Anorak News | Time And Place

Time And Place

by | 12th, December 2005

‘HOW long do you think you’ve been standing in that queue? A lifetime? A year? All afternoon?

‘The bank?! I thought this was the queue for drugs’

However long it is, it’s not been long enough and you must wait a while longer. For Britons queuing is a rite of passage, a kind of circumcision of the will. Your turn will come and when it does you will be a man, my son.

Only problem is that tomorrow you will have to queue all over again. And once more we’ll ask you the question: how long do you think you’ve been queuing for?

For those of you waiting to speak with a human being on the phone, time can be measured in how many verses of Greensleeves the company has been softening you up with, or the number of times the recorded voice has told you how important you are.

For those of you who are physically stood in line, there is the clock on the wall. Unless you are in a branch of NatWest bank, in which case there is no clock.

As the Mail reports, NatWest is to remove clocks from the walls of its branches so customers will not know how long they’ve been queuing.

The move has been tested out in branches in Kingston, Richmond and Kensington, and the results have been promising. An employee explains. “When the clock was there, it was difficult for us to disagree with them [customers] about how long they’d been waiting. Now it’s more difficult for them to complain.”

Of course it’s nothing of the sort. Complaining comes all too easily to most of us, clocks or no clocks.

And the plan could be flawed in other ways. Many people in today’s modern Britain wear a watch and surely looking at such an item will let a customer know how long they’ve been waiting.

Although you could still encounter problems. The bank’s staff might have been ordered to go watchless or else calibrate their timepieces to run five hours slow.

You may discover that you now get served before you’ve even arrived…’

Posted: 12th, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink