Friday, February 02, 2007

Standing in Line

You know how when you stand in line at the bank, or grocery store or some other type of line standing place, the moment the first person in line moves, there is that two step shuffle everyone else in line does to fill the space?

The bank teller will say "Next". The first person in line walks to the counter and then the other 20 people, standing between the stanchion ropes in line, all shuffle up just to wait for the next teller.

I don't do that.

I know the people behind me get all miffed. I can feel their stares on the back of my head and I can hear their mumbles and I can read their thoughts of "Why isn't this guy moving? There is a whole two feet in front of him. Oh my god! Fill the space dude. You are going to make me late."

It's not like I am letting people cut into line. I am merely expanding on my own personal space in front of me. I also look at it as an opportunity to make the people behind feel better about their wait. If I let the 5 people in front of me go to the teller and I don't fill their space in line right away, when I actually do move up in line I am moving 10 feet or so at one time, instead of 2 feet 5 times over. And when I do this, the people that are behind me all get to move 10 feet as well, and then they think to themselves, "Wow this line is moving pretty fast."

So I think of it as a public service.

31 comments:

momo9 said...

U R Bazarre!

Charlotte in Pa said...

I TOTALLY do this, too. I think it bothers Sue when we are together, but I don't care. I hate it when someone is practically standing on the back of my heels. It's called personal space, people. BACK OFF!

momo9 said...

BIZARRE! (SPELLING CORRECTION!)

Circus Kelli said...

I'd be the person behind you wanting to flick you on the ear to get you moving. I'm like that.

teri said...

momo9 stole my line. : )

Jim said...

Do you also drive in the fast lane on the turnpike/freeway/expressway/Interstate and decide how much over the speed limit everyone else can do?

Oh, The Joys said...

When we were traveling in India we were AMAZED to see that they line up pressed together like Pringles chips in a can. If you have personal space issues you are screwed.

sari said...

At least you're not a Hoverer.

I hate being Hovered on.

Jessie said...

See, youre just weird, because its like human nature to fill gaps. Just like its human nature to get pissed at slow stop lights, and angry with people who write checks at the grocery store. We arent a very patient species.

eclectic said...

Turn around and face 'em, and then watch the whole line back off.

I know, I'm odd.

Susie said...

I do that, too. And I do it in traffic, too. I don't move up a foot because the car ahead of me does. It really upsets people. I find it fascinating. Well, at least mildly amusing.

susie said...

I'd be wondering if you were a crazy person more than anything.

Effie said...

has anyone ever smacked you for not moving?? I might...

Laura said...

I leave spaces like that when I'm in the car at a stoplight,although I will move up if it means i'm blocking someone else from merging.

Odd though, if I saw someone doing that while standing in line, i'd be tempted to shove 'em ahead. lol

Mich said...

I'm all for personal space, but you are going against all that is right by not moving up with the line.

Anonymous said...

Pull your pants down to your ankles while in line. You will get space.

Circus Kelli said...

Anonymouse sounds like the voice of experience if you ask me...

Jody said...

lol

Thanks for the compliment on my blog. I have been enjoying your site as well. I'm sure I'll get around to adding you to my blog roll...

kalki said...

I'm the same way at a stoplight. I don't inch forward. There is no need for everyone to be crammed up on everyone else's ass. People seemed perturbed by this, too, but it's not like I'm holding up traffic - when the light turns green, I have plenty of time to ease forward while the cars in front of me get going.

GypsyMommy said...

I do that in line too. I need my personal space.
One time I was standing in line and the guy behind me was too close. He was breathing all on me, I was about to scream. Instead, I turned slightly, grabbed my stomach and said "Ooh! I have gas! Guess I shouldn't have eaten Taco Bell, huh?" He backed off. I need my space.

MyBestInvest said...

I get all kindsa claustrophobic in lines like that. I find that if I don't move up when the person in front is called, the whole line behind shifts forward anyway. Even if it's just half a step, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

I like eclectic's idea: just turn around and look at 'em. Hilarious!

Rude Cactus said...

It's a good idea, keeping people on their toes.

Ern said...

Sometimes I would totally do this, and other times I would be completely annoyed by it.

Does that make me moody?

Lynn said...

Thank you so much for giving me insight into all the people, like youself, who have driven me nuts, by not moving forward, while I've waited in line. From now on I will be sure to thank these people for their selfless "service to the community" LOL

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I do this in traffic in the car sometimes, but then, I have to keep an eye out because cars will start honking and swerve around me to cut in..in a line of people, no one is gonna yell "HEY BUDDY! MOVE UP AN INCH!"

