When People Barge On Before Others Get Off

It's Good Manners 101 stuff: don't barge onto a train or into a lift until the people already on board get a chance to exit. Yet this simple courtesy is often neglected. Are you noticing more people barging impatiently, and how do you deal with it?

Picture by CitySider

I put this question to our readers on Facebook and Twitter, and got some interesting responses. There was broad agreement that this kind of rudeness appeared to be on the rise, though it's a trend that's hard to statistically quantify.

When it comes to dealing with straight-to-the-door bargers, the most popular suggestion was to shamelessly elbow anyone who didn't stand aside. As Mario put it:

If I happen to be trying to get off the train I get my elbows ready!

If you don't favour physical intervention, it can still be worth calling people out on their behaviour, as Aeryn suggests:

Have definitely noticed. I just say 'excuse me' very loudly so they get the point.

On Facebook, Heather advised combining both tactics:

I "accidentally" run into them with my pram, and then explain (so the offender can hear) to my kids: "See, that's why we need to wait until everyone is off the lift before we get on. No one wants to get run over."

In the lift context, there's also potential to punish offenders, as David explains:

Press every button and walk out.

What tactics do you use to deal with this nuisance? Tell us in the comments.


    I hate the ones that don't barge on, but crowd all around the train doors so there is no space for anyone to get out. Sometimes I just wish it was legal to punch people in the face if they are stupid......

      thing is though, you have to be willing to take it as well as give it.

      i wear my motorcycle gloves (reinforced kevlar + carbon fibre) everywhere i go now. I tried these things out on a concrete column the other day and i chipped off the concrete, and only got a few scrapes on the gloves.

      so if someone tried to punch me for something, i am pretty confident that i can take them down.

        you.. my friend,.. need help

          i am quite happy with who i am thank you.

            You have issues that need to be addressed by a mental healthcare professional.

            No sane person wares motorcycle gloves everywhere they go, nor do they punch concrete walls.

              i punched the wall to see how tough the gloves were!! if i am going to be riding around on a bike i need to know i will be protected if i fall off.

              secondly, this statement "You have issues that need to be addressed by a mental healthcare professional." is littered with arrogance - what says you know what is best? why am I the one with 'issues'?

              Maybe i am the sane one and you are the one with issues?

              Do you also tell religious people that they are crazy, and need to see mental heath specialists?

              what about people who dont believe in god, are they crazy too?

              what about people are different to you, maybe they are crazy as well.

              and suggesting that a 'mental health specialist' could 'help' me assumes they have the authority on being human. No one has that authority, being human is being human; you can take the averages of behaviour as 'normal' but all you are doing is removing the defining characteristics from 'humans'.

                Try out your new gloves on a concrete wall? Great idea!
                Next you should smash your helmet against the same wall to see how tough it is... You know, just to make sure its safe before you ride with it on your head.

                Hopefully you were able to pick up on the sarcasm in that, if not you should totally smash your helmet against a concrete wall without further delay.

                  there is a big difference between gloves and a helmet. you are not a bike rider so i dont expect you to understand, but the other bikers out there would.

                  speak to me when you join the club (of having had an accident) and you will want to know what you are riding around in is good gear.

                Everyone is a little crazy, the difference is how well you hide it.

                I'm just going to have a guess that you've probably fallen off your bike once too many times. Normal people don't wear their motorbike gloves everywhere they go, I'm interested in knowing if you really do that or not.

                I mean where do you draw the line? Do you go to the toilet in them? The shower? McDonalds? Cinema?

                  true that everyone is crazy - that was my point. I have no issues being who i am and have no desire to hide it from others - i mean, why would i want someone to like me for who i am not?

                  i would rather have a few true friends (which i do) then many fake ones. My girl also knows who i am, and while she doesnt like everything, she still loves me for me.

                  and i should clarify, i dont wear my gloves "everywhere" - what i meant was that i wear them to work (and then take them off). On the way home i put them on again.

                  if i am going to dinner with the missus then i dont wear them, but i always have something hidden away within reach just incase some punk kids try anything - which has happened a few times :(

                  and i have only fallen off 2 times.

        Seriously WSDK_11...you need professional help if you act this way; have you thought what may happen to you if you attempted to do this to anyone? Most likely you would come out second best and be sued for assault. Believe me mate...I've spent 8 months in Afghanistan with 4RAR and I've seen idiots instigating violence...don't even think about it!

          it is for self defence - not to instigate anything.

          I always would try and talk myself out of a fight, but if someone is swiping for my girl's bag im going to stop it.

          also, i have been doing Taekwondo (ITF) for 13 years and am not worried about coming off second best.

            Do you also believe that people need weapons ie guns for self defence?

              No, i believe that guns and knives should be very hard to get your hands on - people (like me) can loose their cool in the heat of the moment and bad things can happen.

              however anyone can get a screw driver......besides the point?

