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How patient are you when it comes to waiting in line?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 9, 2007

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Photo of Kirin Arnold

“It depends on where I am and if I expected the line to be as long as it is. I’m usually patient unless I’m in a big hurry.”

Photo of Eric Washington

“Not very. Like when I’m waiting in line for fast food, it’s supposed to be fast. But most of the time I don’t even know what I want when I get to the front, so then I’m holding up the line.”

Photo of Stacie Schroeder

“It depends on how much of a hurry I’m in, but I’m usually pretty calm. I don’t mind waiting my turn.”

Photo of Tony Jones

“I’m very patient. I was in the military, and that’s one thing you definitely learn how to do.”


tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

sigerson says: "Wow, my first post...."

You'll learn to regret it.

Kat Christian 10 years, 7 months ago

It just get me when I'm in line or in traffic that other people fail to forget that other people are waiting too when they don't have their minds made up as to what they want when it is their turn which holds up the rest of us or they sit at a traffic light - it turns green and they stare at it a few minutes before it registers that it means go - wasting oh about 2 minutes of my time. Ya think I'm inpatient? I do have days when I'm not really.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

"Oh, hi, how are you? Been waiting long?"

As long as we're all stuck in this line, have all of you radioheadjobs downloaded your (perhaps free) eAlbum: In Rainbows?

( If not, then you'll probably have to wait. I couldn't even load the page this morn. Already burned the CD, though.)

canyon_wren 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm a lot more patient now than when I was younger. And like Reticent_Irreverent, I find the people in line pretty interesting. But I don't have much in the way of obligations to meet, so can afford to wait if necessary. Most people's lives are a lot more complicated than mine, and I am sure "time is of the essence" to them.

H_Lecter 10 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes it's definitely worth the wait. Say, waiting to get into Bill Snyder Family Stadium last Saturday..

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

It depends. If I am waiting in line, and the person in front of me at the grocery store is checking 3 million items and then pulls out her checkbook after it's all done, (instead of doing it while in line or while ringing) then I become impatient.
Otherwise, I am a pretty patient person.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 7 months ago

No. I'm the worst.

What a handsome guy that Tony Jones is! And why wasn't he at work???

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

Some of the funniest things happen while waiting in line. I love to people watch so I really don't mind. It cracks me up how I always manage to get into the line with "a person with issues." (You know this person...they want all items rung up separately; they are sure item #5 was on sale and it rang up incorrectly; they want to put item #8 back; item #12 is the wrong color and they need to swap it; item #16 didn't ring up according to the shelf label; "What do you mean, you need to see my driver's license?"...)

Flap Doodle 10 years, 7 months ago

There is a special place in the infernal regions for the people who take a cart with 87 items into the express lane at the grocery store.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 7 months ago

I love a sad, tortured stand. Seeing people suffer at the hands of our clock and the inconsiderate brings a reverent feeling to my mind. That feeling does occasionally flop and twist into a violent rage turned against my lost soul. In either case, I laugh maniacally and speak in tongues at the in(s)anity of it all, bringing a heartening "There but for the grace..." feeling to my compatriots on the line front.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm pretty patient. I learned long ago not to get aggrivated at things beyond my control.

Back in the day when I used to shop at Walmart I had presents on lay-away. I was told that I could make a payment on this at any register in the store. Well, I took them up on that while buying a couple of things and going through the express lane. The gal at the register as having a hard time applying the payment - she had no idea what she was doing actually. I thought the guy behind me was going to go out of his freakin' mind. After listening to multiple sighs, grunt, and observing the snatching then replacing of item on the belt, I looked at him and said, "You might as well deal, dude. The Express Lane isn't just that for you today." He looked at me blankly for a second and then laughed. "That's the sprit!" I told him.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 7 months ago

The Washington article was sad. I feel badly for him. And least he's bowling still!

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm more patient than the average citizen of China, apparently. Jayzus!!!

badger 10 years, 7 months ago

It depends on what I'm waiting for, who I'm waiting with, and how quickly I need to get through the line. If I'm in an incredible hurry, a five-minute wait at the grocery store is agonizing. But when I go to the Whole Foods on the way home after work, I wait five minutes at the seafood counter, five minutes in the meat department, five minutes to get my bread sliced, and ten minutes at checkout, and I'm not bothered by it at all.

Likewise, if everyone around me is grouchy about the line, some sort of natural perversity comes out and I become super-friendly and cheerful. It drives the cranky people nuts. Sometimes, they change lines to get away from the cheeriness, and I move up a spot in line.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

"Now I realize that it is not rude..."

