Tuesday, July 19, 2011


While in Canada last month I was making frequent trips to the walk in clinic for dressing change and wound care. Mom and I learned quickly that it was best to get there first thing in the morning before they opened and wait outside for the door to officially be unlocked. Arriving even ten minutes later could result in a much longer wait. We weren't the only ones to discover this, every time we drove into the lot a ten to eight there were a couple of people already loitering in the vicinity. Some were leaning against the building playing on their cell phone, others hanging on the handrail as they gazed across the street. To say we organized ourselves in a straight line in front of the door would be a stretch to the definition of "lining up". But this cluster of people, no matter where they were standing or how they were occupying their time, were very aware of who had arrived before them and who showed up after. When the door was finally opened we all filed in orderly according to the amount of time we had been standing around.

As much as I love life here, I wish I could transport the courteous custom of lining up to this culture. Here, no matter who arrived first, it is the person with the sharpest elbows and the ability to push the hardest that gets in first. In most cases there is no such thing as even a loosely formed line, all that exists are blobs of humanity striving to get through the same doorway at the same time.

In elementary school we use to yell at the student who tried to slyly make their way to the front bypassing the wait...we would scream "so-and-so is a Cutter - they just cut in front of me". Instead of being a reason to tattle on each, the value of a good 'Cutter' seems to be a learned and much practiced skill.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Makes me wonder how order is maintained in schools....do orderly lineups exist there?!