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Friday, August 15, 2008

Jeepney Ethics

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“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.” (Francis Bacon, Sr.)

Haven’t we been taught time and again (in school, at home, and in the workplace) about how to be polite and courteous towards our fellowmen/women? Haven’t we been taught about manners and ethics? Haven’t we been taught about what’s right and what’s not? I just can’t understand why, at times, we seem to forget being the civilized, educated, and logical beings that we are.

For so many years I have been taking jeepneys (as well as FXs) to go to wherever, I can’t help but notice the lack of courtesy among many of my fellow passengers/commuters. It infuriates me to see people not showing any bit of care for others. What can you lose if you would go out of your way to contribute (in some miniscule ways) to the greater benefit of others? We’re only talking about moving an arm or leg or shift a few millimeters to the right or left here! It’s that simple! Good grief!

For the benefit of everyone, be nice… be courteous… do these when you’re riding the jeepney…
  1. When getting on a jeepney that is already crowded with people, make it a habit to say “excuse me” as you go down the aisle to find a seat.
  2. When paying, especially if you’re seated at the tail end of the vehicle, POLITELY ASK the other passengers to pass your fare on to the driver. Do not just say “bayad po” and expect the other passengers to get your fare and pass it on to the driver. Or worse, do not just extend your arm with your fare in your hand without saying a word and expect someone to react to that!
  3. Always make it a point to thank the person/passenger to whom you passed your fare to.
  4. If you hear somebody asking for a favor to pass his/her fare on to the driver, please always try to make an effort to do so. Don’t just sit there and act as if you’re not hearing or seeing anything. Remember, you’ve asked for the same favor before and will surely be asking for the same again and again for as long as you ride jeepneys.
  5. If you get on a jeepney that’s empty, pay the driver as soon as you are seated. Don’t wait for someone else to get on and wait for the moment that he/she pays his/her fare and ask him/her to hand your fare to the driver along with his/hers.
  6. Always make an effort to sit properly in a manner that will allow passengers (who get on after you) to find their seats easily. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to move before doing so. If you got on a jeepney that is already crowded, try to sort of “squeeze” yourself against the person sitting next to you.
  7. If you feel that the person next to you is “pinning” you, try to flow with it and move yourself in the same direction and “squeeze” yourself against the other person sitting next to you.
  8. Sit straight (perpendicular to the backrest) and try to keep your arms and legs directly in front of you. Guys, try to put your knees as close together as possible, it makes no sense at all to sit with your legs spread widely apart unless you have hernia. Also, if you need to hold on to the ceiling handle bar, please hold on to the bar with your arm(s) directly in front of you. Don’t extend your arm to the side and cover the face(s) of the person(s) you’re sitting next to. And girls (and some guys as well), as I have already mentioned, sit perpendicularly to the backrest, sitting at a 45 degree angle may be more comfortable, but you’re occupying more than one person’s worth of seating space.
  9. If someone is getting off (or on) and you are holding on to the handle bar, put your hand down for a while, at least until after he/she goes past you. Doing this will give him/her something to hold on to to aide his/her balance as he/she goes down the aisle.
  10. Those of you who have long hair, always (ALWAYS) bunch up your hair and swing it over your shoulder (to your chest). If it’s not that long… well… the bottom line is DON’T allow your hair to fly onto the face of the person sitting next to you!
  11. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, put your bag (or whatever it is you are carrying) on your lap. Not on the floor/aisle or on the seat (unless you are going to pay for the seating space occupied by your bag). Try to make an effort in keeping the aisle free of any obstruction.
  12. AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, try to position whatever it is you are carrying in such a way that it is not obstructing the passage way or invading the space of other passengers.
  14. If you need to get off, say so! DO NOT knock on the ceiling. DO NOT make that squeaking sound with your lips. DO NOT whistle. DO NOT make THAT hissing sound. It doesn’t take much more effort to say “para po” or “diyan lang po sa tabi” than to do any of those things.
  15. If someone gets off at a location that is relatively close to where you are getting off (like a few feet/meters away), please get off already!!! For Pete’s sake, use your legs and walk once in a while!
  16. If it’s raining and you’re carrying a wet umbrella, fold your umbrella as soon as you get on the vehicle and try to avoid letting it touch anyone’s legs.
  17. Try not to sleep while you’re on the jeepney because it’s very likely that you’ll be using one of the persons you’re sitting next to as your pillow.
  18. If you’re eating/drinking something inside the jeepney, please take the containers/wrappers with you when you get off. DO NOT leave them in the vehicle unless the jeepney you’re on has a waste basket. Never ever hurl them out the window. Same goes with gums.
  19. If you are the only one seated on the front seat, please move yourself towards the driver if someone else is going to sit in front with you and allow him/her to take the outer seating space. If you want to keep the outer seat, get off first and allow the other person to get in before climbing back to your seat. Do not try to contort your body in a show of effort in letting the other person pass because the “extra” space you’ll be creating will not be big enough to allow for a trouble-free passage for any person (of any size).
  20. If you are seated at the outer side of the front passenger seat and the person beside you is getting off, get out of the vehicle and allow him/her to get off easily. I repeat, do not just contort your body (and try to squeeze yourself deeper into your seat) because the “extra” space you’ll be creating will not be big enough to allow for a trouble-free passage for any person (of any size).
  21. Guys, let’s be gentlemen… and ladies, don’t be prima donnas. Let’s all be courteous to one another and we’ll all be happy.
Thank you.


Anonymous said...

riding on top of a jeepney is not allowed in cebu city except for those going to provinces.. but i didn't see it with my own eyes.. I just heard other people talking about it. :) thanks for visiting my blog. i'll add you to my blogroll. have a great day po..

Author said...

Couldn't agree more. Jeepneys here in Cebu City are far more civilized than those in our hometown in Mindanao. The only thing that I don't like about the Jeepneys here in Cebu is that the "konduktor" will still fetch passengers even if there if all the seats are already taken.

Really bad.

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