Commuting to work is a necessary evil – even if it usually means taking a journey that is wrought with overpacked tube carriages and becoming unexpectedly acquainted with the stinking armpit of the person standing next to you.
But a new study of 2,000 people has now examined the true extent of our commuting bugbears – and found that two thirds of us dislike our journey to work – as we’re commonly enraged by loud mobile phone users, smelly food and thoughtless passengers.
It doesn’t take long for the red mist to descend either – with the average person admitting that they become fed up just 13 minutes into their commute, and almost a third of respondents admitting that their daily trek is the worst part of their working day.
But if you rely on public transport to get you to the office, it’s likely that you’ll be cheesed off by the person who insists on using the high hand rails despite the foul odour emanating from their armpits.
Among the other irritations were people who put their feet on the seats, or the heartless passengers that don’t give up their seats to the elderly.
Here’s the top 50 bug bears for all commuters.
TOP 50 COMMUTER BUG-BEARS
1. Being stuck in traffic for hours on end
2. De-icing the car
3. People who change lane last minute and nearly cause an accident
4. Traffic lights which seem to serve no purpose
5. People talking loudly on the phone on public transport
6. People who hog the seat with their bags
8. Getting in the car and having to wait for the condensation to clear
9. Middle lane drivers
10. Aggressive people
11. People taking up more than their fair share of space
12. Sunday drivers on the road in rush hour
13. Needing the toilet when stuck in traffic
14. Very delayed trains, buses or trains
15. When the traffic light god isn’t on your side
16. People refusing to give up their seat for others more needy (e.g. older passengers, pregnant women, people with disabilities or those with young children)
17. Cyclists running red lights
18. People who drive at 50mph on the motorway
19. When buses or trains simply don’t turn up
20. Noisy children
21. When the bin men (or women) block the road and you have to wait for them to very slowly finish emptying all the bins
22. Trying to find a parking space at work
23. Feet on the seats
25. People undertaking on the motorway
26. People eating loudly on public transport
27. Cyclists or motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic
28. Drunk people on the way home from work
29. People who push in when queuing to get on public transport
30. Getting in the car and realising you should have got petrol the day before as now you don’t have enough time
31. People who listen to terrible music (loudly)
32. Having to stand under someone’s armpit
33. When people accelerate really slowly and they get through the traffic lights and you don’t
34. Leaving rubbish on the train tables / bus floors
35. No air conditioning or ventilation on public transport during the summer
36. People who eat smelly food next to you
37. When there’s a cycle lane immediately to their left and cyclists use the main road instead
38. When you’re on time and your train / bus is late
39. People who stand in train doorways rather than moving down the carriage
40. Passengers that sniff or snort loudly on public transport
41. Impatient people who don’t wait for you to get off the Tube, train or bus first before barging on
42. When you let someone in and they get through the traffic lights and you don’t
43. Phone reception cutting out every five minutes
44. Waiting ages and then two buses arrive at once
45. People who have body odour and insist on using high grab rails
46. People who sit next to you despite there being lots of empty seats elsewhere
47. People asking you to move down the carriage when there’s clearly no more space available
48. People who swear on public transport
49. People who don’t let you in when you’re trying to get on a busy bus, train, or Tube
50. The disappointment of your bus driving past because it is full
But it could be a lot worse. The study was commissioned by animal charity SPANA to highlight the huge journeys taken by working animals everyday.
SPANA Chief Executive Geoffrey Dennis said: ‘When taking the same journey to and from work every single day, it’s understandable that these persistent irritations can seem like a big deal.
‘During your commute, the last thing you want is to suffer delays or have to put up with inconsiderate behaviour. However, these annoyances aren’t the end of the world, particularly when compared to some of the problems endured by people and animals in developing countries – and the journeys they have to face.
‘Every day, many working animals overseas have to walk miles, carrying back-breaking loads in difficult terrain and in temperatures exceeding 40˚C. During such journeys, these animals often have little shelter, water or rest, while they are at risk of being hit by cars and buses.’
Now, we’re thinking that our quibbles aren’t so bad after all…