the neverending line Waiting Patiently?

How long can you stand in line before you lose it?  I was in a store this weekend with 16 registers.  Just TWO of them were open.  And, there were at least FIVE people in each line!  It was 3pm Saturday afternoon.  Sounds like prime shopping time, right?  Hire more cashiers!  After 10 minutes, I was tempted to walk out.  But, I had already invested that much time.  SO, I stayed.

(Courtesy of Andy BloxhamUK Telegraph)

Eight in ten people buy, bank or pay bills electronically to avoid having to wait.  66% of people in a line get frustrated by people time-wasting.

The favorite ways to avoid this are to bank and pay bills online (58% and 54%), buy travel or event tickets remotely (45% and 39%), and to purchase goods such as books and electronics online or over the phone (35%).

However, the survey also reveals some of the more drastic measures people are adopting to preserve their precious time, especially among younger people.

One in five people (21%) have done their shopping at night to avoid queuing, while 18% have changed what they buy or where they shop.

More extreme still, one in 12 (8%) young people aged 18 to 34 have taken time off work to avoid peak time queues, and one in eight (12%) admit to sending someone else to queue for them (compared to 5% and 8% of the overall population respectively).

Supermarkets are the nation’s least favourite places to queue, followed by Post Office branches and airport check-in and security.

The over 55s admit to becoming restless nearly three minutes before younger people – with breaking points of 9 minutes, 30 seconds and 12 minutes, 18 seconds respectively.

Perhaps challenging their image as impatient, Londoners are prepared to wait longer in a queue than anyone else, at an average of 12 minutes, 12 seconds before getting restless, 31 per cent longer than the least patient region, Yorkshire and Humberside.

Scots will queue for 10 minutes and six seconds before they lose their cool.

One in four people spend time in queues daydreaming, thinking about their job or home life, planning weekend social activities or talking to friends on their mobile phone.

One in eight people said they liked to talk to other people in the same queue.

Despite our wealth of queuing experience, it seems many people underestimate the time it can take to queue, with 12 per cent saying they have missed a train or airplane due to waiting in a queue.

One in ten people have got into work late because of lengthy queues on public transport, while four per cent have been late for a romantic date and 11 per cent have received a parking ticket.

Sandra Quinn, spokeswoman for the Payments Council, which commissioned the research among 2,000 people, said: “Britain has a long and illustrious tradition of queuing, and clearly what we’ll put up with varies widely.

“Our research shows that more of us are waking up to the fact that you can skip the queue altogether, saving time and money, by using ‘queue dodging tactics’ like internet shopping, online banking and paying bills electronically.”


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