How We Line Up

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Benjamen Walker radio producer and host of "Too Much Information" on WFMU, discusses his BBC documentary "Waiting in Line in America," which explores the social science of lines and waiting.


Benjamen Walker

Comments [11]

Zipper merging is ideal driving, but that isn't the cutting in late as was described. Cutting in late is when you have a backed up exit lane and you wait until the last minute to exit, cutting in front of people that have been waiting in the correct lane the whole time.

Oct. 01 2012 08:42 PM
Mike Pesca from NY

I am not causing accidents John, I am adhering to what peer reviewed studies suggest is optimal driving behavior

And "cutting in late" sounds so much less fun than what the Minnesotans call it "The Zipper Merge" I fear I may have lost Lars forever, but perhaps some other listeners will find NEW reasons not to like me. The driving tactics are sound.

Sep. 26 2012 02:34 PM
Lars from Brooklyn

I knew there was a reason why I never liked this guy (Brian's regular sub). Admitting (with smug pride) that he's one of those ass hats who don't wait in line and jam up 3 lanes of traffic by waiting till the last minute to cut into the exit for the Brooklyn Bridge. If you drive in some other parts of the country, people choose the lane they need before the last second an >voila< there's much less traffic jamming. Sociopath driving behavior like this is the cause of much unnecessary traffic problems in the TriState Area.

Sep. 26 2012 12:06 PM
John from NYC

Apparently the guest moderator doesn't mind being the cause of potential accidents with his "lack of que" behavior on the FDR drive.

Sep. 26 2012 12:04 PM
tim from nyc

my line stories revolve around flying.

coming back from tokyo once, i badly miscalculated my train time to the airport and arrived with about 30 minutes from luggage check to gate. this includes customs. fortunately, japanese are very polite people and my limited japanese language includes 'gomanasai' (very sorry) and i was saying this to everyone as i cut in front of them at every opportunity. made it to my flight and even got bumped to first class. kinda makes you think, huh?

and a general complaint: returning to the usa, all the lines for us citizens are bloated while the foreigner lines are sparse and well-staffed. it's totally the opposite in all other countries i visit: nationals get a speed-lane in, and foreigners go thru the slow lines. kinda makes you think, huh?

Sep. 26 2012 12:02 PM
BK from Hoboken

One of the main reasons I have seen the single line fail is because people stand on line with their heads buried in their smartphones and don't see when the next register is open.

Sep. 26 2012 12:01 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

The Brits are in a difficult economic time. May be that’s way they didn’t want to pay the 5 extra pounds.

Sep. 26 2012 11:58 AM

Have you noticed that passengers on different bus lines have different ways of doing it? Passengers for the M66 crosstown will line up but I haven't seen this with M86 or M96 passengers

Sep. 26 2012 11:57 AM

How about this, instead of companies not hiring enough employees to take care of customers. They do hire enough and I wouldn’t have to waste my time in any kind of line.

Sep. 26 2012 11:54 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Single queue works at Marshall's but would fail at CostCo. Too many POS stations. Same is true at WalMart, Target, etc. What really roils me is folks who can't obey the Express Checkout rules. Can't they count! Grrrrr!

Sep. 26 2012 09:59 AM
Tracy from Manhattan

Why do so many stores make us gamble on which line moves faster (e.g., Whole Foods)? Sometimes it makes more sense to have just one line and allow whoever is at the front of it to walk over to the first available cashier.

Sep. 26 2012 09:28 AM

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