Nobody likes taking the Tube at rush hour.
It’s packed, it’s sweaty and you have to queue in a one-in, one-out system for the pleasure of enduring the experience.
However, there are a few things that can make your journey go from sea level frustration to absolute rock bottom despair - and most of them are down to how your fellow commuters conduct themselves.
If you’re someone who takes the Tube every day, you’ll likely shake your head at some of these selfish habits that passengers display on a regular basis.
If you read this list and think, “well yes, I am in fact guilty of doing that”, I’m afraid it’s time to have a long, hard look in the mirror.
1. Not having your Oyster card ready
This is the quite possibly the worst of the worst. You’ve spent ten minutes idly dawdling in a queue to get to the front of the gates, only to make it to the barriers and realise you don’t know where your wallet is. You fumble through your pockets and bag, scrambling for the whereabouts of your Oyster card, all the while the rest of London is stood behind you waiting. Yes, you are a monster.
2. Refusing to accept you don’t have enough money on your Oyster card
You swipe and swipe over and over, aghast that your Oyster card could possibly be denying you access. “Open sesame!”, you think, as the gates continue to angrily bleep and block you from entering. No matter, you’ll just push in front of everyone else at the next gate along and repeat the process there.
3. Eating anything with an odour, at any time of day
Obviously fish products, cheesy crisps and McDonald’s top the list here - but even if your food has the slightest whiff, do everyone a favour and eat it before going Underground.
4. Blocking up the entrances at the stairwells
Ah, you’ve arrived on the platform on time! Excellent. No matter about the 500 people behind you who are hoping to board the train too.
5. Talking loudly first thing in the morning
While everyone else is respecting the sombre ‘oh my god, it’s Monday’ silence, you’re on your mobile phone squawking about what happened on Eastenders. Stop. It.
6. Opening the window between the carriages so everyone gets pelted with wind
On the subject of Monday mornings, there’s nothing quite like turning up to the office with hair that looks like it’s been put in a Dyson hand dryer.
7. Sneezing on your fellow Londoners
Sneezing onto your hand and touching the communal pole is one thing, but sneezing into people’s faces is a surefire way to ruin someone’s trust in other human beings.
8. People who shout “can you move down please” when there’s no space
We’re all for making space, but when it’s not actually possible, we just end up shuffling in a distressed circle. Respect the laws of physics and keep quiet.
9. But also, people who don’t move down
You can see the space, we can see the space, and yet you choose to ignore it - even when we shout, “can you move down please.”
10. Taking people watching to a new extreme
We’ve all been there. You’re minding your own business when you notice the person opposite you is staring at you, without shame, for no good reason. Even a pointed 'well then, I'll stare back too' doesn't get the point across. These inquisitive Tube passengers must simply get in the sea.
11. Wearing a huge backpack
If you’re wearing a backpack, remember that you are wearing a backpack. Take it off and sensibly place it on the floor or you'll inadvertently clout people in the face when you try to turn without warning. We also reserve a special fury for people who attempt to get three suitcases onto a train during rush hour.
12. Being a morning breath commuter
There are three simple rules if you want to yawn on the Tube in the morning: brush, floss and mouthwash.
13. Not standing up for pregnant, elderly or those less able to stand
The unspoken rules of the Tube say you have to get up when you spot someone who needs a seat, no matter how selfish you are. Avoiding eye contact is not a solution.
14. Leaning on the poles
When commuters rally together, everyone gets equal space on the Tube poles to hold on. There may be an awkward brushing of hands, but at least we’re able to stay upright on our journey. On a bad day, one selfish person will use the pole as a resting post, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.
Feeling someone’s bare thighs flop against your own during the height of summer is the quickest way to spark a bout of internal screaming.
Same goes for seeing two people vigorously snogging on the Night Tube.
17. Using rush hour as an excuse to lean your entire body weight onto someone else
As soon as it’s busy, people think it’s okay to just abandon all sense of balance and let gravity do its thing. Usually onto a smaller, fellow passenger's back.
18. Basically, everything
Let’s face it. Everything and everyone annoys us on the Tube. There's no escaping the inner turmoil. Just download a nice podcast and pretend it isn't happening.