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Queuing etiquette

(59 Posts)
HariboAndWine Tue 28-May-13 08:56:08

On the weekend dh and I took dc to a local fair. Ds wanted his face painted and as the queue was quite short we headed over.
There were 2 women with 1 child each waiting. As it was approaching her turn the woman in front of me announced loudly to her dd that they would go off to another stall and be back when it was their turn confused. She then returned with 4 other children whose turn it was now apparently. I pointed out that my ds had been waiting and it was now our turn. I told her I thought it was unfair for my ds to have to wait for these children who hadn't waited in line. She then told me they would be having their turn next as she had been holding their place (although hadn't been) I pointed out that it would have been polite to have let me know.

Now I do realise that in the grand scheme of things this is fairly minor but grated me. I almost never stand up for myself but said 'I'm sorry but I disagree and think you are very rude'.

Arghh it all sounds so petty written down but if you can be bothered with something fairly trivial, wibu or was she?

BarredfromhavingStella Tue 28-May-13 08:58:38

She was ignorant & there is no way she would have got her kids faces painted before mine if I was you.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-May-13 08:59:05

She was. That's really cheeky. And face painting person should have intervened.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 28-May-13 08:59:36

A bit of both really....yes she SHOULD have said to you "Oh I am holding places for 4 other DC....sorry about that.." Face painting can take a long time and its sensible to hold a place in one way....but it IS a bit cheeky.

I used to face paint professionaly and I actually had two Dads have a punch up in my queue and I was a FAST painter. Silly to get worked up about it.

fryingpantoface Tue 28-May-13 09:00:10


There's no such thing as place holding, unless it's been agreed to, and it's the same amount of people going back into the queue

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-May-13 09:00:21

In this situation I feel for the child.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 28-May-13 09:01:14

Another thing I used to do was to issue tickets...numbered. I#d call the number and if the child was not present, then they had to come within 5 minutes or they had to get a new ticket. It stopped the many parents would stick their 6 year old in the queue and then leave them...5 mins later the kid would walk off bored....then return 15 minutes later and complain it was their turn!

OwlinaTree Tue 28-May-13 09:01:41

Yes, she's taking the p***. I know what you mean about it being petty, but it's pretty irritating if you are queuing and 4 people push in front of you, especially for something that takes time, not just like buying an icecream or something.

What did the face painting people say?

I think holding places is fine when either it doesn't make a difference, eg queue for entrance tickets where buying one or several takes the same time, or in the case of face painting etc where it is obvious how many you are holding for, i.e. your DCs play nearby and come back every few minutes. Not OK to suddenly produce extra children from nowhere though.

TVTonight Tue 28-May-13 09:06:11

What age were the other four? Maybe she knew that if they has to wait together they would all get bored and fighty

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Tue 28-May-13 09:06:41

That was very cheeky of her. I would have probably inwardly been irritated if she had rejoined with the one child, but to return with 4 is taking the piss. Face painting takes a while, much longer than most other things you could queue for.

OwlinaTree Tue 28-May-13 09:08:15

Yes but then she should have told the op when she joined the queue 'oh I'm saving a place for another 4 children after this one, it could take some time'

What did the face painters say?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 28-May-13 09:13:45


She was making up her own rules and I wouldn't have let her back in front of me.

I have DCs who were never in to face painting. The one time we did it there were shenanigans with girls pushing in, and we waited an eternity.

frogspoon Tue 28-May-13 09:14:38

I think holding places is fine when either it doesn't make a difference, eg queue for entrance tickets where buying one or several takes the same time

Depends on if there is a limited number of seats.

Have twice been in a queue at the theatre for last minute cheap tickets, only to find the person in front of me called over their extra friend who had not been queuing.

One time they bought the last available tickets in the whole show, leaving my friend and I who had been waiting patiently in the queue, ticketless.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-May-13 09:15:38

People are just selfish and thoughtless. It's quite depressing sometimes.

HariboAndWine Tue 28-May-13 09:15:42

Short of fisticuffs stella there wasn't much I could do! I had ds with me so tried to remain calm and not make a scene. The face painter said nothing which I was annoyed about as she was a professional (rather than mums helping out iykwim). Her children ranged from around 4-10. My ds is 3. You know that feeling when someone is really rude to you and there's nothing you can do? I don't do confrontation ordinarily but petty or not my blood was boiling!

HariboAndWine Tue 28-May-13 09:16:41

How annoying frog!

In that case it does make a difference though, so that isn't the sort of thing I meant, I was talking about going to the zoo or similar.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 28-May-13 09:18:36

This might not have worked in your case, but I do often say very loudly with a big mad smile "We were next!" or, for extra passive aggression "I think you'll find we were next!"

If you are loud enough and embarrassing enough people back down

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 28-May-13 09:19:45

Oh, and only make eye contact with the person on the stall/shop.

ZillionChocolate Tue 28-May-13 09:21:53

She was rude.

Kafri Tue 28-May-13 09:25:22

as a kid I had to wait in line for things like face painting as mum said later that I had to learn that you have to wait for things and cant have everything immediately.
if I played uo while waiting - I didn't get whatever i was waiting for. simple.

what are those kids going to do when they have to wait in a queue for something not so nice/fun - dr/dentist etc

Lovecat Tue 28-May-13 09:28:23

She was very rude. But I think I'd have done as you did, or else appealed to the face painters for justice. Your poor DS sad

A few years ago we took DD to get her face painted at a festival and were taken aback by a list of rules posted up which seemed (at the time) to be massively draconian; the 2 face painters were... brusque, to say the least.

A year later I was roped in to face paint at the school fete and I can totally see why the professionals had been so strict and unsmiling - the way that the parents behaved was appalling, shouting at me, shouting at each other for pushing in, leaving their kid in the queue then wandering off, then when their child wandered off insisting that they should get 'their' place back, demanding professional level painting and refusing to pay if it wasn't up to their standards (it was £1 a go for school funds, ffs and none of us were pros!) Never again.

chocoluvva Tue 28-May-13 09:32:44

I'd have been annoyed too. She wasn't keeping a place for anybody - by telling her DC "loudly" that they'd go away and come back later she was 'telling' you not to take your turn before her. Very cheeky.

HariboAndWine Tue 28-May-13 09:33:48

Couldn't agree more kafri. If my 3yo can wait so should her much older children. With obvious exceptions I don't think it does kids any good to believe life's inconveniences don't apply to them. Those children grow up to be those people who try to push in at the last minute in motorway queues angry

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