Why People Who Want More Than One Line Are A-Holes
June 26, 2011 5 Comments
Situation: You’re waiting in line for a cashier who has two sides on which he can ring up patrons. You know exactly who’s in front of you (it’s like three people/groups). The guy behind you taps you on the shoulder and says, “Are there two lines or only one?”
Here’s what he’s really saying: “I’d like to cut in front of you.”
After all these facts are not in dispute. 1. You arrived before him. 2. We’re all going to see the same dude eventually, one way or another. 3. If there’s one line you will definitely get rung up before him. 4. But if there could be construed to be “two lines” then, due to the alternating nature of who the cashier sees when, the guy behind you might actually get rung up before you by that guy.
Like, if you choose the wrong “line” in which to stand.
Since the guy behind you is asking, this is evidently what he’s hoping for. He wants to cut in front of you. Otherwise he wouldn’t ask, because he wouldn’t care. If he had no intention of cutting in front of you, whether there was one line or “two lines” (to see the same dude, remember) would make no difference to him.
By the way, the same also holds true in a situation with multiple cashiers, it’s just that in those cases it’s usually less egregious because multiple lines can be a geometric necessity.
So basically, anyone behind you in a line who asks you this question wants to screw you over. There is no non-screwing-over motive for ever asking this question.
Have a nice day.
P.S. True story.