Archive for September, 2006

Metropolis @ The Plug, Sheffield

September 23, 2006

First stop, hole in the wall.

We all know each other, but apart from Gemma in pink who doesn’t need cash, the others have managed to form a casual but polite queue behind the cashpoint. Fantastic queuing etiquette which, I warn you, we will soon flagrantly disregard. Next stop, The Plug.

As is standard in most clubs now, there are two queues to get in.

The barricaded queue for the hoi polloi.

And the more relaxed guestlist queue.

Traditionally, your name on the guestlist would guarantee a swift entry. But these days the guestlist itself has become another slow moving queue, just not as long.

Those with the advantage are the ones who don’t have to queue and are let straight in. Like us. It’s the reward for strong networking skills or knowing someone with them; Gemma.

That’s her blurry figure on the left, mwah mwahing with a very tall man while the masses are herded in behind.

Unfortunately the cloakroom queue makes mere mortals of us all. It is impenetrable with preference given to no one.

Broad Lane, Sheffield

September 22, 2006

Outside of London, never mistake a lot of cars as a traffic jam. It will most definately be a queue and, to avoid embarrassment, you should get in it as soon as it is possible.

We are on a dual carriageway and at the end is a roundabout where most of us want to turn right.

If we were on the continent, both lanes would be filled with cars trying to nudge into the right lane just before or even on the roundabout.

Luckily we’re not on the continent, this is England.

As soon as you realise you are not in the lane that you should be, you must instantly stop and indicate.

Then slowly and apologetically, for you are a queue jumper, you must nudge your way in, and once in you must either wave thank you to the driver who has just let you in or flash your hazards to show your appreciation.

It is much more of a social taboo to queue jump than it is to hold up traffic, and it is this queue jumping taboo that keeps us from doing it closer to the roundabout. Because if we did, people would tut.

Greggs, Rotherham

September 22, 2006

I went to the Greggs by the bus station.

Not much of a queue as I missed the lunch time rush. But there were a few hungry stragglers after me, enough to form a queue. But no queue formed.

Despite having the same ‘L’ shaped counter as in Cooplands, there seemed to be no queuing culture in this Greggs and instead customers seem to stand in front of what would be their major purchase. For example, I stood in front of the freshly made sandwiches and an older lady to my left stood in front of the custard tarts.

The sweet and savouries were mixed throughout the counters, and I chose a chocolate muffin that was on the shelf above the sandwiches.

It was a bit burnt and when I left I saw a ringed doughnut that I would have preferred.

Greggs needs to learn that not only does a queue keep order in a shop, but it also helps the customer to see everything on display so they can make a better informed decision on their purchases.

Queue coming, Rotherham

September 22, 2006

Blimey. I thought it was just you and I, J Tomlinson, what with Gary Wood disappearing to Edinburgh and my sister more interested in shoes.

But there’s been a lot of traffic to the site recently thanks to today’s link in the guardian and the attention from Councillor Bob Piper and Tim Worstall.

I suppose this means that there is a demand for new queues, and so rather than enjoy the queue at Cooplands this lunchtime I will push myself to try the Greggs by the bus station.

Wish me luck.

Cooplands, Rotherham

September 21, 2006

I knew all along that something wasn’t quite right, and after yesterday’s discovery I’ve certainly had enough of Greggs.

I cannot bring myself to queue in the longer queue on the left when I know that I can jump this queue by using the queue on the right. Neither could I consider myself a queue jumper and be served ahead of my fellow countrymen by using the queue on the right. Hear me this Greggs, I will not be made a fool of.

Went to Cooplands instead, like any self-respecting person would.

The queue was exemplary. As always.

And Greggs’ spikey mikeys are just too cheerful in comparison to Cooplands’ manic depressed pirates.

Ahh, Cooplands. I will not stray again from your welcoming door.

She looks like a Greggs type.

Greggs, Rotherham

September 20, 2006

It was inevitable the trouble that a two queue system would cause.

Went in to Greggs today to test the queue. Although I’ve tried this before and lost my nerve, today I was determined.

As usual, upon entering the shop I was greeted by two queues; a queue on the right of a couple of people, and a long queue on the left for freshly made sandwiches. I joined the long queue on the left.

The pace was good for a lunchtime and I soon found myself near the front of the queue. I was going to have a bacon and chicken club sandwich and a caramel doughnut, or maybe even pay an extra six pence and have a spikey mikey. I wasn’t sure.

But I was definately going to order something sweet and see if the lady would walk to the other counter. I was two people away from this scenario being acted out when that’s when it happened.

