – she should have had a plan instead of expecting some stranger to help her. She could have Task Rabbit for help, Uber or taxi to the location she was going, or had the friend who helped bring the bags on the train go the entire way – but nope. She felt it was completely okay to demand a random stranger help her with her bags for at least 15-minute walk.”
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