On the Protocols of Queues

I was in the queue at the lunch buffet when the waitress pointed us to the plates placed most inconveniently in the middle. As everyone moved there, the curly haired American lady behind me shoved past casually breaking the queue. She was followed closely by her friend who had been behind her, a pleasantly plump German woman with wavy hair and merry eyes who aggressively cut ahead of me in the queue to grab a plate, in an almost reptilian reflex action. I debated quietly whether to point out that they were breaking the queue, and then did what the head Professor would have done – ignored it. Even though it made the difference of a fraction of a second, the incivility was rather irking and out of place in the setting. And then it struck me that I had never ever seen an English person break a queue. Orderly queues are one of the things that I admire about the English.

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