Singaporean’s Stupid Queuing Habits

There are times when I cannot understand why my fellow Singaporeans are so stupid and rude. Worst, they dun compute logic and aren’t resourceful at all. One of the most disturbing behaviours I couldn’t stand is Singaporean’s Strange but Stupid Queuing Habits. Here are a few cases:
CASE NO 1:    At AXS Machines
I was paying my dad’s phone bill at Parkway AXS Machines yesterday afternoon. There are 2 machines (side by side) and each is occupied with one user. Being the 3rd user there, I decided to stand in between the 2 machines.
The logic is simple: The machines are so close apart and I get 2 access to either one of the machine. If one of the 2 users jammed the machine, I won’t be wasting my time waiting behind him/her. A single-line queue to multiple service counters is certainly fair and fast.  However, not many places offer such system. You only get to see such queuing-system in bank, cinema, 4D counter and Challenger IT Store etc.
Anyway, there was a teenage-girl queuing behind me with her mother. Sensing the man on the left AXS Machine was going to complete his payment, the teenage-girl’s mother walked out of my queue and stood behind the man – creating a "1-queue-1-system".
Fearing the people behind me will start following her cue, I decided to tell her to get back to my queue. Of cos’, like typical Singaporean, she replied: "There are 2 machines here, you queue yours, I queue mine. What’s the problem?" 

I remarked loud and clear: "Auntie, you queue one line, you get 2 machines. It is faster this way. And I am here before you guys. If this man is leaving that machine, I have my rights to use it first. Please dun cut queue."

Speechless and embarressed, she went back behind me, grumbling in her hokkien tongue – still complaining that why I started a queue like that.
This is so typical Singaporean. When they see 2 machines, they "automatically" form 2 queue-lines. No wonder, they need real barricades or painted floor markings to guide them. We are the only train stations that have "yellow boxes" to guide our people not to block traffic in front of opening MRT Doors.
CASE NO 2:    Getting a Cab along the Road
The street rule goes – "The one nearer to the coming cab gets the cab"
We can’t really fault the cab driver if he decided to pick up someone who "hijacked" your cab. This is one of the most common self-made tension between strangers. Especially when 2 of you are within 50m of the road. It really doesn’t matter who comes first. It is more like "who is ahead of you".
I met enough jackass "hijacking" my cab. These people often tried to "outwalk" you by another 10m ahead of you. So, what happened if you meet a "taxi hijacker" on the road? Here are some Singaporean’s common reactions:
1) Start Walking ahead of these "hijacker" – Stare hard at them when overtaking them.
2) Resign to fate and stood them frowning. Let the "hijackers" snatch the cab right under their nose. Afterall, there are enough empty cab in Singapore. Wait for next one lor. Only react when more people over-take him.
3) Call for cab lor. Afterall, money can solve anything. And if a cab appears before the booked cab comes, board first…and cancel the booked cab.
For me, I rather make my intention & presence clear. If I saw someone waiting for cab along the same road before me, I will walk close to him – ask him if he is waiting for a cab – and if he says yes, I will tell him that I will stand there and wait for the next one.
And for those jackass who think they can hide by overtaking me, they are very wrong. Cos’ I will yell out loud to them and make clear that I am there first. They have to wait. Most times, this approach worked. Cos’ Singaporean scare "lose-face" and will act "righteously" when told. Unless these "hijackers" are like 100m away from you – it may not be their fault. They may not see you at all.
Nevertheless, I did  give way to "hijackers" who are pregnant, old, with baby in hands or handicap.
There are more of such mindless people I meet everyday. Where is the "grace element" in our people? Or have we become so competitive that we forget our basic manner and upbringing?

5 Responses to Singaporean’s Stupid Queuing Habits

  1. Pyro says:

    Yes I agree with you on Case 1. Happen to me recently when i wanted to deposit my cash at DBS Bank IMM. The person infront of me an Indian guy, queue as 1 line for 2 deposit machine. I followed suit as the queue are usually like this. There are not lines/stickers on the floor for queuing guides. As im the only person queuing, this Chinese lady 35-40 years old started to stand beside me. I asked her, are you queuing? She replied yes and i said im queuing as 1 line.

    As she stood behind me she literally talk bad behind my back. 1. I dont know singapore law.
    2. There’s 5 withdraw machine, so is it 1 line also? (Sarcastically)

    After depositing my money, she was at the machine beside me. I told her its effective and faster this way and the person infront of me also queued as 1 line.

    Her reply? “Ya la, ya la. Bla bla” Mocking me.
    Since she’s a person who wouldn’t listen to others and cannot be reason with, i see no point in arguing anymore.

    So i cursed 1 word at her and walked away. Since she’s so rude, and bringing my self-worth down, i just had to curse at her.

  2. chenhao says:

    There’s a queue in Bugis junction that works like the way you suggested. Find that system really much more efficient. All the staff have to do is to stick some tapes, is it really that much trouble?

    • Wahbiang says:

      I totally agreed with you. It is more efficient and avoid any unlucky bottleneck. It is the fairest system. All queue should be like this – airport, ticketing box etc.

  3. Bluesilver says:

    Queueing – look, there are 2 machines, it’s only logical to have 2 lines. your ‘efficient’ logic may only enforce yet another ugly singaporean habit – kiasuism – you just wanted to get to the first machine available.
    Having a multiple line system for multiple machines just makes it simpler and avoids misunderstandings just exactly like the one you pointed out. Everyone knows instinctively to queue behind the one using the machine – regardless of the race, or country. Go overseas, what is the most often used queueing system? If 10 other people come over wanting to use the machine, not everyone understands your method of queueing – are you going to explain 10 times? And there will be those who insist on jumping the queue. Your method will just allow them to do so and cuase friction, arguments and fights – because of the extra space alloted to the queues waiting in your method. The normal queueing avoids this becuase in order to jump the queue, you have to physically ‘push’ in between someone.
    But that being said, queuing disputes, cab hijacking, etc, I’ve experienced it all in australia, india, US, Hong Kong, etc. it’s not a problem that symptomatic to singaporeans; but where people with different habits and ideals gather, you’re bound to have different reactions. I get really frustrated with these ‘stupid’ ppl sometimes, and sometimes start cursing ‘stupid xxxxians, xxxkeys, xxxeans, ….’ but realize it’s not just stupid australians, stupid singaporeans, or stupid anything. It’s just stupid people in general. So let’s not generalize stupidity with race, religion, sex or residence.

  4. stezzy says:

    yes..Parkway has 3 dbs machines and people just dabble between them in queues..y can’t they just stick to 1 queue 3 machines..i also thinking to myself, isn’t it faster for everyone?

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