Ireland's worst commuters: Are you a victim or a perpetrator?

As if the commute wasn't exhausting enough, we have to deal with the many types of commuters from hell. Which one are you?


After living in the capital city for six years and commuting to work through many means (including walking, cycling, the Luas, the Dart and driving), I feel I have a pretty good idea of what life is like as a commuter across all spectrums. Here is my conclusion: commuting sucks (unless those of you on the bus, the only form of transport I haven't used for a commute yet, are having a great time).

But while various factors like the rain, public transport delays, and traffic are a pain, the absolute worst thing about commuting is other people. I don't know how or why but somehow, commuters are a mix of normal people just trying to go about their day and the worst people in the world. It is like people abandon the manners their parents painstakingly drilled into them the minute they leave the house in the morning. 

The spreaders

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On the commute, you'll find the 'spreaders'. Commonly called manspreading, but I find that this activity spans male and female, across young and old. They leave their bags on empty seats in a packed train, they spread their legs so widely that they take over the seat space of the passenger beside them, they aggressively elbow their way onto any and all armrests, they leave their backpacks on in busy carriages (I recently nearly lost an eye to a rogue umbrella sticking out of a backpack).

But my most hated of all spreaders are those that consume a whole handrail by resting the entirety of their body on it, leaving other commuters without anything to grip onto. I have seen many a person keel over on a Luas over a selfish spreader hogging the handrail space.

The unhygienic

Beside the spreaders on your commute, you will find the unhygienic. Those who smell like they not only rolled out of bed that morning without a quick wash but that they have gone without a shower for several weeks. There are those who sneeze and then immediately put their hand on a handrail, allowing their germs easy access to everyone else holding on. Then there are the likes of the man I recently saw who had a good dig up his nose and then rubbed his offending finger on a seat. Delightful for the next person who sits there in their new winter coat.

And the just plain rude

Then there are the 'just plain rude' people which include, but are not limited to, the spreaders and the unhygienic. You'll find the 'just plain rude' people sitting in areas reserved for the elderly, those in wheelchairs, or those with buggies. You'll see them pretending to be consumed in what they are reading on their phones, rather than giving up their seat for someone who is clearly wearing a 'baby on board' badge.

You'll hear them beeping at the car in front for taking more than three seconds to move when the lights turn green. You'll watch them insisting on slowly tagging their Leap card as they get off the Dart, causing someone else to miss the Dart they just exited because they couldn't tag on in time. You'll hear them screaming abuse because they believe that they have more entitlement to be on the road than the cyclist/pedestrian/bus in front of them. You'll inhale their second-hand smoke as they blow it all over the footpath and directly in your path at the Luas stop, no matter how much you move around to try to avoid it. 

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While it might seem that short of winning the Lotto and quitting your job to pursue your commute-free passion, it is impossible to improve your commute. However, there is hope. Check out this piece on how to improve your commute. And if all else fails, take to social media to complain about the spreaders, the unhygienic, and the just plain rude commuters in your life for some solace and sympathy.


Read more: We need to talk about 'Emma', the hunched office worker of the future

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Read more: How do you make your commute less stressful?

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