Queues are such a waste of our time

Let's Talk - - POSTBAG - Do you want to get some­thing off your chest? Moan to the usual ad­dress by let­ter or email – the choice is yours. Monthly moan

It is true that as I get older, I get more im­pa­tient. Not that I was par­tic­u­larly blessed with the pa­tience of the prover­bial saint when I was younger.

I needed to go to the Post Of­fice re­cently. Mis­take num­ber one was that it had moved from where I thought it was, six months ear­lier.

I had to go at lunchtime. That was how that par­tic­u­lar day played out. Mis­take num­ber two. It was crowded, ridicu­lously and stupidly crowded.

There were seven coun­ters, three manned, well two were manned and one was wom­anned (I think I may have cre­ated a new po­lit­i­cally cor­rect word).

The queue was long. No, it was longer than that.

Even­tu­ally, after around 10 min­utes, there were fewer than a dozen peo­ple in front of me squeezed be­tween two aisles of the shop in which the mighty Post Of­fice had cuckoo-nested it­self.

An­other woman emerged from the door on the other side of the counter to serve. Well, firstly she had to chat with an­other ‘server’.

Even­tu­ally it was my turn and I was po­litely dealt with.

I wanted to call the man­ager and ex­plain the ba­sics of good man­age­ment and plan­ning, like hav­ing plenty of tills avail­able at peak times and all those hard-to-grasp con­cepts of cus­tomer ser­vice.

Not that it is only the Post Of­fice. It’s the same in your bank. Only two (if you are lucky) tell­ers on duty. The re­main­ing ser­vice is via a se­ries of machines.

And if you are lucky enough to do the su­per­mar­ket shop­ping, you al­ways go to the queue that ends up be­ing the slow­est mov­ing.

Some­one should do a the­sis on the amount of time wasted in queues. I think that would be a great project. If only I had the time …

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