PODCAST: Quebec Ranty Man on the art of standing in line

PODCAST: Quebec Ranty Man on the art of standing in line

Let us introduce you to Job Patstone.

He’s a quiet, unassuming man, a family man, a man of principle, and someone who from time to time gets a bee in his bonnet about something or other.

He likes to have a rant about all manner of things that really get his goat. Usually he rants to himself, or to anyone who might be within earshot at the time.

This time he’s set his sights on the art of standing in line.

Do you line up ‘how you should?

Is he right?

We’ll let you decide…

Queuing-up ain’t much fun.

Have you ever had to stand in line to get into a theater, or to book your baggage at an airport, or approach a bank teller, or stand in a checkout line at the grocery store? How about to get into a rock concert? Of course you have.

Haven’t we all at one time, had to stand in a queue to attend something? Or how about those public washrooms during a sporting event or show where you arrive desperately having to pee and there’s already a lineup waiting at the door, with everybody most likely in the same boat as you, all hoping the line moves quickly before you wet your pants.

What do we do when we’re confronted with this standing in line phenomena? Nothing! We stand there like a gang of goons pretending to be thinking about something or asking ourselves, how long will I STILL HAVE TO STAND HERE before we start moving. Ironically, with all our modern technology and organisation apps, you’d think things would move faster than they used to?

Today of course, we have our cell phones so we can pretend to be texting someone or checking our e-mails that we probably don’t have and keep our nose buried in our phone without having to talk to anyone. But, eventually someone will say something loud enough so that the surrounding goons will hear it and either react to or comment on what the person said. Something to the effect like, “gee guess we should have arrived earlier” or, “gee I guess they don’t have enough people to handle such a crowd”, whatever they say, it will be something negative which is probably appropriate and which will normally start a group conversation about poor planning or bad management, except of course for the case of the washroom queue where the only excuse is that there simply are not enough stalls, which at least one person in the line will be sure to mention.

In the regular queue, the best thing to do of course (sarcasm) is to call someone on your mobile so you can carry on a conversation, with the people around you secretly making a contest out of what the person at the other end of the line is saying or responding. Who you call is irrelevant, as long as they can keep you talking so you don’t have to converse with those other ignorant people around you who weren’t smart enough to get out their own phones and call some unexpecting soul or; if you’re really smart, you could just pretend to have called someone and have a one-sided discussion about anything you want all by yourself and nobody would know the difference.

If you haven’t manned your cellphone or you don’t have a book, to at least look like you’re reading, you are most likely going to be involved in some kind of conversation with those around you about the weather, a current news story or making all sorts of assumptions of why the line is so long and what you’re going to do in the future to avoid such an experience, which of course you won’t. Oh and those pushy types who try and squeeze in somewhere because they think they’re special, we have to stand our ground and tell them politely to fuck off.

I don’t have a solution but, any of the aforementioned tactics could be useful but in the end it doesn’t really matter anyway, because after the event for which you’ve been waiting for is over, you’re going to get the hell out of there and hopefully never meet up with those same people you were conversing with, unless you made that awful mistake of asking them to be your friend on FACEBOOK, in which case you’re doomed for life.

And what about that grocery checkout line? I do have advice on that one; don’t change lanes. Either it will end up being just as long or longer because, some old lady wants to use up her change, or the cashier will decide to count her till money just as you’re putting your groceries on the belt; you’ll get really pissed off, stressing you out even more than you already were and it’ll be your own darn fault.

Happy queuing!

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Categories: Opinion, Podcast

About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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