              Anyway, i come from a time where the police would take the trouble makers out the back and give them a good beating when they got out of line, thus it didnt happen often. Now days everything has to be so careful around everyone else in case you 'offend them', that the cops are soft and the riff raff have gotten out of control.

              point being, i dont mind slapping some idiots around to teach them a lesson as long as no knives or guns are involved.

              what do you think?

                I think you might have an anger management issue.

                  yea i do

                "Anyway, i come from a time where the police would take the trouble makers out the back and give them a good beating when they got out of line, thus it didnt happen often. Now days everything has to be so careful around everyone else in case you ‘offend them’, that the cops are soft and the riff raff have gotten out of control."

                Hahaha, you've got to be trolling at this point.

                ... If not, please seek help.

        Don't worry wsDK_II, men in white coats with a body harness will soon come and take you to a place where they can properly treat you. Meanwhile, stay indoors and try not to bang your head on the walls. I certainly advice not to get onto a bike, as you are a threat to others and yourself. As I said the men in white are on their way... :)

    I find a subtle shoulder barge or ankle tap does the trick nicely. The most annoying is getting off a train to a wall of commuters standing around the door dumbfaced.

    I havent had this happen when I am getting off cos I take up a significant portion of the door but I see people get right in the doorway as the train pulls up and do it to others. Its really rude!

    However on another side of the fence I hate when people are getting on the train and its busy and people will be so slow and cautious to not touch anyone at all that there is a queue of people waiting to even get on, people dont move down the aisles or make room. Having been to China I just push people on. It's in those cases I couldnt care less if I am being rude. There is room there, fill it, I have to get to work too.

    I find this happens more at some stations than at others. Like it hardly ever happens at Lidcombe station for example which is a fairly busy station that has a lot of changing between trains etc. And while the people do tend to stand directly in front of the opening doors at Central and many of the City Circle stops, they generally don't push on before people get off.. Except at Town Hall station. The other station I witness this happening a lot more than others is Parramatta station... at the end of the business day (start of afternoon peak hour).

    This same thing happens at basically every stop on the Shanghai Metro system too... but then again, they have a lot more people living there than here....

    It's part of the way we are now, teenagers specially are getting more and more rude, impatient and just outright aggressive. Go to Japan and you'll see that their culture is based on respect for others and the law. Western countries are too self obsessed, hence no respect for others. Try explaining it to someone and your likely to get punched for your trouble too.

      Never been to Japan but when I was in Taiwan earlier this year it was like being on a different planet by comparison. In China they have lines marked where you are supposed to stand (to the sides of teh doors) but not everyone follows that.. in Taiwan EVERYONE follows it.. heck I witnessed people lining up to stand on the left of the escalators, to allow people who wanted to walk up the right lane of the escalators to go past. No one on the right at all and people lined up for a good 30 or 40 metres waiting to get on...

      ...totally different.

        In Taiwan you would generally stick to the right as opposed to the left here in Australia.

          Haha yes, you're right.. but the point is the same.. they are all very "orderly".

        in japan they have it setup better. There are markers on the platform telling you where to line up so that when the train arives the people exiting have a clear path and the people getting on are qued and first in line is first on train.

      It's a pity that the majority of people I see doing this are not of western heritage.

        So you're saying that the colour of skin and ethnicity is important rather than the way they were brought up or learned to act from those around them?

          Plus what you said is quite racist in the first place!

        I won't touch the "western heritage" crapola and will just take it at face value of what I think you think you meant... but I will say that I see just as many foreign "looking" people as I see non-foreign "looking" people doing it, when I see people doing it.

      Adults can be just as bad [and sometimes much worse] than "teens today" when it comes to being rude.

    Lifts are easy, just stand right at the door so when it opens they jump back.

    If people are blocking the doorway as I exit, I just walk up to them and stand in front of them until the move. Same goes for those who don't keep left when using subway tunnels and walkways (including footpaths). I just simply stop and make them move.

    i find it happens mostly with people from other cultures, new australians...it's just how it's done elsewhere, they have no idea that what they are doing is considered "rude"...etiquette is very country-specific...i travel a lot and in half the cities i've been to if you don't push you'll get trampled...it shits me too as i've been catching city trains every day for 25 years, but living in our current society is a lot easier when you understand what's going on around you and understand the differences between people :) /zenwank

    Elbowing people is just plain rude and unnecessary, two wrongs don't make a right.

    Just simply walk into their path, stop and look at them all confused. When they try to side step you, you side step the same way and say "Oh sorry I was just trying to get off the train".

    It's moments like these I remember why I moved to Launceston from Sydney...

    Here in Brisbane, nearly all the time when I use the train, people let you get off first but some people can not wait for the lift for some silly reason. They don't wait, they run to the lift and almost never look when getting on. I did a test, I had a flat-top for of computer gear that could be broken and I use this to see how many people would knock it all over. I got many sorries, a few people offiering to pay for the damages and a lot of abuse from those people who hurt themself that didn't look before entering. I abused them back twice as much and I felt really good about it at the end of the day.

