Waiting in line gets tougher every day.
Modern man is not designed to wait. On a recent morning I discovered first hand just how low the people we call Line Impatients can stoop.
This was Sunday morning, 6:15 a.m., no less. I entered my local Starbucks, which recently added a movie theatre style rope because the Line Impatients are so darn unruly. There were three customers in the joint.
The woman in front was ushered up and I assumed the on deck position – at the corner in front of the pastries.
After thirty seconds the woman before me eased on down to get her drink. I began to step forward, but the barista motioned me to wait. She still had to get something for the woman.
I did as I was told and earned the first people hating encounter of my Sunday morning.
The man riding my back barked, “Are you in line?”
We were the only other customers in Starbucks. By now it was 6:16 a.m. I turned and looked at him and shook my head and said what I’d wanted to say many times before,
“What do you think I’m doing?”
It felt good saying it. He didn’t say a word -- other than taking a half step back.
Thirty seconds later the barista smiled at me and I stood my ground and pointed to the pastry right before me, and then ambled down to the register.
Message to the Line Impatients – at Starbucks, airport, grocery store: You’re too close if we can freely swing our elbows and smack your chin.
My least favorite of these miscreants are the ones who can’t wait for you to sign the electronic checkout – and collect your goods. It’s not going to happen any faster because you’re close enough to pick my pocket.
Of course I see nothing hypocritical about my disdain for the people clogging up my lines.
You know, the multi-taskers waiting at the bank, grocery store and café that can’t be bothered to remember that they’re in a line. In a physical place called Earth.
Yes, along with that voice in your ear and tiny screen that you’re thumbing through, you partially exist in another plane – formerly called the present – and when the bank teller cries, “Next!” he means you.
— Jonathan Littman