How to Take Cuts in a Line and Not Get Your Tail Kicked – Maybe
"Are you queue barging? Is that what you're doing?"
I was asked that question as I tried to take cuts to get in line for Monica Lewinsky's book signing at Harrod's Department Store in London in 1999. As an entitled American, I had the right to take cuts (queue barging in the UK) as I was an (arrogant) American traveling abroad and it was much more important for me to see her and get her to sign than you English types, am I right?
What do you mean, I have to buy the book, too?
Well the shaming was loud and immediate as I tried to invisibly melt into the mass. Bad idea. It got to the point where a cop-looking-dude was quickly coming over, so I said something flippant about an American beat down 200 years ago or something equally mature and skedaddled with my tail between my legs, sheepishly returning Monica's overrated page-turning-drivel and asking for my pounds back. I was married at the time. I did as I was told.
Anywho, the point is I wish I'd had some of the following tips on breaking into a line. It would not have mattered a darn bit with snooty Brits, but you might have better luck.
How do you get away with it? Strategy, baby. Here's what the "pros" do:
- They spot a gap in the line and hop right in by pretending they thought that was the end.
- They start talking with someone who's got a good spot in the line, possibly a friend or maybe even a stranger, and they stay up there in the line with them.
- They lie to the other people in line by saying they're going to be late, so those people will let them in.
- They just start rapidly apologizing as they cut and hope that's enough.
- They go to the front of the line by pretending they just have a quick question for the staff.
Yes, there are actually strategies involved in taking cuts.
There aren't many things in day-to-day life that tick people off more than CUTTING in a line. But people keep doing it anyway. A new survey found more than one in four people admit to cutting in lines. Care to fess up?
But an interesting note: more than a third of 18-24-year-olds took a “no worries” attitude to someone cutting in front of them compared to only a quarter who would confront the queue jumper.