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

Wood Green Animal Shelter, Cambridgeshire

December 1, 2006

Quite a grim day today so we went for a little outing to Wood Green Animal Shelter. Once you get over the smell the time can pass quite quickly.

Although you do have to be careful of what you queue for.

That’s Farm at the back of the queue wearing the inside out sheep. She quite liked this queue because, although it was a slow mover, when you got to the front you could get one of these:

This was Molly, who we then got to take for a walk.

After a bit of Here Molly, Hello Molly, Aren’t you lovely Molly?, we had to take her back to the queuing area.

We half heartedly stood behind this rather large Mother and daughter combo, and reluctantly waited to hand Molly back.

When they got to the front of the queue, Farm and Marc weren’t yet sure about Molly.

But I had my suspicions.

Marc couldn’t decide on an empty stomach so, as it’s a Friday, we went and had some fish and chips at the Wood Green canteen.

While in the queue we looked over Molly’s particulars.

It said that she could be a bit shy at first and was rather wary of very tall people, but once you got to know her she was a total cuddle slut. Or something like that.

So after our fish and chips, which were very good, we went back to the main reception.

And Farm and Marc said that they would very much like to give Molly a home.

Then we saw a horse.

But Farm said she had no room for a horse.

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.

Sainsbury’s & Hole in the Wall, Edinburgh

November 2, 2006

What follows is not for the faint hearted.

Today I went to Sainsbury’s for a copy of the Guardian.

There is not much room between the counter and the exit and so, although the queue was only a few people long, I was forced to stand on the outside of the shop.

Just behind these chaps.

Despite being outside the perimeter of the shop I felt comfortable with my queue positioning and thought nothing of the man who entered after me, picked up a copy of The Scotsman, and then stood slightly in front of me so as to not block the shop’s entrance.

However it became clear once the queue started to move forward that the man in the suit had jumped the queue, and he now took the position in front of me.

Later on in the Evening Gary Wood and I stopped at a Hole in the Wall to pay for our fish and chips.

Gary Wood stood at a respectable distance behind the young lady and, as it is not unusual for pedestrians to walk through this gap, we thought nothing of another young lady who rushed through with haste.

The young lady running had my attention and I watched her approach the next cashpoint, which was also being approached by a woman carrying a purple jumper. Although neither of the two ladies were directly in front of the cashpoint, the jumper carrying woman was close enough to be first in line.

You will, as I was, be shocked to see the outcome.

The jumper carrying woman was forced to take a step back and the young lady wearing the hat even said sorry for the predicament, and yet continued to use the cashpoint anyway.

Scotland is indeed a very different country to England.

Hole in the Wall, Fort William

November 2, 2006

It’s a cash only world in the Highlands or you face a 50p charge.

So to the cashpoint.

This was the first hole in the wall we’d seen since Edinburgh and we found this lady already using it.

Even though Leila didn’t need any money, I made her stand in front of me for dramatic effect.

This was also the first queue I’d seen since Edinburgh although, I have to admit, not wholly genuine.

I think Leila faked it quite well though.

Hole in the Wall & Tesco, Edinburgh

October 29, 2006

Lovely layout at the Holes in the Wall outside Tesco.

Two foot sized marks show you where to stand when at the cashpoint with two more for the person queuing behind. Brilliant.

Inside, things weren’t going so great. When Gary Wood complains that he’s tired it’s best to put him in the queue and go for the forgotten milk by yourself.

By the time I got back our items were already being swiped.

And Gary Wood was still tired.

Tate Modern, Londinium

October 17, 2006

Inspired by Mr Summers’ post I decided to visit Carsten Höller’s exhibit. We entered from the river side and were greeted by a rather large queue for what I thought was the cloakroom.

But it turned out it was for the slides.

We were told that you had to queue here to get a ticket with a time on, which would be your time to slide.

For twenty past two on a Monday there was quite a lot of excited people, although there was an anxious emo girl behind us who wished she’d worn trousers.

When given the choice, it seems that the English would prefer to queue on a gentle slope rather than steps. Which I thought rather sensible.

Five minutes into our queuing we were informed that the next time slot for the 3rd floor slide was 5pm, too late for us, and the 5th floor slide was already shut.

I didn’t want it to be a wasted trip so I decided to investigate the front of the queue.

