Tuesday, October 25, 2005

French women (and men) in general are the biggest queue dodgers

I know in the whole wide world and much as I love France, the French can be
highly annoying. Today I lost my temper in my local Monoprix and I did start screaming at a rather aagghhhh woman who claimed she was in front of me - when I had not seen her at all. Obviously the French know the art of being invisible too! I just let go of my wonderful abusive vocab in English and French. I am still fuming!
They tend to use their fast motorway lane changing (without indication naturally) skills to their supermarket till exits. It is highly disgusting even though I know they do this ALL the time.
Patience has never been their virtue but then nor is it mine - so why on earth should I remain polite and stay in lane - because most of the lane changing tactics actually cause most of the delays....

I just want you friends to know that all things in Paris, France cannot be termed as beautiful and fantastic. Yes - there are all the lovely shops and sights but people???? Except my French friends and other law abiding foreigners who have some sense of not being so bloody unruly - I hate them all!

Rant over. Want to share your queue dodging experiences? I am all ears/eyes today.
Perhaps I will calm down. If I see that woman in my neighbourhood again......

Want to be an expert in queue (sly or blatant) dodging? Move to Paris, France!


Dear N - If *you* were driven to screaming, she must have been very bad indeed!

I had a queue dodging experience just last evening - at a restaurant with a salad bar. Really, quite a nice restaurant, but they have a salad bar set up almost as an afterthought at the end of a hallway (the place did not orignially have one, and I think they sort of caved to "popular demand"). Anyway, there's a very narrow access, so there were about 8 of us standing in line obediently, plate in hand, when an obnoxious, over-dressed, over-perfumed woman (Amarige, no less - blech!) troops past us and goes straight to the head of the line! The gentleman at the front was so taken aback, he didn't know what to do. His wife did, however - she piped up, "Uh, excuse me - do you think we're all just standing here for our health?" I could have hugged her :>) The obnoxious woman acted surprised, as if she hadn't noticed all the people she'd passed by, then huffily went to the back. Sheesh.

Is it possible to be that oblivious? Or do people just feel entitled, as if *they* shouldn't have to wait?
Well dear D - it was the same type of overdressed, overperfumed and undermannered woman who did this to me. I really lost it today and I will not apologize because there are limits to this sort of queue dogging. This woman refused to go away which is what really made matters worse and stood there as if she OWNED Monoprix and even the till woman told me later that she is known for this. Next time I see her in the neighbourhood I will scream at her again. That is my promise.

I feel your frustration. Queue-cutting is one of my biggest pet peeves -- it's as if they're better than everyone else and don't NEED to wait in line for anything.

Most of my queue-cutting experiences have been with young people (twenties) and the occasional old cow (oddly enough, over-made-up, frizzy-haired, wanna-bee sophisticates). It's obvious there is something wrong with the way these people were raised. Ill-bred and ill-mannered buggers!

I usually tell people off who do this and have even gone so far as to push a few out of the way, telling them point blank that *I* was there first, that I will NOT allow them to cut in front of me, and they should wait their turn like anyone else. Idiots!

Sorry this happend to you! Nothing like some rude, selfish bitch to spoil your day!

Thanks dear T! It is one of my biggest pet peeves too. It is just as you point out - I also put this down to some awfully brought up people. There are times when people politely ask that they have a couple of items and I always (almost) let them go ahead but this woman today really took advantage.

As you put it so nicely - there really is nothing like some rude, selfish cow to spoil my day.


Hope you are better too.

Oh, this is frustrating! My biggest petpeeve must be queue dodging. I feel for you, darling.

Poor N (((hugs))). This kind of thing would (almost) never happen in Britain or in Russia. :-) As far as I can tell so far, Americans seem to be rather queue-abiding people as well...

Hope your day got better!!
N, In my small town there aren't enough queues to bother dodging them :-)

At the deli counter at my local supermarket yesterday, when the person behind the counter asked who was next, everyone looked at everyone else -- "I think it was you", "No, I think it was you", etc. I knew I was last to arrive but was tempted to place my order while everyone fell over each other being polite.
Hello and thanks M! You are right - British (maybe whatever I add) but they are queue abiding and I am certain that Russians are similar.

