Public transportation can be tough. From long commutes to overcrowded buses and subways, we go through a lot to make it to and from our locations.
This can also include giving up a seat we had to someone in need, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Throwaway273489 understood that, but she was reluctant to follow the unwritten rule after an elderly woman was especially rude to her.
After the woman criticized her for it, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should feel guilty for keeping her seat.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not giving my subway seat to an elderly woman?”
The OP regularly had a long commute.
“I (27 [Female]) live at the end of a subway line. My commute each way is about 50 mins long.”
“Sometimes I fall asleep on the way home and not worry about missing my stop because I’m the last stop.”
The OP woke to a confrontation recently.
“I had a really exhausting day today so I fell asleep during my commute home.”
“I was sitting in a regular seat. Not a reserved seat for the elderly, disabled, and etc.”
“I woke up to an elderly woman yelling at me in my face in the second language I speak.”
“Neither of us are White, so I guess she just assumed I speak her language?”
“I was also pretty confused at first because I was literally asleep and was woken up by this loud yelling.”
“It took me a minute to register and understand what she was saying.”
“She was yelling repeatedly, ‘HEY YOU! GET UP, D**N IT! GIVE ME YOUR D**N SEAT! GIVE ME YOUR SEAT SO I CAN SIT!'”
“The subway cart was not crowded, but every seat was taken.”
“Once I understood what she was saying, I was pretty angry.”
“I usually have no problem giving my seat up to the elderly or women who are pregnant or parents traveling with small children. I always offer when I see someone more in need of a seat.”
“But this elderly woman literally woke me up by yelling at me using less than polite language.”
The OP stood up for herself instead.
“So out of anger, I just pretended I didn’t understand what she was saying.”
“I asked her in English, ‘What do you need? What are you saying?'”
“Once she heard me speak English, she stopped yelling, muttered, ‘God d**n these kids,’ and just stood there. She got off 3 stops later.”
“It’s been bothering me because I feel like should have given her my seat. She looked about 60 something. But she was yelling and I got angry.”
“I also think she targeted me specifically because she (correctly) assumed we are of the same ethnicity and spoke the same language. Everyone else in the car was White. We looked to be the only foreigners. I live in a predominately White country.”
Fellow Redditors wrote in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were appalled by the elderly woman’s behavior.
“I’ve been on the recieving end of that behaviour before. I travel a lot from one end of the country to the other (small country), and I almost always fall asleep instantly. More than once I’ve been woken up by people yelling and demanding my seat.”
“I think a sleeping young person is an easy target because the confusion of being woken up rudely creates a panic and will make you move before you start to question why (at least i did the first time it happened, but not anymore).” – mylittleidiot
“She is either mentally unstable or feels entitled to your seat. Yelling someone awake, a stranger no less, is a very strange thing to do. Definitely NTA” – Kincaiden
“I don’t get how older people think they are entitled to be an *** to younger people just because they lived longer. I had the same experience as OP but the difference is i put my earphone on and I didnt talk back, just pretended going back to sleep as i turned the music higher. But when I saw a pregnant woman came in, I gave up my seat right away to her in front of that standing old woman. TA doesn’t deserve my kindness” – Minants
Others agreed and said a little kindness would have gone a long way.
“NTA, I would have done exactly what you did. Can’t stand entitled people, regardless of age.” – v2den
“In my opinion, NTA. She woke you up, yelling at you to get up and move. To me, she is very much TA. Just because she’s elderly, it doesn’t automatically entitle her to a seat.”
“In my books, respect is earned, not given. If I was woken by someone and asked politely, ‘please, I have awful joints, may I use your seat even just for 5 minutes?’ I’d be much more likely to offer up my seat, but to be demanded I get up, nah sorry, I’m going to sit in this seat of out spite now.”
“Also you were clearly exhausted, literally asleep. She could’ve asked someone else for their seat? Odd! But yeah, to me, NTA!” – [deleted]
“I have a pretty similar cutoff with people. I’m a pleaser and want to be helpful, there’s not a lot i won’t do to be helpful. But if someone comes at me already hostile, or feels entitled to something i don’t owe them or is otherwise rude, I don’t even feel I owe them an answer.”
“If you need something from somebody, you do not deserve that thing if you can’t even bother to at least try the polite route first. No one owes you anything, but a lot of people are willing to give it anyways. All you have to do is not go out of your way to be an entitled s**t.” – Cumberd**k
A few simply confirmed the OP was not wrong to keep her seat.
“NTA you were asleep and didn’t see her, but I think its weird she choose to yell at you since there are a lot more seats and people to yell at?” – SnooBananas5143
“The fact that you didn’t yell in her language as she walked off the bus, ‘Hope your day gets better, you cranky old hag,’ says a lot about your restraint. NTA. Respect your elders when they respect you.” – karmagrl31276
Though the OP felt guilty after this happened, the subReddit didn’t see a reason for the OP to feel that way. Rather, the elderly woman who woke her was at fault for solely approaching her, and in such a manner. Like some pointed out, niceness would have gone a long way in a situation like this one.