“Next please!” shouted the lady behind the counter on the right. Of course, no one moved as we were all in line for the freshly made sandwiches at the back of the shop. But then she said “Next please! I can get you anything you want from the other counter.”

Anything! What a mockery this made of the two queue system. This meant that I could have walked into the shop, used the short queue on the right, and already have eaten half my club sandwich by now.

“Next please!” she shouted again. But I stayed where I was. I wasn’t the next person to be served, but the one after that, and I was much closer to the back counter than I was to the shouting lady.

However, those behind me did not move either. For to step out of line and be served would have meant being served before those who’ve been waiting longer. It was quite a social dilemma for everyone.

And it was not until she shouted “Next please” again did a lady with a pram leave the queue and make her order.

Although the lady was about two thirds back in a rather long queue, I think that everyone was rather happy with her queue jumping as not only was she a mother with a pram, but she had also put an end to a rather uncomfortable situation.

Boots, Rotherham

September 19, 2006

Not anti-dandruff shampoo this time, but nail clippers. It was 3 for 2 on all foot-care related products but I only needed nail clippers, which left me feeling ripped off.

The Boots in Rotherham have taken the restaurant approach to queues by asking the customer to wait.

Although Boots should really have thought about the semantics of each word. They probably thought that the customer would be happier with waiting rather than queueing, which they are, in the right circumstances.

In the relaxed setting of a restaurant you can wait because there is an area at the front of the restaurant designed for you to wait in.

But in a shop, customers who are asked to wait panic without the order and calm of what a queue enforces.

The lady in front of me impatiently waited around the sign, and then bolted from the ‘queue’ to the serving area when there wasn’t even a till free. And by the time she reached a till she was evidently flustered and somewhat agitated.

Here she is just after she bolted, in front of the sign in the serving area rather than the waiting area. You can see her arms turning pink with the embarassment of not knowing where to be.

Spar, Sheffield

September 18, 2006

Beware. Freshers Week.

The student is the sleeping policeman of the queuing world.

We see here a student carrying the standard diet of cheap Australian lager and end of the day, reduced sandwiches. Total price not more than seven pounds.

The student will prolong the transaction by putting the beers on his credit card and buy the sandwich using his debit card. And then ask for £10.00 cashback.

Oh, hang on. He’s forgotten to buy fags. Can he put those on his credit card?

WHSmith & Woolworths, Rotherham

September 18, 2006

Popped in to buy the guardian. Was your usual slow going lunchtime queue, and the blonde haired lady serving moved as if the gold jewelry was impeding her speed. As is customary, I joined the back and faced the front of the queue.

The lady in front of me was engrossed in a rather hefty book on Windows XP. Come on dear, face the right way.

That’s better.

I thought it was going to be a rather uneventful queue and had now put my phone/camera away in my pocket. However, when Windows XP lady was served she discovered that the price was £19.99

“But I thought it was 75% off.”

The server with blond hair and gold jewelry just picked the book up, turned it over, and pointed at the price tag: £19.99.

“Oh, I’ll just go and check.” The Windows XP lady wandered off and I prepared myself for a long wait.

Although after just a few seconds, gold jewelry lady shrugged her shoulders in a mischievous manner, moved the Windows XP book aside, and started the queue moving again by zapping my newspaper. Except now, probably because she thought that she was defying the law of the queue, she was moving at four times the speed as she was before. Brilliant.

Went into Woolies afterwards because I wasn’t going to be buying a Double Decker for fifty pence at Smiths when it was 2 for 60p last week.

There were two people serving and no queue.

I waited at the front, and once the gentleman in the checked shirt had purchased I was just about to set my body in motion towards the till when the assistant pressed the automated button.

“Cashier number four, please” said the tannoy above. A little unnecessary.

I put my Boost on the counter (I couldn’t find any Double Deckers) and she zapped it and then, looking at the guardian under my arm,  she said “Anything else?”

“No, that’s all.” I replied. But she looked at me, looked at the paper, and then looked at me again. The cheek. I gave her a pound and waited for my change.

She obviously was not aware of the type of person who reads the guardian.

Lidl, Market Harborough

September 16, 2006

A long queue can make ice-cream uneatable for up to a day. I will personally help canvas for the first politician who campaigns for every supermarket to have an exclusive express aisle for those who just want to purchase ice-cream.

But for now we had to do with this one.

We were so far back we were in line with the Catalunya Crianza.

It was a lacklustre queue, perfunctory and lacking in aesthetics. But this is why I like to occasionally visit Lidl, it makes me feel like I’m on the continent.

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