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Asking for a seat on public transport

(28 Posts)
Queazy Sat 18-May-13 18:30:28

I know this is probably a well-worn thread but I'm 26 weeks and the 2.5/3 hr round daily commute is beginning to wear me down. The other day a guy sitting on the tube rolled his eyes, tutted and got up to give me a seat. I didn't thank him - bit self-righteous of me but its not just about what you do, it's also about how you do it! I dread each journey because so many times people have pretended not to see the bump by their heads. I'm only 26 weeks so I know this will get harder.

Do you ask people to stand for you?

craftycottontail Sat 18-May-13 18:37:13

I never had to thankfully as communted on a 15 minute quiet-ish bus route, but in your situation I'd definitely have no qualms asking people!

MrsSpagBol Sat 18-May-13 18:41:07

ASK!

Do you have a baby on board sign?

I had to ask most days for a seat on the metro despite being obviously very pregnant and using crutches. Everyone is in their commuting don't fuck with me bubble. It is not necessarily nastiness, rather not noticing.

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 18-May-13 18:46:03

DO ask. People go into a strange state when commuting, you just can fail to notice anything. I am sure it's a coping mechanism for the horror/tedium!

Plus there's probably a couple of people sitting there wondering it you're preg... or not. And they'd hate to offend, so do nothing.

However, I do think that you should thank anyone who gives you a seat, even if they do so ungraciously.

Queazy Sat 18-May-13 18:48:52

Thanks guys, I do wear a baby on board badge and very obvious bump now. You're right about thanking too, but I felt so sick and hormonal, and it was all I could do to keep quiet and not to be openly ungrateful i.e. tell him where to stick his seat. I hate tutters!!

I will ask though - I don't know why I'm being so unassertive about it smile

steakchipsandfriedeggs Sat 18-May-13 19:33:56

My experience of commuting in London has been a mixed one. Either people get up immediately upon seeing me get on the tube, which i am always grateful for, or I'm ignored or (at times) I've been pushed out of the way for someone else to take an empty seat. I wear a baby on board badge. The general attitude I have found from general discussion on the matter with friends is that I'm pregnant, not ill, and that I should just shut up and get on with it. I have been lucky enough to have a trouble free pregnancy so far (fingers crossed) however some poor ladies suffer daily with various problems, and these aren't visible to others. Would these ignorant people who prefer to keep their seats like their wives/sisters/daughters to be ignored when pregnant? I doubt it.

I have to say the general attitude towards anyone less able to stand is fairly appalling in London. Last week I got up for an elderly man because none of the 'suits' already on the tube would. It's human nature at its worst sometimes. I think that sometimes you do need to ask, but as my dad says, it wasn't a million years ago that people would automatically get up for a pregnant lady, or hold a door open for someone. It's such a shame that manners have deteriorated so much sad

Fairy130389 Sat 18-May-13 20:31:22

I don't have this problem as my commute is in the car - however, the other day DH was looking for a job in the job centre, and there was an EMPTY chair next to him, like an office chair. I am 36 weeks pregnant so no mistaking that I'm preg, and when I asked the snooty woman working there if I could sit down she told me no! I was so hormonal that I just burst into tears... (only just considering that this might have been an over-reaction!!) People are completely ignorant of the strain carrying a baby puts on your body and I have been surprised at how few people will give up seats for us.

I think you should definitely ask for a seat. Just ignore the tutters -or tutt right back!

cinnamonbun Sat 18-May-13 21:29:53

I'm 23 weeks pregnant and have had an obvious bump since about 9 weeks. I travel on the bus every day (on weekdays 2 return trips as I bring DD to nursery). NOT ONCE have I been offered a seat! Although I'm lucky to have had an easy pregnancy so far I find it astonishing that people can be so thoughtless and rude. Some people are constantly on their smartphones and don't look up but as I look around for an empty seat I always catch people looking at me and my bump but no one bothers to offer a seat. A couple of times when I've been lucky enough to find a seat, I've had to get up and offer it to someone elderly or in crutches as they too are ignored by fellow passengers. I find it disgusting behaviour!

