Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Thank Queue

This arrived in my Singapore mailbox today:

It made me laugh out loud, right there at the mailbox.

"Long Queues mean Great Deals". That's the exact opposite of what my American brain thinks.

(Oh and for the Americans just joining us, a queue is the British word for "line", as in waiting in line).

In my own American terms, it means "Wait two hours in line to pay the same price or much more than what you'd pay back home for your Christmas gifts."

It's not their fault though. Singapore is a smooshed country. It's the second most populated country behind Monaco. Lines and queues are inevitable. Even if they put seven outlets of the same store in a mall, there'd still be a line. There's just too many people on the island.

As an American, we're brought up in a world where lines indicate that an establishment or employee isn't doing their job. Customer satisfaction is the first priority and having a customer wait more than five minutes to give you his or her money is just unheard of. Why should you have to be inconvenienced to give a certain store business? You could take your money elsewhere and not wait in line.

At least that's the American line of thinking.

So when I see that a mall is boasting about their long queues, I immediately take note to not go there and order online instead.

I'm sorry, I'm a spoiled American brat who has better things to do than wait in a line.

And I like it that way.

1 comment:

Brad Farless said...

The lines in the Philippines are like they are in the US. So, my wife and I have a similar outlook on waiting in long lines.

I'm equally disturbed by the idea of a mall promoting its long lines as if it's something to be proud of. And, like you, I'm now not likely to ever drop by that mall because I expect long lines, and in my mind a long line is a waste of time.

You make a good point about the difference in opinion about the lines here though. There's a small Shop N Save near where we live and sometimes the line will be about 20 people long with one register open. There are other employees in the store stocking shelves, and they're obviously cashiers, but it doesn't seem to set off warning bells. They're content to leave the line long and customers are so used to the long lines that no one says anything about it.

In fact, I think I'm starting to get used to the long lines myself. I tend to pull out my iPhone and read a book while waiting.