May 24, 2010

Rant of the Week: Waiting in Line

Rant of the Week: Waiting in Line

Whoever came up with the saying "Patience is a virtue" never had the misfortune of standing in line behind an ignorant, retarded, completely oblivious, or just plain stupid person before in their lifetime. One of my biggest pet peeves is having to stand in line for something. Often, this process takes longer than it should. Like, way fucking longer. These are the times that the greatest of moods can be transformed into pure rage in a matter of seconds. It is a constant reminder that there are people walking this earth that are alive simply due to the fact that it is against the law to kill them. There are many scenarios of waiting in line that plague our daily existence, such as at a gas station, bank, ATM, Drive-Thru, Grocery Store, Amusement Park, or in Traffic. These situations put us in a position to make a decision that could simply put $20 bucks in pump #5 and carry out our lives to the fullest or serve a life sentence in jail.

Gas Station

When I find myself waiting in line at a gas station I am standing there for one of two reasons; 1) to buy beer or; 2) to buy Monster Energy drinks/Krispy Kreme donuts. As fate would have it, the latter comes in the morning when I am looking for a good way to start off my day. I'm not a morning person, so ideally this is an "in and out" kind of deal. More often than not, I find myself behind a bum that is trying to hit the big one by playing the lotto with whatever cash they were able to scrap up from the night before. The majority of the purchase goes towards their Colt 45 while the remaining change is dedicated towards whatever $1 scratch offs and Powerball tickets they can grasp. The problem with all of this is that it takes them an inordinate amount of time to make a decision on what ticket they want. "Give of that one...that one over there....." If they are cashing in last nights big $3 winner, the process takes even longer. Once they realize they have a few extra bucks to spend, this goes directly towards cigarettes. And naturally, they are the ones that the attendant has never heard of before, and must go on on some scavenger hunt in the back room to locate. This entire time, I am staring a hole in the back of the fucker's head in front of me, possibly imagining the choke out move that I described in last week's How To. They have no comprehension of the line that is wrapping around the grocery store because of their inability to make a quick decision and waste away the money they spent begging for to achieve their hopeless dreams. And they definitely don't realize that I am putting my blood pressure at unsafe limits by waiting behind them to buy my energy drinks and donuts so I can start my day and in the process do more than they will do with their entire week's worth of accomplishments.


Thankfully due to Direct Deposit, I have not had to go through the possible aneurysm that is waiting in line at a bank to deposit my paycheck on a Friday afternoon. But I have been there. And it's never pretty. Here is how it usually goes. I walk into the bank and sigh. In front of me is a line of people wrapped around a coral of hate, frustration, and rage. The bank tellers are short staffed, have pist off looks on their faces, and aren't doing their job fast enough. I go to the end of the line and wait my turn. I scope out the scene and examine all of the people in front of me in line. I try to predict how long each of the person's transaction will take so I can come up with some sort of estimate of how much time I have ahead of me. This estimate always fails. While I am stuck in between the roped lines, I try to make my presence known by making it clear that I don't want anyone invading my person space or coming into the "bubble" I have established. Usually, some sort of little kids encroaches the bubble, or some random person will accidentally bump into me. They immediately get the look that says "Don't fucking do that again, buddy." Moving on, let's say there are three tellers working on a given Friday afternoon. One will be wrapped up in a transaction that will never get resolved by the time I am helped. God knows what is going on there. The other two are trying to get through the line as fast as possible. But it is never fast enough. By the time I get to the front of the line, the two people that are taking up the two possible next tellers are creating some sort of long drawn out diversion that will steal minutes of my life that I will never get back. By the time I hear the "May I help you please" calling, I am beyond pist. Approximately twenty seconds later, I have already deposited my check, got my receipt, and am out of the bank. Why does it take anyone else longer than this?


ATM's are the bane of my existence. Every time I go to one, there is a car in front of me that has been sitting there idling for hours it seems. After a couple minutes of waiting, I will see them reach over to punch in their transaction information. If it's really bad, they will have to wedge their obese body out of their car door in the allotted space they have left between their car and the ATM to punch in the information manually since they pulled up too far from the ATM. When they get their cash, they completely disregard the fact that I am eagerly waiting to take their position by sitting in their car and putting the debit card away, counting the money, sitting for about 30 seconds doing who knows what, and then pulling forward just far enough so that I cannot pull forward.

Grocery Store

One would think that the popularity of the self check-out concept would speed things along at the grocery store. Well, not at any of the ones I have been to. If there are a handful of check-out lanes open, there is an unsderstaffed person manning the operational nightmare. If I buy a dog toy for Bo, some toothpaste, toilet paper, and a 6-pack of Oberon, this is going to involve the attendant coming over to verify the fact that I am 21 years old and able to buy alcohol. Well, before they can do this, they need to take care of the person that cannot ring up the sack of lettuce they bought, or the Chinese person that is complaining about the "buy one get one" coupon that is not ringing up correctly, or the person that has never touched any sort of technological device before in their life and decided to give it a go at the same time I was waiting to get the hell out of the store. The attendant is not capable of multi-tasking, is easily overwhelmed, and when panicked, will get on the phone and call someone in an attempt to maskthe fact that they don't know what they are doing. This scenario happens every time I go to Meijer.

Amusement Park

I don't mind waiting in line for roller coaster rides. It is a good time to chat up and socialize the company that you are with. However, I don't like to see a full cast of ex-Jerry Springer cast mates making out with one another while I wait in line for the ride. I don't want to hear about their latest trashy adventure. I don't want to see them try to hug their significant other even though their arms can't wrap around their bodies because they are so fat. I don't want to breathe in the smoke they are chain smoking and blowing my way even though the rules that Fred Flintstone clearly displayed said not to do so. And don't even try to cut me in line. I will turn into the biggest asshole ever.


Traffic jams are horrible. The invention of the iPhone has made traffic jams at least bearable, but they are still horrendous. Even at a stand-still, there is always that one person that decides to creep along the edge and cut other people off. I am the guy that drives far over to the right to stop them from passing. "Honk at me all you want, deuchebag, we're all in this together." Most of the time, there was no reason for the delay. No dead bodies. No crumpled up Smart car under a semi. No reason for the delay. I always mutter "there better be fucking Armageddon up there" whenever I get stuck in a line of traffic. Most of the time it's just someone with a flat tire, or nothing at all, that caused the huge delay from me to get from Point A to Point B. FML.

So what does this all mean? If you're in a situation where there are people behind you waiting in line, have some common sense, hurry it the hell up, and move on as quickly as possible.