“I was queueing at the Greek Festival to get some tickets and suddenly this young lady comes out of no where and started talking to the woman in front of me,” said 63-year-old Jacintha.
“Then, right in front of my eyes, she stepped into the line and bought her tickets! All this while she had been maintaining that conversation just so that she could sneak in. I can’t believe people these days,” Jacintha said.
Jacintha isn’t the only one frustrated with society’s general level of etiquette. Carol, who is a retiree, spends most of her time at the malls and incidentally always has bad experiences with tourists.
“I don’t understand why these tourists just don’t line up. And the worse thing is, even when they line up, they stand so close to you that they start pushing you forward. I don’t know why pushing is necessary,” Carol said.
But Carol was quick to clarify: “It’s not just tourists; locals are just as guilty when it comes to not lining up and pushing others.”
Some people choose to call them out on their behaviour but others prefer to not confront strangers, fearing that a bigger problem could arise from that interaction. So should we say something or let it be?
According to Lifehacker, if you do choose to say something, there is a way to do it so that your good intentions don’t backfire.
When you do want to approach a line cutter to let them know they just violated the sacred social code of waiting, it’s important to remember the following three things:
1. Don’t get angry.
2. Ask someone near by — preferably behind you — if they saw that person cut in the line. If they did, you now have an ally who has a vested interest in the outcome of the situation.
3. Confront the cutter as soon as possible. You’ll lose your chance if you wait.
When you confront the line cutter, be polite. It is possible that they could have made a mistake and you don’t want to overreact to something that’s ultimately not a big deal.
A simple sentence like, “Excuse me, but I believe you just cut in line” is forceful enough to get your point across while still remaining open to the possibility that you could be wrong and they were simply joining their friend to wait with them in solidarity.
In the event that they argue and things get out of hand, you either need to let it go (if the cutter is willing to drop the issue, too) or find a manager/person of authority and ask them to handle the problem for you. But something as unimportant as a person cutting in line should really never escalate to that level.
However, the important thing to remember is that while it’s rude for people to cut in line, you can’t fight every battle. Most of the time, it’s simply not worth fighting. Stay strong, and just try to let things go whenever you can.