The great Australian contradiction 22



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Australians. We’re good at contradicting ourselves and we’re very good at calling someone out for something we have done ourselves. Whether we eat humble pie or are hypocrites is something else all together but we should be able to admit that we contradict ourselves. So when some interesting information came to light recently, we couldn’t resist pointing out the obvious.

We Aussies will line up for anything, or should I say, anything we really want. When it comes to standing in a queue, we are experts but it has to be a line that will be rewarding for us.

Recently, makeup giant Sephora opened in Sydney and crazed women (and some men) lined up for hours to scramble for the bargains when the doors opened – some even camped overnight. Now, pretend that the store was just another makeup retailer who had been open for years and people were wanting to buy things. We would never wait in line or stand at the door for it to open, but if we did, we certainly wouldn’t be happy when we were let in – they’d made us wait!

Perhaps the difference between a queue we like and a queue we hate is that we don’t like being told to wait. We would much rather make the decision to wait for a store to open or a sale to begin. The latest statistics have revealed that we spending 653 hours of our lives waiting for transport, which is nothing compared to the 6 months of our lives we spend standing in a queue or the 20 weeks we spend on hold. Sadly, we only spend 113 days laughing out of our whole life.

Some things Australians like to line up for:

  • Transport
  • Clothes shops
  • Gelato
  • Exhibition openings
  • Movie premieres
  • Free chocolate
  • Bread
  • Drinks
  • Festival/theatre/concert tickets
  • Latest phones and electronics

Another reason that waiting in a line for hours on end is contradictory is because we as a nation seem quite impatient. How often do you see that person tearing down the street, weaving in and out of lanes, risking their life? Or that person tapping their foot impatiently at the cafe counter as they wait for a coffee from a stressed barista? Tell them their new favourite item is available and they’re more than happy to wait…so what is the problem here?

Are we selfish or rude? Or are we just being human? Do we need an attitude change? Should we reassess our priorities? Tell us your thoughts below.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I suspect it is just part of being human, as Hunter gatherers our species had to wait and stalk to find game to to kill and eat and women had to be patient till they found the next vegie tree to get the salad. So being partial patient is probably inbuilt in us, but since we have advanced since then another part says..bugga this I am out of here !!!

  2. Again it is assumed that we are all the same. This may be the case for those who live in the madness of a major city or high population area. The very nature of life in the hectic, hurly-burly of the city creates rudeness and a selfish attitude. I witness this whenever I have to spend time in a city and as I wonder at the chaos around me I give thanks that I am able to return to the tranquillity of country life. We do not have to line up for anything or push and shove to get on a bus. We don’t have to wait to get tickets to a movie or go to a sporting event. We can park our cars with relative ease and road rage is a rarity. We can say g’day to a total stranger and lend a hand to a hurting child without being called a child molester by an over reactive mother conditioned by the stress of city living. The gap between city and country living is huge so for this country dweller the above story is indeed a contradiction.

  3. I think it is a matter of choice. When we are paying bills, buying that quick cup of coffee on the way to work, doing weekly shopping etc. we are fitting it in to a daily routine, which is already busy, so we resent the time. However, when it’s a Boxing Day Sale, a queue for special concert tickets or something special, we set aside the time, knowing that’s part of the deal. Just a thought!

  4. I agree with Roma. If it is something you really want then you are prepared to wait. Sometimes maybe a bit of fame comes with it as media seems to be there when crowds are waiting eg krispy cremes & iphones.

  5. Yeah who cares this is why I never go to sales it’s just stupid to spend all that time in a queue for what you might save a little bit but if you like the products you finish up paying full price in the long run it’s just bloody madness.

  6. Not me. I queue for nothing. If there’s a queue, I leave. Unless it’s completely unavoidable like a bus queue or check-in at the airport for example.

  7. Have to be pretty bloody amazing for me to queue for goods. Will q for bus,doctors etc. I love my phone so I can actually do other stuff while I wait.

  8. I don’t like them but have meet some nice people in queue. Is funny at the supermarket I get the shortest queue but the slowest. Now I’m not working anymore I like to doodle and no rushing, that’s bliss.

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