How to Queue Well

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I’m going to try to do something out of character in this post: I’m a gonna try to stick to the point. And, as you can see, I’ve already failed! Because – as any fule kno – sticking to the point is nothing to do with queuing.

Or is it!

Nope. Definitely not.

I mean, obviously I could establish a link by using the kind of convoluted thinking that comes easily to me, but would you appreciate the attempt? What’s that – you would?! Because that’s why you come to my blog? For my especially twisted reasoning and my habit of going off on extreme tangents?! Well, who would have guessed it. Thank you. I’m humbled.

Okay then – here’s my twisted logic: I have a lot of thoughts in my brain. In order for them to come out they have to queue up. Now here comes a leap – try to follow me. I am my thoughts. Bold assertion, right? Well, not so much when you think about it. Without actions I would still be me. Without words I would still be me. But take away my thoughts and I would cease to be me. Even if I just change my thought then I would, the more of them I change, move steadily away from being me. So, yeah – it follows that, when I queue up my many thoughts in order to let them out inside my mouth (or my fingers on this keyboard), I’m queuing myself up. And to have any chance of being understood by the people that I’m talking to, I’m going to have to learn how to queue (myself) well.

So, yeah – that was the logic. Do you like it? Yeah, no – me neither.

Still, we can finish off the mental exercise if you like, and then we can move on to the banal reality of queues at supermarket checkouts.

How should I order my thoughts? Well, how about I start by assigning a priority to them. The important ones should come out first and the trivial ones should go to the back of the queue. The way to do this is to decide their relevance to what’s going on out there in the world. So if, for example, you’re talking to your Auntie then you should (first and last and) only let out thoughts about the things that she is doing and saying.

Here’s an example:

Auntie: do you want a glass of juice?

Thoughts at this point might range from ‘Auntie, I’m not five anymore – I want a beer!’ through ‘I wonder how many gold medals Team GB has won in the last half an hour since I checked’ to ‘yeah, sure – juice would be real cool’. Obviously, there are going to be other thoughts too, and the thoughts that you would have will be totally different to mine, but the takeaway point is that you should bump the last thought on that list to the front of the queue and push the others back into the oblivion from which they came. So:

You: yeah, sure – a glass of juice would be super, thanks. I’ve always loved the way you add water to lemon squash.

Easy, right?

There are big advantages to queuing appropriately. For one, there’s the crisp note of medium denomination that your auntie always slips into your birthday card, and then there’s the fact that it will oil the cogs of society, which will mean less war and nasty situations like that. If only we could teach certain World Leaders this simple lesson, right?

So, yeah – that was an example of the kind of cartwheels my thought process goes through. Don’t try this at home, kiddies.

And now – the point of this post: how to queue well in supermarkets:

  1. Stand placidly in that queue like you’re a cow grazing in a field
  2. Give way (to people who have a single chocolate bar in their basket) like a rabbit in a hedgerow
  3. Move forward like an ant following a trail
  4. Arrive at the checkout like a (slightly muted) puppy dog
  5. Put your shopping on the belt like one of those robots that make cars (erm, don’t make the noises)
  6. Pack your bags out like you have OCD (a common mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours)
  7. Interact with the checkout assistant like you’re chatting to your auntie
  8. Drive the trolley outside like you’re Lewis Hamilton on holiday
  9. Drive home like you want to get there safely.

I’ll stop there because we’ve gone waaay beyond our original remit (and because you look like you just fell asleep while reading this post).

Anyway – hope this was useful.

Now get some rest – you have a big day tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “How to Queue Well

  1. Pingback: How do Stuff Well – an A to Z | Robert C Day

  2. Pingback: How to do Stuff Well – an A to Z | Robert C Day

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