Monday, June 20, 2011

STILL BRITISH AFTER ALL THESE YEARS....



Over the past six years, I have got used to going straight up to the counter at the newsagent's rather than waiting to be asked what I need, having my change slammed on to the counter instead of put into my hand and, in larger stores,  being followed around by a shop assistant rather than being left to browse.  I have even acquired some of the patience and not a little of the resignation required to carry out a transaction in that least favourite building of mine, the post office.

But there is one thing I simply cannot do and that is to queue-jump: Thus it was that I received a very strange look from the post office clerk this morning after I had dutifully waited till my ticket number showed on the screen when all I wanted was a form to fill in.  Yes, everybody else makes a beeline for the clerk, with no  consideration for the customer whose transaction is being interrupted or for the many others still patiently waiting.  I have tried to do this, reader, but at the last minute I freeze and find myself rooted to the spot.

The British, as George Mikes observed, queue "for the hell of it" if no other reason can be found and, if this is our national sport, it is also the only one I am ever likely to indulge in, so I cannot give it up now!

14 comments:

Nerys said...

I had to go to the post office today too, people up here in general are well behaved and don't queue jump much - luckily!! It's still something I could never bring myself to do though, and I can't stand it when other people try to do it!

Winchester whisperer said...

Hai la patienza! When in Modica...

rosaria said...

Some habits are in our DNA. In my case, I read your post, smiled. Then, was intrigued about a previous post on Almond Milk Granita and followed that to Watermelon Granita, and so forth, food searching in my DNA.

Claude said...

I'm not British but I can't queue jump either. I would be ashamed. Not only that but, at the grocery store, if I have a cart filled with food, and the person behind me only has a couple of items, I usually offer my place, to shorten his/her wait. Mostly because I'm nervous when people are behind me. I prefer to be the last one on the line, and do the business slowly, with nobody watching, and trying to rush me. I think queue lining is a diabolic invention!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Oh Pat I know how much you love the L'Ufficio Postale.
In answer to your question about the lizard, I was lucky he did not notice me, otherwise sure he would have shot off.

CherryPie said...

I don't think I could ever bring myself to push in either!

Leslie: said...

Too bad they can't put in a section where they put the forms so people can get the and fill them in as they wait. That would solve so much! But then, when in Italy...

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Brava, Pat! I am in favor of good manners and waiting one's turn! You set a good example ...even if no one around is paying attention!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Nerys. It never ceases to amaze me that the clerks will stop what they are doing to attend to these people. Pazienza ci vuole, WW. Yes, in our DNA, Rosaria. I'm pleased that you were interested in those other posts. Hi, Claude. I usually let someone with just a couple of items go first too. What's queue lining? Hi, LindyLouMac. I was wondering about that all night! He must have got sleepy in the sun. Hi, Cherie. Glad I'm not the only one! Hi, Leslie. A friend of mine keeps suggesting that but they seem to think it would cause a revolution or something. Thanks, Pat. I shall comfort myself with your words!

Patricia said...

How your post made me laugh! One thing I have never understood about Italy is the post office and how it is used for EVERYTHING. As for queuing...standing politely to wait your turn in line is something that Americans inherited from the Brits. We line up for everything and if someone jumps the line, they are usually motioned to by someone and pointed to the end of the line.

flutterby said...

I've only jumped a queue once and then only with the permission of the "queuers". Arriving at our destination after a 3-hour drive to go hiking in Texas with absolutely no rest stops or even a good sized bush along the way, I was in crisis mode (my knees knock together when I think about it). The good people in line at the ladies let me go ahead. What relief. (Would have used the gents but there was a line there too).

rochambeau said...

Hell Welshcakes L!!
I'm glad you know you won't cut into the front of the queue! Another reason I like you~
Wishing you a wonderful day!!

xox
Constance

jams o donnell said...

I hope you give the queue jumpers your best reproachful stare Welshcakes. As for the newsagent the very idea of not being able to browse is terrible!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Patricia. You're right - you have to go to the PO for everything here! Glad to hear that you're all polite in queues over there, too. Hi, flutterby. I did enjoy your tale - thanks for sharing it here.Hi, Constance and thank you. Hope you're having a good day too. Oh, I do, jams! You can browse in the newsagent's but not in a lot of other stores. There's even a bookstore in Modica where you can't - horror of horrors - but fortunately there are others where you can.

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