Thursday, April 19, 2012
Know the Signs: 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?