The Orbit

September 25, 2016

The Etiquette of Queuing: “Stay in line”

The Etiquette of Queuing: “Stay in line”

*File: Pensioners queuing for verification

By Janet Adeto

It marvels me when I  see people so anxious, so much in a hurry that queuing up is am stumbling block for them. They are quite comfortable jumping the queue regardless of who is looking at them. But why the rush!  It is a matter of waiting in line for your turn. It is quite simple, if you want to avoid the queue you will have to make that extra effort to leave early. I guess it is all about your level of patience, no doubt if the queue is unduly long, you will question the quality of service and efficiency.

In some countries, queuing for long durations is a regular affair; you just have to go with the flow with no complaints. I remember a recent scenario when I was returning from a business trip. A certain family misbehaved and had no remorse, I was at the front of the check- In counter the queue was quite a bit. I saw a family join the back of the queue, I equally watched the father who could not be bothered flout all the rules. Without a second thought he immediately raised the barrier and asked his two children and wife to walk right under; all the way to the front of the queue by-passing others. People, including myself watched in horror as he boldly jumped right to the front. I could not but smile at his adventure.

Interestingly on our arrival in Lagos, once again I saw the same family yet again in the queue, now forced to stay in line because the barriers were iron from top to bottom and could not be shifted, raised or moved. Unconsciously I smiled again because there was nothing he could do to jump the queue. Already, he had sabotaged his image in a foreign land, only to conform by force at home.

Thankfully, with the new technology we are experiencing today queues are reduced in many places like some banks, supermarkets and the like. However, when buying food or catching a bus, waiting to have your nails or hair done, you cannot avoid the queue. It is always a good idea to leave extra time when planning your travel journey for queues, or delays especially when travelling by road to avoid prolonged “go slow” or traffic jams.

It is not surprising that people in the military, air force or army are disciplined, organized and orderly. They are groomed to queue, stay in order and work in uniformity. The queue exhibits leadership in one, orderliness and protocol.

Queuing Etiquette Tips

  1. 1. Make up your mind if you will join the queue or not. Once you have joined the queue, stay in your line.
  2. 2. You may decide to ask what the waiting time is before you join the queue. Some organizations will provide this service.
  3. 3. Try to stay in lane, only reserve by using someone you know.
  4. 4. Never say you were behind someone in a queue. Wait for someone to be behind you before leave the queue if you must; so that persons know they are behind you.
  5. 5. Respect other people’s space while on the queue. Watch your conversation on the phone, keep it confidential.
  6. 6. Watch your personal belongings, try not to leave shopping bags on the floor, acknowledge the number of bags you are carrying.
  7. 7.If you forgot something, unless it is close by you will run the risk of losing your place once you leave the queue.
  1. 8. Exercise huge amounts of patience, even when the queue appears endless.
  2. 9. If you are holding a place for someone, explain to others around you to avoid conflict.
  3. 10. Sometimes the queue may be a telephone enquiry You may have the option of calling back or leaving a message to be called back.
  4. 11. If someone appears like they are jumping the queue, politely correct them without getting into a squabble.
  5. 12. Always wait for your turn if the queue is automated. Sometimes you may need to wait to be beckoned served or for the green light proceeding. Follow the rules and move orderly.

Remember you may be in a place where you think you do not know anyone. Your conduct is key at all times. Avoid sabotaging your image.

Good luck.