PixieBaby Sat 18-May-13 21:45:09

Hello ladies - my experience using the tube at rush hour is that often people don't notice. As I get in the carriage, I usually just say clearly towards the general sitting area 'would someone mind offering me a seat'. That way I'm not targeting any particular individual. I have found that someone generally leaps up - and it isn't always the ones you expect!

I wore my badge from about 12 weeks (am now 29 weeks) and I have only had one person who was a bit grumpy.

I agree with Hazel that you should always be gracious and say thank you. In my mind no one HAS to offer, they are just showing consideration of someone who needs a seat more than they do. I'd still stand up if an elderly person or person on crutches came in the carriage.

Lj8893 Sat 18-May-13 21:49:28

I was on a bus the other day (thankfully don't have to use public transport too often) and I managed to get a seat but at the journey went on the bus filled up very fast and I did wonder to myself what I would do if I couldn't get a seat, and then an old (ish) man got on and asked a young woman if he could have her seat (I say ask, he pretty much demanded) and of course she gave her seat up for him and I wondered what I would hav done had he asked me. I certainly would have given him my seat but then would I be within my rights to ask someone if I could have thier seat?

I'm 17 weeks and although do have a fair bump I'm already quite a curvy larger girl so someone could quite easily mistake me for just being fat!

flanbase Sat 18-May-13 21:55:07

That's a good idea to ask many people at once.

Queazy Sat 18-May-13 23:01:33

That is definitely a good idea to ask a group if someone will give a seat - thank you! I tend to ask or stand near the priority seats as at least I'm targeting an area set aside for those who need a seat.

Please don't think I don't thank people who give me a seat tho! I certainly do - I was red-faced and close to tears when the guy made a real fuss when he got up. Of course I say thank you. I do think if someone is sitting in the priority seat, they should get up without making a fuss and embarrassing me though, so don't regret my decision to just sit and compose myself. Though its clearly not law, they are supposed to get up for disabled, pregnant or elderly people - it said that on the board above his head!

I agree with your other points - I'd get up immediately for an elderly person - I am still steady on my legs, just knackered, and there will be others who need a seat more.

Thanks again all smile

Alexandra6 Sun 19-May-13 08:18:07

I've been wondering this - I wore a badge from 9 weeks (when I felt dizzy/sick) and usually people ignored it, even saw it and pretended not to, which I found a bit embarrassing so took it off. I was shocked to find out a pregnant friend at 6 months only got offered a seat some of the time! How rude can some people be, I've offered a seat plenty of times in the past, so has DH, simple manners! Especially the pregnancy seat at the end of the carriage!

Now I'm 12 weeks I've found out I have a short/weak cervix and am terrified so I've decided to man up, wear my badge and ask for a seat. I do embarrass easily but am going to take the attitude that I need it for my baby (not because I'm lazy or pointless chivalry for example) and that's that. Am thinking I might say "because I feel dizzy" to justify it although it's mainly the cervix stuff in my case. Although that's only because I feel like I have to give a reason, I shouldn't have to!

And I do get where you're coming from with that guy, who clearly felt obliged but that he had to make his annoyance clear. None of us like giving up our seats for pregnant people but we've all been there and didn't feel the need to tut/roll eyes and make the pregnant person feel bad!

Ask ask ask. Yes it's embarrassing but nobody looks up

Start a mini sweepstake with yourself!

Overweight women NEVER get up
Asian men NEVER get up
Suits with broadsheet NEVER get up

Young men early twenties and labourers ALWAYS get up

Target your call!

MisselthwaiteManor Sun 19-May-13 08:31:33

I have a killer backache after standing up on the bus the other day, so I've decided to always ask from now on! Nobody ever stands up for me and I am HUGE, 33 weeks and all out front.

Soupqueen Sun 19-May-13 08:36:01

I wish the baby on board scheme was available outside of London.

I'm 19 weeks, but don't look pregnant, especially in a winter coat. I can't remember the last time I got a seat and end up feeling very dizzy and sick, I also fell over once.

I would probably still need to ask, but the badge would help!

sparkle12mar08 Sun 19-May-13 08:40:08

I always used to thank people profusely and go almost over the top, especially if they'd done the whole tutting or avoiding thing! "Oh thank you so much, it's really kind and I appreciate it hugely, thank you ever so much!" with a huge ingratiating smile. That way there's absolutely nothing they can say or do that won't make them look churlish otherwise!