A lovely, if not understated, designated queuing area that seemed to split near the front depending on what slide you wanted. Although I’m not sure on this. It was a bit confusing and I would have liked to have seen separate queues for separate slides.

The 1st floor slides were non ticket affairs as, to be fair, they were rubbish in comparison.

Travelling up a few floors I discovered another slide near the back of the building. It was another 3rd floor slide with a very long queue.

There was a gentleman overseeing the queue, who I had to stand in front of to take the above picture.

I apologised for the intrusion and he informed me of how bored he was.

“I’m so bored,” he said.

“Why don’t you have a quick go on the slide to cheer yourself up?”

He did not look impressed and bragged “We can go on them whenever we want, its just I don’t think that it’s art. It’s just an amusement ride.”

However I was not interested in his opinion on what made something art and instead garnered important information for we queuing enthusiasts.

According to this fellow, 42,000 people came to the Tate at the weekend to see the exhibit, and that the queue for the slides was so long that it went through the main doors and outside. Also, if you want to guarantee a ride on one of the larger slides, it’s best to make sure that you’re already queuing before two on a weekday, and before midday at the weekend.

While chatting to him, an announcement came over his radio to say that all tickets had now been given out. This was exactly at quarter to three.

On the fifth floor I found a very small queue for the largest of the slides.

On closer inspection it turned out out that the queue was being turned away for not having tickets and it was all getting rather heated. The lady in the green dress was quite pissed off because she had been “waiting for like five minutes to go on this slide and there should have been some sign to say that it was ticket only.”

The man in charge told them they had to queue downstairs for tickets like everyone else, but he didn’t tell them that the tickets had already run out.

Whenever there’s a new exhibit at the Tate there’s always debate as to whether the artist has made good use of the vast amount of space. In this case, I’d say yes, as Mr Summers’ beautifully expressed in his post with his Donnie Darko analogy, the queues themselves are a lovely extension of the slides and it’s rather warming to see one British institution inside another.

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.

KFC on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield

September 30, 2006

I’ve never been to KFC before.

I know, I couldn’t quite believe it myself.

There wasn’t a clear queue in place and, to be frank, it mattered to me not.

I was utterly baffled by the many menus of differently named chicken buckets which all seemed to be exactly the same.

I still had no idea on what to order when a space opened up at the counter and I feared that we were going to be next.

Which we were. I panicked and chose one of the high end buckets for about 12 quid.

Which was upped by the KFC chap in a cap to 15 quid with gravy, beans and some Pepsi thrown in. “You might as well,” he said. So I did.

I hate Pepsi.

Not only was I hoodwinked, but the queue experience passed by unnoticed. Luckily, we had plenty of time to observe consequent customers.

These two fellas were right behind us and were veteran visitors to KFC. Their order was confident and assured, with no changes made.

The next pair of gentlemen entered and finished their conversation before glancing at the menu boards. They were in no hurry to form a queue and I noted that this may have been a necessary period of acclimatisation.

Keeping the same position at the back of the premises, they counted pennies and debated their order.

Only once they were ready to order did they then approach the counter.

Blinking like freshly born lambs, these two also needed a period of acclimatisation upon entering.

However they skipped the decision making stage, cautiously approached the queue, and joined the previous two gentlemen in the pensive stage of arms crossed and mouths open.

At first, it looked liked the men in front were going to order separately and the young couple remained in a state of meditation.

But once they realised that the men were ordering together, the young couple were quickly panicked into making a chicken bucket decision.

The first two men ordered a chicken bucket and no extras. They knew what they wanted and they got it.

It is not surprising to learn that the young couple were convinced to buy gravy, beans and diet Pepsi on top of their order.

Sheffield Union

September 30, 2006

Neither Gary Wood nor I are students anymore. But that didn’t stop us.

In we popped to the Union to buy Saturday’s Guardian for the student price of 60p.

We joined the back of the quiet, hungover queue that smelled of Lynx with a hint of alcohol.

It was a slow moving affair and by the time we reached the chewing-gums Gary Wood wanted to leave for fresh air. Of course I didn’t let him, and once we’d entered the official queuing area there was no chance for him to turn back.

Upon reaching this point not only was I chuffed with my imminent saving of 60p, but some considerate fellow had also detached some of the queue lengtheners so that we could cut through, straight to the tills.

With customer numbers lower at the weekend, this makes perfect sense, and it’s this lovely attention to detail which you’ll never find in the cold harsh world of bank queues.


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