Feeling awkward on the train


goo Ranking recently took a look at what makes people feel uncomfortable on a train.


Between the 23rd and 26th of March 2011 1,070 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-base questionnaire. 53.4% of the sample were female, 10.2% in their teens, 13.1% in their twenties, 24.7% in their thirties, 23.7% in their forties, 13.3% in their fifties, and 15.0% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

I’d bet that most of my readers would feel irritated or frustrated rather than uncomfortable by someone stealing their seat, but I suppose feeling awkward is a very Japanese reaction. The two number sixes are similar, I think. Personally, I’ve been embarrassed by number two (especially if it includes drooling, snoring and sleeping on someone’s shoulder), number three, and number nine.

Ranking result

Q: What makes you feel uncomfortable on a train? (Sample size=1,070)

Rank Score
1When about to take an empty seat someone darts in ahead of me100
2Suddenly jolting myself awake while dozing85.4
3After sprinting into the train just before the doors close the guard makes an announcement about it being dangerous77.5
4After almost sleeping past my stop, getting up to exit but the doors close in front of me70.8
5Meeting up with someone I don’t really get on with too well69.9
6=Giving up my seat for someone to sit, but they refuse62.5
6=Getting on a packed train with large luggage62.5
8My stomach rumbling59.8
9Getting squashed by the closing doors on boarding55.1
10Being in a table seat of four but the other three are friends52.1
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