Originally Posted: 2005-12-02 1:22pm

the the person I offended on the metro this morning

Dear Sir or ma’am,
I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to apologize for the misunderstanding that we had this morning. In case you have forgotten I’ll recap the situation.

Me: Tall guy sitting in the seat near the door of the metro this morning, Orange line at roughly 7:15. I was zoning out listening to some music and basically trying to remain blissfully unaware of the rest of the world. I hate riding the metro.

You: Got on around L’enfant Plaza carrying a …well it looked like a hefty sack to me but maybe it was something else. I’m not really up on current fashion…

Our interaction began when you made it quite clear that you were going to sit down. Let me say that for the next few seconds my actions were ruled completely by my analytical mind set, and were in no way meant to convey and deeper meanings. Upon coming out of my coma like daze and realizing that you had every intention of backing into the seat next to me, my first response was to initiate what the military refers to as Operational Risk Management(ORM). Which went something like this:
Step 1: Assess the situation
• There are two seats.
• Total estimated available space for occupation (4ft)
• Subject A(me) 6’0, 200lbs, estimated spatial occupation (2’3) with possible reduction to (1’11)
• Subject B(you) 5’5 265lbs, estimated spatial occupation (3’6)
• Total spatial occupation :A+B= (5’5 – 5’9)
• Final Calculation Available Space – Minimal spatial occupation = -1ft 5 inches

Step 2: Predict potential outcome
• I was going to be very uncomfortable for the rest of the ride
• You would see that the physical limitations of the available space was insufficient for occupation and remain standing
• Verbal confrontation
These were the potential outcomes that I determined most likely. Let me just say that I don’t like strangers touching me. It was nothing against you so option 1 was not one I liked. Let me also say that while I truly enjoy almost any verbal confrontation I’ve ever gotten into, it was a little early and crowded. I like my mornings quite.

Step 3:
Determine possible solutions
• Block the seat
• Cowboy up and deal
• Stand up
Well blocking the seat would have been rude and I’m usually quite well mannered so option 1 was out. Broke back mountain has really killed this expression for me so I’ll probably never “cowboy up” ever again. And I, as I’ve said previously stated am not overly fond of prolonged contact with total strangers. This left stand up as the most promising option.
Step 4 : Implement a Solution
• Easy enough I stood up.
Step 5 : Assess the outcome
• You sat down and as my calculations had suggested the space that was left after you established occupation was insufficient without significant structural realignment to co-occupy that space.

That occurred within about a 5 second time frame. I was now standing and you were sitting. I didn’t expect thanks or anything but what came next I found just a little inappropriate. You glared at me and none to subtly said “Yea Whatever”. Now I don’t expect gratitude but I don’t accept attitude. I was doing you a favor here. Apparently you took my moving as some sign that I didn’t want to sit next to you. You could have just accepted the gesture. You looked a little winded anyway and looked like you needed to have a seat for a sec, but no. So what was the result of this interaction? We locked eyes for a couple seconds then you spend the rest of the ride staring at my shoes and I was staring at you with a “Say something else” gaze. This went on for some 5 minutes before we reached my stop and I departed.
But I just wanted to clarify my intentions and apologize. Judging by all the squirming and the way you took a scientific interest in the floor of that train I can only assume that your morning commute wasn’t as pleasant as it could have been. Probably my fault. Sorry…
Yours truly,
The guy leaning on the Pole

post id: 115291864

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