Public Interest Courtesy Rule #17

Bus WindowHumans have some pretty basic needs that must be met to ensure their continued survival. We have a base requirement for food, shelter, water, clothing, and oxygen. Quite simply we need to breathe. While not something that can be readily identified in the air around us, oxygen is present in the air that we breathe and has the important job of keeping our blood oxygenated. Though we may not always appreciate it, oxygen is critical for our life on earth.

When confined in enclosed or sheltered locations such as on a bus or within a building, we can find ourselves cut off from a fresh supply of oxygen. Often this only has to be a momentary problem as we find that if air conditioning is not available to cool and keep the air fresh and circulating, self opening windows will be provided. The kind designers of these facilities make it easy for us to ensure air and oxygen are readily available and can be regulated for the comfort of all.

Unfortunately though sometimes the people who find themselves in control of these windows, prefer to keep their surroundings in an oxygen deprived environment. For some reason, no matter how hot or how cold, through rain or shine, when it’s windy or still, these people stubbornly refuse to open the windows. Those unfortunate people situated further away from the windows, can suffer dreadfully because of this refusal to ‘share the air’. This problem is especially evident when people are crowded together, with limited space and limited circulating air.

Perhaps it is in an effort to protect their hairstyles, avoid the fresh fragrance of the landscape as it passes by, or maybe they are aliens who do not require oxygen. Whatever the reason, it can make time spent in their company extremely hard to bear. If you do not like fresh air or open windows, perhaps you should move to an alternate area and let someone else appreciate the location.

If you are fortunate enough to get a window seat, spare a thought for your fellow earth dwellers, open the window and let the air freely circulate.


  1. jan

    I’ve had the misfortune of working in buildings where the windows did not open. Ever. Most of them were buildings where students were being taught. I find this to be a most unpleasant environment and I leave as soon as I possibly can. No studies have ever been done that I can find to see if windowless buildings are harmful to the people who are trapped therein.

  2. The Artist

    We all need that fresh air. Stayed in a hotel once where you couldn’t open the windows and it was really horrible. Felt like my lifeline had been cut off.

  3. Tracey

    Hi Jan – That’s dreadful! Building designers really need to think of the people that will eventually inhabit them. Sometimes it is merely about cost and appearance, when design should focus on human functionality. I cannot imagine that much goodness can come from a windowless environment.

    Hi The Artist – Absolutely! I’ve stayed in such a hotel – there were no opening windows, no balcony…and pretty poor air conditioning. I felt trapped and the atmosphere was particularly stifling. At our last house we couldn’t open any windows because of the amount of pest geckos which would then come in…unfortunately there were no screens to block the insects, so we had to rely on the air-con…most unpleasant.

  4. fruityoaty

    Yes, a couple of years ago, I worked in this old factory that was converted into loft style office workspaces… It was gorgeous and had the urban deconstructed feel, but man… the air circulation was awful.

    I’m so glad I work at home now for the last 2 years. I can pretty do anything I want at home… go out to the garden with my laptop. Of course, that can be quite distracting at time… LOL.

  5. Nico

    How very true…now if only public transport patrons would learn to keep their own breath to themselves, and as silent as possible.

  6. Tracey

    Hi fruityoaty – The factory sounds lovely…(anything ‘lofty’ impresses me)…but the whole lack of air circulation really wouldn’t be all that appealing. Lucky you to be working from home now. I’d LOVE to be doing that, but I so understand how the freedom and flexibility could have its downsides.

    Hi Nico – How many public transport issues can we both uncover??? LOL
    And just when will people start listening to us???

  7. Nico

    There’s no limit to the ways public transport could be improved – we could devote an entire blog just to listing them!

  8. Tracey

    Hi Nico (again) – So true…there is just too much wisdom to share with those who seem to understand so little about what should and shouldn’t be done on, in or around public transport.

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