14 Feb Cut the queue or stand in it?
Our flight was boarding at 16H00. “We have loads of time”, she said at 15H55. So we continued to walk at a leisurely pace towards the gate where the expected long, winding queue awaited us. Side note: That’s a concept that’s always baffled me. Why don’t we all just sit a bit longer? Standing in a long queue seems a little silly. But…. it’s the airport ritual:).
Anyway, as we approached the back of the queue, but she kept walking past.
A bit puzzled I said “Hey bud, the queue starts here!”. She signaled for me to keep walking and follow her lead.
She confidently walked to about 5 people from the front of the queue and settled her bags on the ground. Then leaned against the wall, slightly away from the long line of people, turned to me and said, “Put your bags down, someone will let us in”. Her naughty smile, like that of an excited teenager said it all!
Oh the shock and horror! But Mom told me to wait my turn? To stand in the queue and give that person who cuts the queue a death-stare? She could obviously see the disdain in my face when she said, as if to comfort me, “Jen, we’re still young enough and hot enough… someone will let us in”. Not even a minute later, a lovely elderly gentlemen said “Hi ladies, would you like to go in front of me?”.
Now as shocked and embarrassed as I was, I still took the chance to get ahead and walked on through, politely thanking the gentleman. Albeit it looking down, because let’s face it – I was wrong and wanted to avoid any possibility of judging stares from the people behind us!
This got me thinking…
In business there are 2 types of people. The people that cut the queue and the people that stand in it.
Now, as you get to know me, you’ll realise that I consider myself a “stand in the queue” kinda gal.
While I stand in the long line, I get jealous seeing the success of some of friends and business contemporaries who cut the queue or make a whole new line alongside me for the same ‘flight’. I find myself resentful of their wins, yet at the same time, pat myself on the back and convince myself that that’s not the route I’m willing to go to achieve my success.
While I’ve always hoped I’m above that, when the offer to cut the queue was in front of me, I took it and got ahead! Sure it’s just a line to board a flight, but it shows just how easy it is to take the quick road ahead when it’s offered to you. Which means I gotta get off my high horse and CHECK MYSELF!
So instead of being resentful (and seemingly envious) of those who are ballsy enough to cut the queue, my new challenge is:
- If you want to stand in the queue, do the work and show up early so that you’re at the front of the line
- Sit down, be patient and let others have their turn.
Then board stress-free (even if your bag ends up in an over-head compartment a bit further away) and be confident that there’s room enough for every passenger and that you’ll all get to the other side at the same time, regardless of how you got in the queue.