    I don't elbow people, they just hit my shoulders and bounce! I'm a large man but i'm now at the stage where if you are in front of me when i get off the train you will hit your bum or swivel a lot.

    We are a civilised country but if people don't have the common courtesy to allow you to get off the train then they end up with a shoulder. Over it!

      That's exactly right... It's not about etiquette or politeness or anything like that, it's simply down to laws of physics. And if I'm over six foot and trying to get off the train that someone is trying to push their way onto, it's not going to end badly for the one with the larger mass. It helps to stare straight ahead as well.

    Our trains need business class. I'd happily pay double my ticket price for a guaranteed seat and working air conditioning.

      but you'd still get barged as you are trying to exit :) hehehheheh

    Sweet , so it's not just me that is becoming increasingly annoyed by things like this.

    When people are walking down the street head buried in phone expecting others to walk around or groups walk 3 wide on the footpath and don't give room so you have to step into traffic to pass i have adopted the tactic of stopping and pretending i'm a bit lost, they either walk into you or brush past and apologise, i still shake my head at them cos apologies aren't really valid for things when you have total control on the outcome or you don't regret it and will repeat that action.

    The people who get off quickly and efficiently I show them the appropriate level of respect and wait - because they have shown me respect by delaying me the minimum amount of time.

    People who deliberately daudle getting out of the lift or off the train - I sometimes don't wait for them and I'll barge on - it depends on their level of transgression and my judgement of the situation.

    I believe that a lot of the people who take a long time to get off the train/lift are "attention wh0res" who want to feel special that people are waiting for them and looking at them.

    I quite often notice that when they see a large group is waiting and watching them, they'll take even longer and walk very slowly - just to make themselves feel important for 10 seconds.

    I see this happen in the car park also as people are leaving "Their Spot".

    These are kinds of people I'll just push on in front of because I know what they are doing - so I do a bit of what I call "Manually Applied Karma".

    No one elbows me because they would come off second best in a collision with someone of my bulk :)

      For your sake Boris, I just hope that nobody "small but handy" and not intimidated in the slightest by "bulky" persons, takes issue with your "manually applied karma" approach and gives you a good hiding. I've seen it so many times where a big guy underestimates a little guy and ends looking rather stupid.

        Saw a business dude in his pristine business suit give some guy the shoulder once.. he wasn't so smart though because the guy he shouldered was wearing a very greasy work overall.. would hate the see the dry cleaning bill after that day :)

    I don't underestimate small people, small people overestimate me.

    I would suck at fighting.

      sorry that reply was meant to be to Bobby - stupid lack of sleep.

    There is one tramstop which is particularly bad for people trying get on before people get off. Last week I sais loudly as I got off "Easier for everyone if you let people get off before you get on." All I receive was abuse an blank looks. I suspect some people just dont realise that they are being rude, others dont care. Ticket inspector gestapos never ever do anything about this issue. And Boris, I hope Karma gets you with some exceedingly painful condition (arthritis perhaps) that makes you move slowly so someone like you can barge into you. You dont know why people are slow, be considerate.

    When I was in London some years ago there were posters everwhere (Using those big-eyed, super-cutsie charasters from the 70's - anyone else remember the "True love is" images?) reminding people of public transport etiquette such as keeping to the left and allowing passengers to exit a train/bus before attempting to board.

    Not sure how long the campaign ran but it seemed pretty effective for the few months I was there.

    After I had 2 surgeries from removing my brain tumour, I too became quite slow at getting off and on the train. Even now I'm still a bit having some balance issues. So I think it's just plain rude to barge slower ppl from getting off or on trains. Although I'm all for barging crowds who won't let you off or out of the train because they are too selfish/lazy to move. What I really hate is when ppl walk in front of you whilst waiting for the doors to open.

    Here in Perth people tend to crowd around the doors when the train pulls in, but leave a clear path right through the middle so everyone can get out first.

    The exception is during the Royal Show where people who don't use the train at any other time of year load onto the system and behave like entitled idiots - not leaving a gap and barging in as soon as the doors open. The fact that they tend to be loaded down with showbags, giant stuffed animals and a dozen screaming kids only makes matters worse.

      Manners and people using Transperth don't mix, and the Royal Show period seems to be the worse time of year. 3 days in a row this year during the royal show period, coming home from uni (about 4pm), the trains were packed, and everyone felt the need to push and shove into already packed trains to get home. With the mandurah line servicing a train only to cockburn and one to mandurah, it was frustrating to see people who i pressume lived no further than cockburn, shove their way onto the mandurah train, where people like me, who can only get the mandurah train to get home get shoved out of the way and are forced to wait another 10 minutes to try again. For a trip that usually takes me usually 45 minutes to get home, took me over 2 hours during those 3 days.

      Also escalators during peak hour, people are oblivious to the idea of moving to the left to let people pass who are in a rush to catch a connecting bus/train. Manners are non-existant when everyone is in a rush and its busy, and with out trains being almost at full capacity already, catching the train in the morning may turn into an all out brawl out just to get to point B

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