Standing in two lines.

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Joined: 07/24/10
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Standing in two lines.

So, I was in the grocery store today and there was this lady there who sent her kids to stand in different lines while she stood in the one next to me. My line just happened to be the fastest and her kid was standing in front of me, so she got her cart out of her line and wheeled it in front of me just as I was about to put my mini basket up on the counter. I wanted to say, "Excuse Me! Get back in your line!" but I wasn't feeling b!tchy enough. Then I thought, "Is this one of those annoying things that people just do and I'm supposed to be ok with it?"

So, what do you think? Is it ok to split your party up and stand in multiple lines and then move over to the fastest line? Not just at a grocery store, but amusement parks, airports etc. too?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

It is not OK. It's incredibly annoying and I would have said something if I'd been in a hurry. What a crappy thing to teach your kids.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

That situation is wrong. Because the person in front of you appeared to have no items, you made an assumption about the speed of the line. For her to move her full cart in front of you, instead of a person who appeared to have a thing or two, it took up more of your time, which is wrong. I can see why you were upset.

Now, I can see how in a case like, a movie line or will call, people might split up their group into different lines if they were close to show time and the lines were long. In such a case, no one loses (I don't think?) Every one is line assuming that the person ahead is buying a ticket, or several, but regardless the transaction time is roughly the same. If you spread out, and one person reaches the front first, the other people just step out of line, actually speeding up the wait time of the people behind them. The first to get to the counter makes the same transaction that the people behind them assumed that they were making (tickets). All seems fair about that. That would not bother me.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3185

"Potter75" wrote:

That situation is wrong. Because the person in front of you appeared to have no items, you made an assumption about the speed of the line. For her to move her full cart in front of you, instead of a person who appeared to have a thing or two, it took up more of your time, which is wrong. I can see why you were upset.

Now, I can see how in a case like, a movie line or will call, people might split up their group into different lines if they were close to show time and the lines were long. In such a case, no one loses (I don't think?) Every one is line assuming that the person ahead is buying a ticket, or several, but regardless the transaction time is roughly the same. If you spread out, and one person reaches the front first, the other people just step out of line, actually speeding up the wait time of the people behind them. The first to get to the counter makes the same transaction that the people behind them assumed that they were making (tickets). All seems fair about that. That would not bother me.

This exactly!

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I agree with Melissa too. I would also add that in the original scenario it would not bother me if the woman had a very very small amount of items. Express lane type small. But a ton of stuff? no.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"Potter75" wrote:

That situation is wrong. Because the person in front of you appeared to have no items, you made an assumption about the speed of the line. For her to move her full cart in front of you, instead of a person who appeared to have a thing or two, it took up more of your time, which is wrong. I can see why you were upset.

Now, I can see how in a case like, a movie line or will call, people might split up their group into different lines if they were close to show time and the lines were long. In such a case, no one loses (I don't think?) Every one is line assuming that the person ahead is buying a ticket, or several, but regardless the transaction time is roughly the same. If you spread out, and one person reaches the front first, the other people just step out of line, actually speeding up the wait time of the people behind them. The first to get to the counter makes the same transaction that the people behind them assumed that they were making (tickets). All seems fair about that. That would not bother me.

Agreed!

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

I'm not sure why it is unfair, she was in front so why should she be penalized for not knowing which line to pick? This is why many stores are going to the one line, and when you get to the front of the line you get the next available cashier. Because it is not fair either to get stuck in a line where they have to do a price lookup or something for the person in front of you and then everyone else that chose a different line gets to checkout before you.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

Penalized for not knowing which line to pick? She is not being penalized LOL...we all have to pick a line without being sure which one is the fastest.

This is just life LOL

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I think it's incredibly wrong AND rude. Pick a line and stick to it. No one likes waiting in lines of any kind, but welcome to life!

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm not sure why it is unfair, she was in front so why should she be penalized for not knowing which line to pick? This is why many stores are going to the one line, and when you get to the front of the line you get the next available cashier. Because it is not fair either to get stuck in a line where they have to do a price lookup or something for the person in front of you and then everyone else that chose a different line gets to checkout before you.

This is seriously awesome. I could not make up things like "it is not fair to get stuck in a line". Clearly we have a very different concept of "fair".

I disagree.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

The polite thing to do if there are two lines and you know the other person was in line before you got there would be to offer to let them go in front of you. I have done this before and have also been on the receiving end also and it was very much appreciated.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

Definitely a nice thing to do for someone....it is by no means an obligation of any sort, nor are you a jerk for not doing so IMO. Picking the slower line is not a matter of life or death....i think we should all learn to cope with such unfortunate events.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"KimPossible" wrote:

Definitely a nice thing to do for someone....it is by no means an obligation of any sort, nor are you a jerk for not doing so IMO. Picking the slower line is not a matter of life or death....i think we should all learn to cope with such unfortunate events.

Just like I don't think someone is a jerk for having someone in their party hold a place in another line IMO. Either way they were still in front of you so I don't think its that big a deal.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

Well you are talking about how hard it is to pick the right line and how if you pick the wrong line you are a victim of some sort (being penalized).

Do you realize that it is even harder to pick the right line when you can't tell how much the person 'in front of you' is actually buying?

How about we simplify things and just stay in our own lines.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

The polite thing to do if there are two lines and you know the other person was in line before you got there would be to offer to let them go in front of you. I have done this before and have also been on the receiving end also and it was very much appreciated.

