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Monday, September 04, 2006

Line Behavior Etiquette: How to Act While Wasting Your Precious Time

Line Behavior Etiquette: how to act while you waste precious time. This is based on real research...for more information feel free to contact me!

To begin we will assume you are in a line which for the purpose of this paper will be defined as any deliberate physical arrangement whereby more than one person or group of persons is waiting to access a service, place, etcetera.

Once in line there are certain behaviors which are acceptable given specific circumstances.


Communication for the purpose of this paper will consist of verbal exchange between at least two persons (mumbling to oneself will not count).

· Communication to staff or employees is acceptable once you have gained access to the employee by waiting your turn. If you are in a group it is customary for one person to speak to staff/employee at a time.

· B1-2-20/22, B2-2-3, B2-2-6, B2-2-15, B2-3-20, B2-4-4, B2-4-18, B2-6-8, B2-6-2, D1-1-9, D1-1-24, D1-1-32, E1-2-13, E1-2-17, E1-3-15, E2-1-10, E2-1-25, E2-2-24, E2-3-4, ………..

· Communication to staff/employees should be as brief as possible:

· B1-4-11, B2-1-11, B2-2-21/25, B2-3-3/7, D1-2-55, E1-2-25, E2-4-6/8, S2-1-15, S2-1-23, S2-2-5/7, …

· If you are in a fast moving line you should generally remain quiet (preferable while playing with your keys/pocket change (males) or repeatedly looking in your purse (females) and staring at anything remotely interesting or useful for intolerable lengths of time while checking your watch (both genders):

· B1-1-10-20, B3-2-8, B3-4-19, B3-4-20, B3-4-28, A1-2-9, A1-2/3-22/1, I-2-23, I-2-9, I-2-24, S1-2-11, S2-2-7, …..

· However, if you are in a large non-moving line, it is acceptable ( but not mandatory)to speak to strangers:

· B3-1-34, B3-2-22, B3-2-27, I-2-10, I-2-14, S1-2-4/6/, S1-2-10, S1-2-19, S3-1-22, S3-2-1, S3-2-2, S3-2-6, S3-2-7, S3-2-9, S3-2-11, ………

· If you are with friends it is acceptable to speak quietly in a short or fast moving line:

· B2-2-20, B2-3-22, B2-4-2, B2-5-2, B2-5-9, B2-5-17, B3-3-22, B3-3-32, D1-1-12, D1-2-46/50, I-2-20, S-1-15, S1-2-21, S3-1-22, S3-2-16,

· Unless you are older: B1-4-5, B3-1-8, B3-1-34, B3-1-36, B3-3-2, B3-3-16, S1-2-22, S1-3-6, S2-3-19, ……….

· If you are with friends in a large, unmoving line, it is acceptable to speak louder/loudly:

· B1-2-5, B2-3-22, B2-5-2, B3-1-34, B3-2-14/15, B3-2-34, B3-4-30, I-3-8, S1-4-13, S3-1-12, S3-1-19, …………..

Territorial Display:

It is acceptable, if not desirable, to "mark your territory" or "property" when in line:
This can take several forms but the most notable include wearing identical/similar outfits if you are going to be in large lines with friends or the use of a proxy (human or other) to "hold your place in line".

· B1-1-1/3, B1-2-14/16, B1-3-4, B2-2-20, B3-3-2, B3-3-24, A1-1-15, A1-2-5, A1-3-3, A1-4-12, D1-1-29, S1-1-20, S1-2-5, S1-2-12, S-3-5, S3-2-1, S3-2-16, S3-4-5, S3-4-7…….

· Standing in a circular formation if you are in a group:

· B1-2-2, B1-2-10, B3-1-9, B3-1-21, B3-2-3, S1-4-11, S3-1-14, ……….

