The Weekly Gripe

Gripes the News
The Soapbox
Gripes in the pipes
*

Why do the British queue so much?

111 comments  Add a comment

Why do we always have to queue in this country?  It seems that we are a nation that is obsessed with queuing for just about everything.  I know, it's the British way and we have always done it.  I can see how foreigners however, might find it all a bit irritating.

I think it kind of hit me the other day, when funnily enough I was standing in a queue at the bar, that we really spend a lot of our lives doing this.  I don't mean we spend a lot of time in bars, although that happens to be very true as well!  We stand in line for just about anything.  Supermarkets, bus stops, taxis, the post office, the cinema and just about anything else you can think of will attract a line of people.

Queue here in Great Britain Why is it that it is considered appropriate to queue in some countries and not in others?  For example the Chinese are notorious for queue jumping, but Russians who have experienced poverty and food shortages will queue quietly for hours or even days without complaint.  Queuing is a really bizarre thing when you think about it.

We hate queue jumpers

But it is polite, and maybe that is why we British hate queue jumpers.  Queue jumpers by the way, are something we deplore even more than the queues themselves.  If you want to upset an Englishman, just push your way in front of him whilst he's queuing for his fish and chips!

Here's a though. I'm surprised us Brits haven't found a way of making visitors queue to view pages on a web site.  There again, maybe we have if you have ever been to the BBC News site around lunchtime.


Leave a comment

First Prev 1/8 Next Last

Bad man

Bad man

Queues suck!!! I hate them so much. Even from kids, you man are taught to queue from CHILDREN?? ARE YOU IN A CULT? GOD ITS UNREAL!!! You have a queue for a queue for a queue. I always jump the queues everywhere, you man don’t do nothing about it so yeah
24/04 Bad man
-3
Que Lover

Que Lover

You know, queueing is like a religion for us brits. It’s relaxing and polite, not to mention a mind-blowing system. We’re programmed to que! Whenever we ask “is there a que?” And they say yes, our faces light up knowing we’re about to have a wonderful experience! It’s amazing I love queueing
24/04 Que Lover
1
The jumper

The jumper

Hi there, I'm a queue jumper!!!🤭🤭🤭
I'm fascinated with the queue system in London, brits queue for no reason. If they are going to the supermarket and there isn't a queue ... they go back home and come back in a busier day just to be able to queue. I love to jump a queue just to get a reaction. Hey I'm foreigner , don't blame me , I have the right. And since you British put up with with I'm going to keep doing it!!!
24/04 The jumper
-4
JessieJ(no, not her)

JessieJ(no, not her)

As an American, I LOVE the queue! It is polite, and considerate. I will go out of my way to help someone who does the proper thing. I will flat out ignore the line-jumper. Never stop queuing! This us, however, a regional thing. Northerners (New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, et cetera) are line jumpers. Southerners (not including Florida) will queue quite well. Jumping line/queue is seen as being an entitled a$$, like that person thinks they are better than those in line. Those people will be glared at, and even reprimanded by others, if necessary. So, if you're ever in the Appalachian region, and you want to make a good impression, and thus reap the benefits, take the queue seriously.
29/12/19 JessieJ(no, not her)
0
ChinChin

ChinChin

This article must have been written by a white person. I will tell you my experience with British people. British people do queue jumping with people of colour especially with female members. There is a double standard, which is one of the things Brits are known for!
02/12/19 ChinChin
-10
Azza0

Azza0

Oh my gosh As an Australian This annoys me so much in UK Australia NZ Queing everwhere pathetic even in the nice bathrooms of skygardens I jad a stupid white British Guy Git with his chink Girlfriend talking and strolling away and other cultures visiting skygarden just wanted to use the bathroom quickly so we were in a line but if one saw an available cubicle then whoever is the quickest and alert gets in first. ie first in first serve
16/06/17 Azza0
-6
Lemsip

Lemsip

Other cultures queue as a custom. It's not just Britain. The foreigners in London who jump queues are just ill bred and think that's how you behave in London as the British are too polite to get annoyed. As well as queue jumping standing yards behind the person in front is a no-no and invites queue jumpers. When the queue moves forward so do you and you should not have more than three feet between you and the person in front.
20/03/17 Lemsip
3
MisterImpatient

MisterImpatient

I recently visited London for the first time in over 20 years; I felt I spent much of my holiday in queues for just about everything! When I last visited, I didn't recall ever queueing up anywhere near as much as I did on this visit.

For an impatient, fast-paced person like myself who doesn't like queues and is very driven by time, the frequent, lengthy queues was quite frustrating. The lesson learned on this holiday is to schedule more time for each activity given how long and slow many of the queues I encountered were.
04/01/17 MisterImpatient
-1
becky

becky

i love waiting queuing its really relaxing
13/10/16 becky
-1
Ellipsis

Ellipsis

Queueing is so satisfying. When you finally get to where you were waiting and you haven't seen anyone queue-jump, you are left with this wonderous feeling of contentment; 'this is the way things are meant to be.'

I, personally like to make a quite (note: loud enough to be heard) comment to the person behind me when someone queue-jumps. Or I simply say 'excuse me?!' in that one way all Brits would recognise as the 'affronted, but not going to mention it anymore' voice.
17/06/16 Ellipsis
2
collar

collar

Yes, quite. I joined a queue once by a store sale (I know the queue was long before I joined it BUT people who take kids to long lines are the worst,some people waited 20 hours or so, 12.00 am til 8.50, I forget which . They parked miles away & walked everywhere , I came to work one day and somebody had queued outside my shop, anyway I know the problems it causes.
30/06/14 collar
-1
Yo punk!

Yo punk!

Cos weeze fik, innit? I mean, wuz the point? may as wel just go for it I reckon
30/06/14 Yo punk!
-2
nell

nell

I would be flaming annoyed if id stood in a queue for 10 mns and some-one pushed in, but brits are so apathetic , and cringe at that sort of confrontation, perhaps its just as well , there are enough street riots as it is ,
14/08/13 nell
-7
Nick

Nick

Because there are too many people and not enough services! Simple. This is exactly what will happen when everybody is on the dole.
23/07/13 Nick
-13
FedUpWithRudePeole

FedUpWithRudePeole

Queuing makes perfect sense, but like one post at least has already said bus queues in London have virtually disappeared as more and more immigrants are living in London. Queuing is not a part of many foreign cultures. However, people coming to live in UK should be prepared to accept our way of life so as not to offend us, we would be expected to do the same should we go to another country. About a year ago a Nigerian looking guy walked right to the front of the queue I was standing in, the bus arrived shortly afterwards and he hopped in front of about a dozen or so people that had waited in turn for the bus, he got one of the seats that should have gone to someone else. I politely pulled him up about his actions and the vitriol he spat at me was enough to make me ignore him and stand well away from him. And, just last night a Chinese guy did the same at the same stop, after a year of watching people do this I said something again, and he replied 'F**k You. You get off same stop as me and we sort this out' I'm a 23 year old woman, 5foot 1inch tall, I don't think so. Brits are saying nothing because this is the kind of response we can expect.
11/07/13 FedUpWithRudePeole
5

First Prev 1/8 Next Last

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox
spinner