What if there are 5 lines? I guess I don't pay enough attention to the people around me, their line position, and the speed with which they move through said line to do this sort of thing. I just pick my line, and take my chances. I'm a real risk taker like that.

I think that if people behind you see you letting people from other lines in front of you (and them) they might be annoyed. I probably would be.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I definitely would be annoyed! I prefer order...and everyone making a judgement call as to who deserves to be served next just leads to chaos and unpredictability. Waiting in line the way you are supposed to just makes everything easier.

Here is another related question. A new lane opens up....is it mandatory to let the person waiting in front of you go to the new line first? Or is it ok to snag the first spot in the new lane?

Sometimes the cashier will say specifically "I can take *you* over here" or sometime they say "I can take the next person"

But without instruction...is it up for grabs?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"Potter75" wrote:

What if there are 5 lines? I guess I don't pay enough attention to the people around me, their line position, and the speed with which they move through said line to do this sort of thing. I just pick my line, and take my chances. I'm a real risk taker like that.

I think that if people behind you see you letting people from other lines in front of you (and them) they might be annoyed. I probably would be.

Like I said, I think that is why many places are rearranging their line structure to one line, that way if they have to do a price check or something it doesn't back up the whole line. I don't really think you are going to see what is happening 5 lines away and I'm pretty sure that noone is going to try to save a spot from 5 lines away either.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"KimPossible" wrote:

I definitely would be annoyed! I prefer order...and everyone making a judgement call as to who deserves to be served next just leads to chaos and unpredictability. Waiting in line the way you are supposed to just makes everything easier.

Here is another related question. A new lane opens up....is it mandatory to let the person waiting in front of you go to the new line first? Or is it ok to snag the first spot in the new lane?

Sometimes the cashier will say specifically "I can take *you* over here" or sometime they say "I can take the next person"

But without instruction...is it up for grabs?

So how long would you wait before changing lines? The other day I was in the 10 items or less line and there were two lines. About 3 people in front of me this lady decided to make a big deal and try to get a regular priced DVD on sale because she said it was in the $5 bin. Of course they weren't going to give it to her just because someone stuck it in the wrong place, it was clearly marked with the correct price. But she made a huge stink and made them call managers and everything. The people in the next line could easily hear what was going on and when the person that got there after I did in the next line came up she offered for me and the other 2 people in front of me to go first. So I guess you would have just stayed in that line since that is the one that you picked? Even after I checked out I could still hear that stupid woman arguing with the managers so who knows how long I would have been stuck in that line.

As far as a new line opening up, I usually let the person in front of me go first unless they don't want to move.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

She was being nice and let you go because she knew you were being held up by the stupid person. However, if you had decided on your own (which is basically what the first scenario is) that you deserved to go before her, you would have been wrong. Lines are just like traffic. If you are in one lane and realize yours is the one that's closed, it is up to the other person in the other lane to do the right thing and let you in; hopefully they do so. However, if you are just in the slower lane and want to get over to the faster lane, then it is *not* the right thing to do, but just a nice thing to do to let you in. The original scenario in this thread is the douchebag that gets in the right lane because there is no traffic knowing that it's closed and cutting someone else off to get back in the left lane effectively making everyone else wait for his impatient douchebag self. It's wrong.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

If someone offerred to let me go ahead of them? Sure, i would go ahead of them then, they *offerred*. However, I wouldn't accept the offer if the person doing so had 5 other people behind them(or even one actually). I would only accept if she was the only person in the line.

If someone offers that means they are making the personal decision to delay their schedule in order to be kind to someone else. That is not what the OP was talking about at all.

If i was stuck in that line behind that woman and no one offerred like they did in your situation i would have looked at the lines around me and assess them and decide if it made sense to stay put or if i could be helped sooner by going to the *end* of a different line.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"KimPossible" wrote:

If someone offerred to let me go ahead of them? Sure, i would go ahead of them then, they *offerred*. However, I wouldn't accept the offer if the person doing so had 5 other people behind them(or even one actually). I would only accept if she was the only person in the line.

If someone offers that means they are making the personal decision to delay their schedule in order to be kind to someone else. That is not what the OP was talking about at all.

If i was stuck in that line behind that woman and no one offerred like they did in your situation i would have looked at the lines around me and assess them and decide if it made sense to stay put or if i could be helped sooner by going to the *end* of a different line.

Actually she did have at least 5 people in line behind her. The store was packed plus everyone in my line had already started moving over to hers. So I guess you would have been there awhile.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

Yes i would have....awfully rude of her to make the decision that everyone else should wait longer with her, just to let you in.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"KimPossible" wrote:

Yes i would have....awfully rude of her to make the decision that everyone else should wait longer with her, just to let you in.

Really? I don't think anyone minded at all since they knew we were in line first, I know I would do the same in that situation.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I don't think its fair or polite for her to assume no one minded.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Agree with Melissa. In the case of something like groceries where you will have to wait longer because you weren't able to predict that the person in front of you actually represents a whole cart full of groceries, it is rude. If it's something like movie tickets where it should take about the same amount of time no matter how many tickets are being purchased, it's no big.

I would also be annoyed if the person in front of me let someone else cut in line without asking me. If s/he actually said "that woman has been waiting a long time, can I let her in in front of us?" I'm sure I would say yes. But to just do it without asking is pretty presumptuous.