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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

[Discussion] Line/Queues

New series of discussions - There are no rules - no laws - more of how context drives everything

First one is Lines/Queues.

We all stand in Lines/Queues for one thing or the other. We see some senior citizen/disabled person also standing way behind in the queue.

1) Are you allowed to 'swap' positions with elderly/disabled - or you simply have to give up
2) If you are actually behind someone who is (doing the)swapping their position with someone else - will you object ?
3) If someone has just one thing to do - a checkout with single item as opposed to a cart full - will you let them go forward ?
4) What if the guy ahead of you, instead of 'swap'ing - allows the senior person to come ahead (now you are two positions behind in the queue) - is there a case for valid objection ?
5) What if the 'allow one more' happens to be not an elderly person ? - would you protest.
6) What if the 'swap' happens to be not an elderly person ? - would you protest.
7) If you are seated on a bus/train and want to vacate the seat for someone elderly (or otherwise) - can the person who is actually next to the seat object ?

i.e. What is the meaning of a 'position' in a queue ? - what rights does a person in the queue, have over the position they occupy ?

Thoughts ? any more questions ? bring them on - lets get everyone to think aloud :-)


SamY said...

When I am in a normal mood I wudn't object if its helping someone in need , hurry or save enormous time for them, elderly or otherwise.

I am human and I do get irate when my time is wasted, or when people take advantage of your courtesy.

I used to practice these when I used to stand for seating tickets @ kanchipuram bus depot. As in enticing people to let us forward, sometimes getting thing done from the ladies :) (not me a gud friend of mind does) not bothered bout the iritated some. It just got down to securing a seat for the 1.5 hrs journey back home ;)

Its as simple as do what you think is right in the situation :) as with most things.

Arvind said...

Mood is one of the major driving factors - understood and granted.

But the underlying question still remains - is there a predictable philosophy behind the question ? does someone 'own' a position in the queue ?

cosmicblob said...

It is interesting that while one wants to be ahead in every line/queue, the one line that one would want to be as far behind in, is the line of life, even as enticing as 'heaven' may sound!

That said, I am not sure what you are getting at through this topic. Surely, you have some theory to expound? - or do you? - Guruji ?!

Zeppelin said...

mostly i dont care and let people go ahead - elderly or not..

but if i am in a time crunch, elderly people might have a chance, but thats about it.. :)

95-5, my position does not matter in the line... i can wait !

according to John Milton in his "On his Blindness", - "They also serve who only stand and wait"

Arvind said...


queue to heaven - ehh ? - me be pull arichufied !!! what philosophy - am sure 95% of the people would let others through, if at all anyone is in a queue ;)

What am getting it is the holistic answer to the significance of position in the queue.


Time decides whether you forfeit your position. But remember, you are just letting one more person go ahead of you ! - you are not 'swap'ing the position in the queue :) - i.e. you are not taking up the last position !!!!

thennavan said...

Arvind, can you put mine ahead in the line of comments?


Zeppelin said...

i thought letting another person go ahead is equivalent to swapping... atleast therotically it is, innit ?

***Diamon*** said...

1- yes you are allowed. Only if you feel like give up your spot.
2- you can't object. But if you feel like it go ahead
3- yes I will. But I will expect to receive the same treatment.
4- Absolutely.The guy is not in position to try to do some good deeds for me. I will do when I feel like it.
5 & 6- I'll say excuse me! I don't particularly feel generous today.
7-Nope they can't do a damn thing. It's there luck that day.
You have the right to your position in line and if you don't feel like give up your spot then nobody has the right to take it away from you,only if you allow them.
Wow woman with feelings. What can I do am a woman I can't help it, feelings got to play part in the decision process.

Arvind said...

My comment is now later than yours - swap this with yours - my comment goes ahead :-D :P

No dude - you have 'created' a position in the queue, which erstwhile was occupied by you ! and everyone is pushed back by 1 position !!

2) Why can't someone object ? - have they not earned their 'spot' in the line ?

:-) hows u been ?

Eshwar said...

What if there is no queue and every body just crowds around to jostle for entry !!!!???

Arvind said...


You want swap positions with a crowd :p ??


Sriks said...

Queue means waiting for something
A person’s behavior in a Q depends on what he /she is waiting for and how desperate it is.

