Ethical dilemna

This guy sat next to me on the 9:29p train and he reeked of alcohol (too bad my iPhone isn’t equipped with an odor recorder).  The train conductor collected his ticket and told him to transfer at Newark.  Then he fell asleep.

Penn to Newark is only 2 stops and I had a feeling he wasn’t going to wake up from his drunken slumber anytime soon so he’d probably miss his stop.  The train conductor announced “Newark next stop” but still nothing. A few minutes later, we arrived at Newark and I thought that train jerking to a stop would jostle him from his sleep, but he kept on sleeping. I thought for a split second, maybe I should wake this guy up.  But then I didn’t and the train pulled away from the station.  Too late.

So when I woke him up finally (because I had to get passed him to get off at my stop), he realized he missed his stop.  So now he’s sitting at the eastbound platform at Bloomfield waiting for the next train back to Newark. And now I kinda feel badly that I didn’t wake his ass up.

What would you have done?

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6 responses to “Ethical dilemna

  1. Uhh… Wake him up. It’s common courtesy no? Sort of like helping an old lady cross the street. It could’ve been you, me or somebody you know. Terrible that you didn’t wake him up FULLY AWARE that he needed to get off at Newark. Shame on you!

  2. OK, so you thought he would miss his stop, you realized he was missing his stop and you let him miss his stop. There’s no question, that’s plain wrong.

    Let me explain why I think you should feel more than “kinda” badly. If you were on the 9:29, then you got to Bloomfield around 10:01. He had to wait until 10:40 for the next train back to Broad. He was probably trying to catch the 10:00 M&E train from Broad, and now he’s hoping that he can catch the 10:59 if the connection works out and he can run from platform to platform in time. And he still has to ride to his town, pick up his car and get home. So by not waking him up you cost him at least an hour and probably got him in trouble for being so late.

    Of course, you DID wake him up when it suited you (and 7 minutes too late for him) so you could get off at Bloomfield. So it wasn’t like he couldn’t be roused. And, ironically, if you had done the decent thing you wouldn’t have even had to deal with his aroma for the last part of your trip.

    So I don’t think there’s a real question. You should change the heading from Ethical Dilemna (sic) to Ethical Failing. Before you deride the “obnoxious people on the trains and subways,” you should make sure that you aren’t talking about people like yourself.

  3. I would have woken him up, if only to get rid of the alcohol reek that much sooner!

  4. Why is everyone so mad over this? It was not YOUR responsibility to wake him up, he’s a grown man. and it’s not like you left him on the train while it was on fire, or stranded him in some terribly dangerous part of town. Plus what if he made it to Newark ON TIME and got into his car DRUNK and killed somebody. You might have saved his life.

    There is no reason to feel bad. his life was not altered in any meaningful way, unless of course you did in fact save his life indirectly by not letting him drive drunk.

  5. Cara, you owed that drunk fool nada! For all those folks who are mad at u, tell ’em to stick it! I’m with PkG, you probably saved someone’s life by giving this fool more time to sober up. It’s not like you failed to rouse someone one their way to a job interview, you let a drunk sleep it off!

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