I was watching Olbermann’s new show on Current and noted the “Worst Person in the World” was a woman that apparently was talking loud on her phone and cursing on a Metro North train in Connecticut. Passengers complained, and the conductor came out to ask her to pipe down.
While I think this woman deserves some shaming, I am a little concerned that her name, Facebook profile, LinkedIn page, and tons of other info has been posted. I started out thinking she was a real jackass (and she certainly behaved like one), but now I actually feel sorry for her. I can’t help but think there is a racial subtext here: overachieving Asian woman gets pwned, let’s embarrass the hell out of her!
This describes my own feelings about quite a few of these modern-day incidents, where relatively minor instances of jackassery get transformed by new technology into a sort of life-altering scarlet letter.
The person often inspires very little sympathy at first, but as the publicity and the scorn piles up, it often begins to outweigh whatever their crime was. Of course, one could argue that, if people didn’t act like jackasses in the first place, they wouldn’t have anything to worry about, and i like to think that i wouldn’t act in public in such a way as to inspire a public video like the one in the OP. Still, it’s a bit troubling that someone’s bad day, or one piece of irrational behavior, can leave a legacy that will follow them for years.
Hmmm. Not a shining moment in her life, I’m sure, but I’ve seen a lot worse. I actually think she stays pretty calm. She’s been accused of swearing on the train, which she denies, and wants to be told the details of what exactly she said that was offensive, to no avail. I would be frustrated too if i were her. The only reason this is getting any attention is because of the education angle, which was definitely a bad choice on her part, but I do get it. In her mind, she associates her schooling with instilling in her a certain way of behaving, and thinks that it should be obvious to others that the accusation of the swearing must be false, you know what I mean? Stupid, yes, but I have seen much worse than this hundreds of times, and I agree with the PP who feels sorry that one moment is going to follow her for life.
I don’t think she’s Asian. She sounds very American with Middle Eastern ancestry. By your description, I was expecting an immigrant Asian with foreign accent. Racial subtext? No. More like classism…on the passenger’s part.
Maybe I couldn’t hear it all that well on my phone… I wasn’t getting the classism or horrible person stuff. I heard her quite reasonably asking what profanity she was being accused of using (while being ignored by the passive aggressive conductor who was talking about her like she wasn’t there - was she giving a report to someone? Why was she doing that in front of the passenger wihout allowing her to be included in the conversation?) and I heard the education stuff (which was stupid, but I don’t see it as classist or implying anything about the conductor’s personal education). Sure, she was frustrated and was starting to get angry, but honestly, I found the conductor to be kind of pushing her buttons, too. What am I missing?
I was once on a train with a man having a full-on, unhinged rant about how the train staff had stolen his “medicine” (they hadn’t) which ended “…and I’m better than all you people, because I live in SURREY!”. He then stormed off to another carriage, leaving us to continue giggling.
Elret, the conductor is there because other passengers complained about her loud talking and cursing. The correct way to handle it would be to say, “Oh, I’m sorry.” Problem solved. Instead, she starts talking about how highly educated she is. Which is not a million miles from “Do you know who I am?” What has one’s education have to do with piping down on your phone in an environment where others are being disturbed by your behavior? I, too, am highly educated, but it has fuck all to do with me bothering others in a public space.
Of course the obvious question is what response was she expecting from “Do you know what schools I went to?”
“No, what schools did you go to?”
“Oh, I could tell from your affable demeanor and radiant wisdom.”
If you look at the video closely there appears to be two Metro North employees on the scene. I suspect the first confronted her, got some guff back, and the blonde woman we see is a supervisor of some sort.
It’s not passive aggressive at all - she’s really dealing with an irate customer the best way, which is to keep calm and not give her a way to escalate the problem. How else do you suggest she deal with her?
I can’t comment until I hear what her board scores were.
I doubt this dumbass’ actions will have long-term repercussions for her, unlike those of a certain high school athlete who made Bad Decisions after a recent sporting event and was outed on social media sites.
This tells me more than anything in that video. I ride the Metro North pretty regularly and I can honestly say that you have to be really, really loud and really, really crude to have people complain about you. Most of the time people will roll their eyes and just focus on their book or their ipod and ignore whatever is coming out of your mouth no matter what you say or how loudly you say it, so I am led to believe that she must have been swearing a blue streak and screaming like she was at a rock concert to have more than one person complain about her and have it be bad enough that someone else felt like it might be worth their time to record her for it.
