The Art of Queue Jumping

The Art of Queue Jumping:

What better way to honour the Singaporean past-time of queuing than by linking to an article about queue jumping?

The article linked to isn’t a website but a downloadeable pdf of an old edition of inpark magazine which has some interesting observations (page 14) about how people queued during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

The Chinese norms of what’s “right” or “wrong” for queue line etiquette are, of course, uniquely Chinese. Special events in China, like the Expo 2010 Shanghai, can attract enormous crowds in orders of magnitude greater than what you might see elsewhere.

Wait times for some of the pavilions are three to four hours long or even longer! On a good day, without any creativity in the art of queue jumping, you might see only three pavilions after braving ten or so hours in line!

What would you do if a third of your visit was spent waiting in line for one pavilion?

You might get a little creative with your “queue minimization” as well. Here are some of the best and most humorous “queue jumping” techniques we witnessed at the Expo.

Considering that the expo was dealing with roughly 250,000 visitors per day I’m not surprised that some ‘cutting’ of the line occurred. Still I’m glad that despite all the long queues in Singapore during the National Day weekend the crowds were largely well behaved.

Still I gotta hand it to the mainland chinese for employing methods like this:

Jumping the Kid – The technique uses your kid as an “advance man”. How it works: Your small child “accidentally” wanders away, snaking his/her way through the queue advancing just far enough so that you can see him/her. You begin yelling at your child, “you’re a very bad boy or girl.” As you yell, your entire family pushes its way through the queue line to retrieve the child, inserting yourselves as far forward as possible. Once you reach the child, repeat.

Best use of a kid I can ever think of.

“Bad boy, now look what you’ve done! Oh wait, we’re at the head of the queue. Good boy!”

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