Cashpoints, Edinburgh

November 13, 2006

At the cashpoints at Tesco, despite directions otherwise, those who want to extract money from the machines will line up in one queue.

And, although enforced by the barrier, this is also the rule at the Bank of Scotland.

At the Royal Bank of Scotland however, there is a door between the two cashpoints and so a separate queue forms for each hole in the wall.

The queue on the left of the door:

And this one on the right:

Although the rules change slightly as to the number of queues in place, a system remains which is easy to understand.

But imagine the horror we British face when confronted with four cashpoints in a row and an insufficient area in which to queue.

Added to the mix is that these cashpoints are just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and therefore prone to be frequented by foreigners.

Is this chap waiting for a cashpoint or his friend?

It’s hard to tell by his posture. A lady stood behind him for a while and then decided to take a stance further back on the pavement.

Good positioning. It clearly shows that she is waiting to use a cashpoint and that she is waiting for the first one to become available.

But behind the blurry figure in the foreground, a couple joined the area and stood waiting to use the machine on the far right and, should this cashpoint become available first, now had the advantage over the lady in the white coat by being in a closer position.

This panicked the lady somewhat and she kept looking in their direction. She also took a couple of steps to the left before side stepping back to her original position, and had clearly contemplated moving to the left of the cashpoints to take this vantage point should other opportunistic Europeans start to appear.

Watching this as a British man, it indeed became rather tense, and I am relieved to tell you that Fortuna smiled down on this lady and the cashpoint second from the left became available first.

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9 Responses to “Cashpoints, Edinburgh”


  1. The British may be horrified, but Americans often use the changing and varied line up systems as an opportunity to strike up a conversation.

  2. williamdeed Says:

    When in the States I did not mind openly chatting to strangers but different rules take hold here in the UK.

    We pretend that this is a way of respecting the other’s privacy, but in fact it comes down to the fear of talking to those outside of our class.

    “It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.”
    -Bernard Shaw

    It’s not actual snobbery, but a fear of being disliked. And even though these days there may be little truth to this statement, it is the fear that it may be true which keeps us silent.

  3. Rosey Says:

    Thank you for ending on a happy note. For a moment, I was getting very nervous for this lady.

  4. williamdeed Says:

    So was I Rosey, and there was a point where I was unable to look.


  5. [...] Standinaqueue has featured cashpoints in Edinburgh, but they have not covered the most poorly positioned cashpoints in the city. I urge William Deed to check them out if he gets the chance. [...]

  6. Gary Wood Says:

    Bank Machine, story 1.

    A queue of three of us wait for a machine, all perfect strangers.

    The primary queuer steps forward and walks away when finished, as does the secondary person. When I get there I realise that they were so quick because it was broken. Instead of telling the queue they let people find out for themselves – just as they did. A very viscous circle is formed.

    Luckily someone else had queued up behind me, so when it was my turn not to get money I made a point of walking away and saying nothing.

    Thus the queue of selfish people can go on. and on. and on. (until the machine is full again)

  7. williamdeed Says:

    Oh Gary Wood your queue is so typical of us British.

    I think if in the same situation I would have either told the person behind me that the cashpoint was not working or, more likely, I would have avoided this social embarassment by pretending that the machine was actually working, and would have extracted imaginary money from said cashpoint.

  8. Gary Wood Says:

    If I had said something there would be no more queue. Without queues you would be powerless williamdeed.

    standbyyourself.wordpress.com? I think not.

  9. khyentse Says:

    Hi, everyone. This Laurence of Australia in disguise. I’m just hanging around here hiding from Getagrip. He plans to sue me. Read the full Bunnings, sorry, Bunnies story here…
    http://standinaqueue.wordpress.com/2006/11/27/bunnings-diy-thornleigh-nsw-australia/#comment-6174
    When you go to the Bunnies comment don’t tell Getagrip you’ve seen me.
    Regards
    Laurence of Botswana


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