Queue Jumpin'

Having driven here the last 2 years everyday, I am used to the assholes who drive down the shoulder or in the oncoming lane and then expect to be let into the traffic queue right at the intersection.
For the life of me, I have no idea why people let them in. All these people are doing is jumping the queue and making it slower for everyone else.
I was pondering to myself why it seems so acceptable to do this on the road, but not so much in a more close contact situation, like the bank.

…until today.

There I was, standing behind 1 other person at the teller. Then from out of nowhere comes another customer who just wedged right on in there with the teller as soon as I was about to step up. This happened again and I was getting peeved.
The next time I was a bit more aggressive and moved quicker. I’d even commenced my conversation with the teller when - HOLY SHIT - some lady plonks her forms right ON TOP of mine and the teller dropped what he was doing with mine and picked up hers!! :fume: To make it worse, she had a 10min transaction involving travellers checks, forex etc…man.

I turned to make eye contact with this rude woman, but everytime I was about to she would turn away. :unamused:

What is the deal here? (and no, I hadn’t forgotten to ‘take a number’. The numbers seemed to be irrelevant today.)

So why’d you let her get away with it?

Happens to my fairly often.

I just use my size and make sure they aren’t able to get in front of me.

If they do I give them a lecture about manners. I ask them if they ever had parents and if they did then why didn’t thier parents ever teach them that this behavior is wrong.

Or more simply I tell them that I was first and they should wait.

Or I take it up with the teller/salesperson.

I find myself being very condesending with people when they do this to me but I NEVER let anyone get away with it.

Try going to China.

Exactly. I was asking myself this question soon after.

I have queued a fair bit in Taiwan before and while I thought it was worse than some places, it hadn’t struck me as being that bad until today. I think I couldn’t believe it, especially the last time. I think I just couldb’t believe that the TELLER actually was the one encouraging this behavior. In NZ the teller would say in a loud voice “EXCUSE ME, THIS CUSTOMER IS AT THE FRONT OF THE QUEUE, PLEASE WAIT YOUR TURN”
It seems to me that other people watch who lets someone push in, and then swoop in from another line to do the same. Just like those assholes on the road if you let one car go across in a turn in from of you, then the next 27 think they can too. All that has taught me is to ignore the toots,flashes and what not if I want to get to work on time.

Why is it so easy for people to ignore basic manners?

I used to stick out my arm at throat level and sweep them back, but that was back when a Taiwan citizen would never dream of assulting a foreigner. Ahhh, the good ole days.

Today you would get hit with a baseball bat when you go back out on the street, a result of Taiwan becoming more “civilized”.

Pain in the ass, ain’t it?

Sometimes I do nothing, sometimes it’s just one finger on the shoulder to turn them around and point the way to the back of the line. If I happen to be carrying my duffle bag full of hockey gear, well then I just get in the way and ignore them as I go on my merry way.

I think it’s due to a lack of any concept of ‘public space’. Everyone seems to be going around, surrounded by their own bubble of private space, not paying much attention to anything or anyone outside of it. :s

Aint that the truth. A few days back I was the second person waiting at an information counter. When I got to the front, the lady picked up a piece of paper off the printer and was reading it. Facing me, with the paper on the counter, reading it. I figured she knew I was there and was busy. Then she started to look at her nail polish so I cleared my throat, and she looked up almost in shock that someone frightened her.

Weird. it appeared she honestly didn’t see me, even tho I was standing there RIGHT in front of her about 1m away.

Happens all the time in mainland, even Taiwanese complain a lot about this rude and unpolite behavior. Normally a few loud words (whatever language) and a sign to the back is enough. If not, use your shoulder and just push them away. They know they are not right, so they won’t take the risk of a fight!

A usual one in mainland is also the elevator or subway door. Everybody pushing in without letting people go out first. Just use your shoulder or luggage or whatever you have and hit them hard! It’s the only way!

[quote=“Shiner”]Happens all the time in mainland, even Taiwanese complain a lot about this rude and unpolite behavior. Normally a few loud words (whatever language) and a sign to the back is enough. If not, use your shoulder and just push them away. They know they are not right, so they won’t take the risk of a fight!

A usual one in mainland is also the elevator or subway door. Everybody pushing in without letting people go out first. Just use your shoulder or luggage or whatever you have and hit them hard! It’s the only way![/quote]

A simple “Get in thier way” and a barrage of English has the same effect.

