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AIBU for wanting an express queue?

(34 Posts)
Babycham1979 Mon 24-Nov-14 15:55:52

Inspired by another thread on supermarket queues, I thought I'd ask if it's completely unreasonable and fascistic of me to fantasise about Post Offices, GP's surgeries etc offering separate queues for those with simple requests and/or those in a particular rush (ie the need to get back to work)?

At the risk of sounding like I'm asking for some kind of service apartheid, I'm not! Merely a recognition that the most frequent users of these services generally have considerably more time available to access them. Two access points would offer the option, for those that need it, to get the transaction over as quickly as possible, particularly at peak hours.

Another queue or booking system for those in less of a rush, or with a more complex set of needs could then be provided which would remove the pressure of being hurried. Demand and capacity could be better aligned, with the users of the low-speed service triaged to off-peak times (ie not rush-hour or lunch times).

Feel free to tear me to pieces, but this seems like a perfectly sensible solution to the efficient allocation of limited resources!

SockDrawer Mon 24-Nov-14 15:59:43

hmm

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 24-Nov-14 16:02:00

Everyone will believe that their own circumstances mean they need to be in the express queue. Hardly anyone will think, 'oh, I've got nothing better to do. I'll go in the not a priority queue'.

TheAlias Mon 24-Nov-14 16:06:53

I was going to say it on the other thread but why is the way you choose to use your time contributing more economically than the SAHMs or the pensioners?

One of the busiest people I know is a retired lady in her 70s who is involved in at least half a dozen organisations providing services such as financial advice, sports coaching, counselling, family support and conservation work. all fee of charge. Do you really think what you're doing with your time is more important or contributes more than she does?

Only history and some proper research will tell whether SAHM provide more to the economy than WOHM but I don't think it's at all clear cut.

bruffin Mon 24-Nov-14 16:07:08

Most definitely for the post office. I was stuck behind for 15 minutes while someone being fleeced for their passport to be checked the other day, then the assistant tried to sell them a credit card thingy to take on holiday and making small talk about the holiday. All i wanted was my parcel to be stamped and sent off which took a minute.

SockDrawer Mon 24-Nov-14 16:07:40

'Demand and capacity could be better aligned, with the users of the low-speed service triaged to off-peak times (ie not rush-hour or lunch times).'

Do you mean that (yes I'm going to pull the ageist phrase) little old ladies will be sent away from the GPs between the hours of 12-2 by receptionists? Or were you proposing a sign should be put up, turning them away at the door?

CrohnicallyAnxious Mon 24-Nov-14 16:08:05

I suppose some banks and supermarkets do offer something along those lines- the automatic machines are designed to be an express service with counter/till staff available for those who need help or a service not offered by the automatic machines.

At some GP surgeries (not mine, alas!) they request that early morning/late evening appointments are given to those who particularly need those times- ie people who work or are carers, and people who could attend in off peak hours do so.

However, these systems rely on people choosing the most appropriate service for themselves. Some people are natural born faffers and would faff at automatic machines too, in the mistaken belief that they are being quick as they only need to do one thing. Some people make appointments first thing in the morning just because they can.

And unfortunately, I think asking people to prove why they deserve the 'express' or 'peak hour' service is just not on. I expect demand would still outstrip supply. So many people hate having to give medical details to a receptionist in order to be granted a same day appointment, imagine if you had to give other personal details in order to be given a 'prime' appointment slot?

Babycham1979 Mon 24-Nov-14 16:08:14

Well, triage criteria would have to be applied. It works at A&E and in telephone call centres. Why not elsewhere?

If I need a repeat prescription from the GP, my needs are different to someone with multiple, complex, chronic conditions. Equally, if you want to post a letter by recorded delivery, your needs are different to the person who's converting their life savings in coppers for an obscure foreign currency.

You know it makes sense!

AMumInScotland Mon 24-Nov-14 16:16:37

Your needs may be different but does that also mean they are more important?

What if the person with a chronic condition can't stand for long - shouldn't they get seen more quickly than you? What if the little old lady with the jar full of coppers has to get home quickly to her husband who has dementia and can't cope with her being out of the house for long?

A&E can triage on actual needs, after taking basic details. Unless you are going to have someone on the front door taking your details and allocating you to a queue, you can only go on an individual's perception of their needs, which is unlikely to be neutral.

In fact the little old lady would probably join the slow queue so as not to 'be a bother' whicle plenty of people with a sense of entitlement would expect the fast queue because they were double parked.

Babycham1979 Mon 24-Nov-14 16:19:26

Well, TheAlias, the difference is that most SAHMs have the priceless luxury of deciding when they can undertake certain activities. Wage slaves generally don't have that option, and have to work around the capricious whims of those operating the levers of advanced capitalism.

Babycham1979 Mon 24-Nov-14 16:22:58

AMumInScotland, I wasn't making a value judgment. I was being facetious with the term 'express queue'.

An elderly type 1 diabetic with complex co-morbidities is undoubtedly more 'important' than my repeat prescription for the pill. However, they might be better served in a different way, and at a different time to me. 99.9% of surgeries fail to make this kind of distinction.

Subhuman Mon 24-Nov-14 16:23:57

the difference is that most SAHMs have the priceless luxury of deciding when they can undertake certain activities. Wage slaves generally don't have that option, and have to work around the capricious whims of those operating the levers of advanced capitalism.

How would you go about deciding who is more important though? Give everyone an 8 page questionnaire to complete in triplicate before they get analysed and given priority levels?

Some things are just easier if people are less impatient and just wait their turn.

