I’m sure, like me, (and countless other humanoids) queues and queueing are the bane of your life.

In my case ‘bane’ is too soft a word. I have a pathological dislike of queuing. I’d like to say that the introduction of the World Wide Web and the ability to connect to it marked a great day in my life until I discovered that yep, when purchasing tickets for your favourite band online involves queueing too. This in itself brings about a whole new set of irritations though, because unlike a physical people queue, virtual queueing puts you at the mercy of the dingbat who designed the ticket site.

Anyway back to pathological dislikes i.e. queueing.  I believe it stems from an in-built gene, or an acquired one. It could have something to do with my rampant claustrophobia too, but I think primarily, it comes down to a basic intolerance to the herd mentality. When people dither, I could cheerfully decimate them using my light sabre until I’m at the head of the queue.  Once I’m at the head of the queue of one i.e. me, and I approach the counter, whether it’s to confirm a flight, check luggage or to place an order, I guarantee you that I’ll have transacted and concluded my business in dizzyingly fast record time, all this of course subject to the efficiency of the person on the other side of the counter that’s assisting me.

One would imagine that my refusal to queue has adversely affected my life, but surprisingly, it hasn’t, not really. I’ve learnt a few simple ‘hacks’ as experience skills are wont to be called these days. For your reading enjoyment and potentially stress less future, I’ve itemised a few:

  • If attending a weekend market / event, get there early and by early, I mean (in great deference to Adrian Cronauer’s line) ‘Oh my God, it’s early’ sort of early. Proof of the pudding in two instances that immediately come to mind are a whisky convention where we were the first to arrive and had countless whisky distillers clamouring to offer us fine single malts to taste and not a single queue in sight. Example 2 was a fabulous weekend crafts, food and wine market where again, we zoomed round the stalls without pushing and shoving and bumping into herd, sampled many fine foods and had ordered and eaten our breakfast by the time the crowds pulled in. If there is a blissful situation involving/avoiding crowds, this was it.
  • Shop online where you can. Can’t say it simpler than that.
  • Never, I repeat, never, queue for restaurants, sales or tickets to something. You may think you have to, but seriously, you really don’t. I can’t think of a club, restaurant or happening where I truly think I missed out. If you’re meant to get there, you’ll get there when you should.
  • Learn the art of acceptance when you really have to queue. I’ve not gone off my trolley – this is a real life hack. Being involved in the visa business for a number of years and having had to queue in countless airports to travel, you soon realise that this is when you need to suck it up and accept that with being able to travel freely or in order to reach your destination without going doolally, you will encounter bureaucracy at every turn and spazzing out and having a meltdown will not further your cause. It may, in fact, do the complete opposite. Now stand on one leg in the ‘Crane’ position and just breathe!

Other than the latter, (which in my book = necessity) you don’t really have to queue. So, avoid it wherever you can.

I do and I find it improves my days immeasurably. As for traffic jams, don’t even let me get started.

I wish you, dear reader, an healthy, happy, queue-less existence (where possible).