Did my day get better? Well I slept off my anger.
Guess what I went to the post office and a woman came from behind me and asked me if I was waiting in the queue - now what exactly would I be doing in the post office queue with packages??? Are they blind too? Well at least she asked and did not walk past me - I was in the mood to hit people. I was rather curt and replied "OUI"

Hello R! You are so lucky I cannot tell you. I never had that problem anywhere else but here in Paris. It is something that is treated like a game. Politeness? Here? Forget it! I have become really aggressive and just push my way around but NEVER jump queues.

LOL about the deli counter scenario - how cool is that? However too much of politeness or overpoliteness can get on my nerves too. People are like that in Knokke too where my inlaws live.

Darling V! I did not see your post till just now!
You are so right - it is utterly frustrating - any variety.

Hope you are well.

I hate line-jumpers too. It always happens on the train platform, when I've been waiting for a door to open, that some punk will step right in front of me, as if we're not all waiting for the same door to open. Jerks!

But I confess, I also have a problem with needless liner-uppers. People are so used to waiting in lines that sometimes they will form lines in situations where no lines are needed. For example, when I went to Graceland, at the end of the tour, people had formed a giant, shuffling line to see Elvis's grave, but the fact is that the tour guide kept telling us not to make a line, that we were free to mill about as we pleased. But people kept standing in line. It drove me nuts. I eventually just strolled out of it and walked past everyone. I'm sure some of them thought I was a rude bastard...and maybe I am. ;-)

Also, here at the drugstores, they have big signs at the cash registers that say, "PLEASE FORM ONE LINE PER REGISTER." But inevitably, people used to waiting in line will simply trail up behind whoever's already waiting, so when I get to the registers, there will be one line with five people. When I walk past them to form a line at another register, I know some of them will think I am a total jerk, but I try not to feel bad about it—can't they read?
LOL! It does happen in metro stops all the time!

T - I agree with you that needless liner-uppers are annoying but here - forget that concept. It is like people just love to gate crash any which way. There is some dislike to order. I love most things about the craziness in our lives here but this woman just made me so furious that I needed to rest. I am getting old and so dislike getting so angry - waste of all my good energy.

What you do at registers is totally legit my dear - I would do the same (if they cannot read then that is their problem)

P.S. I laughed hard at your line "the French know the art of being invisible too." Magical invisible Frenchwomen!
I am vigililant about ensuring I never cut in front of others, and despise those who think their time is more important than anyone else's. It strikes me that these line cutting folks tend to be the same sort who run late for all their appointments, another sign of arrogance.

One thing I do like about Portland is that we tend to be congenial as cities go. I can't tell you how many times others have let me cut in line because I have maybe one small item to take care of, since they know whatever it is they have to do will take a very long while. But every so often, I encounter people while standing in line to pay for groceries who give me the DIRTIEST looks because I let the guy who's only holding a quart of milk ahead of me, when we all have carts packed to the brim. Like, the queue is n't a set in stone rule - the queue is something we do out of courtesty and kindness. (And efficiency.) So out of courtesy and kindness, it it really so terrible to make a gesture like that? Apparently some of my fellow Portlanders think so, which is very disappointing to me. So BAH! to the line cutters, and BAH! to those who clearly don't grasp the entire reasoning behind queueing, too. (Just to be clear, I get from this post that you don't suffer from this foul attitude, of course.)
T - I promise you this woman appeared from nowhere and told me she had been standing there. The guy in front of her gave a "Oh sure" kinda French shrug.

Hi Katie! I do often offer people who are behind me with a couple of things or with crying children to go in front of me. It is only decent. People here think I am strange when I do offer and keep thanking me profusely.
It is just that when people push hard and are sly and rude - that really bothers me.
The trouble is with letting someone go in front of you, it's not always just your gesture to make. What about all the people queuing behind you? Doesn't the whole queue have to agree to let someone in really, not just the person in front?
Just reading your Queue jumping post. PARIS is a great place to watch it.
I'm a rather quiet person and most of the time enjoy watching things. My own little contribution:

Paris Orly aeroport - Bus stop for shuttle to Opera. Queue about 15 people long and no bus in sight. Gentleman comes up to me (first in queue) and asks wether this is "bien le bus pour l'opera" My answer, a polite yes is answered with the request for a light. Yes I smoke - The gentlemen, then puts up camp in front of me to wait for the bus. No reaction from the queuers.
We must live with the fact that some people in france have no education. Greetings and all the best for 2006.
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