SockDrawer Mon 24-Nov-14 16:25:04

How do you imagine this would work in reality then OP? Do you self sort into categories or do you have to go through some sort of government review to be judged based on time and need?

AMumInScotland Mon 24-Nov-14 16:31:28

Well, the elderly diabetic may only be able to get to the surgery at a particular time. It may have taken him till lunchtime in the wage-slave world to get there, and he wants to get home again before the cold and dark sets in.

IME elderly people who have no particular calls on their time do try to go to the surgery at less busy times, because they find it convenient not to be in a big queue of huffing people at lunchtime. But that is their choice to make, not yours.

Some businesses may be able to make a queue for specific types of business, like making an appoointment or picking up a repeat prescription or sending parcels, but most businesses where I find queues only have one or two staff so they don't have that luxury. If they could open an extra window at lunchtime that would be a bigger help in getting long queus dealt with more quickly.

Short of refusing to serve the 'complicated' customers, I don't see what they can do to make your life more convenient.

ItsaboatJack Mon 24-Nov-14 16:38:32

You'll hate me then. I run a business and do my daily banking at the Post Office, they've got to know me over time so if when I go it's busy they call me forward. I don't take the piss though, I try to go at quieter times, and I have everything organised so they can do their bit as quickly as possible, then I move aside if I need to faff with anything. This is fun at Christmas though when the queue is about half a mile long and I jump to the front grin

Also there should be fast lanes on pavements for those people that know where they are going and don't want to stop and admire the view or check the map.

Babycham1979 Mon 24-Nov-14 16:39:04

'Also there should be fast lanes on pavements for those people that know where they are going and don't want to stop and admire the view or check the map.'

SECONDED!

dexter73 Mon 24-Nov-14 16:43:57

My mum is a grade 1 faffer but she relies on me to take her to the shops, so she doesn't really get to choose to go in off-peak hours.

Ledkr Mon 24-Nov-14 16:47:22

Yes please. There are only two counters at our post office and there are frequently customers posting about ten parcels and it takes literally ages as the queue grows longer and longer.

TheAlias Mon 24-Nov-14 16:56:15

I'd dispute that actually OP. When I was a SAHM 2 days pw and working the others, my eye was on the clock far more on my days "off" than when I was at work. I always had somewhere I needed to be next, appointments for the little ones, got to be back to collect the eldest from pre-school, promised I'd pop in on DGM and get her some lunch, a volunteering commitment in the afternoon.

Lots of working people (especially those who know lots of fancy words wink ) can take their break when they like, doesn't have to be at lunch-time. Why don't you organise your day so you're not in the Post Office at thier busiest time?

But most of all, if you're lucky, you'll be old one day.

OddBoots Mon 24-Nov-14 17:00:41

Would you be prepared to pay more for the express system, a fee for using that queue? Like you would with a toll road or express delivery on online items?

ginnycreeper5 Mon 24-Nov-14 17:03:07

Brilliant idea Babycham.

Those that only have half an hour in the middle of the day, in which time is precious (because of work), could use this express queue.
And those that have all day to complete things (eg: retired) can use the other queues.

Why not

ginnycreeper5 Mon 24-Nov-14 17:05:38

Also there should be fast lanes on pavements for those people that know where they are going and don't want to stop and admire the view or check the map.

Babycham, you sound like my type of person grin

How about 2 doors, leading into every shop.
The left hand door can be for the annoying people that like to stop dead and look around and block everybody, so that everybody piles up behind them, and the
Other Door - can be for the rest of us less annoying people! smile

sparechange Mon 24-Nov-14 17:06:34

It would never work. Our GP offers early and late appointments for people who don't want to take time off work, but you'd be amazed at how many retired people are there in the waiting room at 7:30am.
A couple of years ago, I was waiting when an older lady asked me what time my appointment was. I told her, and she asked if she could swap with me (hers was about 20 mins after mine) because she was nil by mouth until the doctor had taken her blood and she 'just couldn't get started for the day until she had had a cup of tea'. When I said no, because I had to get to work, she was very affronted and told me that she had to get this out of the way so she could enjoy the rest of her day too

Kiffykaffycoffee Mon 24-Nov-14 17:11:23

I think it's a great idea OP. The money saved on the super-quick self service tills could then be used to provide more service on the manned tills including packing your bags and taking the trolley back afterwards.
It would also mean that normal people who shop at normal speed don't have to endure the impatient huffing and puffing of those whose time is more precious than that of us lesser mortals.

Babycham1979 Mon 24-Nov-14 17:11:51

'I'd dispute that actually OP. When I was a SAHM 2 days pw and working the others, my eye was on the clock far more on my days "off" than when I was at work. I always had somewhere I needed to be next, appointments for the little ones, got to be back to collect the eldest from pre-school, promised I'd pop in on DGM and get her some lunch, a volunteering commitment in the afternoon.'

Hmmm, ok. Not to denigrate your experience, but that all sounds pretty optional to me.

^'Lots of working people (especially those who know lots of fancy words wink ) can take their break when they like, doesn't have to be at lunch-time. Why don't you organise your day so you're not in the Post Office at thier busiest time?

But most of all, if you're lucky, you'll be old one day.'^

Thanks. I was more suggesting this as an act of benevolence, for my less sesquipedalian friends(!) I am - obviously - in such high status employment, I make my own hours or get one of my minions to do such menial tasks on my behalf.

Incidentally, I wont be old one day. I'm a fully paid-up member of Dignitas, and plan to cash-in my premiums on the day I realise I have to hold my mobile phone two inches from my eyes to read the screen.

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