Tuesday, July 10, 2012

queue it up

At the shoppette (convenience store) on base last week I had a hilarious interaction with the manager; we get along well and see each other every day. In the afternoons he’ll pop into a closed line and open up as customers at the (usually) two open lines begin to back up five deep – he’s so fast compared to the other cashiers that he can clear three or four sales in the time the others do one. What I had done that day was begin my single-line operation between the two open registers (they face each other) and managed to magically get the next ten or so buyers to go single line behind me. When he opened his register at the rush we had a lengthy, and friendly, discussion about which is faster: single line or pick a line. I know from my experience overseas that the single line is the best option even without an engineer explaining it; the manager disagreed with me. I’d send him this video, but harassing the shoppette manager seems petty.
The funnier version of this same story is the Case of the Urinals at Verizon Center. On the 400-level (upper tier / cheaper seats) all the men's rooms use the single line process. Sure, the lines go out the door and look longer, but they move much quicker. The 100-level (lower tier / expensive seats) have the same bathroom configuration, but everyone insists on lining up ten deep behind each of the 15 urinals - makes zero sense. Occassionally you get some 100-level civilian up in the 400s who immediately gets all riled up and screams "Get in a line behind the urinals. Why is everyone not in a line behind the urinals!" He is quickly dealt with by other semi-drunk hockey fans. He's usually from Pittsburgh or New York.

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