The Things We Hate Most About Waiting In Line
There are two types of people in this world. Those who will wait in a line and those who will not. I fall into the will not wait in a line category. Let me clarify that statement. I won't wait more than 15 minutes in a line. My spouse is a more patient person than me. She doesn't think waiting 15 minutes for a table at a restaurant is too long. I will go to sleep hungry before I will do that.
There is a science that businesses should understand when it comes to making people wait in line. There are some companies that get it and then there are some that don't. Before we tell you which companies know how to fool us and which ones we absolutely loathe let's look at what torques us about waiting in line.
1- We Get Bored: There is a reason why they have all the impulse purchases within arms reach at the checkout in the grocery store. The store knows you're a trapped animal and you're looking for something to do. That's why we pick up the National Enquirer but we don't buy the National Enquirer.
2- We Hate When A Short Wait Becomes An Unexpected Long Wait: Picture this scenario. You're behind one lady with just a few things in her cart. She and the cashier suddenly strike up a conversation like they are old friends. Then she realizes that she forgot an item and has to run to the far side of the Earth to get it. Then she pulls out a stack of coupons, none of which are for the items she has chosen. Then she attempts to use an empty gift card and finally writes a check. That's an unexpected long wait.
3-We Hate It When Someone Who Got There After Us Gets Served Ahead Of Us: This happens in the doctor's office all the time. It also happens at the haircut place I go to. It also happens at the drug store. I am not sure who I am more angry with. The person who got ahead of me or the clerk who allowed the most egregious crime in the world to occur right under their nose.
Who Gets It Right? The king of all "line tamers" is Disney. If you've ever been to a Disney theme park they give you an option for a Fast Pass. It's basically making an appointment to ride the ride of your choice. They are like magic bullets you only get a couple. The other thing Disney does when making you cue up is they keep you entertained.
They also allow you to move into a different setting every few minutes. This keeps you from getting bored and actually enhances the experience. The one exception is Disney dining. If you don't have a reservation you might as well go back to the room and order room service.
Who Gets It Wrong? The easy answer here is Walmart. I don't have to explain their system because I don't think they have a system to explain. The cashiers are certainly friendly and professional but by the time you spend figuring out what line is open and which one is moving it's just too much stress for me.
There is also the which line belongs to which register question at Walmart. I guess I am of below average intelligence because I usually wind up on the wrong side of the checkout stand. That is why I usually just go to the self-checkout. That way I can only blame myself if I screw things up.