The Q Jumpers…

if there is something i cannot tolerate more than bad service is Queue Jumping … i dont usually loose my cool but these guys really throw me off balance … now, i know my fellow blogger maawali doesnt like it when i generalize but i am going to have to do it again. The QJs are almost never white (western). The art of Q jumping is mastered by the people of the east in general. Easterners have managed to completely block out the concept of the queue from their psyche. This block is so deeply rooted that I even find the way the word is spelled to be confusing. QUEUEUEU ??!?!! Apparently, queuing is such an important topic that people (in the west) have studied it and applied it to other fields through what is called Queuing Theory. I wonder if the study if QT was inspired from having to wait in the Q.

Side note: From my experience, the Brits are the masters of Q-ing and the Indians are the masters of QJ-ing. Arabs (including Omanis) are very close runner-ups to the Indians. Other easterners are ahead in understand the Q. I am going to link the definition of Queuing here just in case.

The realization that this is really a comprehension problem among easterners came after 3 distinct QJ-ing experiences where i was the victim. These guys are so masterful at doing this that i cannot let the act go unquestioned. And every time i question these guys i get to learn a bit more about this phenomenon and about the logic that these Q Jumpers employ in justifying their actions.

Experience number 1: At the ATM machine.

I arrive at the ATM machine. There is a guy using it (he is Jordanian or Palestinian or Lebanese -JPL). He is having problems with his card and is struggling with the ATM. There is an Omani guy already waiting, and i come and add to the pressure. After struggling, he decides to move away from the ATM but he still hangs around. He is obviously not done yet. The Omani guy walks and withdraws hi cash and moves on. Our friend JPL now tries to move back to the ATM, so i stop him and say:

OM: Excuse me its my turn (dory ya 7abibi)

JPL: What do you mean? how did you come to that conclusion? (keef dowrak? keef 7asabt ha hay)

HE IS UPSET WITH ME ?!?!?! and asking ME to EXPLAIN WHY IT IS MY TURN ?!?!

OM: first it was you, then it was him, now it is me. Its very simple. The minute you leave the Q you go back to the back of the line.

JPL: BUT I WAS HERE FIRST, and then my card didnt work so i let him use the machine, and now its my turn again.

OM: NO, it is not your turn. You obviously dont understand how this works (at this stage i am doubting my own understanding of the Q works, but i stand my ground. If i dont stop this guy now, he will continue to Jump Q forever)

JPL: I can believe this.

OM: YOU cant believe this?

At this stage the other Omani guy interferes as he thinks this might actually get out of hand and he tries to calm things down (salamat ya shabab, 7asal ‘7air, haddu haddu)

OM: (talking to Omani) This guy is waisting both of our times. If had just stayed in line i would be done by now and he would be trying to figure out how to work the ATM without anyone waiting behind him. (Talking to JPL) please go ahead, use the ATM (‘7alsna ya a’7i, tfadhal)

This was the first point of realization. He moved up and took my turn (after i offered it to him) convinced that it was his. The funny part is “Allah doesnt beat with a stick” (Arabic saying). His ATM card still didnt work. and now he has me still waiting to use the machine. He looses it. He starts banging on the ATM and shouting: Finish i dont want to use this machine (‘7alas ma badi, MA BADI). he storms to his car and zooms off.

Experience number 2: Subway @ city center

Ordering a sandwich at subway is always a confusing affair because the whole system is based upon the assumption that people know how to Q. I go through the process and i am so close to just paying and leaving but this Indian guy comes in and starts ordering:

OM: Excuse me i havnt finished. you can wait in line. over there..

IQJ: No, its ok. Thank you.

OM: I am sorry, I dont think you understand, BUT its my turn now. you have to wait for your turn.

IQJ: No, i understand that it is your turn and that there is a line, but i am just ordering a pepsi.

OM: Just by saying this you proving you dont understand. You cannot order anything now. you have to wait for your turn. Look behind you. people are waiting. you have to wait like them.

IQJ: I understand…

OM: IF you tell me your understand once more i will loose it. Just stop arguing and move to the end of the Q.

IQJ: but…

OM: not buts. just go.

He doesnt move the back of the Q. He just goes away and i get some claps from the people in the Q.

Experience number 3: At Alfair MQ

The lines at Al Fair MQ are miserable. I am done with my shopping and pushing the trolley towards the cashier. This little Indian guy comes running and squeezes himself between my trolley and the cashier desk. This guy is a PRO ! so i think about what i want to do this time. From past i have come to realize that this is a mental issue. So i decide to take a different approach. I slowly lean on my trolley and try to push him up against the cashier table. Squeeeeeze. i expected him to look back or tell me something. But nothing. he is ignoring me. So i squeeeze some more. Nothing. No reaction. He doesnt even look back.

This is when i realized i cannot fight this alone. These guys are sick and need help. This guy is willing to tolerate psychical abuse just to jump the Q.

I cannot compete with that.

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