Sunday, 7 October 2012

Queueing - yes or no?

Queueing - yes or no?

Obviously, as an Englishman, queueing is a great hobby of mine.

But, I have a couple of situations that I'd like you to consider.  And feel free to respond in the comments, as when I raised this in the past I had about a fifty / fifty split for and against and I'd be interested in your feedback.

Is it okay to jump queues?

Now when I say that, of course it isn't okay to see a queue, and then barge into the front of it.  That's clearly wrong.

But say that you're in a supermarket.

There's one till (checkout if you're american) open.

There's a queue of say, five people, at the till.  You happily join the queue, becoming number six.

Then a second till opens.

You react faster than the others, and become number one at the new opened till.

Is that okay?

I'm of the opinion that it is.  No one is worse off because of the new till opening (unless you do something silly like go from number two at the old till to number four at the new till) and everything's good.

But I know some of you don't agree.

What about if at the time of the new till opening, all that you're buying is three packs of nappies, which you're holding in one hand, whilst carrying a struggling, wailing toddler with your left arm?

My son has this particular procedure - you walk with him into the supermarket, he wants to go look at something but he's holding your hand, when he can't let go he flops to the floor.  You pick him up, so he then flops over in your arm to make it harder to carry him.

And the one thing I do take issue with is certain supermarkets where they have staff signpost the best queues!  When there's a space they openly point people towards it!  One of the great skills of the English is to skim across a number of tills, identifying the best one to select.  It's like Deal or No Deal, do you go for till 4 with one person in front of you with a full till, or do you risk going to look at till 9, which looks as though the belt is half empty, but what if they're going to close?  Or what if there's something really slow packing at till 9 so you'll be left stood waiting, frustrated, while someone takes the place that rightfully should be yours at till 4?

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  It's the way of the tills.

But some supermarkets try to fix this!

Not right.


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