· Standing in closer than normal (usually at a slight angle) to indicate you are a "couple"/together:

· B1-3-8, B1-3-19, B1-5-10, B2-1-18, B2-2-11, B2-2-15, B2-3-8, B2-4-4, B2-4-22, S1-1-16, S1-1-18, S1-2-18, S1-3-5, S1-4-1, S1-4-11, S2-3-1, …………

Body Movements:

Not all body movements are equal. Some preferred in-line body movements include:

· Checking your watch: B1-1-15, B1-1-16, B1-1-19, B2-3-1, B3-1-32,……..

· Putting your hands in pocket/jingling coins (men): B1-5-9, A1-2-21, A1-2-5, A1-2-11, I2-3-24, I2-4-8, S1-4-1, …………

· Checking your purse/other (women): B3-1-23, D1-2-58, D1-2-48, I2-2-16, S1-3-21,

· Staring…preferably up or around at a given display or front of line if possible: B1-1-19, B1-1-22, B1-1-4, B1-5-21, B3-1-33, A1-2-5, A1-4-21, I1-1-24, I1-2-15, I1-2-20,..

· Shifting feet/bending etc: S3-2-15, B1-1-4/5, B1-1-20, B1-3-12, B1-4-15, S1-2-1, S1-4-7, S2-2-7, S2-2-19, …………

· Crossing Arms/Placing on Hips:B2-1-30, B3-3-17, A1-2-19, A1-2-22, S1-2-20, S1-2-23, S1-3-9,

Acceptable Distance:

Unless space does not permit, the preferred distance between strangers or groups of strangers is approximately 2-3 feet (plus or minus a bit depending upon the dynamics of the line):

· B1-2-9, B1-4-20, B1-4-23, B1-5-4, B1-6-4, B3-2-25, B3-3-9, A1-1-10, A1-1-21, D1-2-64, I1-1-15, I1-3-5, S1-1-17, S2-1-10, …………..

At times it may be acceptable to have less distance, for example, between persons who know one another:

· B1-3-8, B1-3-19, B1-5-10, B2-1-18, B2-2-11, B2-2-15, B2-3-8, B2-4-4, B2-4-22, S1-1-16, S1-1-18, S1-2-18, S1-3-5, S1-4-1, S1-4-11, S2-3-1, …………

Or in the case of "compression" where time or space is "running out". In this case, the acceptable distance may shrink to as little as a foot between strangers:

· B2-1-8, B2-2-11, B2-2-14, B2-3-14, B2-4-9, B2-4-22, B2-5-17, B2-6-7, B2-6-5, B3-1-7, B3-2-35, B3-3-4, S3-3-19, S3-4-4, S3-4-18………

Expressing Displeasure:

Several methods of expressing displeasure exist including "early approach" and overt verbalization, however, the most prevalent forms of expressing displeasure include checking the time, foot tapping/other movement, and frowning:

Checking the Time: B1-1-15, B1-1-16, B1-1-19, B2-3-1, B3-1-32,……..

Foot Tapping/Other: : S3-2-15, B1-1-4/5, B1-1-20, B1-3-12, B1-4-15, S1-2-1, S1-4-7, S2-2-7, S2-2-19, …………

Frowning: B1-1-23, B2-5-21, B2-7-6, B3-2-11, B3-3-31, B3-4-25, B3-4-32, …….

vExpressing Approval:

By far the most commonly exhibited methods of displaying approval were smiling and verbalizations such as thank you/laughter.

Smiling: B2-2-15, B2-4-10, B2-4-15, B2-5-11, B2-5-14, B2-5-16, B2-6-11, B3-2-28, B3-3-12, B3-3-30, B3-4-20, B3-4-26, D1-1-9, D1-1-25, D1-2-56, D1-2-62, S2-3-1, S2-3-14, S2-3-16, S3-2-22,

Verbalization: B1-2-17, B2-2-6, D1-1-9, D1-2-68, I1-3-17, I2-2-15, I2-2-21, I2-4-17, S3-3-7-17,


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