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Are you a good CITIZEN in QUEUE? May 14, 2011

Posted by aglakadam in Uncategorized.

“Standing in queue is not just the matter of individuals characteristic, It’s about the values we inherit from our parents as we grow up”

Friends this week I start with sharing one of the most frustrating experiences which I went through. However when I explored more on my experience I learned much more about life and it all became very interesting.

I had to renew my motor driving license from the road tax office. As per the new law I was required to be present at the driving license renewal office counter myself to get the record updated. Since biometric was to be scanned, no one else could do the job in place of me. As soon as I reached the RTO office on at 3.30 pm that afternoon I discovered that I was required to stand in a queue. This is where I realized that queues are a huge source of knowledge and learning.  There was a whole lot of variety of people standing in and around the queue. It was difficult to make out who was a part of queue and who was not. Truck drivers in various designer outfits and “ornamented” vocabulary were making their presence registered very strongly. It was 42 degree centigrade heat outside and no provision of air cooler around. The sweat being oozed out of the versatile crowd was making the atmosphere pungent and suffocating.

The most maddening aspect was that the queue was not advancing at a desired pace. Standing in a slow moving line reveals how impatient you are. The responsible officer behind the counter was busy relaxing in front of a water cooler. He was most of the time seen struggling to identify the right computer key and also waiting for the server to respond as soon as he uploaded a data.

There were a few college going students standing in the queue demonstrating all their youth by way of shouting & screaming. An old man was standing in front of me; all drained of his energy but was cool & calm. All that we wanted was to get rid of the queue. I realized we were more bothered about getting started for the job which made us stand in the queue while getting the job complete was the second priority.

All of us have to go through such experiences in daily life. At the rail reservation counter, airport check-in, in a hospital, at the restaurant, public service offices, car parking queues, bus stand, in school and many other places  – even at temple or church! Standing in queue has become  imperative in today’s world. We need to gain courage and learn necessary skills to be a good citizen – when in queue. I have seen the best of the human beings getting impatient as soon as the flight lands at the destination airport. People give a deaf ear to the security announcements and irresponsibly start rushing in the foyer to reach the exit door.

Slow moving lines are painful but this wait becomes all the more killing when the wait is unexplained. If you are stuck-up in traffic jam on a highway, first effort is to find a escape route. If that’s not possible frustration creeps in and we try to get information about the reason for the traffic jam. In case the jam is very long and we do not get to know of the facts it becomes very difficult to tolerate the road jam. Once someone informs the reason for the block, it gives us reason to be less anxious and wait patiently. I have observed that if we are not able to estimate ( or guesstimate) the amount of time we will be required to wait in the line, it becomes very tough to stick at one place in the line. The moment someone communicates that it will take another 30 minutes for the road to be movable, we tend to relax.

Human nature is very interesting. Sometimes a few minutes wiz by very fast and on some occasions a two minute wait looks like a weak long wait! If you are waiting for your turn in a doctor’s waiting room, the time will expand to show how jobless you are. In the same situation if you accidentally happen to meet a friend of yours, the wait is not registered at all! Surely unengaged time looks longer than engaged time.

Your wait in the queue is directly proportional to the perceived value of the service for which you are standing. More the value, longer the customer can wait. Once I was waiting for my turn in an ATM queue. The line was long enough and there was a crowd of people inside the booth aswell. Each one was looking beyond other’s shoulder as the poor guy in front of the machine hoped and prayed that no one gets to see his finger movement (password), that the ATM card comes out safe, that the money gets vended out of the machine, that the internet service does not hang up etc. The crowed was being unfair to the actual user of the service. There was a breach of security as well. However people were mostly insensitive to this social concern. Only those who were in desperate need of money waited for their turn in that queue, others decided to leave.

Recently Japan faced one of the worst tsunami. Huge amount of destruction was witnessed by the world. In-spite of such an enormous calamity the tragedy recorded was proportionately very less. One important reason behind this was that the citizen’s of Japan were absolutely disciplined. When under stressful & life threatening situation, it is very rare to see people adhering to queue. Even when they lost everything in the tsunami, they preferred to follow a strict queue discipline when food supplies were being distributed.

I realized that standing in queue is not just the matter of individuals characteristic. It’s about the values we inherit from our parents as we grow up.  It is also a part of our social responsibility to behave rational & respect each one standing in the line. Each one desires to reach to the head of the queue very fast. Let us not forget that it requires a strong social character to move ahead fast yet be sensitive to people around us. Patience and discipline is required to be a good human being when standing in queue.

Lessons for Excellence :

  1. When standing in a queue, the time will always expand to make you feel jobless and uncomfortable.


  1. When you break the queue, you actually  weaken your character and demonstrate it too!


  1. The wait in a queue looks longer when the reason for wait is not known or there is no estimated time limit to the queue.


  1. How you wait in the queue indicates the level of your anxiety.


  1. Remember every queue will get you to the destination, provided you have the adequate patience to wait.

Ajit Varwandkar

Email : info@fsindia.in



1. AJIT BILOLIKAR M - May 15, 2011

Very Nice Lesson . I can learn from this leson .

aglakadam - May 16, 2011

Thanks for the feedback.

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