New Survey Reveals What We Hate Most About Commuting

It may come as no surprise to hear that loud talkers really give us the sh**s.

Move over manspreaders, there's a new pet peeve in town. And on the bus to town.

And the train.

In a survey conducted by online accounting site MYOB, it seems loud talking on public transport tops the list of pet hates for Australian commuters.

And oh my goodness yes.

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Oh please just shut the f*** up. Image: Getty

Twenty-one percent of respondents, in fact, said that someone talking loudly into their phones was irritating to them as they made their way to work in the morning.

Eighty-six per cent of us are bothered by behaviour exhibited by our fellow passengers in fact -- and of course we are, because other people are annoying. Right?

Interestingly men find loud talking more irritating (23 percent), compared to women (19 percent).


According to Zarife Hardy, Director of the Australian School Of Etiquette, it's little wonder many of us hate the peace of our commute getting shattered.

Image: Getty.

"Firstly most people speak three times louder when on the phone," she told 10 daily. "If you choose to answer your phone in public then it should be short and to the point. We shouldn't be engaging in long conversations that everyone else can hear over the phone. Remember we have voice mail for a reason and you can return the call when you are somewhere private or quiet. Be considerate of other people at all times, it shows respect, care and ultimately makes people feel safe."

So if you are stuck on the bus with a loud talker, what should you do?

"When someone is speaking loudly there isn't too much you can do. If another seat is available you can move, if you manage to engage in eye contact with the mobile phone user you may subtly put your finger up to your mouth and gently motion a 'SHHHHHHHHHH' action with no sound," she recommended.

Taking up too much space on the seat -- the dreaded  'manspreading' -- came in second with 15 percent of respondents rating it the worst commuter habit, and here's no surprise -- women are more likely to be bothered by it (17 percent), compared to men (14 percent).

"Manspreading is becoming more prevalent in today's society because our posture is poor!" said Hardy. "When we sit up straight then it is almost impossible to manspread.'

If manspreading causes contact with another person, it becomes a violation of someone's personal space which can be harassment. Some countries are now placing posters on their pubic transport systems saying that it is banned.

And what can we do about it? Well very little, she said.

"What you do is politely ask the person to please move over a little so you can sit on the seat beside them."

Good luck.

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And in terms of which state gets annoyed by which habit -- the survey reveals some interesting things about people all over the country.

Metro Queenslanders, for example, are more likely to be irritated by people taking up too much space on the seat than any other state, with 24 percent saying that annoys them.

South Australians find people talking loudly more annoying than those in any other state (33 percent)

Victorians have less tolerance for people playing loud music while people in WA are more likely to be bothered by people eating smelly food than any other state.


"Firstly," said Hardy about that very thing, "we really shouldn't eat in public places that aren't designated for eating. You may get away with food that it small, not drippy, no fragrance, not hot or unlikely to make a mess. You certainly don't want to be dropping food on your fellow passenger! Back to that word respect, you are sitting beside someone and this behaviour may make them feel incredibly uncomfortable. It is not your lounge room or kitchenette!"


So what can you do, Perth residents, when someone starts chowing down next to you?

"When someone sits beside you and opens up that deliciously fragrant tuna sandwich the only real option you have is to move," advised Hardy. "Our body language can also be a little subtle at times so gently turning your back may also give them a signal."

Feature image: Getty.