I typed a big long response that somehow got lost, so apologies if I’m posting this twice.
I totally agree that her handling of the situation wasn’t perfect, but I can also understand her frustration. She disagrees that she was swearing loudly, and I think it’s only human to want to defend yourself when accused of something you don’t feel you did. Yes, her education is totally irrelevent and it’s snobby and stupid of her to have said that. However, I believe all she was trying to do was convey her surprise that she was accused of that, as she believes that she’s being accused of a crassness that is incongruent to the way she was raised, and feels (falsely) like her education would demonstrate that. Yes, she would have better demonstrated her point by behaving differently following the accusation, and if everyone here can say they’ve never said something stupid when frustrated or feeling defensive then I guess I’m nuts, but seriously, “The Worst Person in the World”? Really? It barely registers as “irate” to me, and while the mention of education is pointless, I don’t think she was meaning anything personal towards the conductor.
I don’t think it’s ok to have a conversation about someone in front of them without allowing them to participate. The conductor is repeatedly telling her supervisor that the passenger was being loud and profane, but ignoring the passenger’s perfectly reasonable request to be told just what she said that is resulting in this accusation. Again, ideally the passenger should have just said fine, whatever, but if you were accused of doing something you find highly offensive, would you not want details? If you were on a train and had to listen to an employee tell another employee that you were, say, “acting lewd” or “touched someone inappropriately” or were “being racist” and you were horrified by this, would you really just sit there saying “Ok, sorry”? Or would you want to know specifically what you said or did?
I think that the supervisor should have been briefed out of earshot of the passenger at the time she was fetched to come to the scene, and the supervisor should have allowed the (seriously, not irate - mildly frustrated) customer to tell her side first. Barring either of those things, I think that when the passenger kept asking what she said, I think she should have been answered. It was obviously upsetting to her not to know, and continuing to talk about it like she wasn’t even there is obviously not going to calm her down, which should have been the goal, but is going to merely vex her further. Yes, the conductor stayed calm, which is admirable, but she did nothing to diffuse the situation, and in fact put more logs on the fire by speaking over her while ignoring her attempts to be included in the conversation and defend herself.
Since we only have the tail end of the incident on video, there has to be a lot of conjecture about what happened at the beginning, but it seems to me that the very fact that the conductor had to call a supervisor to the scene tells us a lot about the situation.
What I think happened is that the woman was talking loud (I don’t really think it matters whether she was swearing) and disturbing other riders. Someone complained or perhaps the conductor herself observed the behaviour and asked her to pipe down. Now, regardless of whether the conductor made this request in the best possible manner, the normal/reasonable/appropriate response is to apologize and quiet down.
I’ve been witness to situations, particularly on airplanes, in which an attendant has to make repeated requests for someone to stop talking and shut of his or her telephone. It only gets escalated to a supervisor situation when the passenger reacts badly and starts arguing with the attendant. That’s when the supervisor either happens upon the scene or is called in.
In short, to me it looks like they’re only at this point because the woman refused to concede to a request to quiet down, and thus it’s all really her fault that she feels like she has to defend herself.
Fair enough. I agree there must have been more to it than what we see. But I don’t think we’re seeing anything unusual or especially awful, is all. Don’t we see people getting upset and frustrated and acting foolish every day? There have been whole threads on it, there are websites devoted to it, and I would wager a lot of money that a number of people posting here have behaved like this once or twice, maybe even worse. She was upset at the accusation, should have ignored it, but instead let ger frustration show. Like humans sometimes do. She didn’t yell or scream or become physically aggressive or say anything personal about anyone involved. The only real issue here, clearly, is the education thing. A dumb thing to say, sure, but evil incarnate? Really?
I can really see both sides here. Really what is the point of going to fancy expensive schools if you can’t tell people to fuck off? OTOH, I can’t stand loud, agressively obnoxious women who later get upset after having their head cracked open from picking a fight with someone twice their size.
I have to agree with pbbth you have to be raising a godawful uproar on the Metro-North for people to even consider speaking to a conductor. Most people are NOT shy about saying, “can you keep it down” directly to the offender. They won’t even say that unless you are literally screaming into your phone. For a passenger to speak to the conductor, I would have to presume the lady had already told someone to fuck off.
At any rate, apparently the Youtube video was taken down.