Gingers Mom said...

I'll be the first to admit, that makes me crazy when people do that. Yes, there is no reason. No it will not make me get to the head of the line any faster. But why God why would you do that? LOL

Anonymous said...

YES! I am surprised that more people haven't figured this out. Personal space is excellent. Also, you can FEEL as though you have some control while you are waiting. Now, you really do not control anything in that Walmart customer service department, but it definitely gives you something to think about while waiting.

ewe are here said...

Yes! I try to leave some extra space in such lines, too! I hate it when people crowd me. It's not like it makes the wait any shorter, people, only more uncomfortable!

Anonymous said...

People who crowd usually do this as they have control issues or are just indifferent or "callous" to the concerns of others -- that is, entirely self-absorbed and self serving...some would say, 'impatient.' If you have self-respect, you respect others. I also give space, but today in line a really nasty aggressive man (I coudl see his diposition as he charged into line and knew he was trouble.) As I gave the cashier my card, he just moved right behind me, literally breathing down my neck...As I moved away, he moved closer...until I finally made a point to just move to the corner of the desk as i awaited my receipt -- which would have made him look transparently ridiculous if he followed me there.

Why did it make me feel uncomfortable? It is a personal space issue...Also, we mix with people's energies out in public. This particular man had a toxic, nasty presence..and when he moved closer to me, I felt disgusted and grossed out.

Yes, the selfish out there..will say....hey, it's all about meeeee! If i bother someone else, so what? The man in question was clearly a steamroller who gets what he wants in life by bullying people and shoving people out of the way, if not mowing them down.

I doubt he is successful in life. Yes, he seemed somewhat well off, but what kind of culture does he work in? Do peopel trust him...or has he set up hostile, distrustful working relationships...

I think people succeed through integrity and trust. I don't need to bully or shove as people know, respect, and trust me, along with my integrity. I respectfully, sometimes passionately, make my case -- and people can choose to accept my pitch or not. 90 percent of the time the do. I have other colleagues who have no concern for others, and bully, shriek, mow their way through life...I can tell you, few people like ro trust them, few will give them business, few respect them...and when they do get a hit...it is usually a one time deal -- where someone says..ok...i will go along..now, leave me alone.

Those people rarely have any staying power...and always have to keep looking over the back to protec themselves from the many who want to retaliate, leading them to become even greater bullies, who don't respect space and try to win through intimidation. It's a very low functioning, and counter productive way to go through life..

Some people wrote on this blog that the found the original author's comments "bizarre." I would hasten to say, not knowing those authors, that they likely are clueless and unaware, if not socially inept, if they cannot understand the fundamentals of manners and personal space.

Crowding someone is just plain rude -- and builds hostile relationships and interactions. Do you really think crowding someone makes them move faster? Not really? It just makes them hate you and want to retaliate, even drag their feed. Plus your impatience is your failing.

The most effective people are aware and considerate of other people..and aware of their surroundings -- and opportunities as opposed to racing through life in some desperate act of self-gratification, like immature little two years olds who think the whole world should revolve around them.

I applaud this post. Well done. I hope more people get the message.

DencerSpay said...

Personally I am annoyed all the time by the "I am going to control these people behind me" behavior in its various forms. Mostly it is in lines in urban areas where bizarre personal space theories have arisen [was it HIPAA?]. These people always have a slightly paranoid back-glancing habit, as if to nervously say, "oohh.. your hot breath makes me uncomfortable, and I know you won't back off 10 feet like I do, but I am going to show you how, and that I'm in control."

And of course, on the highway, hovering without gaining on the lane s/he is supposed to be passing, usually in the left-most lane on the highway, the van or SUV (always one or the other it seems) hovers. They may as well hang a sign out the back window saying, "I never speed in my van, and you shouldn't, either." Or the SUV owner, thinking, "This is one huge honkin' pile of energy hog I command, and no stinkin' little sedan gets to pass me, 'cause I'm BIG."

I say, everything in moderation. Move forward when given the chance and don't bunch up, then everyone can be happy. If you're in the passing lane, then either pass or move aside [BTW, that used to be the law & what the signs said - where'd they go??]. If you're in the way, get out of the way. If someone behind you cannot see the menu on the wall or the goods in the showcase because you will not move forward, then consider going to see a therapist and learn how to cope with your fellow humans. I founded a Group on Facebook called People who stand 5-10 feet in line behind the next person are [fill in the blank]! Come join.

DencerSpay said...

On a lighter note, see this commentary: http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc/authors/federman/shoes/line.html