To have wanted to say something to this family on the bus?

(31 Posts)
DingbatsFur Sat 02-Nov-13 11:39:56

On the bus yesterday with my mother. She is disabled and walks with a cane. We get on the bus and sit in two seats a couple of rows from the front.
The seats marked for disabled and wheelchair passengers are already taken up by a young woman reading a kindle and two parents with an able bodied 8-9 year old girl. These are seats that flip up so prams and wheelchairs can come on.
A woman with a pushchair gets on the bus with a man wearing dark glasses and carrying a cane. He is obviously blind and they are all together.
The family of three just sit there. The girl with the kindle just sits there. The woman with the pram has to block the aisle. Eventually the kindle woman notices the blind man and gets up. The family of three just sits. Even the little girl looked uncomfortable that her parents were not moving.
I was shocked but couldn't find the correct polite words for 'move your arses'.
I should add there was plenty more room further back on the bottom of the bus and up top. I woul have offered them my seat but it would have been useless as It wasn't near the pram friendly seats.

Roshbegosh Sat 02-Nov-13 11:45:11

You should have said something. I could not have sat there quietly and not tried to help.

ChippingInLovesAGoodBang Sat 02-Nov-13 11:51:40

Maybe one of the parents is disabled? Maybe all 3 of them are?

Most likely they are just ignorant gits though.

The woman with the pram could have said something herself if she thought it was a problem.

You could have said something, but you didn't - she could have said something, but she didn't. The world hasn't ended - move on.

CoffeeTea103 Sat 02-Nov-13 12:11:46

If this had bothered you so much then you should have done something right then and there not now when the moment has passed. As you witnessed this situation you are just as responsible for not doing anything. What's the point in now asking should I have said something?

harticus Sat 02-Nov-13 12:21:34

1) You cannot assume that because people don't look disabled that they aren't disabled or suffering from health problems.

2) You can't fight other people's battles for them. People with disabilities and health problems are not incapable of living their own lives.

3) The world is full of selfish tossers.

Oldraver Sat 02-Nov-13 12:29:04

I ^really wanted to say something to the guy who was sat in the priority seating with his bag taking up one seat and his feet up on the flip down seats

But he was big and looked a tad frightening..yes he may of been diasbled but he took up 4 seats

DingbatsFur Sat 02-Nov-13 12:33:32

I wondered too if the family might have some kind of not very obvious disability. Then I saw them get off the bus and they were fine.
Selfish gits.

Jan49 Sat 02-Nov-13 13:20:47

Well you've judged them as not being disabled because they were able to get off a bus. You simply don't know.

I think everyone should do what they can. Offer someone a seat if you think they need it, but don't judge other people when you can't possibly know whether they have disabilities or difficulties or not. It's very unfair to conclude that someone is not disabled on seeing them briefly.

IWillKillHisXbox Sat 02-Nov-13 15:36:21

Harticus - excellent comment

Only on MN would you have to assume that all 3 of them were invisably disabled.

DH , in a similar sitation, has asked ( and would): " excuse me, but is there any reason you are not giving up your seat?" He is quite polite, and that would have offered them a chance to say :" all three of us have invisible disability" or "fuck off" or, and this happens a lot more, they would have shamefacedly mumbled something and got up without looking anyone in the eye. I think it is because he is a teacher, and is used to telling people how to behave ;) without causing agro.

Me, i am not so brave....

Writerwannabe83 Sat 02-Nov-13 15:47:19

to the outside world I look perfectly well but I used to have a disabled bus pass. I have epilepsy, which is now thankfully controlled, but when I had active seizures I used to have to sit in the disabled seats on a bus because if I did have a seizure it was important I was in a relatively open space and would allow easy access for paramedics. Everyone knows how tightly packed the seats are in the main bus aisles and if I'd had a seizure whilst sitting on a normal seat I'm pretty sure I'd have got wedged between seat/floor/poles etc and there was a high change of me getting a nasty injury whilst convulsing.

One day I was sitting in one of the disabled seats on a relatively empty bus and sitting on the seats behind me (normal seats) were two older women who talked nastily about me for their entire journey because as far as they were concerned, I shouldn't have been sitting there sad I had to sit and listen to them pass spiteful comments about how disgusting it is that 'people like me' think we can sit in the disabled seats and what a disgrace it is that I show such disregard for others. They said a lot of purposefully hurtful comments and they knew full well that I could hear them.

I had to listen to my character assassination for about 10 minutes before they got off the bus - which they did whilst glaring and tutting at me. In hindsight I really wish I'd said something to them but at the time all I wanted to do was cry sad

Jan49 Sat 02-Nov-13 16:22:02

You just do not know so why judge? Why should people have to announce their invisible disability to a stranger to justify themselves? My adult ds has autism. I do not explain this to the neighbours or anyone else he meets in everyday life. It's none of their business. But it makes him a little vulnerable on a moving train. I've also stood on the train with my ds because I didn't like to point out his disability to the people sitting in the disabled seats who may or may not have been disabled.

Jan49 Sat 02-Nov-13 16:23:24

But also it's particularly ignorant in any circumstances to assume that someone isn't disabled on the basis that you saw them get on/off a bus, climb stairs or whatever. You know nothing about them.

