Analyse The Queue
When people wait in a queue, in essence they’re gathering one behind the other in single file — or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, not every line is created equal. Some curve because there’s not enough room for a straight line in the store, and some waiting areas are larger than others (such as the ones at amusement parks) to accommodate groups waiting together. Queues at stores will occasionally offer some sort of designated method of organisation, even sometimes offering a hired helper to move things along efficiently. Other stores will just let their customers figure things out on their own. Sometimes it’s the worst of both worlds, such as boarding a flight, where an organisation scheme is offered but often ignored (try paying for priority boarding and see how much difference it makes in reality).
It’s in situations lacking this organisation that the problems tend to occur most often, but these are also the type of situations that require the most sympathy. If the rules aren’t clear-cut, it’s very, very easy for any person to misinterpret the rules of the queue. Before you make any decisions about what to do, know what kind of queue you’re in. If the instructions are clear, you can point them out. If they’re not, you may just want to let the issue go. In the event you do want to say something to the cutter, however, tread carefully. It may have been an honest mistake.
Resist The Urge To Get Angry
When I angrily told him I was there first and I thought he was just talking to his friends, the rest of the line suddenly saw a raging little arsehole emerge from the ether. Although I earned my rightful spot back, it was with an angry mob at my back. When you bring anger into the situation, don’t expect things to work in your favour.
Know The Three Rules For Confronting Queue Jumpers
- Don’t get angry. (See above for an explanation why.)
- Ask someone near by — preferably behind you — if they saw that person jump the queue. If they did, you now have an ally who has a vested interest in the outcome of the situation.
- Confront the offender as soon as possible. You’ll lose your chance if you wait.
More Advice From You
Saul suggests a veiled threat:
If it’s a man, I say “don’t cut,” and if he argues I say “I have a gun.”
Matt McCormick suggests giving them a taste of their own medicine and pretending like they don’t exist either:
If they cut me, I will act like I didn’t see them and walk into them. Even better if I have loud big shopping bags.
Luis Sierra says just deal with it:
I usually don’t care, I’ve learned to be a bit more patient when I can. People can be in a rush, scumbags, or just stupid. Chill.
Mikayla Schneiter takes the simple approach:
A simple, polite, I’m-trying-to-be-helpful-here “Hey man, the line starts back there, just so you know” should cut it. There are a lot of situations that could make it look like someone’s trying to cut in line, when in reality s/he’s making an honest mistake or doing something pretty irrelevant.
Got any of your own advice on dealing with the notorious queue jumper? Let’s hear it in the comments!