Deplorable Behaviour.

30/10/2013. The following is an example of the daft things I do when my brain is addled after a day’s work.

***

Yesterday, I disgraced myself in the supermarket.

Being British, I love queues. They’re so ordered, so organised. I know exactly where I am in a queue, and howl derision upon anyone who has the temerity to – deep breath – queue jump. A few years ago I holidayed in Italy, and loved the place. Whenever I’m away there are always things I miss about home, and in Italy’s case these were twofold: potatoes, and queues.

Yesterday evening I nipped to the supermarket on my way to pick the bloke up from work. I whizzed round, grabbed the couple of things I needed, and was delighted to see a free checkout waiting for me. Wondering vaguely why two or three people were queuing at the adjacent checkout, I dashed to the free till and my shame descended.

‘Excuse me, you do know we’re all waiting?’ asked the man at the front of the queue, stepping forward and tapping me on the arm. I was in cloud-cuckoo-land at the time, so glibly replied that they were waiting for a different till.

‘Why would we be queuing when there’s a till free?’ asked queue-man, hackles raised.

Because you’re stupid? Before I could reply, one of the checkout operators informed me the queue was actually for both tills. Ooops!

‘See!’ said queue-man, exuding smugness. Then he added, with a derisive sniff, that I could carry on and use the checkout.

‘I do beg your pardon,’ I said humbly, realising that I’d been the stupid one, but queue-man was having none of it. He was in full magnanimous mode by this time, and repeated that I should go first.

So – I did, with one more apology for good measure. It was only when I was waiting for Andy, face still burning with shame at having queue jumped, that it dawned on me my apology would have been far more sincere had I done the honourable thing and taken my place at the back of the queue.

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7 thoughts on “Deplorable Behaviour.

  1. Bless you. I know exactly how you felt, and I also know exactly how *he* felt. Put it down as a misunderstanding and forget about it.

    I jumped the queue at a cinema opening night of some big movie once in Northampton. (Incisive moment ~ I can remember the occasion, but not what film it was!) There was huge a crowd outside and my friend and I were very late. I totally hadn’t ‘clocked’ the situation. So when they opened the rope barriers to let people in, I was right there. Says the member of staff, “Did you just jump the queue?” Says me, blithely, “Of course not, I wouldn’t do such a thing.” So he lets us in, and I keep thinking, queue, what queue? It was only when I looked back (surreptitiously, of course) that I realised that the ‘crowd’ was in fact a queue snaking between barriers and that, in fact, I had jumped the queue. All of it. I went right to the front. I nearly died with embarrassment. But hey ho, we were in, and it was an honest mistake, I swear!

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one. It took me hours to get over the embarrassment! If I’d been queue-man I’d have reacted in exactly the way he did, but I honestly thought he and the others in the queue were just being a bit unobservant. Perhaps I’ll have to find a different supermarket for a while, or go shopping in disguise…

  2. I once left the 10 Item till to dash across to a vacant serve yourself, only to be told that there was a queue. I apologised and went back to the ten item till, but I didn’t understand why nobody from the queue had stepped forward to the serve yourself. I guess they were waiting to be told by the assistant that they could. Very polite us British!

    • I saw a similar thing happen to a lady who had been waiting behind me in the basket only queue. Having been told by an assistant that there was also a queue for the self service tills she decided to re-join the basket queue – while the self service till she wanted to use remained vacant!

  3. Being blind I sometimes jump queues due to my guide dog (Trigger’s) desire to assist me from a to b as quickly as possible. I must confess that having realised that he has, in fact queue jumped I have, on occasions carried on regardless despite my feeling of inner shame, (after all I can always blame my guide dog)!

    • I’ve overtaken a driver I thought was pulling in to park, only to discover he’d invited a driver coming in the opposite direction to go first. I’ve also overtaken a car pulling in at the side of the road, and only then noticed the emergency vehicle approaching rapidly, lights ablaze. On both occasions I felt suitably embarrassed!

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