What the hell problem do Australians have with a queue?


Okay – so we’ve all been there. Stuck in line at Coles wondering what on earth is taking so long. But at the end of the day for me there is a small voice that said ‘Well, you DID choose to come here at 5:15pm on a Friday night, so of course it is busy.’

Others it seems don’t have that small voice. Or they yell at it til it shuts up.

I’ve seen it before, this ugly snarling in supermarket queues as if we all had a birthright to choose our items and sail through checkout without any delay.

But this morning…it’s a Monday morning right? So if you were a savvy commuter, you would buy your ticket on a Friday evening, or on the weekend, or buy them from the newsagents/post office where they’re undated and just activate themselves on the first use, or order them online and have them delivered. So many options other than getting out of bed at the usual time, then lining up on a Monday morning when thousands of commuters begin their working week and expecting – nay, demanding – that you’ll be able to sail to the window, collect your ticket and be on your merry way with no delay.

My son has managed to lose his rail pass within about a week of it being issued. He gave me the form for the replacement last night and it needs to be handed in at the station and paid for in cash. I decided I’d suck it up and do it Monday morning even though with the queues I might be late. It needed to happen and it could only happen there unless I wanted to post it in and wait another week and spend every morning purchasing individual tickets and lining up (and paying another $20 on top of the $25 replacement). I did not want that and so we queued.

There must have been at least ten people ahead of me, but I waited. I knew I was missing trains but I waited. I had to do this task, it needed to be done, there was nothing for it. So I was standing there being positive and mentally calculating that a/ I still had time to make it and b/ if I was late that was too bad, it was the consequence of having to line up on a Monday morning and not making alternative arrangements. Finally it’s my turn. It turns out that the guy has to write it in a book – then another, then write out a reciept. It probably took five or six minutes all up. I was certainly conscious of the people behind me, and of trains leaving etc. Then the heckling started ‘Fuck! What are you DOING??’ etc. When I finish up I’m acutely aware of the delay, though you know, it’s only taken about five minutes and I couldn’t do it elsewhere. As I walk away a woman yells ‘Thanks a LOT lady!’ and glares at me like I’ve singlehandedly ruined her day and made her late for work.

You know, I was feeling sheepish about the time it had taken but really if you are going to queue up on a Monday morning for your weekly ticket despite the multitude of other options, and you haven’t allowed any time for the Monday queues possibly taking some time, then whose problem is that really? That and take it down several notches. Are you really comfortable abusing a stranger? Also in the presence of her child? Are you that okay with your own fury at trival things that you don’t mind showing it to others? It’s a Monday morning! If you choose to line up then there will be delays – choose another time or work on your patience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s