Today I have mostly been noticing how people will not sit down in a seat on the tube. Someone will get off at a stop and about 7 or 8 people will eye up the seat but no one will sit down in it. I attribute this to all these people being English or having lived in England far too long. It’s a kind of politeness that isn’t really people being polite, it’s people just not wanting to feel guilty for having taken a seat. It’s the exact opposite of what I’ve described before when people will position themselves really close to seats so they can get them.
You can see these people from a mile off, the ones who huddle around the doors peaking in for a clue as to which would be the most profitable way to run. I can only imagine they’re bankers or go getters, not very bright but with the kind of enthusiasm and determination needed in our cut throat world to get ahead. These are not the people who get guilty for taking a seat that someone else might be better off with. When these guilty ridden people somehow manage to occupy the space besides the seats you get this guilty standoff until either another seat becomes available, at which point both seats will usually become occupied, or, a go getter jumps in and steals the seat leaving all the sheepish commuters a bit annoyed at their lack of haste.