Friday, August 10, 2007

Queuing Etiquette Gone Awry

I walked into a Ross store to return some items and found several lines to choose from. The one I went to had a young woman waiting for two different lines. As I had just been in the store a couple days prior I knew that they wanted customers to pick a line to stand in. So, feeling bold, I asked the woman waiting which register she was waiting for. She replied whichever one was fastest. Then I said something to the point that there were two lines and she needed to make a choice for one register or the other. When she just stood there I went ahead and went to the left since that was also the one at the customer service counter. I don’t think she really liked that because her line went faster and as soon as she was finished she turned to me with a look like, “You’re such a bitch.” I simply smiled and she continued walking out.

Is it inappropriate to ask someone to choose a line? That’s like driving down the middle of the highway to make sure one lane was faster.


  1. Actually, I find it to be more "civilized" when there is 1 main line & people move from that line to each register as it's available.

  2. It was one of those things that from living in Asia for soooo long, I am used to NOT waiting in lines and I tried to be polite by asking. I am used to being pushed out of the way and thus making my own way to the front.

    What she wasn't aware of was that the sales rep in the store the day before wanted separate lines rather than one main line.

    In the end, it wasn't a big deal since she got the faster line, and I needed to return something.

    I'm tired of people feeling it's rude to politely ask people to adjust what they're doing in public. What happened to responding civily to other people's requests? I wasn't asking anything outrageous such as can I go first.

    I wasn't in a hurry. I just wanted to know which line she was going to choose.