We all get it: traveling from place to place using public transportation can be pretty draining, and it’s nice when we can make ourselves comfortable during our travels.
But our comfort should not come at the expense of others, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor salesmansellout didn’t get that memo, however, when she demanded that a person move so she and her young child could comfortably sit together on the bus.
Since that person was also in a wheelchair, the Original Poster (OP) was surprised that her friend criticized her for asking them to move.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for asking a disabled person to move seats on the bus for my child?”
The OP asked a disabled person if she could use their bus seat.
“I (32 Female) was on the bus with my five-year-old daughter when we got on at a busy stop.”
“There were no empty seats available, except for one near a person using a wheelchair (40 Male).”
“I asked the person if they could move their wheelchair to another spot so that my daughter and I could sit together, but the person declined, saying that they needed the space for their mobility device.”
The OP was surprised by his reaction.
“I was taken aback and frustrated by this response. I explained to them that my daughter was very young and needed to sit next to me for safety reasons, but they still refused to move.”
“I ended up having to stand for the entire ride with my daughter in tow, which was uncomfortable and tiring for both of us.”
But one of the OP’s friends had another perspective on the situation.
“When I told a friend about what happened, they said I was being insensitive and ableist.”
“They pointed out that the person in the wheelchair had a right to the space they needed and that it was unfair of me to ask them to move.”
“Now, I’m questioning whether or not I was in the wrong for asking the person to move.”
“AITA for asking a disabled person to move seats on the bus for my child?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that the disabled person had no other options, unlike the OP.
“Just FYI, random bus fact. People in wheelchairs stay in their chairs on city busses. The seats in the front of the bus fold up, so wheelchair and scooter chair users can roll on and off easily, but still, keep the aisle clear.”
“Sometimes not all the seats are put up, but people still don’t sit in them to give space to the person in the wheelchair. Agree OP is TA.” – squuidlees
“You think a person in a wheelchair should MOVE THEIR WHEELCHAIR away from themselves so a five-year-old can have a seat?”
“On what planet?”
“A. They need access to their only way of mobility.”
“B. Pop your kid on your lap.”
“C. Sit your kid down and stand.”
“Far out. YTA big time.” – LetsGetsThisPartyOn
“I’m wondering why she was asking the person in a wheelchair and no one else. I assume there were no other seats on the bus because they were full of people, or was this a van or something that only had one seat?”
“YTA.” – Agreeably-Soft
“Your kid can sit on your lap, or you can ask someone else to move.”
“A disabled person literally has ONE spot on the bus they can be.”
“YTA.” – Eadiacara
“I’m so sorry your legs were tired from standing. It must be hard when the person in the wheelchair can sit the whole time. YTA.” – Mr_Anomalistic
“One can only hope OP comes to realize how lucky she is she can even stand and walk without any trouble at all and that the next time there are no seats on the bus, she would just suck it up for a few minutes of the ride.” – NocturneStaccato
“It just doesn’t make sense to ask a person in a wheelchair to move, which would be difficult and possibly even unsafe, instead of asking, I don’t know, LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE?”
“There were SO MANY ways to resolve the issue, and OP went straight to the most insensitive and ableist one.”
“Make the child sit in your lap, ask someone else to give up their seat, wait for the next bus, sit separately… It’s very telling that OP went for the one option that would inconvenience the disabled person when there were many other options available.”
“YTA.” – golden-starss
Others also pointed out how the OP could have planned better for the trip.
“YTA. Just because you have a child doesn’t automatically give you priority over others. If the bus is too crowded, take a cab. Otherwise, you’re going to have to deal with the downside of public transportation.”
“You were frustrated at the response because you’re so accustomed to getting your way. I, too, have a child the same age. Plan better.” – Apprehensive-West545
“You know where I am. It is always the other way around: children sit on the bus, so it’s safer for them when the bus is moving, turning, stopping, or accelerating. I would fall a lot as a kid if I was forced to stand. Maybe our bus drivers are crazy in the way they drive.”
“But then my mom would be standing above me; or if it was me and my sister and my mom. My sister and I would take one sit and my mom the other, but she would stand up if someone in need entered the bus (like an elderly person, one visibly pregnant or disabled).”
“It was common to give up your spot if someone was visibly in distress, like a regular person that looks like they are struggling or close to collapsing. And people actually often stood up to give up a place to sit for a child as well or a parent with a child, but it was voluntary. I have never seen any parent demand it.”
“It’s crazy that people are behaving like OP nowadays. Are there many people that impolite and entitled nowadays?” – Wallaby-Visible
“This is what my mother does if we were on public transport when I was young. If there’s only one available seat, she stands while I sit. OP’s child is five, so I’m giving her leeway on thinking they have to sit together or close to each other.”
“But yeah, you’re gonna have to do that without making a wheelchaired person move for your own convenience. YTA, OP.” – HotShotWriterDude
“You both can stand and just deal. People do it on trains and subways all the time. It seems OP only cares about ‘being tired and exhausted’ when her request is creating a hardship for a disabled person and somehow rationalizes that she might not be TA. It’s mind-blowing how self-absorbed and privileged some people are, especially those with kids.” – Zealousideal_own9621
“I caught buses when my daughter was little, and they do need to be seated on a bus because it stops and starts, and little kids fly away easily in that situation, so often, but I just put her on my lap especially if the bus was crowded. It would NEVER have occurred to me to ask a person in a wheelchair or an old person to move for either of us.” – Kind_Tea_8871
“YTA, OP. Once on a bus trip, when my three-year-old son and I stood, allowing the disabled person to sit, my boy initiated a bubbly conversation, commenting on the man’s ‘chairbicycle,’ as my son then called them.”
“He had admired these ‘veekles’ (another of his words) very much, ever since he’d spent his first birthday, and every day of the week following, at his great-grandmother’s nursing home in a remote city. So many chairbicycles and veekles there!”
“Our bus ride that day seemed over much too soon. Both my son and his new friend became immediately glum-faced when I pulled the bell and began to gather our belongings. My son was also very sorry that his baby brother, deeply asleep in a Snugli carrier, had ‘missed the whole thing!’; and his new friend agreed.”
“I regret that the dense, pushing scrum of departing passengers made it impossible to exchange contact info. I’d have loved to have brought my boys again to visit the charming man we’d just met. But people like us don’t often have business cards on hand.” – AffectionatePoet4586
“Before I became a mom myself, I saw stuff like this post a lot and decided then and there not to be that way.”
“When my kid and I had to take the bus, I folded the stroller up, stuck my kiddo in my lap, and took up as little space as possible because being a parent doesn’t entitle you to encroach on the space of others.”
“It’s not hard to be kind and considerate. I despise people sometimes. YTA.” – justthewayyouare
Shaking their heads, the subReddit couldn’t believe that the OP felt like this was the best option for her and her child. Not only could she have asked someone else for their seat, but she also could have monitored her reaction to the disabled person when they declined.