Come on!!! Do the same thing any Taiwanese would do. Even with an accumen of the language, you can mumble bu hou., shoulder the interlopper over and make it known that you are “peeved” - - - - tried “pissed off” They will do the Taiwanese backshufflle and let you finish.
This is the same as the folks that try to get in the traffic line by nosing in and keep inching forward until someone gives. Let them. They will succeed. Interject yourself and they will fail (of course, in case of traffic, you may get run over) then just proceed.
Let’s not get hung up on culture. We all know that our home countries have the same, or similar crap, to contend with. Just learn the rules and go with the flow.
BTW anyone who has driven a car through city traffic will quickly recognise the need to do exactly what the interlopper has done or is trying to do.
Culture? Sure Enjoy! That’s partially why you are here.

[quote=“Enigma”]Let’s not get hung up on culture. We all know that our home countries have the same, or similar crap, to contend with. Just learn the rules and go with the flow.
Culture? Sure Enjoy! That’s partially why you are here.[/quote]

I guess Toronto Canada is a totally different place than where you grew up/lived your life than.

I can’t speak for any other city or country or culture than from what I know (Other than livin gher for about 7 years) but, I KNOw that people in Toronto, wheather it be in traffic or the local 7-11, have a much better concept of order than here.

I have never in my 26 or so years of living there have ever had anyone cut in line in the same manner.

Any more Apologies/Denials about Taiwanese “Culture” from you?

Some of my favorite techniques I once used when living amongst my Taiwanese brothers and sisters. Never once did I raise my voice in anger.

  1. Conversing with the postal clerk only to have someone come up next to me, shove their papers in front of mine and interrupt me. I grabbed his papers with my left hand, and without evening look at who it was, shoved the crumpled papers in the guy’s chest without stopping my conversation or losing eye-contact w/ the clerk. What was funny is that the guy was a postal employee who timidly walked away.

  2. Standing in a bank, I was having a conversation with a teller only to have an old lady try to nudge me out of the way. Gave her the ol’ stink eye, even used a bit of shoulder and couldn’t get this women to give me my space. So I sneezed on her (during the SARS scare), smiled and told her I had AIDS. She literally ran from the bank.

  3. Standing in line at McD’s. Chinese man cuts in front of me to order. I pick him up and move him to the side. Never saw the guy’s face but the kid behind counter’s look was priceless.

  4. Standing in line at Victoria’s Secret (in Seattle) not long ago only to feel someone tap on my shoulder. The person behind informed me that I had cut the line. I apologized and swapped places with the woman yet I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. She was Chinese.

Queue jumping in an artform here in HK, it shocks the hardiest of Taiwanese.

If you’re Chinese is limited, a very loud “ni gan shenme?” usually suffices. Practice loading it with a hint of menace. However, my favourite, and I do it here in HK often, is to loudly ask if the pushee is a human being. It’s a neat trick, as Chinese don’t usually like to be asked if they are human (and by default, cultured) by a foreigner, especially in front of other Chinese.

Grannies are a harder kettle of fish. I usually just elbow the old witches out of the way without drawing attention to my bad behaviour by opening my mouth.

It’s a daily occurance.


I usually try not to get frustrated with the situation and try to have fun with it. I will try the fake sneezing next time :smiling_imp:

A trick I often employ if it is a fast moving que (ie: getting on the MTR) or people are moving into space is step on the back of the heel of the person moving into the same space you are. It will result in either some pain (like shock therepy) or it will dislodge the back of their shoe and they will need to stop bend down to put back on (loosing the advantage they just gained).

If they happen to say anything you can always come back with “the back of the que is there”, although being in the wrong they usually will not say a word.

There’s also scope for a discrete knee to the back of the head as they go down! Pure behavioural therapy for the needy.


[quote=“Truant”]I think I couldn’t believe it, especially the last time. I think I just couldb’t believe that the TELLER actually was the one encouraging this behavior.[/quote]It’s the path of least resistance. You know they’re always going to choose that…
A couple of times I’ve just snatched the stuff they’re trying to lay on top of mine and tossed it as far as possible toward the door. A look of shock from the teller, and back on with business. A couple of times I’ve just had to pick up the offender and move them out of my way, but I’m not a very big guy so it isn’t going to work on everyone. If they’re too big to pick up I elbow them in some painful way and then smile sweetly and say ‘paisay’. :smiley:

One time I was in a supermarket buying some groceries and some slob came in for cigarettes. You know they always think they can just nip in front for their one pack of smokes and noone will mind. Well I said something to him about joining the queue and when he turned around and saw it was some damn foreigner telling him off he lost it. He took a swing at me so I ducked. Unfortunately he lost his balance and connected instead with a crippled woman on crutches, who went flying. Everyone in the queue then started yelling at him so it was as big a loss of face as possible, but get this… the bimbo on the counter still sold him his cigarettes before he left. :s

