Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Line, line, everywhere a line...

The past few days, I've spent more time than I could possibly have wanted standing in a variety of lines - at the bank, at the grocery store, and so on. Being an inveterate (but not invertebrate) observer of people, here are a few of the things that I've noticed:
  • There seem to be an inordinate number of dumbshits that plan to pay for a purchase with a check, but refuse to start filling the damn thing out while they're in line. Instead, they elect to wait until their entire purchase is rung up to start writing - apparently, they're afraid the date or name of the store will change while they're not looking...
  • A transaction of pretty much any kind that involves a guy is accomplished in fairly short order; one where there are two women will most likely take anywhere from 5 to 10 times longer, depending on how well they know each other - regardless of how many people are piling up in line. There seem to be VERY few exceptions to this...
  • An ungodly number of people wander around that are unable to remember what kinds of food items are available in various fast food establishments - necessitating that they get up to the cashier and stand there staring vacuously at the menu for several minutes while they try to make up their minds. The pictures on the menu only seem to confuse them...
  • Some folks never seem to have learned line etiquette: they see nothing wrong with bolting from line 'A' to line 'B' when 'B' appears to be moving faster - only to want to reclaim their previous position in 'A' when it starts going.
  • There are families that are so close that every last one of them - including Uncle Bob, Cousin Leroy, Grandma Moses, and their dog Ralph - want to share the experience of standing in line.
  • A (fortunately rare) few people don't even seem to grasp the very concept of lining up - they'll wander up to where several people are waiting their turn for whatever product or service is being offered and try to get what they want instantly, if not sooner. Pointing out that there are others waiting - who arrived before THEY did - generally results in look of surprised bafflement as they try to come to grips with the idea that they can't have what they want. Those few that don't get looks of befuddlement are usually of the opinion that they are the most important thing in the Universe, and try the "I'm in a hurry" ploy - and get offended when it doesn't work.
There's one good thing about lines, however: as a vet, any time I go somewhere that there will be other vets, we KNOW how to stand in lines.

1 comment:

dogette said...

The other day I was in a drugstore and there was one cashier open. The employee clerk was ringing up a woman, and there was a man SORT OF in line behind her. Being the polite type, I asked him if he was in line because he was sort of drifting about talking on his cell phone. I gestured too, like, "Psst are you in this line or what?" He never really answered. Too involved on the phone. So I stood waaaay back and when the clerk was ready for the next person there was major confusion while Important Call Jackass sort of started to move forward, but then backed off yet again. I snapped, "Look. Are you IN LINE OR NOT?!" He kept yakking on the phone and did this not-all-there smile/wave thing. I still wasn't sure. I went ahead of him. Far as I know he's still back there waffling around the checkout counter on his phone. It is his job to be annoying and create confusion where there should be none.