Archive for the 'stood in a queue near a friend' Category

Selfridges, Oxford Street

November 30, 2006

First stop was a new coat for Matthew. For the amount of money it cost he didn’t actually take that long on deciding which one he wanted.

Which was a shame as we were sat on a very comfy leather sofa.

The only evidence of which is this accompanying footrest.

Also, at this price, you do not seem to get many customers in the queue.

But then again, this could be because everyone else had bought their three quarter length last month when it started getting cold.

If you wish to avoid long queues you must purchase items at the wrong time of year.

For example, now would be a bad time to buy Christmas decorations from the Christmas department.

Which is of course what we did.

There’s nothing quite like a department store at Christmas. They push festive spirit onto the customer with the same persistance as a crack dealer.

With such cheer in the air, a 30% promotional discount on selected lines and Would you like a basket Madam?, Claire was quickly hooked.

After about an hour she had carefully selected six hanging baubles, and so then off to the queue we went.

We originally made a small faux pas by queuing behind the person being served at the till. But were quickly informed by the queue monitor that there was indeed a queue on the other side of the store where other people were also waiting.

After such grand efforts around the rest of the store, I thought that the queue signage was a bit of a let down. What about a black background with some gold, swirly typeface? I mean really, I’ve seen Woolworths try harder than this.

Rather sturdy queue enforcers.

Once you were in that was it. No turning back.

And you could see why they needed them. It was all starting to take a horribly long time and, without the barriers in place, it would have been quite easy to have put the basket down and called it a day for Christmas shopping.

With such a long length of time to consider your pending purchases, previous queuers had, quite rightly, lightened their baskets of some of their ill chosen Christmas decorations. Which were then left willy nilly in the displays along the queue’s edge.

Butterflies and Christmas do not go.

Once we had reached the front of the queue, we were again in the hands of the queue monitor.

She was an extremely attentive queue monitor, and directed us to the first available till (there were only two tills) with such eagerness and with such gusto, that I was instantly awakened from my momentary boredom and almost started to shriek with panic.

But luckily, I did not.

And we waited patiently by the almost free till, and were then served.

At the end of the transaction Matthew showed us a £24.oo bauble that he wanted to buy.

He was firmly told to put it back.

Greggs, Leith

November 7, 2006

Is anyone else not concerned with the monopoly that Greggs has over the working man’s chicken club sandwich baguette?

It is only a short walk from Edinburgh city centre to Gary Wood’s place of work at Leith and I walked along only two roads, but I saw four different Greggs.

I’m starting to believe that Greggs is an unnoticed British Institution.

And, against all reason, it was to Greggs that Gary Wood and I went to buy our lunch.

He was quite excited when he saw that it was a special Greggs with two doors.

One door opened to the queue for the baguette counter.

And the other door opened up to the queuing area for loaves and other pastries.

But this was where the fun ended and both of the gentlemen in the above picture actually ordered their baguettes from the non baguette queue, which was of course much shorter than the baguette queue.

Once again, the historic problem of being able to use both queues for a baguette, despite the fact that the official baguette queue is always the longer of the two.

We both chose a chicken club sandwich, and I also purchased some fairtrade orange juice.

It was not until later that Gary Wood informed me that, while taking pictures, I had missed out on the Greggs’ offer of a free Christmas pie.

Humble it wasn’t.

Natwest Holes in the Wall, Hammersmith

October 19, 2006

This is the kind of scenario that strikes fear into any rational thinking man.

Four different holes in the wall, four different queues.

The queue on the far left is out of shot, but I can state that there are three people in this queue including the hole in the wall user. The queue directly in front is the longest, with four people in it.

I have yet to make my choice of which queue to take, but ideally I want to take the queue that will cause the least amount of disappointment. I quickly rule out the queue furthest on the right.

Yes, there is only one person in it. But this must be for a reason otherwise there would be other people queuing behind the gentleman. I quickly deduce that this machine has probably run out of money and that the fellow will soon find out and be forced to join a longer queue and therefore spend even more time than necessary at the holes in the wall.

I also rule out the queue second from the left. It may have only two people in it, but the tree is in the way and would force me to stand too close to the man with the bendy knees. If I stood behind the tree it would appear that I thought the tree was part of the queue, which would make me look foolish.

I could stand to the right of the tree, but then there would be an awkward moving out of the way when the person at the front of either this queue, or even the queue to the right, had their cash in hand and wanted to leave the hole in the wall vicinity.

So it’s a choice between the three man queue or the four man queue. I could choose the three man queue but what if someone in front of me wanted to do more than take out money, like top up his phone for example, then I would wish I’d taken the four man queue. And by then if I decided to change queues I’d look like a stressy London type for whom time is money.

And so I choose the longest queue. If it takes a long time to get to the front then it wouldn’t be a surprise as this is the longest queue. Anything more would be a bonus.

This is the queue with the potential to cause the least amount of disappointment.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

October 14, 2006

Not as many queues as I thought there’d be. A lot of times you’d just sit down and service would come to you. Although, when they had to queue, the Dutch did a marvellous job of it.

Tesco Express on West Street, Sheffield

September 29, 2006

Had just had a cheap curry at Weatherspoons and wanted some Maryland Cookies to eat in front of Question Time.

Great queue this. Newcomers to this Tesco branch are often dismayed to see such a long queue for just one till. But round the corner, hidden behind the crisps, are a couple more tills that you’re also queuing for.

A lovely relaxed layout that gives you a nice suprise when you get closer to the front.

Although recently freshers have been seen loitering in the queuing area, and it is quite common to think that you’re in the queue when actually you’re stuck behind four non-queuing students chatting about how drunk they were last night. Very annoying.

Although my mood was not spoiled for long as it was two for a pound on Marylands. Brilliant.

Morrisons at the barracks, Hillsborough

September 2, 2006

morrison's queue

I had already lost Dave by the frozen chicken and so had to face the horrors of this Saturday afternoon queue all by myself. It was so far back that when I joined it I was in line with the Spanish Shiraz.

spanish shiraz

Children crying and goth women clutching babies, I prepared myself for an uncomfortable queue.

goth clutching baby

But actually it was all rather grand. There was that Blitz attitude of we’re all in it together, with teenagers cheerfully squeezing babies feet and old women taking a cavalier attitude to their shopping by pushing it along with their foot.

basket pushing

I followed suit and left happy despite the rain and forgot all about Dave. Five minutes later when I was in More for L£ss I got the following text from him:

This is a most worrysome place. i believe im in a que. As 4 what ive no idea.

Morrisons at The Barracks, Sheffield

August 27, 2006

My Queue, Morrisons

Rather happy at this point. I had barely joined the queue and I was already putting things onto the conveyor belt.

Gary's Queue, Morrisons

There’s Gary Wood in the dark top, three aisles away, and we both seem to be at the same stage of queuing; all items on belt with time left to study the chewing gums.

chewing gums

The lady serving me wasn’t the happiest, it is bank holiday weekend after all, but the transaction was painless and I was satisfied with the service I got.

Gary Wood was finished at exactly the same time as me.

Gary's Shopping

Don’t be fooled by the smile. No one gets that excited by potatoes and two for two pounds pizza. Gary Wood was decidedly grumpy because his cashier refused him eye contact when she said hello and had taken too long unwrapping the coins for extra change.

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