Queue jumping

Queue jumping

We Brits don’t like Queue Jumpers. We much prefer an orderly, straight line, or lines, with the last arrival at the end of the queue, and the person who has been there the longest, at the front. We tense, prickle and feel uneasy when someone barges their way forward, elbowing their way to a more in-front position. In fact, even if we are not part of that queue, and we’re in a happy separate queue, that’s shuffling forward gently, slowly, we find the Queue Jumper a menace. A menace to society. They should be dealt with. Put right. Corrected. Wait your turn!

I think our perspective on queue jumping might be one of the reasons that it’s difficult for families and friends when someone from the “wrong” generation gets seriously ill. Although we don’t like it, and it is very sad, we feel more comfortable when oldies who have “had a good innings” finally wear out or become seriously ill. I’m not saying that it’s easy for oldies to die, but I think that as a society, we find it difficult to loose people who are out of turn.

Once we’ve made it past the 12 week in utero stage, and are deemed viable, then we want the order, the sequence, the chronology to be maintained.

So, even if the Queue Jumper is an unfortunate unintentional menace, it leaves people thinking how “unfair” it is, and how it’s such a “waste of life”. I remember the funeral of the Head Boy from my secondary school, my brother’s best friend, who died in a car accident days before A-level results were expected. The vicar said that “a life is only wasted if it’s full of miss-spent opportunities”. He was right, only Wasters have wasted lives. Doers don’t.

Queue jumping

Vicky Galbraith April 2011


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