Pardon me, while I go off on a rant.
Since I came to work for Google, I have a pretty long commute. Most of the time, I don’t really mind it. It’s all by train – first commuter rail from home into the city, and then subway from the terminal to my office. Commuting by train is not bad at all – you get some quiet time before and after work, to sit and read, or just relax.
But in a year of doing this, I’ve learned a couple of things. And today’s commute gave me a perfect example of one of them. People who wear suits to work in Manhattan are the biggest god-damned dicks you’ll find anywhere.
I see just about every kind of people you can imagine on the subway on my commute: black, white, and every shade of brown that there is. I hear
just about every language you can think of: today, I’m sure that I heard
english, spanish, hindi, cantonese, and japanese being spoken by different people. But the only group of people that I’ve had any unpleasant experiences with are white guys in suits.
I cringe when one gets onto the train behind me. Because they’re invariably the people who feel like they’ve got a right to more personal space than anyone else, and will freely use their elbows to enforce that. They’re the people who’ll park their ass right in front of the subway door, and refuse to step aside to let people off of the train. They’re the rudest, most obnoxious, entitled, shits you’ll ever have the misfortune to meet.
And they’re also the ones who complain more bitterly about everyone else on the train. The asshole who won’t get out of the doorway of the train
is always the guy who opens up about how rude black men are after one of then pushes his way through to get off the train at his stop. They’re the ones who, after elbowing other people aside, bitch about the dominican guy who they had to shove. They’re the ones who can’t talk to each other without shouting – and then shout about how annoying it is to them to have to listen to people on the train speaking spanish.
The stereotypes of New York City invariably portray New Yorkers as rude, obnoxious people. But usually, the ones that they’re portraying as rude aren’t the guys in suits; it’s always the minorities or the working class. But in a year of this commute, I’ve never seen one of those stereotypical New Yorkers being the least bit rude. In fact, in general, I think New Yorkers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. (The best description I’ve ever heard of New Yorkers was “If you’re walking out of the subway with a stack of papers, and drop them, New Yorkers are the people who’ll help you catch all of your papers, and then tell you what an idiot you are for dropping them.” That’s NY; we’re very direct, but for the most part, we’re good people.)
The assholes are always the rich guys in suits on their way to work, who feel like they’re entitled to more than anyone else.
What brought this little rant on is that I got stuck on the subway this morning. Four guys in pinstripe suits got on behind me; spend the ride sneering like a bunch of overprivileged frat-boys about every non-white person on the train, and then as a group, blocked the doors at my stop, so that no one could get off. They weren’t trying to block the doors; they just happened to be standing there, and the idea of taking a step to one side to let anyone off the train – well, they weren’t about to move for
a bunch of lower-class slime. It wasn’t their stop. Of course, if anyone got in their way when they wanted to get off, they would have gone off into a giant flaming rant about how awful it was that the Insert Ethnic Group of Perpetrator got in their way, and weren’t all Members Of Said Ethnic Group a bunch of jerks.
It’s pretty much exactly the Bill O’Reilly syndrome. I’m sure everyone
remembers how he was shocked that at a black restaurant in Harlem, no one was
shouting out “Hey motherfucker, more ice tea over here” – because he really
deep down believes that minorities are a bunch of crude, stupid, obnoxious
assholes. But his regular daily behavior is even worse than his stereotypes
of his hated minorities.