How to manage irritating queues
Posted Sunday, June 17 2012 at 13:32
“There are three givens of human nature that queuing psychologists must address:
1) We get bored when we wait in line.
2) We really hate it when we expect a short wait and then get a long one.
3) We really, really hate it when someone shows up after us but gets served before us.”
SETH STEVENSON Slate (June 1, 2012)
Wherever you look in Kenya, people are queuing up.
They’re queuing up to pay bills; to make enquiries; to manage their money; to meet people; to board or disembark; to have someone answer their call. And they hate it.
Organisations in Kenya are adept at making people queue; they are less skilled at managing and reducing those queues. Queues are often lazily thought of as a sign of success.
They are better viewed as a failure.
Do not forget that we live in the social media era.
People who are angry in your queue now have a dangerous channel through which to vent their frustration.
They will take a photo of your queue and post it on Twitter or Facebook, instantly and cheaply.
As more smartphones enter more hands, you have every reason to be worried by this phenomenon.
An insightful piece in Slate recently went deeper into the issue of queues.
The excerpt shows the three things that people hate most about queues: that they are boring to be in; that we hate them more when they are unexpected; and that we really hate them when they are unfair, and undeserving people are allowed to cut in in front of us.