Position In Line

Normally, people want to have a short wait, thus their position in line is strategic, at least when it is possible to exert any control at all over your situation.

You carefully choose:

  • Left or right at the bank drive thru?
  • The express line with 4 customers or the regular line with one fairly full cart in the grocery store?
  • Which of the ten options of lines, twenty people deep to order food at the stadium?
  • Waiting position on the train platform to get home for the holiday – where will it stop and will I be able to get on the train?

You try to gauge the right queue to get to the front as quickly as possible.

When people wait too long, or perceive the wait to be longer than necessary, they get impatient. 

Today, I attended my very first jury duty – as a stand by juror. The woman who directs the jurors, gives orientation and is the only connection between the group and the judges was so very patient. The specific title of her position remains unknown to me, but her personality was perfect for it. Professional, polite, patient, firm. She’s helpful, but doesn’t take any sass from anyone…

The calls that came in, to which we could listen, albeit one-sided, fairly clearly expose how much people do not want to have to perform their civic duty. Furthermore, in the standby juror room, no one wanted to have their no longer “low” number called, at least as far as I could tell. It was 535 through 780 and only three days had gone through over 500 people…

I know that I wanted a high number, and I had one that I legitimately thought would keep me from having to attend at all…but, even though I had to report, I was not called into a court room. In fact, I was released early in the afternoon – free and clear for three more years – at least.  (I haven’t been summoned as far as I can remember, in the last ten years.)

My position in line was far and away from the front, or beginning, and that was perfectly fine by me…and for over 200 other people, too. That’s the first time I can remember really wanting to be at the back of the line, even though I was quite curious…I’ll just have to believe that what I see in movies and television is far more glamorous than reality, even thought it might be interesting – it isn’t interesting enough (to me) to be at the front of that line.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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