The traffic thing is a bastard. The line-cutters almost always get away with that shit, though a couple of times I’ve seen the drivers in the outside lane on the freeway close ranks and not let the hard-shoulder users back in and the waiting cop got the lot of them.
Way back when I owned a big-ass ugly old Ford and just let them play chicken until either they backed off or their car got dented. One time (rainy Friday evening) I had some bitch in a little Suzuki try too hard and clipped me while shoving the nose in front of me. Instead of braking I just cut the wheel her way and nailed the gas… took out most the front of her car in doing so. After a brief altercation I made her pay for my damage, which was a corner light, and left her stewing.

About the bank teller, the customer who appeared to have cut in line could have been waiting for the teller to finish her transaction. Tellers often do this. Instead of waiting idly for a customer’s papers to get approved by their superior sitting behind them, they’ll ring up the next customer. And while the next customer is being served, the previous customer’s papers have come through, and that customer simply comes up, appearing to cut in line, when she is in fact just picking up her papers and finishing her transaction. This has happened to me before, and I got unnecessarily indignant before I realized what was going on.

Yeah, what Incubus said is a frequent occurence at the post office and at the bank where it is commonplace to serve two customers at the same time. But at the 7-11, McDougals or anywhere else where queueing is mandatory there is no excuse.
I was on the payphone the other day and this middle aged idiot came along with his scooter. He wanted to park it beneath the phone I was using, so he got off his scooter and without saying a word pushed me to the side.
I wasn’t really sure what he was doing at first - maybe he was just being wierd, but then he pushed his scooter and parked it under the payphone. Arsehole.

What gets me is that they know exactly what they are doing and think it is acceptable to manhandle people or push-in to do whatever they like at the expence of other people’s time or comfort. He shouldn’t have been parking there anyway.

His scooter was moved to another street before he returned. :fume:

You are experiencing the law of the jungle mentality: Me first, everyone else can eat shit and die.

People from my homeland are generally just as self-centered, but are required by the rules of society (and the threat of violent countermeasures) to wait their turn, so they generally do. The “me first” attitude exists back home, but is manifested in other ways.

The thing to do is hold your ground while keeping cool. I don’t experience cutting in line in banks or post offices very often, but I on the MRT, I frequently encounter line cutters. If the cutter is an old man or lady, I let them go first, because I’d do so anyway if I was more aware of my surroundings. If the cutter is a younger person or middle aged man, I typically use an arm to sweep the person back in place, my face expressionless. If necessary, I explain with a comment or two “Xiansheng, wo pai de bi ni xian.” (Sir, I was in line before you.)

My most memorable push and shove experience occured three or four years ago on the MRT in Taipei. Was riding in a packed car with my girlfriend. We were standing in the middle of the car, shoulder to shoulder with several other passengers. Middle aged, squarely built fellow sees that his stop is coming up, a stop where lots of people will be getting off. He is sitting in one of the seats . He stands up a full minute or two before the doors are to open, pushes and shoves his way to the front, knocking down my girlfriend and several other people in the process. Doesn’t say a word. I pick my girlfriend up. I politely make my way over to the doors, tap him on the shoulder, and say in Mandarin “Here’s how it feels to be pushed by someone bigger than you are,” (Rang ni ganshou bei bi ni gaoda de ren tuidao.) and shove him into the doors. He’s stunned, turns around, asks me if I’m crazy. I say “No, but you are. You just caused a half dozen people to fall down.” He looks at me with hatred, the doors open, he steps out, turns around, and shouts “Ben dan!” (stupid egg). I think “wang ba dan” (bastard) would have been more appropriate.

I felt fine with what I’d done. I don’t like to use my size to make a point, but this situation just begged for it.

I’m sure that do this day this fellow has an unabiding hatred for foreign men, but I don’t think a fellow like that is going to have nice things to say about most people.

The best thing to do it to tell the person who jumped the queue to wait get behind you. I think many people here just try to get away with as much as they can, even if it’s a little thing. It seems to be the mentality here, to find any loophole, shortcut. But mind you, I find non-Taiwanese people who live here after a while start to think like this too.

Twice I’ve had someone butt in front of me here and both times I tell them to move behind me. They say, “bu hao yi ss” and get behind me. I think they just try to get away with what they can but when you call them on it they feel ashamed. I don’t know how to put it in words, but the only thing you can do is to be vocal and not let yourself be pushed around.