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Nov 11 2011

Standing in Line

Here’s my theory, and I hesitate to call it a theory since I know I am right about this. Whenever you stand in line for something, that business is making money off of you. Why? Simple. Think about a grocery store. Occasionally, the company will open another register when it gets full so that they can process more orders quickly. When they don’t, they are making money off of you. The reason is because they could have hired another worker to have another register open for you. But they didn’t. In another sense, you’re paying with your time. Sure, your order won’t cost more (and certainly not less) for standing in line for 10 minutes, even though your body is theoretically absorbing the a/c near the registers. Of course, they wouldn’t have to use their a/c on you if they had hired another worker to serve you quicker in the first place. This also comes to being a unemployment issue. It’s sad to see the amount of unemployment when I have to stand in line waiting for things. Surely, there must be some college kid (if nobody else) who could be ringing up my order.

But there’s another way to look at it. I think, as Americans, we are okay with waiting in line. Think about it. People will stand in line for literally days before Black Friday to be one of the first 40 people to be able to buy some really inexpensive (and maybe ‘cheap’) computer. I myself stood in line for 19 hours to be one of the first people to own the Nintendo Wii. Looking back, I am happy I did it because it ended up being sold out for like 11 months straight and people were lining up at stores even several months later to be able to get one. Nintendo couldn’t make them quick enough. Well, that’s another story, but the point is that I willingly waited in line.

People will wait in line for Black Friday things. Even if they don’t stand outside in the cold overnight, they will be standing in line at the store. Frankly, in this case, they very likely have every register open and they really can’t move the line any faster. But that’s not their problem so much as it is our problem. Why do we willingly subject ourselves to this? “To save some money,” we claim. Just know that every time you stand in line waiting, a store has not hired the person that would lower your waiting time.