Subway leaners are most often spotted kicking back by the pole like it's their own personal recliner, preventing other straphangers from holding on to it. But there is another kind of subway leaner: the one that stands by the door and leans against the metal seat divider. (We need a name for this: the seat pole?) Our own Jen Chung observed one in the wild this morning, capturing this fantastic photo of a classic subway etiquette confrontation playing out in front of her.
"This morning on the 2/3 train, I spied a man confront a leaning lady about leaning into his space. She was already on the train, and there were many seats around, but she chose to stand and lean into the space over the side seat. He got on at 34th and chose to sit next to the door. When he complained to her, she said, 'Just move over a seat,' while rolling her eyes."
The man—who was attempting to get some work done—did move over, placing him next to someone else and not in the coveted aisle seat. But it didn't end there—when he eventually exited the train the woman told him ("in a snarky tone"): "Have a blessed day." And once our Subway Etiquette Victim left the train, the woman spoke passionately to her companion about the situation, claiming she "wasn't even leaning much." Well, photos don't lie, m'am.
Next time, Subway Etiquette Victim, take John Del Signore's advice and just jam your elbow onto the divider area: "If I land in that seat I always keep one arm resting on that bar with my elbow out to prevent inconsiderate leaners."