Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm beginning to see a trend. . .

I hate to constantly vent about the same thing -- but I have noticed a trend in my complaints about human behavior and specifically etiquette. . . so in keeping in line (pun intended) with the trend of my observations it seems as though people have a real problem with behaving when it comes to lines.

So, once again I was back at the deli. It's hard to imagine that the sandwiches at any particular deli could cause such stress in one's life, but the sammys at this particular locale are so good that it inevitably leads to lines, which apparently leads to human misbehavior.

Today I was at the deli waiting in the extraordinarily long line. The line is always long. It does not matter what time of day we go to get our sandwiches -- lunch, dinner, morning, afternoon, evening, late night . . . the lines are long. It's worth the wait. There are three men who make the sammys. There's a clear sign indicating that you have to wait behind the sign before you are called up to order your sandwich. Everyone typically follows the rules. They wait. . . patiently. . . talking to their friends about what sandwich they are going to order; calling people on the phone and catching up as they wait in line, or like me they wait playing crosswords on their cell phone as they wait for that one divine word: NEXT.

Everyone watches the line to make sure it's moving; watching to make sure that no one is taking too long with their orders. But most importantly, we all are looking up to make sure that there are no line jumpers.

On this particular day -- the line was insanely long. It was sunny and bright outside. Everyone wanted a nice yummy deli sandwich to enjoy. We were all waiting patiently. I was next. I was so excited. When out of nowhere comes a man. He walks up to a woman he recognizes -- she is already in the process of ordering her sandwich. I heard him say: CAN YOU DO US A FAVOR AND ORDER MY DAUGHTER'S? The woman appeared reluctant to help the man out -- feeling the stare of the of hundreds of eyes in the back her head. She glanced slightly back towards the line but refusing to make eye contact with any of us who had patiently waited our turn.

Sensing her reluctance, he proceeded to waive over a girl who appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s. He introduced her to the woman as his youngest. The woman, now stuck with the girl standing next to her father and her giant father hovering over them both, acquiesced and put in another order for another sandwich for this girl.

There did not appear to be anything wrong with this girl. She had both her legs. They appeared to be in proper working order -- i.e. capable of standing in a line long enough to wait until called to order her sandwich. There appeared no reason other than sheer ridiculousness as to why this girl needed this other woman to order her sandwich. . . nothing other than pure laziness and more importantly rudeness.

As I watched my sammy being made, I could hear the girl barking "MORE MAYO. I SAID MORE MAYO" to the man making her sandwich. I looked over and she was snapping her gum and rolling her eyes that he was not making the sandwich properly. Finally their sandwiches were done and I watched the girl and the woman walk to the register where they of course paid for their items separately. They left the deli and went their separate ways.

So of course the father gets a cone of shame for being so obnoxious to even ask the woman to let his daughter cut the line. And for teaching his daughter this terrible behavior. Bad parent. Big cone of shame.

The woman getting the sandwiches, you too shall wear a cone of shame because you had an opportunity to say no and you chose not to. Bad fellow line-stander. Big cone of shame.

But also, daughter of the rude man, you too shall wear a cone of shame. I referred to you as 'the girl' throughout this narrative only so as to differentiate between you and the woman ordering the sandwiches, but you were clearly not a girl. You were old enough to know better. If I had to guess, perhaps it was your idea because you told your daddy that "you just couldn't be bothered to have to wait in that line." So you too shall wear a cone of shame and yours shall be the biggest cone to date.

What is it about the line? The inability to wait in line to pay; the inability to wait in line to merge with traffic; the inability to wait in line to place an order; the inability to wait in line to board the train. Is there a personality disorder that affects one's ability to wait in line? Or is it just straight up narcissism? I'm going to continue to investigate. But until then, I will just have to keep my eyes peeled and dole out the cones as is necessary.

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