Basically the Queue means first comes first served.
1 to 7 - depends on how desperate we are
if we know it clearly that we would get what we want at the end of queue no will mind helping people. However there are things that has a very small thresh hold
Water during water shortage [the birth place of koza adi fights]
Limited food supply [we see this during floods or any natural calamity]
Standing in line for a H1 visa,
The threshold stops at a point for anyone. As desperation increases the threshold reduces

***Diamon*** said...

2) Because it doesn't really matter either way one of them is going to go 1st. So if the guy gives up his spot on the line you are not actually held back. Unless if the person he is swapping with have more items than him than you definitely can object. But it is very unlikely for them to do so.

How have I been? check my blog. hehehe learned that from you buddy ;P

Mirage said...

reminds me of one more things about queues... I like to compare the situations in US & INDIA when u r about to board a flight. In US, after an announcement for boarding, you immediately envision a queue formation among the passengers.
When i boarded a flight from Bombay to Madras, after the announcement it was like a bunch of clusters moving effectlessly towards a mark. It was like watching a zombie film where u frequently c zombies walking towards a target in a disorderly behaviour ...

I know this comment is moving away from the discussion in this post, but just thought of bringing up.

Arvind said...


yes, desperation and situation does largely affect how one reacts to such changes in the queue :-)

Good point, i guess you can seriously consider objecting for 4 instead of 2 ;)

Well said. The same desi, who behaves most decently rushes without order - samething about a desi movie hall - eat pop-corn and leave the pack behind !

SamY said...

long long ago, in the blog not 2 far away

there used to be amazing posts, is it the empire or the rebillion? who is the reason for this silence :-?

Desigan R said...

Is there some sort of infection around the DC/VA area which is making you guys blog irregularly.

Do we have to always wake you up guys ?

Leon said...

4.I would object only if I were in a hurry
6.Not really, doesn't affect me or anyone else much.. Of course I would protest if someone with a full cart swaps with someone with an almost empty cart.

SamY said...

dhadha, ryu there

Shiva said...

have you retired ? or moved elsewhere ?

vee-jay said...

This post reminds me of a very funny incident - I was standing in a supermarket queue when I notice this elderly woman have just a few items to be billed whereas I had a cart load full of items. I allow her to stand ahead of me in the queue. Then she casually asked me if I was waiting for somebody, to which I replied that it was more to help an elder woman. She angrily replied "I am not old and you dont have to give up your position because you felt I was old". I was shocked!!

nalladhukku kaalam illa.

Jaggy said...

Smile at the Past with Pride and Grace
Live each today with Joy and Verve
Look at every tommorrow with Hope And Faith
This year may all your efforts be rewarded
and all your dreams come true
Wishing you a Happy New Year

Arvind said...

Avvayar range'kku ennamo ellam kelvi kekkare, me no understand :-)

I should be back in action soon :)

We are trying to figure out pothikine paduthakalam or paduthukine pothikalam ;) and in that process slid off into a deep slumber that people have to wake us up :-) Thanks for the gentle wake up call !

Interesting answers - so what is your one-line summary to the question of 'rights over queue position' :-) ?

I thought we met up in the world-of-erstwhile-regular bloggers meet the other day ;) ??

Yes, very true indeed ! - they seriously object to anything that is implication of their age :-) dont know whether there is any 'right' or 'wrong' to it :)

Thanks and wish you the same :)

Ash said...

hey arvind

nice set of questions...

well i guess i wouldn't object if it is once or twice and if i am not in a hurry ....
but if i am and my mood is not that good to speak about i guess i will react to it ...

then speaking of the elderly, disabled and (women) for that matter ....i personally object to giving them all kind of reservations....and again speak of equality.....

....as why the differnce and the preference just because of the age, gender and the physique ...
well if the elderly and the disabled are healthy enough to come till a queue well why not stand and obey the silent rule rather than try to make a commotion..

if there is a separate one well go ahead and i guess there should be separate 'Q's for these ppl as in buses and trains in india ...so that they can get their things done without much worry and pleading, asking, begging or symppathy of/to strangers .....


Arvind said...


Interesting perspective - guess it derives from the idea of self-respect/dignity of these people who need to cut into the line huhh :-)

cool !