Wait Your Turn

Posted by Heather
In life
25Nov 11

If you have a job that involves dealing with the Public, then you no doubt have countless horror stories of miserable people taking their frustrations out on you. This is hardly the first time I have discussed this subject, nor will it likely be the last. Sadly, as time goes by, people seem to have become more self-absorbed, less patient, and often, downright rude.

Just when you think you have the craziest possible story to share with your co-workers, one of them will tell a tale of a worse encounter with an ill-mannered customer. It truly boggles the mind to think that so many people actually believe that they are more important than others, or that their time is more important than someone else’s. If there is a lineup, rather than politely and quietly waiting, people will yell over the heads of other people, asking how long it will take. If someone is not first in line, and another person is being helped, they’ll say “I just need this” or “I just need to ask a quick question”. One of our favourite lines is “I’m in a hurry” or “I have a ferry to catch”. ( well, I guess you should have planned out your day a little better to account for the fact that maybe, just maybe, there may be other people needing help at the same time you chose to come in at the last minute )

I have never understood how some people think they have the right to treat others badly. If someone is trying to help you, why would you yell and swear at them? Do you really think that’s going to make them go faster, or want to assist you more? More to the point, why does society accept this kind of behaviour? Why must someone that is there to provide “Customer Service” be forced to stand there and smile sweetly while someone else verbally abuses them? What is wrong with people that they think this kind of behaviour is acceptable?

I’ve been in many lineups at many places, and I always wait patiently and quietly. I don’t try and cram too many errands into a lunch break, or stop in somewhere right before racing for a ferry. Why would you put that kind of pressure on yourself? ( and if you did, then it would be your own fault, so why take it out on the person trying to help you? ) Once my turn comes, I make sure I treat the person “serving” me ( I can’t stand that term, personally ) with patience, understanding, and kindness. I know all too well how it feels to be working your butt off at a frantic pace, and still being overwhelmed when the lineup seems neverending.

I just wish people would have a little compassion for others. If there is a waiting area, sit down, be quiet, and wait your turn. Everyone is equal: you are not more important or valuable than anyone else. Being loud and obnoxious and yelling and cursing does not make you seem important to others, and it certainly won’t get you anywhere with me. All it does is make it blatantly obvious that you are not happy with yourself, and for that, I feel sorry for you. It is not my fault, or the fault of anyone else that is trying to help you. If you messed up and need us to fix something for you, or if you are running late ( or whatever the case may be ) that is on you – don’t blame us.

Think of others, whether it be the other people waiting in line, or the person behind the counter with the huge lineup of people vying for their time and attention. Yes, they are people too, who have thoughts, feelings and needs, just like you. Try a little patience, kindness, and please, learn to wait your turn. It’s really not that hard.


  1. Ashley, December 1, 2011:

    Very well written! I couldn’t have said it better if I tried. Hopefully this will “hit” those whom this refers to. (well, at least a few)!! Keep spreadin’ the word! It’ll catch on 😉

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