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Waiting Is Purely Conceptual

, , , , | Right | November 4, 2020

In the office where I work, we often get a high volume of people coming in for assistance at once. Since there’s not really room for a line of people to stand and wait, we have a sign-in sheet and a large number of chairs for people to sit and wait until they are called. There is also a sign asking everyone to sign in and have a seat. Here are a few of the things we see all the time:

A customer approaches the desk and looks expectantly at me.

Me: “Hi! If you could just sign in and have a seat, someone will be right with you.”

The customer signs in and looks at me expectantly, standing in front of the sign-in and blocking everyone else waiting to sign in.

Me: “Great. Now, if you could have a seat…”

Customer #1: “I signed in; why can’t you help me now?”

Me: *Checking the clipboard* “Because there are three names ahead of yours…”


A customer approaches the desk.

Me: “Hi, if you could sign in and have a seat, someone will be with you as soon as we can!”

Customer #2: “I just need one thing real quick!”

Me: “Yes, and so does everyone else here.”

Customer #2: “But it’s just a quick question, and I have somewhere to be!”

Me: “Yes, and so does everyone else here.”

Customer #2: “But why can’t you help me real quick?”

Me: “Because all these other people were here first.”

Customer #2: *grumbles and sits down*

Honestly, if I didn’t have to spend so much time explaining the concept of waiting your turn to people, the overall wait time for everyone would probably be cut in half!

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