BurlyShassey Sat 02-Nov-13 17:10:35

this is another reason I wish bus conductors would come back. they always could keep a proper eye on the whole bus.

tbh im shocked that in these health ad safety days they allow the bus driver to not just drive the bus like in the old days.
hes got enough to do keeping safe on the road without taking fares/trying to keep eye on camera/cant hear or see any of this on the bus/when anti social rowdy I-pod people blast away/guys 'giving themselves a treat' (yes it happens)/kids with dirty shoes walking and clmbin al over the seats/shopping bags on seats.....and on and on and on.....

nennypops Sat 02-Nov-13 18:15:25

I liked the approach of a man in the underground carriage I was in the other day. It was pretty full with a lot of people standing. A very pregnant woman got on and the sitters did that thing of pretending they hadn't seen her, although she looked pretty uncomfortable. So another standee said loudly words to the effect of "It's all right love, I'm sure they just haven't seen you, they're not deliberately ignoring you, I'm sure someone will give you their seat as soon as they realise." Result a few red faces, more than a few sniggers amongst the standees, a couple of men leapt up as if they were sitting on hot coals, general goodwill all round.

Jengnr Sat 02-Nov-13 18:33:12

Does a non obvious disability need the front seats though? A wheelchair or a blind passenger clearly does.

Dingbats, I have fibro, I can walk fine most of the time but need to sit on a bus. If I went out with my charges on the bus we'd all be sitting as they also need to sit for not so obvious reasons.

YABVU to judge even if it is likely they were being ignorant.

Jengnr: A big problem I have is that the driver won't stop for long enough to let me walk to the back of the bus, so I have no option but to sit wherever I can get to before he drives off, which is usually the front.

edam Sat 02-Nov-13 18:36:38

How likely is it that the entire family had invisible disabilities that meant they needed those particular seats, and couldn't sit anywhere else on the bus?

SeaSickSal Sat 02-Nov-13 18:42:00

Say something politely. When with my Dad who has severe MS I say, 'excuse me may we have one of those seats, my Dad is disabled and needs to sit near the front. 999 out of 1000 they will either say yes or explain politely if they also need the seat.

People just don't notice or assume you're okay to go further back if seats are available.

Just ask, people are normally really nice about it if they realize you need it.

BurlyShassey Sat 02-Nov-13 18:45:16

confused same here. Im on a walking stick and drivers usually shoot off and send me flying.

hence me sitting at the front.

someone got on bus once, with a crutch, and said in a loud voice 'oh look, good thing they have seats for disabled, everyone in them is blind'!

they were all schoolkids and very obviously not disabled in either way. me and DC had had to go to the back of the bus, falling overourselves on the way.

HollaAtMeBaby Sat 02-Nov-13 19:00:32

YABU not to have said anything. Takes a village, big society and all that.

Are you disabled, by the way? You don't mention having offered your own seat to the blind man.

moldingsunbeams Sat 02-Nov-13 19:01:37

My dd is ten and looks abled bodied, she too would have looked fine getting off the bus. In reality she has a disability and there are a lot of reasons we need to sit at the front. She cannot walk far on a moving bus, she will fall, she cannot cope with being "trapped in".

The woman with the pram should have asked if she could go there.

ringaringarosy Sat 02-Nov-13 19:03:02

i probably would of said something,but the people who got on could presumably talk too so they could of aswell.

dollywobbles Sat 02-Nov-13 19:21:02

I was on a train once when a man on crutches got on. It was a busy train, with a few people standing, but obviously lots of us sitting.
I was the only one to offer him a seat. Funnily enough, I use crutches from time to time - this being one of those times. I was only on one crutch though, so I felt his need was probably greater. He didn't accept my offer, he nodded towards my crutch and said 'I think you need to sit too'.
No one else offered.
I've been on two crutches and stood for entire journeys too; buses, trains, trams. People just refuse to make eye contact with you once they've clocked you're on crutches and might want their seat.

saintmerryweather Sat 02-Nov-13 23:22:41

didnt any of those people have a tongue in their heads to ask for the seat themselves?

WestieMamma Sun 03-Nov-13 02:04:04

This is why I gave up going to university, because of the abuse I got on the bus on the way. I used the priority seats because I can't walk down a moving bus because my condition affects my balance. I'm also autistic and non-verbal with confrontational strangers. So because I don't respond to being challenged by judgmental busybodies I've been shouted at, sworn at, spat at, been hit with a brolly and had a book thrown at me.

MadAsFish Sun 03-Nov-13 08:00:01

didnt any of those people have a tongue in their heads to ask for the seat themselves?

I think the point of the thread is that they shouldn't have to.

saintmerryweather Sun 03-Nov-13 08:07:48

well my family have always said 'if you dont ask you dont get'. i hate all this passive aggressive comments and people saying 'nobody gave me their seat'... if you want a seat bloody well speak up and ask for one. even if the person you ask doesnt give it up, someone else will be shamed into doing so

sherazade Sun 03-Nov-13 09:36:11

I still don't get why you didn't just offer up your seat to the blind man, was he actually in the pushchair, hence why you feel he needed to be in the pushchair aisle?

I remember getting on the Underground with a friend of mine who has a visible disability. As we were boarding the train, a couple pushed past us and sat in the seats that are intended for less able passengers.

I helped my friend on, and quietly pointed out to the people who'd pushed past us that my friend needed the seat more than they could, and politely asked them to move. They got up, mumbling apologies and sat elsewhere.

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