Are You in Line?

When was the last time you were in line at a retail store and were asked if you were in line?  When was the last time you were the one asking someone else if they were in line?  If you were in line, you probably responded with an answer in the affirmative.  If you were not in line, you…smiled and shook your head? Smiled and, “Oh, no, I’m not,” and made space for the other customer to get in front of you and that was that?

Have you ever wanted to reply with the polite response in the affirmative or negative but in your head were thinking, “No, I’m not in line; I just like to stand with my back facing the snack display and stare out the windows–nevermind that the guy in front of me is obviously in line and I’m keeping a respectable distance from him but not so far as to suggest I’m not in line.” ?


If you were inspecting the items in the snack display it would only make sense for the customer behind you to ask if you were in line.  If you were doing the asking, what criteria would have to be met before you asked, “Are you in line?”.

1.  Where the person’s attention is directed.

2.  How close or far the person is standing to the customer in front of them.

3.  If the person is holding merchandise.

4.  If the person appears lost and is in line to ask for help.

5.  Where the line is forming and if there is a roped lane.  Ie., are you at a clothing store, bookstore, at the food court, a starbux, concessions of a concert venue or sporting arena.


Yes, today’s post is brought to you by a real event and real follow-up inner monologue.

6 thoughts on “Are You in Line?

  1. sportsattitudes

    I get asked all the time if I am in line. I am in line. I do not understand what part of being in a line people don’t understand, especially the ones who want the lines. And, I am not feeding you a line here…

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      I do not understand what part of being in a line people don’t understand.

      My thoughts too! Even if I were 85% or more sure that the person rummaging through the merchandise displays that flank the check-out lanes was not in line to buy, I would still ask because I wouldn’t want to assume.

      Unless, of course, the person were so engrossed with rummaging that they had no awareness of the line moving. Most of us know what that posture, gesture looks like.

  2. jammer5

    Or when you find a full cart and no person. I’ve walked in front of a few, only to be told, when the person arrives with another arm load of groceries, ” That’s my cart, and I was in line there.” And sometimes rudely at that. Most times I smile and ignore them, as they grunt and crumble behind me. But you can bet they’ll do exactly the same thing if the roles were reversed. Then again, if they got a bunch of kids and look harrowed, I’ll let em in.

    What I really hate is, “Can I cut in front of you?” I’ll usually say, “If it’s okay with the twelve people behind me.”

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      On occasion when I’m at Whole Foods or Target and only buying one or two items, the person in front of me, who has at least ten, will let me go first. I’ve learned to stop staring at them in shock and just accept their gesture of kindness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s