Wednesday, 28 December 2016

First Class tickets, and disability.

Sometimes I truly envy people with an obvious disability. That's not a very PC thing to say, but say it I have.

Noone is gonna question a person in  a wheelchair about taking up more room at a cafe than anyone else, or get up 'em because they make an able bodied person's passage through a shopping centre more difficult.

Noone is gonna kick out at the walking frame of an old person struggling by or push an old person with a cane out of the way to get somewhere faster.

Noone is gonna rouse to much on a bald headed sick looking fella whose weight lose is evident by the badly sagging pants and the gaunt cheek bones, when they stop to chunder in the rubbish bin, or on the footpath.

But today's social media circus has seen fit to turn it's ire onto an older woman on a train in the UK who didn't fancy sitting next to a woman with a kid strapped to her chest.

Yep things really kicked off. Behind their little screens people have called this older woman all manner of mean stuff. I truly hope she is not on Facebook and so has not seen the awful comments.

For full disclosure after having watched the video, the older woman was in the first class section of the train having paid a premium for the ticket. The mother in question asked to sit down, the older woman was very reluctant to move her bags off the chair. Words were exchanged. The crowd became hostile. There might have been a train strike or there might have been a train broken down so this train was more crowded than normal. People shouted that anyone could sit anywhere. I don't know if this is true.

Anyway as I watched, I felt anxiety rise. The woman with the baby plonked herself down and now the older woman was wedged in with no means of escape. And I just know that I would not have been able to sit there. I would have had to gather my stuff and even though I had paid for the ticket that this woman had not paid for, I would have had to stand up. And so then I would have been, out of the house for the first time in a week, standing there, feeling like shit because I had been out all day with the leukeamia mutants raging, listening to the rants of the people in the carriage who clearly think that being a mother somehow entitles you to whatever you fancy for free.

Yep I felt for the older woman.

She could of course just have been a crotchety old thing. Who knows, unless you have walked a mile in her shoes.

The comments were I suppose predictably anti old lady, anti first class ticketing, pro mother, pro young person.

I could not help myself. I figured this was a reasoned mild response, just my opinion which I thought was my right.

Sue Elliott I wonder how pushing her way into a first class seat on a train is any different to sneaking into first class on a plane. If she didn't have the correct ticket, she needed to move on.
LikeReply2519 hrs

Here follows is what was fired back at me by complete strangers.

Michelle Kirby There was no first class or standard class, it was during the rail strike and trains were that crowded you could just sit anywhere, which she calmly explains several times and has backed up by another passenger
LikeReply2519 hrs
Deborah May Did you not watch the video before commenting?

It was clearly during a strike and it's actually explained in the video by several people.
LikeReply1818 hrs
Tracy Keown In this world there should be no 'class' divide! Just because you can afford a ticket, doesn't mean you deserve it or are better than anyone else!
Had she bought a 'first class' ticket, and her baby had started screaming, then what?? Baby didn't have a 'first class' crying permit!!! ...See more
LikeReply1018 hrsEdit
Sharon Christensen If i had bought a 2nd class ticket and could not find a seat in 2nd then I would find one in 1st - baby or no baby - I've bought a ticket and the Train should have seating.
LikeReply1418 hrs
Charlotte Hickson It's actually policy by the rail company that women with infants are allowed to sit in a first class seat if no other seats are available.
LikeReply2518 hrs
Megan Cox Loveless There was a train strike on - she could sit where she liked!
LikeReply317 hrs
Angel Peterson Perhaps you should read the story first
LikeReply516 hrs
Julie Anne Yet another small minded biggot, just like the old bag in the video. 😡
LikeReply916 hrs
Sheila Irene Bell You need to move on love clearly you didn't read the FULL story 😡😡😡😡😡
LikeReply116 hrs
Gillian Coyle She didn't 'push her way' anywhere Sue. Did you even bother to watch the video or learn the facts before showing yourself up to be as unforgiving as the old bag on the train?
LikeReply1015 hrs
John Theodorakakis Booooom!!!
LikeReply113 hrs
LikeReply113 hrs
Jonathan Abrahams John Theodorakakis you're always finding me getting into it with someone on FB...lmfaoLikeReply113 hrs
John Theodorakakis Birds of a feather as they say J ... but more importantly - how bout dem cowboys !!!
LikeReply13 hrs
Jonathan Abrahams How bout them cowboys!! Dak and Zeek show. And u now have another QB
LikeReply213 hrs
Ashlie Alexander You are the worst kind of people
LikeReply113 hrs
Ayana Harry You my friend is EXACTLY what is wrong with the world. If you actually read or listened to the video you would not make such an ignorant statement, or maybe you would just find a way to justify it.
LikeReply613 hrs
Sophie Moncaster Try watching and listening before passing comment
LikeReply313 hrs
Hayley McKenna Well you are just as lovely as the old bag on the train. What is wrong with you? Would you deny a frail old woman/man the seat also. Plus as it is explained...rail strike...priority seating etc. Get a grip we are all people just trying to get on!
LikeReply212 hrs
Luis Perez Sue Elliott , I see you cut from the same bigoted cloth as that lady. I also se you didnt bother reading or watching the video.
LikeReply110 hrs
Carrie Baer She actually didn't push her way into a first class seat if you actually listen to the video Sue Elliott you would've seen heard the other women say that because the train workers are on strike there is no designated seat
LikeReply29 hrs

So here's what I wrote in reply to the many.

Sue Elliott And all this, too often poorly phrased vitriol, is why the people who agreed with me were wise enough not to comment. Having carried babies I am surprised that people now seem to believe that MOTHERS fall into the DISABLED category. Being so rude and vehement about another's opinion is by definition BIGOTED. Merely politely stating my opinion is not.LikeReply1
Danielle Godfrey Sue Elliott, it's a mother with a baby, not an ice addict. The baby was placid. Who cares where anyone sits. It's just a seat. I struggled with joint pain, sciatica and carpal tunnel while carrying my babies around, making it difficult to travel on public transport but it wasn't ailments that were visible. You have no idea who this woman is nor does that toxic old lady. I hope you haven't passed your narrow mindedness onto another generation for the world to deal with. And in respect to the comment about people who agree with you keeping quiet, you don't think that perhaps there are no comments because nobody agrees with you. It's so much easier to be kind to people than so negative and righteous. You might like to try it someday. The positive endorphins might surprise you 😊
LikeReply23 mins
Sue Elliott Danielle Godfrey, Even though you have suffered so terribly from invisible ailments, you assume that the older woman is healthy and just being a nuisance. You have no idea about her, but have taken 'sides' with the 'mother'. At least 25 people have read my comment and liked it, and even though I am of the older generation I believe they might have done that because they agreed with what was said. Your opinion of me and what I think is of no consequence to me at all. Like all social media tantrums and bullying, your criticism is thrown from behind closed doors hidden by a veil of anonymity. Perhaps people should be as thoughtful when typing a comment as they would be in person? Perhaps that would be real KINDNESS.
LikeReply6 mins
Sue Elliott Danielle Godfrey, I am pleased to see that you do draw the line somewhere. 
Obviously sitting next to an Ice Addict would be beyond your pail.

What was written about me makes me look like a saint compared to what was written about the older lady on the train.

And this sadly is not where it ended. 

It is still raging.

Oh Well.