I was sent a story today by a friend who knows my feelings on the subject - that is, about one of the consummately greatest of all British activities, namely, queuing.
It seems some Danish Professor or
other has come up with the theory that those who queue the longest
should actually be served the last. He claims it makes purchasing
something altogether more efficient and smooth through the idea of
'contra-queuing' (whatever the devil that may mean). 'Serve the people
at the back of the queue first', he says, with profound wisdom.
Altogether very professorial, albeit demonstrating a somewhat keen lack
of understanding of the purchasing psyche.
The Nobel Prize-chasing
Prof suggests that if, for example, a popular entertainment act was to
announce a tour, with tickets going on sale at 11am one morning, using
the theory of 'contra-queuing', no one will want to be first to buy said
tickets. So no one will turn up 14 months in advance and venues will be
able to sell tickets directly themselves a mere few weeks prior to the
event, rather than Ticketmaster (note that other ticketing shysters are
available) offering them in a rush on the internet 14 months before the
event is due to take place. Plus booking fee.
It was a coincidence
I was sent this information at the same time as the announcement by all
the "pre-order" parasites of the date of possibly the most pointless
and unnecessary annual queuing activity in the country - the arrival of
the 'new' iPhone. An iPhone that in reality will be almost exactly the
same as it's predecessor, only with few new and extremely pointless
add-ons, none of which will actually improve the quality of either your
phone calls or texts. But with hundreds of new emocons (those awful
smiling faces and the thousands of derivatives thereof) to help people
communicate with even fewer words than the ten or so they currently
If aliens were to suddenly appear on earth, I
wonder what they would make of the rather moronic wannahaves who queue
for hours to buy a piece of telephonic equipment that in reality does
nothing new except reduce the balance of their bank accounts. A piece of
Chinese-made technology that leaves China for around $200, yet will be
sold for close to $800 (in the USA that is - it will be more expensive
in the gullible and rip-off UK).
And the idiots will queue up to
buy it. Probably at the same time as refugees will be queuing up to get
away from being murdered by Islamic State.
Then there's train
travel. I am sure many of you will have, at some time or other, booked
an inter-city train journey, compete with allocated seat. Now be honest,
despite having an allocated seat, did you arrive well in advance of
your journey, queue in the station (despite your reserved seat) and
then make a dash for your carriage and seat. And then sit there for half
an hour waiting for the train to leave? Yes? Well why did you then? If
you already had an allocated seat? It's the equivalent of knowing lunch
is being served at 1.15 and you arrive at your table at 12.30 and sit
there for three-quarters of an hour with a knife and fork in your hand
but no food in sight until 1.15!
It's the same with air-travel.
You pay Ryan Air for your "priority" seating pass (and all their other
extras such as luggage, sandwich, tea, movie, toilet, air, life-jacket
etc. Please note that other similar money-grabbing budget airlines are
available), yet the moment boarding is announced, despite having your
allocated seat ticket in your mitt, you jump into the queue and stand
there like an idiot waiting to board!
And as for movies. Queuing
for hours to be first to watch a new release in the confines of an
auditorium where all those newly-acquired iPhones are antisocially being
used throughout the entire film, as people munch their way through £34
buckets of popcorn and £20 soft drinks when the film will be available
through peer-to-peer internet sharing sites for free within a week. Not
that I condone piracy.
Nor do I support the outrageous prices of refreshments in those establishments (but that's another story).
when your tax return is due on the 31st January, you are quite happy to
leave it until the night of the 30th January to put it (assuming there
is actually room with all the returns of other last-minuters) in the
letter-box of your local tax office!
OK. A tax return is not that
much fun. But it does keep the MPs we insist on electing in the suitably
fit state of expenses they have now come to expect. And able to afford
the new iPhone without having to queue