Friday, February 17

Queue Etiquette

This is my local post office - i tried an experiment here. With plenty of time on my hands (and with others looking hurried) i decided to let people go in front of me in the queue.

Have you ever tried to offer someone your place in a queue? You really have to work hard to get them to take it. Even though it is clearly to their advantage, unless you insist, the person will refuse. Despite the repeated glances towards the clock on the wall, and the deep breathing (having dashed from the carpark) the person will refuse your offer (unless you really insist). Why is this so? Is it politeness - or do they think it's a trick - that there's some sort of catch?

So next time i tried something a little different. When someone was behind me in the queue, instead of offering them my spot, i would just leave the queue and pretend to look at merchandise. You can guess what happened. Though the store is small (see photo) and my absence was a mere 6-8 seconds, my place is taken.

Offer somebody something, and they refuse. Leave it unattended for a moment, and they take it. What does all this mean? I'm not quite sure.