After a quick lunch, I rushed to the ATM in our office premises. To my surprise, there was no queue outside the ATM. Instead of labeling it a ‘pleasant’ surprise and getting into the ATM, I checked out its glass door for an ‘Out of Order’ placard. There was none – and to end the story I was able to successfully complete the transaction and to get back to my work.
However, a point to note here is the way we have internalized the psychology of anticipation of queues, i.e. we in India. There is a queue for almost everything. Be it for railway tickets, bank counter, school admissions, movie hall, and even public toilets; Indians are used to stand in queue. If there is no queue, we suspect something’s wrong – e.g. if there is no queue outside a movie hall, then definitely the movie is not good, or if there is no queue outside a railway ticket counter, may be the railway employees are on a strike.
The reason behind this whole queue thing is the demand-supply mismatch in a country like India with its vast population. But let’s not summarize this interesting ‘Queue’ phenomenon with a boring Economics statement like this. Even if it does not seem so, there are a lot of advantages of having a queue. You can have a look at them:
1. Building National Unity
Nothing gets people into unity and action as does a person trying to crash into a queue, or an officer servicing the queue at a snail-slow speed. People get together putting aside all differences like race, cast, creed, financial status, etc to uphold the queue ‘principles’.
2. Stress Relieving
In a busy world where no body gets time for himself, a queue offers a person free time without a feeling of guilt for wasting time. One can use this time for ‘Open-eyes-meditation’, ‘Mini-Power nap’ and many more such stress relieving activities.
3. Validating Forms
While standing in a queue for submission of any kind of forms, a person can always check with others whether the form which he has filled up is correct, whether any extra documents are required, etc. This avoids last minute embarrassment before the Form accepting officer.
4. Improving Relationships
Standing in a long queue, trying to kill time, you are forced to make calls to all possible friends or relatives, whom you have not called since months.
5. Cross-functional information
If you are standing in a long railway ticket queue, you will read everything around you; be it Counter timings, Name of the officers, Rules and regulations, the year of inauguration of the Railway station and the person who had done the honors. You are thus enlightened about a lot of non-work related aspects.
So, a queue is a symbol of great national importance and should not be looked down upon or criticized.