Go Sit Somewhere Else

Sometimes I just don’t want certain people sitting next to me. It’s not that I am anti-social. I just like to enjoy my commute in relative peace and quiet.

I see them coming towards me, and I look away from them, as if my gaze is a tractor beam, drawing these unwanted travel companions towards me. They may be lovely, kind people. They just make lousy travelling companions.

Perhaps the person talks too loudly on a cell phone and begins chatting nonstop. Or maybe the person  falls asleep and uses me as a cushion. For the rest of the commute, I am Sisyphus, constantly pushing him so that he leans away from me, only for him to fall back towards me.  There are people who are sick, and constantly cough and sneeze (and then they seem offended when I put on a surgical mask to keep myself germ free).

Trying to discourage these people from sitting next to me can be quite challenging. I can always claim that I am saving the seat for someone else. Sometimes I will pretend to cough, scaring them away out of fear of my germs. Or sometimes I will try more novel approaches, such as the one I describe in my recent story, Repulsion.

What do you do when someone sits next to you and you wish that they would sit somewhere else? Do you bluntly ask them to sit somewhere else? Or do you you have some technique to subtly encourage them to sit somewhere else? Share your story by clicking on the Comment below.

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