There are few things that cause more worry than who might take the seat next to you on public transit.
Mainly because no two people use the travel time the same way.
Some people like to use it as quiet time, to catch up on work, or just a little bit of meditation.
Others love to get to know the person sitting next to them a little bit better and hope to engage in conversation.
Redditor NandosIsNotCheeky specifically booked the quiet car on a recent train ride so she could work in peace.
Unfortunately for the original poster (OP), her seat companion decided it was a good time to binge one of his favorite shows.
Without using headphones.
Thankfully, the OP came up with what she felt was the perfect solution to this problem.
But after being scolded by her friend, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for invading someone’s personal space?”
The OP explained why her friend did not approve of the way she handled an obnoxious train passenger.
“I (33 F[emale]) live in the UK.”
‘We have quiet sections on trains, and I booked my ticket specifically, so I could do work on a table in the quiet section on my laptop.”
‘My friend Lea (34 F[emale]) sat opposite me.”
“A man (40s/50s) was sat next to me and about 15 minutes into the journey, starts watching ‘Friends’ out loud on his iPad.”
“I put my headphones in, but it was loud enough that I could still hear it.”
“My friend and the person sat next to her were just giving him dirty looks, but he was oblivious and munching away on his sandwich.”
“So I said: ‘excuse me, would you mind turning that down just a little bit, please?'”
“He said no.”
“Literally one word, no.”
“Then I mentioned that it was the quiet section of the train, and he laughed at me and said, ‘are you go gonna tell on me?'”
“It was so bizarre and annoying, but my friend just gestured for me to stay calm and leave it. So I closed my laptop and started watching with him. And commenting.
“’Omg, I love this bit!”
“’Watch the next part. It’s soooooo funny’.”
“’Oh, is this the one where X happens?’”
“I’m not a massive ‘Friends’ fan, but I know enough to get by.”
“He didn’t respond, just kept giving me irritated looks, but I kept going.”
“He moved the iPad from the table to his lap without turning the volume lower at any point.”
“So I just carried on peering over his shoulder and commenting.”
“He finally slammed the iPad case shut, grabbed his backpack, and walked off, presumably to find another seat on the train.”
“I opened my laptop and carried on working.”
“After we got off, Lea said I should’ve just left it and not reacted to him, but it was a 4hr journey, and I had a lot to do.”
“I paid extra to get a table seat, that too in the quiet section.”
“She said I could have offered him my headphones.”
“Maybe if they were over-ear, but they’re in-ear, and he’s a stranger, so… no.”
“She said I kind of invaded his personal space – I didn’t touch him or move from the confines of my seat at any point, and she was like no, but watching someone’s iPad is an a**hole move.”
“We’re not in a fight, just a lighthearted debate on whether AITA here for how I went about it?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for the way she treated her fellow passenger.
Everyone agreed that the OP did not invade the man’s personal space and felt that if he was comfortable watching the show on the train without his headphones, then he shouldn’t have minded if other people would watch with him.
“And Lea needs to stop being such a doormat.”
“I do wish the guards would enforce the Quiet Zones, but the a**holish reaction of the guy you encountered does make me realize why they don’t want to get involved; their job is bad enough already.”- justrelsstuff
“He wanted ‘Friends,’ he got ‘a friend.'”- Garamon7
“NTA at all.”
“He chose to make watching his tv show a public activity.”
“In doing so, he opened himself up to public participation.”- imothro
“He lacked basic manners. You just commented on the show he so graciously put on for EVERYONE to hear.”- AdditionalFondant304
“What you did was perfect.”
“You didn’t scream or yell.”
“He basically invited everyone to watch by forcing everybody to listen.”- Lia_Delphine
“Lea is, though, just as much as that annoying guy. If she had aimed her comments at the guy as forcefully as she did to you, he probably wouldn’t have been so rude (and back up from the other people at your table would have been nice!)”
“I find typically people who are like Lea aim their annoyance at friends because it’s easier and safer than aiming it at strangers. She needs to build up her confidence a bit more and stop being a pushover.”
“I don’t think she’s mad at you. She’s mad at the rude guy and probably a little mad at herself for not having the courage and fortitude you have. Let her know you won’t stand being her soundboard when she is annoyed she couldn’t handle a situation as well as you did.”
“Definitely don’t listen to her, or you will both end up meek little mice instead of a mouse and a lion lol.”- Mommagrumps
“I actually think you found the perfect solution to an obnoxious passenger that wouldn’t follow the rules!”
“Your commentary on friends was hilarious!”- Kellymargaret
“And you dealt with it perfectly.”
“He invaded YOUR space with noise.”
“He didn’t like you doing the same.”
“He basically f*cked around and found out.”
“Not sure why Lea is on his side, tbh.”- Holiday_Cat_7284
“So your friend is happy for this man to invade your personal space but thought you were a d*ck for finding a (genius) gloriously passive way of shutting him up and getting rid of it?”
“Your friend is a pushover.”- ShallWeStartThen
“Sorry, but the quiet car is a sacred space.”- I_Like_Butts69420
“Matching AH with Petty is the absolute perfect way to deal with these types.”
“I’m a little concerned with how much of a pushover your friend is, though.”- Somnambulating_Sloth
“The stranger was absolutely the AH here.”
“Who gets into a quiet car and then doesn’t wear headphones?’
‘A total AH, that’s who.”
“Because he started the whole thing with his AH behavior and then added to it by refusing to do anything about it when you asked nicely, you were justified in doing that to ‘force’ him to move.”
‘Presumably to a seat that’s not in a quiet car.”- bmyst70
“He was forcing an audience. You simply accepted the invitation in a hilarious way!”
“Love it, totally going to remember this tactic!”- dart1126
“I LOVE YOU LMAO.”
“You paid extra for a quiet ride to get work done.”
“He literally broke the ‘rules’. The quiet sections are, would you believe it, MEANT TO BE QUIET.”-Coy_Koi9
“You’re a champion, and that bloke is a wanker who got the nicest possible version of what he deserved.”
“Can’t stand these brats who won’t use headphones in a shared space.”
‘I know it’s not the point, different strokes for different folks, blah blah, but to me, these selfish bozos always seem to have a taste as sh*tty as their manners.”- sol_lilja
“You did great.”
“There is no excuse for him to play audio without headphones in any section of the train, much less the quiet section.”
“The way he responded to your request shows that he is probably a bully.”
“I bet the other passengers were cheering you on, silently, because it’s a quiet carriage.”-RainbowDMacGyver
“Listening to devices by a speaker in public is super rude and obnoxious.”- Sust-fin
“I would have gotten the attending person to notice and got him kicked off.”
“He should have gotten on a different part of the train.”
‘Your friend needs to grow a backbone because if they let people walk all over them, then they are going to be sad in life.”
“NTA he was though.”- NiteGrimwood
It’s somewhat ironic that this situation could have probably been resolved if both the OP and her fellow passenger had been a little more friendly.
But if this man didn’t mind everyone else listening to what he was watching, then he shouldn’t have had a problem with others joining in on watching it either.
Hopefully, he’ll remember to pack his headphones next time.
But we applaud your quick thinking, OP.