The Etiquette Coach

Tubes & Trains

This is my first ever blog. I have just started an etiquette coaching business teaching modern manners.

By modern manners I mean ‘today’s manners’ so that we can improve ourselves and better interact with people we meet socially and in business. I am going to elaborate more on this as my blogs progresses but, for now, I would like to do a short piece on the tube (London underground) and train etiquette.

I have travelled on the London underground for many years, mainly the Piccadilly & Victoria lines. Recently, partly because my daughter is  pregnant  and commutes to London everyday from St Albans,  it has become a talking point with us, specifically who (if anyone at all) is most willing to offer up their seat to the elderly, pregnant ladies, or the disabled. From my personal experience I have found tube travellers, particularly young men, to be very kind indeed. On my journeys home, often with aching feet from wearing high heels – as yet I cannot do the trainer shoe thing, laden with bags, I have almost always been offered a seat by a man and it is always very much appreciated. Now the question I find myself asking is why, in this modern day of equality, should it only be men giving up their seats?

It’s rather old fashioned people like me who like the idea of a man giving up his seat for a lady. However, I would most certainly offer my seat to a person in need, because it’s the kind thing to do, and the well-mannered thing to do.

I am told that, unlike the tube, it is not so easy to get a seat on the commuter trains. With the longer journey times, people are often more reluctant to offer their seats up to those less able to stand , from my daughter’s experience, fellow female passengers being the most unlikely to offer. Kindness and manners cost nothing and surely we should be aiming for equality in all facets of life? Let us all think about this when next we are travelling and ask ourselves whether, for example, our child could sit on our knee so as to free a seat, or could we offer our seat to an elderly person? After all, we will all be old one day. Give this a thought.

A very dear young lady in her thirties put this to me  –

‘I consider it rather antiquated for a man to feel obliged to give up his seat for a woman’.