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To use the priority seat on the bus?

(22 Posts)
LumpyMcBentface Tue 30-Aug-16 21:11:54

I went out alone today for the first time in about six weeks. It's only the second time in years that I've used a bus.

I chose a seat as near as possible to the front so I could get off easily if I needed to, I have bpd and bipolar and my anxiety levels are ridiculous at the moment. I spent the whole journey trying not to panic (but made it ok, hurrah!).

Anyway, it was only about half way through the journey that I realised I was in one of the two priority seats. An elderly lady with a stick got on and sat next to me, I smiled at her and she glared at me a bit.

If someone else needed the seat I would definitely have moved up the bus. But I wondered if actually I was ok to be there, or if it's strictly for physically disabled people?

As far as I remember the sign said priority for the elderly or infirm. So a bit vague.

Anyway, I'll have to do this journey again in two weeks, so give it to me straight? Was I being a bus wanker?

Queenbean Tue 30-Aug-16 21:13:10

No you weren't being a bus wanker

No one actually wanted your seat. It was fine. Are you sure the old lady actually glared at you?

Next time don't be afraid flowers

Maybebabybee Tue 30-Aug-16 21:13:12

Gosh no. You were fine. It wasn't like you were sitting there while elderly/infirm people stood!!!

flowers to you.

sentia Tue 30-Aug-16 21:14:52

There are lots of people who appear at a glance to not need the priority seat but really do need it. From what you've described you do need it, so I would just try to ignore people's glances. They might not be thinking about you anyway, the elderly lady might have been having a bad day about something else!

Jizzomelette Tue 30-Aug-16 21:15:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CafeCremeEtCroissant Tue 30-Aug-16 21:15:27

Totally fine 😊

It's a 'priority' seat - not a must be kept empty seat. You'd have moved if necessary.

I'm impressed you went out & used the bus 🍫🍾💐

LumpyMcBentface Tue 30-Aug-16 21:15:59

Oh thank god. I'm so out of touch with bus etiquette.

She gave me a proper look but then I am generally quite paranoid. I spent the whole rest of the journey thinking 'does everyone think I'm an arse? Should I move? Oh god oh god'.

Ridiculous. I used to be able to function like a proper adult.

ItchyFoot Tue 30-Aug-16 21:16:15

My friend with severe anxiety and depression has sat in one before. The bus was very busy with people standing at the back and it was too much for him. Me and dp were also sat in priority seats as I was very pregnant and kept getting faint and dp is disabled. Two old women got on and sat behind me (also priority seats) and started complaining about the young people using the OAP seats. I turned round and informed them about hidden disabilities but they just repeated they were for old people. I told them they were talking rubbish.
I don't think you were unreasonable and would have done the same.

MyWineTime Tue 30-Aug-16 21:16:51

Well done for getting yourself through it.
Of course you were ok to use the seat.

PurpleDaisies Tue 30-Aug-16 21:17:49

Well done for making your bus journey today. That's a big achievement.

I wouldn't worry about today. In future it might be better to avoid the priority seats so you don't have a reason to be anxious about someone challenging you for using it unjustly. Maybe aim for one on the row directly behind the priority seats and sit next to the aisle. As you get more confident you can challenge yourself to sit further back or next to the window. Small steps in the right direction are definitely something to be proud of. smile

You weren't being a bus wanker, promise.

But, having said that, I've seen many an elderly person get snarky about bus seating. Seems to be a bit of a bugbear.

If its at all possible, to avoid a situation which might make you more anxious, I'd suggest sitting on the row behind.

PurpleDaisies Tue 30-Aug-16 21:18:43

Just to make it clear, I don't think you were using g the seat unjustly, just that it means you avoid a potential confrontation.

Floggingmolly Tue 30-Aug-16 21:22:32

She probably was glaring at you. I once saw an apparently inoffensive little old lady whack a youngish (20's) guy across the shoulders with her stick for the offence of sitting in the priority seats...
The bus wasn't even full; she was comfortably ensconced in the priority seats opposite!
And the old rip waited till he was getting off before venting her spleen and giving him a wallop...

LumpyMcBentface Tue 30-Aug-16 21:55:34

Thanks all. It was quite a big deal for me (this is what my life has become!) and I was very chuffed with myself.

I won't sit there next time, I'll sit behind.

Queenbean Tue 30-Aug-16 21:59:32

You sound lovely Lumpy. Well done for not letting your anxiety get the better of you flowers

Apotts Tue 30-Aug-16 22:01:34

You was fine there. It's when I see people without prams/wheelchairs sitting in that area and groups of young people sat in priority areas that bug me

AlpacaPicnic Tue 30-Aug-16 22:03:05

I always sit in those seats but then I'm quite often the only person going to my morning destination. Especially on Saturdays, I get the whole bus to myself except for the driver! I don't like the thought of being at the back of a full bus and having to squeeze my arse down the aisle. So use them as they are intended my lovely.

Even better though in my opinion is the seat right behind the driver up on the little step bit! IMHO 'frailer' people don't like those because of the step and because it's a single seat no one can sit next to you (cause I'm an antisocial person on my commute) so if you have those grab them! And you get a good view out of the windscreen smile

PurpleDaisies Tue 30-Aug-16 22:03:23

It's when I see people without prams/wheelchairs sitting in that area and groups of young people sat in priority areas that bug me

When my CFS was bad a few years ago I could only stand for short periods of time so I sat in priority seats if there was nowhere else. I didn't have a pushchair or a wheelchair. Not all disabilities are visible.

PerpendicularVincent Tue 30-Aug-16 22:11:45

I think you were fine there. You have a condition that means that sitting at the front of the bus is far preferable, and far less stressful. To me, this is a valid need.

If someone who had mobility issues needed it, fair enough. But they didn't.

Well done on making the journey smile

OpenMe Tue 30-Aug-16 22:13:53

Don't the signs simply ask you to give up the seat for someone who needs it more? It doesn't have to stay empty if no-one needs it.

VladmirsPoutine Tue 30-Aug-16 22:16:20

No you weren't being a bus wanker. To be honest it's really only on MN that I see people tying themselves in knots over the whole priority seats issue. One step at a time! Good for you!

alfagirl73 Tue 30-Aug-16 22:17:15

You did nothing wrong in my book, and well done for going out and taking the bus!

The priority seats to my mind, are for the elderly and infirm; but you don't have to be elderly to be "infirm" (contrary to what a lot of elderly people seem to think).

A few years ago I was recovering from major surgery and slipped on some ice and had a really bad fall. So then I was recovering from my internal surgery/stitching, and was also now walking with crutches due to tearing every ligament in my ankle.

I had to get the bus to work... and wow, you should've seen some of the looks I got when I took a priority seat, but what they didn't realise was that walking from the bus to my office every day was close to agony and if I had another fall (e.g. on a moving bus) at that point, I could've done serious damage both to my ankle and internal stitching.

I had some really nasty remarks though. Now I've always been raised to give up my seat on the bus or train for someone older, and I always have done. However, during that period I used that seat a few times and got into a few "heated" discussions with other people about what "infirm" meant!

As another person pointed out above, people's conditions are not always obvious and just because someone is younger, it doesn't mean they are without any ailments that give them reason to use a priority seat.

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