Headline from Yahoo! News this week:
- Foreign students in Britain to be schooled in queuing
Apparently the locals are upset by the tendency of foreigners to bunch up at bus stops instead of standing in an orderly line. So instead of adapting to them, the Brits will school the foreigners in how to behave here. Frankly I don’t see it; I don’t find the English to be particularly good at lines, especially in complicated situations like a cash machine bank with three units. It would seem obvious to do one of two things: line up directly behind one of the machines (essentially trying your luck with the “who’s done first” game not unlike choosing a line at the grocery store) or else forming one big line and hoping for “first in line takes next available machine” behavior. In my experience, the queue ends up being some combination of both, which makes for neither. I frankly hate going to the cash machine when there is going to be a line because you never know what form it will take. But you can definitely guarantee that as a foreigner, if you do the wrong thing the locals WILL shoot you disparaging glances although not actually say anything. That’s the classic Brit behavior, quite contained frustration.