How on earth can that ever not be considered rude?

adriennerm 10 years, 7 months ago

In reference to express lanes- I use to work at a grocery store on Mass. A lot of customers know they are in the express lane with too many items. However we can't tell them to move. Then the customer behind this person looks at us "the cashier" like WTF. They know we can't tell them anything, and they are being jerks holding up the line.

badger 10 years, 7 months ago

On a funny side note, I once had a woman (a customer behind me, not a clerk) nastily explain to me that I shouldn't take my two six-packs of beer through the express lane, because that was twelve items. I blinked at her for a minute and said, "Then the package of peas knocks you out, too, ma'am."

Her reply was biologically creative, yet unprintable.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

( hmmmph... looks like I'm bringing up the end of this line... again! )

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

Took me awhile, but I figured it out. I guess it wouldn't be considered rude to cut in front of someone if you were in the "human sacrifice" line.

Badger, that's great stuff.

adriennerm 10 years, 7 months ago

i've waited in line for a free burrito from Chipotles. The line was down the block...I waited roughly 30-45 mins. That was when you had to bring in a can good for a burrito. I found it funny that people were mad b/c the line was so long.

What made me mad was when it was time to order...the people in front of me didn't know what kind they wanted...OMG

ohjayhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

I find it interesting here at our local Wal-Mart that, you can tell the "express lanes" because they are the only registers without a belt. They just have a small area on which to place your items. I guess they feel that if people don't have a place to put all their items, they won't go through that register. Too bad it doesn't always work that way, but the idea is good.

The Wal-Marts across the river in WV both have self-checkout stations, I'm waiting for ours to get those!

Flap Doodle 10 years, 7 months ago

I quit going to any Wal-Mart that doesn't have the self-check lines. Do most of my grocery purchases with self-check. Of course, you still get the folks that can't operate a dial telephone trying to do self-check.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

If I'm impatient in line it usually because I'm running late and already mad at myself. That rarely happens anywhere except at Starbuck's on my way to work. Once I begin soothing my addiction I feel much better and appear to be a very nearly normal person by the time I arrive at work. Actually, very nearly normal is quite good for me.

Sorry about the line, I went in for less than 12 items but somehow ended up with 87 and was in still in denial. Then there was the check, I couldn't find my bank card. As for the prices, some of them really seemed different that I remembered seeing on the shelf.

SloMo 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm fine as long there isn't someone rude behind me. Like the guy who leans around and starts asking the cashier questions while she's counting my change back to me. And what's really shocking is how many cashiers allow themselves to be interrupted instead of saying (after they're done counting), "I'll be with you shortly" and then turning their attention back to the person at the front of the line. Who trains these people?

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 7 months ago

mom_of_three (Anonymous) says: It depends. If I am waiting in line, and the person in front of me at the grocery store is checking 3 million items and then pulls out her checkbook after it's all done, (instead of doing it while in line or while ringing) then I become impatient and pull out my .380.

sorry mom, I couldn't help but embellish the last 5 words.

Tony Kisner 10 years, 7 months ago

I have a hard time with the expressive coffee drinkers out there; coffee is to be either black or room for cream.

Skinny decaf mocha shaken not stirred........ and to finish off the deal it is usually a college student writing a check for $3.29.

I will admit that I am older and nearer death.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes when we are in Dillons on far 6th, there is only one lane and one express lane open. If there are 2-3 people in the regular lane, the express person will wave us over, even though we have lots more than the limit. It never fails that right then, as we are loading the belt, someone will come behind us with just a few items and give us the dirty glare.

That makes me sad when that happens...

Good one badger! You can check every beer and pea on the belt!

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

Sue: Just a culture thing. With no real conception of lines, it's hard to tie to "rude," rudeness, after all, being a social construct. You just have to adapt. And by adapt, of course, I mean get aggressive and defensive. Think of it as a self-promotion. You self-promote yourself to be the first to get something. Staking out your position is pretty important too, or they sneak right by you on the flanks.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

jonas, I guess the next time I'm in Peru, I'll try to smile sweetly while I kick the old guy in the shin and steal his spot in line. ;)

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Easy, try a double-shot latte with 2% milk. It helps get these old bones to the office in order to earn enough to pay for the latte and a gallon of gasoline. If I can't afford both coffee and gasoline, I make it a triple shot and just run to work :)

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

Nope, that won't be me with the .380, but I might clock you over the head with a french baguette!

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

I have no problem waiting in line if the situation calls for it.
But when the light turns green, you better move!

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 7 months ago

Officer, I swear it, she hit me with a very firm baguette.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

Man, do I LOVE lines! I can stand in 'em all day long. Sometimes, as I approach the top of my queue, I'll jump out of line, and then recycle myself at the rear. "Oh, hi, how are you? Been waiting long?"

