Line etiquette: get in and get out

By Angelina Garibay |Staff Writer|

Picture this: I am standing in line at Kohl’s behind a woman waiting for the first available cashier and all of a sudden there is a man making his own line in front of ours.

“What do you think that man is doing?” I whisper to the woman, “Doesn’t he realize the line is back here?”

I am frustrated, but we decide to leave him blissfully ignorant.

Waiting in line for your turn is something that everyone learns in kindergarten.  It’s a useful skill that gets drilled into you throughout your educational experience.

But, has line etiquette been drilled into everyone?

Have you ever been irritated by someone’s lack of decision making capabilities while waiting in line?

You are salivating, so hungry, waiting to order your burrito at the Santos Manuel Student Union’s Taco Bell.

The problem is that you are behind someone that did not decide what they wanted ahead of time. They are hemming and hawing and you are about ready to jump over the glass to help yourself.

Your frustration is magnified by the time crunch to get to your next class.

Or, how about trying to satisfy your caffeine addiction as you rush into Starbucks only to be greeted with a extra long line full of procrastinators that do not seem to care about you getting your fix.

Maybe it is time for a new era of protocol police.

Hypothetically, let’s say that someone is asking:

“What does a person do when someone in front of the line does not know what they want at the CSUSB’s Taco Bell and I only have a few minutes before class?”

Your saintly mom might reply that patience is a virtue and waiting will build that character quality in you, the antsy person waiting.

But, in this new age of pro-activist protocol I would say get in there and help that person make up their mind. “You will love the supreme burrito. Really, it is the best.”

Or, yell, quite politely of course, “Stand aside until you know what you want.”

Another question:

“What does a student do when someone is hogging the printer in the library and seemingly doesn’t know how to use it?”

The choices before you are to get angry, help the person or get the person help.

Now for a little message to the procrastinators, the undecided and the unhurried.

Do a little preparation before you get in line.

Make up your mind about your food choices and stick with it before you get to the head of the line.

Get your money out before you need it.

Ask someone to show you how to use the equipment before you get tangled in the technicalities of it.

Etiquette is defined by Webster as “the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave.”

I think of it as having concern for those around you and making choices accordingly.



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