Thursday, April 19, 2012

Know the Signs: Queue

If there's one thing that Netflix has done for our American culture (other than glue us to our couches) it's educated us on the definition of the word "Queue."

A "queue", in case you live under a rock, or don't have Netflix, or don't read, or have never been to the U.K., or you live in the U.K. but are mute, or live in basically any other country where the proper Queen's English is spoken--but you speak French, is a "line or sequence of people or vehicles, (or movies) awaiting their turn to be attended to."

Knowing signs of queuing are simple.  If you are waiting for something you want and someone is standing where you would like to be standing while someone else is standing where you used to be standing, then you are in a queue.   The rules of queuing are necessary for your happiness and survival in this tough world.  If you drive, attend school, go grocery shopping, mail gifts to unappreciative college age children, or just like ice cream, you will inevitably find yourself in a queue.

Queue etiquette in the U.S. dictates that you don't stand too close to those ahead of you.  In the rest of the world, this will cause you untold problems that will consist mainly of Germans thinking that you are stupid and that it is their responsibility to fix this oversight--which they will do until you are kissing the back of their necks, or their bums, depending on how tall they are.

And they're right.  We Americans treat queues like the last great frontier.  I was in a shop the other day where there were multiple cashiers.  Instead of allowing two lines to evolve, a brazen man-floozy hovered in the space where two healthy lines could potentially coexist without fear of God or man.  "Man-floozy" because he did this little dance between the two cashiers trying to save "his place" until one was free...and nothing says floozy more than whoring yourself in between two people who may get the high honor of scanning your broccoli.

Conversely, when finding myself in other countries, I'm always interested and delighted by how many people think they can fit in the MASSIVE eighteen inch gap between this admittedly stupid American and the person in front of me.  The answer is no less than two grown Brits, three singing Austrians and seven French women, and the only reason it was seven and not eight was because one of the women was carrying a huge handbag.

So, know the signs, don't be a man-floozy, queue with caution.

How do you queue?  





17 comments:

  1. I absolutely claim the stupid American title and don't you (general you - not you, dear Lisa) dare get in my space. Especially at Walmart. That is all.

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  2. Really? I think I now take more of a European take--I'm like, "Hey dude, you're not the only one in line, scoot up before I cut you." :D

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  3. I don't like to have my personal space invaded. And, to be fair, I will also give you YOUR personal space and not get so close that I can look over your shoulder and see the photos in your wallet or how much money is in there.

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    1. Madeline, my personal space bubble of comfort is about the size of a football stadium...unless I know the person. Of course, I AM originally from Idaho, so my personal space requirements are unnaturally large as I'm used to empty forests and plains...:)

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  4. Having moved from the UK to Spain, we all laugh at work about how everyone queueuing to get onto the metro (worst) or even at supermarket (marginally better) is practically up your bum when it doesn't get them there any faster. We take it to mean we are just THAT gorgeous.

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  5. If the line is too long and slow, I've been known to simply leave my would be purchase to come back another day. I just cannot handle standing in lines. Or queques either for that matter.

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    1. I've only done that when I had little tiny kids, now I just people watch...

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  6. I'm British, therefore I queue with flair! :-)

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    1. Well done! You Brits are the best queue-ers, and the most polite!

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  7. OK, choked on my own spittle at 'man-floozy.'

    I'm with you on the whole personal space thing. Invade it and YOU WILL die...

    My mum however, likes to take the more vocal route. To the man standing behind her, "Jesus, I think he's trying to have sex with me."

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    1. Your mum sounds like my kind of woman!

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  8. I have found personal space does indeed differ from area to area. In NYC, everyone crowds together, in NC where I live, there's a fair amount of room. So you're from Idaho? Me too!, well, sort of. I grew up there most of my childhood - Nampa. Stopping by from the blog challenge - nice to meet you!

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  9. I see you haven't been to India, where in several places a queue = crowd. :) Its a different concept.
    I love your writing, you're so good at humor which is a tough thing to do. Am still laughing at the floozy!

    http://skaypisms.blogspot.com/

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  10. Once again you have provided a very valuable service in exlpaining the signs, and I thank you. I now realize the mistake I have been making by standing in line, when I really should have been following queue rules!

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  11. I think the post office and the dmv is where you'll know exactly how much patience you have when it comes to waiting in line. I think it's worse when the service is bad but sometimes it's totally worth the wait.

    hope you're not in a queue waiting to enjoy your day.

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