The Post-Grad Burn Book: 20. Waiting in Line

For some reason, it feels like we are always waiting. Waiting to graduate, waiting to get promoted, waiting for it to be 5pm, etc. We’re never content and always want more, but we’re always busy so we need things to happen now or else. One of the worst things we have to wait for is lines at … well, basically lines everywhere. We spend more than half of our week in lines. All sorts of lines. The weirdest thing about lines is how we just form them instead of going at each other like wild animals, which sometimes I feel like doing. There are lines everywhere. Literally. Imagine a life with no lines. You would have so much extra time in your day. And you wouldn’t have to worry about not going somewhere because you don’t have enough time… because you pretty much always would!

Here are a few places you will find yourself in a line… always:

Grocery Store: There is nothing worse than walking into a crowded supermarket. All you have to do is get a few things because you’re poor and only shopping for yourself, but the place is full of people – most shopping for large families – so you know it’s going to take forever. Even if you go in the do-it-yourself line. The worst is being in a short do-it-yourself line and having the person in front of you keep pressing the help button because they have no idea what the f*ck they’re doing. Like go in the line where they already have someone there to do it for you. Am I the only person who feels like whatever line I pick in the grocery store is always the slowest one – even if it has the shortest line?

Red Lights: The only good thing about this line is that you don’t have to stand in it outside… and if it’s cold you can just pop on the heat. However, red lights are probably the most annoying lines we have to wait in. Clearly we are on our way somewhere and 80% of the time, we have to get to where we are going ASAP – because we are probably already late. Have you ever not driven somewhere at a certain time (i.e. rush hour) because you knew there was a good chance you would get stuck at a million lights? Story of my life.

Bars: When I hear the word ‘line’ I almost always picture myself shivering, holding in pee, waiting in a really long line at a bar. This is because lines are like a right of passage in to a bar. If you don’t wait in line at a bar (a bar – not a club), you either know someone (who knows someone who knows someone), you paid money to the bouncer (does this actually happen?), you went out way too early, OR you are at a really shitty bar. Bars love to make people wait in lines. They think it makes their bar seem more appealing. Like ‘Heyyyy, look at that extremely long line! That must mean it’s a fun bar! We should wait in the line even though we may never get in!‘ said no one ever. The bouncers holding up the line are often too scary looking to approach and are trained to be power hungry and mean. Like they will never let you in until you’ve waited for. ev. er. Even if someone who works there slams a window on two of your fingers – and breaks them – while you are waiting in line, they will NOT let you in. Believe me. It happened. The worst is when you actually get inside and then there is another line to the downstairs or upstairs – which is supposed to be where the fun is at. Not to mention the line to actually get drinks. None of it is okay.

Clubs: There is a huge difference between lines at bars and lines at clubs. The huge difference being that lines at clubs are usually significantly worse (depending on the bar and club you are comparing). Most lines at clubs don’t actually move. If you find yourself waiting in line at a club for more than 20 minutes, chances are you are not going to get in. Yes, it may be hard to admit it to yourself, but if you were going to be let in you would have already. Especially if you’re a girl.

The ER: Are you kidding? I’m screaming in pain and you’re going to make me wait in line? This dude got shot and you’re going to make him wait in line? What kind of place is this? I’m confused.

Pharmacy: When you step in to your local CVS, Rite Aid, Target, etc, it most likely won’t be crowded. The lines at the front of the store are empty so you think you’ll only be there for a minute or two. But then you turn the corner to the pharmacy and bam – there it is. A mother f*cking line. Where did these people even come from? Why is everyone picking up their medicine at the same time as you? Why does the person in front of you have about 10 different things to get that the pharmacist has to search for – and you only have to get one prescription which is sitting in the box in front of you because they just called your name? But it doesn’t matter that your stuff is ready and you could be out of there in a minute… You have to wait.

DMV/RMV: Whether you call it the department or registry of motor vehicles, this place always sucks. Even if you get there 10 minutes before it opens. There will already be a line – most likely full of the most hood rat looking people you will ever see in your entire life. Like, where did they come from? You may have thought you lived in a nice area… that is, until you go to renew your license or register your car. Ghetto people flock to these places and I actually have no idea why. They love it so much that they tend to work there as well. But do they really love it? Because the people who work there are usually SO rude and SO slow. When you go to the DMV/RMV, you must expect a horrible service, dirty surroundings, ghetto people, and of course – an extremely long line. Don’t even try to go there during lunch. You will never make it back to work.

 The Post Office: It’s hard enough to find time in your ridiculously busy day to go to the post office since it’s only open during the hours you must spend in your cubicle at work. But when you finally do, you have to wait in line… a really, really slow moving line. I don’t know if the people who work there are really slow or if I have really bad luck and always find myself in long lines wherever I go. But this is a place you can’t just give yourself a few minutes at. You’ve got to give yourself time… The only problem is, who has that?

Bank: Just like the post office, it’s only open during your work hours so when are you supposed to find time to go? Sure you can go to an ATM, but if there’s a line you most likely look at it and say ‘I’ll go back later’ and then not go back. But what if you actually have to do something at the bank? Like cash or deposit a really large check (one can dream)… or open a new account? You can say you’ll just go Saturday morning, but so will everyone else. And who wants to give an hour or two away on a Saturday to sit at a bank? Not I.

Aiports: We have to give ourselves an obscene amount of time to get to an airport before a flight because we don’t know how long it will take to get through security. Now don’t get me wrong – I think people should take as much time as they need checking people before they go on a plane… but, like, if this is going to be a long process, maybe they should make some more security lines… I already freak out about having to be near low flying planes – nevermind being on one. Waiting in a really long line that extends the ‘flying process’ only makes things worse. But hey – maybe this is just me.

Clothing Stores: Ever walk in to Forever 21 on the weekend, take one look at the line, and walk right back out? This is basically why I almost never shop there anymore (that and because the clothes don’t last). Do I really want to waste an hour of the time I allotted to shopping in line at one store? No. Would I rather go to other stores and buy things slightly more expensive just because I don’t have to wait in line to purchase them? Yes. I have actually taken time off of work to go shopping just because I refuse to go on the weekend when I know there are going to be unnecessary long lines everywhere. This may be a problem, but whatever. It’s worth it.

Gas stations: I will maybe wait in these lines if I have been below empty the entire day OR I will drive to another gas station even if I have a very high chance of running out of gas.

Of course, there are other places we have to wait in line (concerts, sporting events, the Apple store when they release a new product, a cafeteria, the doctor’s office, etc). It’s like we can’t escape waiting. It’s basically the law. An unwritten rule of life. To get what you want, you have to wait for it. Most likely, in a really really ridiculously long line.

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. I like pizza, French fries, barre class, spinning, more pizza, more French fries, and clothes. I have a serious shopping problem. Writing is fun. Follow me on the twitter - @samanthamatt1.

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