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 7 months ago

the friendly line guy, there's one in every line

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

The line I find it hardest to be patient in is the mid-weekend emergency room triage.

( both in role and in state )

Dixie Jones 10 years, 7 months ago

ahhh sue thanks so much for the laugh today i sure needed one.... i too love to watch and talk to ppl , my husband says im the only person he knows who can make a friend in 5 mins or less and that can talk to anyone about anything ... eh i just love ppl. have a peachie day everyone

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

"Weekends are better?"

In the E.R. triage?

Scary, RETICENT, very scary.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

americorps, I just can't fathom butting in front of someone and it not being rude. I wouldn't call that an American thing...I'd call it a human thing. I don't believe I got on the "American's know better" bandwagon so when did that come rolling in? One thing I would like to know: If you were waiting for your turn to pay for a soda, I'm assuming that others were waiting ahead of you. Isn't that a line of sorts? Or are all the people just clustered about? I'm not being flippant, I'm seriously asking. If people are just here and there, there is plenty of opportunity for cutting in. Lines have definitions. Clusters...not so much.

nighty night, all!

acg 10 years, 7 months ago

I used to have patience, but as I get older and grumpier and people around me get slower and dumber, I'm losing my patience for waiting in line. For instance, TOB's "lottery jockeys". Okay, old people, I understand you're trying really hard to win that $25,000 scratch off jackpot, but why, oh why must you come to the Quik Shop, during the work day rush hour, and stand there with your 27 freaking lottery tickets, wanting the clerk to check them all, even though it's obvious they're losers, wanting to buy more (3 of this one, 2 of that one, etc.) and then, want to stand there hogging up the counter and scratch the damned things off!!?? WTH? People who go to a fast food restaurant, stand in line, BS on the phone or with their lunch buddy and then when you get to the front you have no idea what you want. Why? Because you aren't freakin' paying attention, that's why. Check payers, if you're going to pay by check, write that damned thing out before you get checked out. It saves everyone time and makes me want to kick you in the a** a lot less. Oh, and for some reason, I have a Dillons curse on me. Whenever I go to Dillons, if there is an idiot/stoned/slow clerk I inevitably get in their line. Oh, and while I'm on the subject of Dillons, sacker people....I swear to everything pure and holy, if you put my bananas on top of my bread one more time, I just may lose my mind. Okay, I feel better. I've been wanting to get that sacker thing out there for a while now.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

and a good morning to you, acg. Sounds like someone needs a hug :)

acg 10 years, 7 months ago

Hehe, no, ceallach I need a maid, nanny and driver. LOL! It's been a rough morning, to say the least.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Believe me I understand. It's not even 9:30 and I've already had a temper tantrum (not that it does me any good). Some people just won't let me be patient!!

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

"Oh, hi, how are you? Been waiting long?"

What am I reading? Oh... just a banned book... about sky diving.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 7 months ago

Speaking of which, the line in this chat continues to grow.

acg 10 years, 7 months ago

This has nothing to do with anything, except I'm really proud. My nephew, who's stationed in Hawaii, went to a casting call for a part as an extra in that show Lost that's all the rage. Well, they picked him to have a 6 episode speaking part in the new season. He's playing a British Army Officer. That's so cool. I know nothing about this show, but it's apparently pretty popular. I didn't even know the kid could do a British accent. He better get famous and support me in my old age.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Now that is cool news, acg! My oldest daughter LOVES Lost. I'll have to tell her that I kinda know someone whose nephew is the British officer :)

That's true, knee, but this is a kinder, gentler queue (at least it is today).

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 7 months ago

Oh, I see myself up ahead there... think I'll go try to cut....

sigerson 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow, my first post. Howdy, y'all.

I got into an argument with a guy in front of me. As he was preparing to pay at the register, his phone rang and he gave it all his attention. Me: Would you please step out of line and let others go? Him: It was an emergency call, for your f***ing information. Me: Then you should have stepped out of the line.

If you're in the line at Subway for five minutes and you still don't know what you want, you should be made to take whatever they feel like giving you. Whatever's quickest.

Congress should pass a law: In a ticket line, only one person allowed per purchase. Having picked among lines of equal length, it's annoying to see that one person was buying for an entire Mormon family reunion gathered around him at the next window. When the clan leaves, the adjacent line shrivels to nearly nothing and folks who showed up after me suddenly get served first. It's a given that the other line always moves faster, but it shouldn't be that much faster.

Ahhh! Elephant tranquizers taking effect now. Good night.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 7 months ago

acg, we're watching all the past seasons of Lost (courtesy of Netflix) because didn't watch it either. It is quite fascinating. Your nephew can now have a page on imdb!

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