AIBU to wonder if queuing is a British thing, what on earth do the rest of the world do??

(181 Posts)
RubyCav Thu 04-Aug-16 00:59:49

I have heard quite a few people state "queuing is a British thing". So what I really can't work out is, how general life would work without people forming nice orderly ques. So I'm turning to mumsnet wisdom to help me understand.

RubyCav Thu 04-Aug-16 01:02:13

* queues not ques blush

jumpjumpformylove Thu 04-Aug-16 01:10:45

In several European cities I've noticed they attempt a half hearted queue, which is abandoned when someone inevitably makes their way from the back to absent mindedly act as though they don't know a queue exists. They force their way quite brazenly to be served first. Makes me anxious observing this weird behaviour.

I've been with Italian friends who see several queues waiting to be served at the bar, but they make their way through to the front with the excuse of a really stupid question they need to ask the barman or pretend to everyone they're really good friends and just want to say hi.

It seems the game of coming up with a "beat the queue" ruse is normal in other countries. It makes me glad to be British. I like a good, sensible, well behaved line.

mmmuffins Thu 04-Aug-16 01:13:40

Tbh I dont think the British are that great at queuing. Whats with forming lots of little queues when one large queue would be so much more efficient at getting people through tills? This happens often in shops with no "queue guide," and it drives me nuts.

dogdrifts Thu 04-Aug-16 01:16:28

They just head on to the front and get served, leaving the weedy Brits apologizing and silently frothing behind them. For hours.

MadamDeathstare Thu 04-Aug-16 01:18:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hotdiggedy Thu 04-Aug-16 01:21:28

Somewhat off topic, but as Italians were mentioned, I wondered if my experience was the norm or not. I have been on days out with people of a number of nationalities and their children involved. A few times there has been Italians and they are generally the ones to not listen to group instructions, talk on their phone when a group leader is talking, speak continuously to their children when they are supposed to be listening to something, not staying with the group but wandering off even though they are asked to keep up/stay with a number of times. Oh, and one even pushed her child to the front of every activity.

Is this the norm? Apologies to any Italians who aren't like this!

hotdiggedy Thu 04-Aug-16 01:23:51

I was in the queue in a supermarket once with my basket of shopping, an older woman (Pakistani) just shoved her trolley right in front of me. I think I just stood in shock. A few moments later a man appeared (relative I imagine) and pulled her out of the queue saying something to her - hopefully that just pushing in wherever you feel like it isnt really the done things here!

jumpjumpformylove Thu 04-Aug-16 01:27:22

Hotdiggedy - I've been on flights to Italy where the cabin crew have had to continually tell the passengers off for chatting on phones or loudly to each other while they did the safety run through. Of course other nationalities will behave this way too, but this was the first time I'd seen people so obviously disregard the staff this way!

I have an English friend who moved to Milan and can't cope with the crowding and pushing at the school gates!

NapQueen Thu 04-Aug-16 01:27:47

Bankok queue style

jumpjumpformylove Thu 04-Aug-16 01:29:46

I love that!! Napqueen - that's obviously the sensible way to do it!

hotdiggedy Thu 04-Aug-16 01:31:19

Interesting jumpjump!

I like the flip flop form of queuing!

Upthetree100 Thu 04-Aug-16 01:39:16

Imagine my surprise when waiting for the coach back to the airport in Rome we are stood around in a not perfect but clearly visible LINE and then the coach arrives and all of a sudden we are at the back of what I can only describe as a gaggle of humans pushing and shoving to get on.
I've genuinely never seen it so bad.

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Thu 04-Aug-16 01:41:24

Following with interest

Upthetree100 Thu 04-Aug-16 01:42:13

I've just actually read the thread and can see 'Italians' in more than a few places. grin

ShanghaiDiva Thu 04-Aug-16 01:42:42

China - queues are the norm at the supermarket checkout, however it is completely normal for someone to push into any queue to ask a question - e.g when you are checking in at the airport or at the bank. Drives me nuts.
Also queuing to get your fruit weighed at the supermarket is a free for all - you need to be really quick at chucking your stuff on the scales.

hotdiggedy Thu 04-Aug-16 01:47:06

Upthetree do you mean the people that had been stood in a line just started a free for all or new random people just arrived and pushed their way in?

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Thu 04-Aug-16 01:47:33

Hungarians can't queue either. I would be second in line and hang back a few inches to give the person at the cash some space, in the best British fashion, only to have 10 locals push their way in front of me, wedged in next to, on top of, behind the person at the desk. Drove me crazy but even though I lived there for 2 1/2 years I could never get over my aversion to pushing in. I spent a lot of time fuming grin

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Thu 04-Aug-16 01:50:30

But the weird thing is, there is a huge discipline in the order in which you enter or leave a lift. Guests first, then hosts. Older women, then younger women. Older men then younger. Heaven forbid you were having a conversation with your young male colleague, you would have to put it on hold while this elaborate elevator-exit dance was performed.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Aug-16 01:50:35

Queuing for a bus in China was basically; vague queue until the bus arrives then free for all, sharpest elbows wins.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 04-Aug-16 02:33:27

MadamDeathstare is right as far as the US. We're either in a queue or we're sort of standing around (normally this is at a deli or bakery counter) waiting our turn but are very well aware of who came before us and who comes after us in the crowd.

OlennasWimple Thu 04-Aug-16 02:40:31

Good US bar tenders know who came in first, what you had to drink and how many rounds you have had

But if you are brazen enough you can push to the front of the queue and no one says anything

OlennasWimple Thu 04-Aug-16 02:41:12

I meant a queue in something like an ice cream truck, not a bar, sorry!

Upthetree100 Thu 04-Aug-16 05:53:08

hotd definitely both!

Mommawoo Thu 04-Aug-16 06:15:07

Greeks tend to walk into a room, glare at the other people waiting, mutter a few profanities then stroll up to the counter and attempt to get served first. This usually results in screaming and abuse from those behind which is met with stony silence or more abuse depending on the nature of the queue-jumper.

Greeks are actually so bad at queueing that all banks and public offices have take a number machines. Although you still get people ignoring it claiming they are too old/late/important to wait. The supermarkets are chaos.

One good thing is that pregnant women and those with young children are always sent straight to the front. We take dd everywhere!

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