Queue counting

I’m a queue counter.  I just can’t help it.  Whenever I find myself in a queue I need to count the number of people in front of me.  It doesn’t matter what kind of queue it is, at the airport, in a traffic jam, at the butchers, they are all the same.

I don’t know why I do this. Presumably it’s so I know how many places I am from the front, or so that I can get a feel for how quickly I’ll get to where I’m going.   I think it’s probably a fear of missing out on something or not getting into what I am waiting in line for.

Of course it’s not that simple, all queues are not the same but my counting syndrome has developed its own rules to cope with the variation.

For queues containing only people, they all count, adults, children, even babes in arms.  If I’m in a hurry this is a bonus, as a family leaving the front of the queue can lead to a substantial reduction in its overall length. Identifying small children from behind the backs of my fellow queuees is always a challenge though.  An undiscovered, hidden child can cause an unforeseen recalibration.

For queues containing only vehicles, the number of people don’t count, only the vehicle.  If I’m in a dual carriageway then only the lane in front of me matters.  Lane swappers present a hazard.  In Fast moving queues it’s sometimes too difficult to count every vehicle and so you must start from where you are and not from the front.  Pick a recognisable vehicle and stop there if the queue is too long.

By setting rules I’m justifying my actions when really counting queues is just an affliction and an annoying bad habit.

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