Smerlin Sun 19-May-13 08:45:07

I'm sure you could wear the badge even if you don't live in London.

Do you know anyone living here who could post you one? Or I did see one on eBay on sale for 99p which is a bit cheeky really as they're free but still...

MousyMouse Sun 19-May-13 08:48:57

just ask.
I used to take the same bus every day and a young man I asked a couple of times always got up after that wink
I have found it easy to ask afer a while.

the 'you are pregnant not sick' brigade gets on my wick. no I am not sick when pregnant, but the body changes and some things are just not as easy as in a non pregnant state.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 19-May-13 08:50:03

Gosh I hate this, when I was 40 weeks & with crutches I got told off for using the front seats of a bus by an entitled nasty old person, even though there was still room for her! Nasty woman, almost made me cry.

I think there is an unfortuneate idea of 'pregnancy isn't an illness so stop making a fuss'... very flawed and an excuse to be selfish & inconsiderate to another type of person. Surprised its not applied to old people too with a 'being elderly isn't an illness' as well!

Soupqueen Sun 19-May-13 08:55:00

That's a good idea, smerlin

Sephy Sun 19-May-13 09:00:23

On the point about being pregnant, not ill, last week when I was standing on the Victoria line, it did the horrid stop-start emergency braking that often happens on that line as you leave a station and my 20 week bump took the impact of me hitting into one of the poles for holding on to.
So ive since decided I don't care if people think I'm being pathetic or rude wanting a seat, because I really do care more about my baby's safety. So it's good to see some ideas here for how to politely do your best to get one!

Blobby11 Sun 19-May-13 09:38:58

I've used the tube for 2 pregnancies. I find that during rush hour most people don't notice. I really don't think it's deliberate. People are just half asleep and just look at the floor or are absorbed by their phones. They are also nervous about offering someone a seat who may just be fat. You may think you are very obviously pregnant but it's difficult for someone who does't know you. The badges help but people don't always spot them.

You should definitely ask but you must thank people! The tutting could have been directed at other people who hadn't offered you a seat. I agree that asking a group of people is best. You cannot automatically assume that someone sitting in the priority seat doesn't have the right to the seat - you may not be able to see what their reason is.

Yonionekanobe Sun 19-May-13 10:29:25

I am early in my second pregnancy and unlike with DD have horrible nausea and morning sickness so have been wearing my badge and asking for a seat very early on. On the whole people have given up their seats (I normally ask people in priority seating if they need to sit or if I could) and whilst people do move there has been the odd sarcastic remark which is upsetting, but I guess until you've been through the nausea and sickness you don't know what it is like.

Teaandflapjacks Sun 19-May-13 11:49:32

When I lived in London I saw this all the time unfortunately - people are in such a 'bubble', and often in the morning nursing work exhaustion or hangovers etc and fricking knackered. I used to always offer my seat to elderly, pregnant (once offered to someone who was not actually pregnant, just carrying a bit too much weight after xmas - was mortified!), and I also did to small children, poor things and all that buffeting about. I would just ask - but aim at a group 'can someone give me a seat please' etc.

drcharliegirl Sun 19-May-13 11:55:53

My experience with late 1st trimester chest infection and feeling generally AWFUL was asking a 25 year old bloke in the priority seat who was determined to keep playing his PSP if he would mind moving as I was pregnant (also wearing the badge). He let out this huge, hard-done-by sigh and just looked at me.

I said in my loudest, most school-maamish voice I could muster - "I'm sorry sir, but I didn't get pregnant specifically to cause you inconvenience" - the death stares he got from everyone in the carriage (several of whom offered me their seats) shamed him into moving.

Take no prisoners. People are, as a whole, good. Even London commuters.

flanbase Sun 19-May-13 12:01:09

It's people being nice and helpful and not selfish. Pregnancy isn't an illness it's a state of being. It needs care and attention and understanding. Some people are more affected by pregnancy than others. Things like legs swelling are very uncomfortable and sitting down helps to give a moments relief.

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