And We Don’t Even Know How To Form A Queue

Yesterday, Naheed Store was overly crowded as every one was in a fix to get the shopping done for the first Sehaare of this month of Ramadan. I usually do my shopping before or after such events to avoid visiting stores when they are over crowded, but incidentally my cat refused to chew on his Seafood flavored stock of cat food so I had to get him something else to eat.

As soon as I stepped inside Naheed store I thought ” Ooh My God, How am I going to survive this crowd” any ways I grabbed a small basket, and squeezed inside the store. The cat food was just in front of me, I grabbed in a few packets of it and moved further inside to get a few more things. In the aisle where the spics, rice and sugar are staked, two women with their huge shopping carts were blocking almost the whole lane and as I barely squeezed in to grab a pack of “Garam Masala” which is when I spotted a kid probably accompanying one of the ladies with an empty small shopping cart completely blocking the rest of the narrow walkway, and what’s worst is that the kid is in a rage fit and refusing to give way to any one, the ladies too were pretending to have turned deaf, busy examining the pack of some spices. I politely asked the ladies to allow to exit the lane, she gave me an uneasy angry look and reluctantly moved slightly out of the way to give me space enough to barely exit this aisle …

Anyhow I encounter several other stubborn people with shopping-carts who were un necessarily blocking the space, but the worst was yet to be faced. The check-out counters were surrounded by people, gathered around in a cluster, in a quest to get their basket processed first. Yes there was a queue, actually six of them, I chose a shorted one, but I quickly learned that all of these six lines were converging to two different counters, three lines for a single check-out counter and to make things worst every second or two, some fellow with his family would cut in between the lines pushing a few polite people aside and get his basket processed without following the line. By the end I had no idea where I was, or which row to follow, I don’t know how that man came behind me, or how I was behind that old lady and when I somehow made it to the counter a man around 40/45 years of age suddenly appeared out of nowhere, he pushed me aside and placed his basket on the counter, and when I told him that there is a line he should follow he gave me an angry look, and assuming a proud stature he rudely ordered the clerk to process his basket…

It took me almost 50 minutes to purchase four packs of catfood and a packet of ” Garam masala”, In these fifty minutes I sadly learned that our society seriously needs to develop a civic sense, because we don’t even know how to form a queue.

19 Comments so far

  1. Ahmed (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 1:54 am

    I do remember someone trying to cut infront of me, I literally turned their basket upside down and all the little items fell to the ground. He looked like he was going to hit me but I didn’t say a word and simply started at him in disgust. The man threw his basket, cursed and walked out.

    This would have been awesome, if it was actually true. The above never happened. I thought this up as a possible solution but it would only make me a part of this problem.

    The solution: I’m not quite sure. To start off, I would not cut infront of anyone. The rest, I dont know

  2. Adeel (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 2:04 am

    Same is the case at immigration counter at any airport,

    I was in the queue after landing and when finally my turn came, a lady from no where forwarded her passport to the immigration official, when I complained, she said she has a young kid who is crying, and then from no where the young kid (around 50-55 years old) followed her.
    I guess that was her way of saying ‘welcome to Pakistan’

  3. shobz (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 2:32 am

    tell me about it. i remember the unruly queues at karachi airport on the 10th of sept. it took me 2 hours to get through to the fia counter.

  4. Reality_Check (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 2:33 am

    JAMASH Queue dodging, queue avoidence and queue cutting is part of our culture, this is how we establish our authority and stature in society.

    The more queues you can dodge the higher you are on the social ladder. The one place that I see “Eik hee saf mein Mahmood o Ayaz” is outside foreign consulates.

    May be its the feudal pshyche or instinct that compels us to do so.

  5. aisha siddiqa (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 2:35 am


    dont waste ppl time please.

  6. Pakistani Cricket Team HAI HAI (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 2:37 am

    ham khali wickets par ball tu seedhi kara nai sakta, queue kia khak theek karaye ge? :(

  7. Rizwan (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 6:20 am

    it is infact dillema of our society. many a times I have faced the same situation and I always shouted at the person who taking care of the counter because this is his responsibility to guide ppl to make queue or he should not entertain ppl out of queue. this is the only way to discourage the situation

  8. Saba (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 8:43 am

    This is not just a simple matter of “part of our culture”. The way we behave in public, queues and in traffic shows how we feel towards our fellow citizens. Clearly through these actions of inconsideration and self importance its clear that people DO NOT THINK OF ANYONE other than themselves. Now they cannot even be bothered to apologize. When remorse and shame escape a country’s people ill will reign. All this “Pakistan zindabad” is just lip service, people in Pakistan clearly DO NOT love Pakistan because if they did they would want things to improve and for that they have to show consideration but they will not do that.. its simply easier for them to cry about “the government” rather than take responsibility for their own actions eg. cutting in line…..everyday we are faced we choices to jump the queue or not etc. and everyday our fellow citizens make the wrong choice showing just what their character is….

  9. Sajid (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 9:45 am

    Jamash, sadly thats an ugly truth, i myself have encountered so many such events and interestingly people doing so are not even ashamed of doing such things or provide excuse to others for interfering the que, they just push you and get inn.

    I beleive an illiteltrate with some civic sense is better then such literates.

  10. Omer (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 9:57 am

    In my humble opinion, we have no shortage of Parhay Likhay Jahils….not just in terms of civic sense or traffic sense, but virtually in all spheres. Yet it is the so called fundamentalists who manage to grab headlines.

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 10:03 am

    let us attribute this as well to the current govt in islamabad. ! :P

  12. zee (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 10:25 am

    hmmmm it’s all because of MQM and Altaf Hussain :D

    (Just trying to do what doctor, MB and the lot would do if they read it already :)

  13. mantissa (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 10:37 am

    I encountered something similar at McDonalds (Tariq Road) where I was cut off by a lady when my turn was next and I had 4 people waiting behind me. I made it my point to stop the lady and tell her that there was a fairly sized line behind her and that she should respect it. After a sheepish squabble she said that ‘aap sai sorry karti hoon’ but carried on in response to which I said that she shouldn’t just apologize to me but to every single person in line behind me. Humiliation or doing the right thing? At least I spoke out!

  14. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on September 15th, 2007 @ 11:32 pm

    u proved that ur actually one of them (MQM), u guyz cannot tolerate peace.Interfering wherever (not) required. huh!

  15. libertarian (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 3:58 am

    Jamash: everyone encounters these problems daily. what an individual should not do is remain silent. Who cares if ten people scowl or growl at you when you tell the person that he is doing the wrong thing. I guarantee you there will be a few who will be behind you when you raise your voice. Every time I show my dissent in such situations a whole lot of people back me. Nothing wrong with the people, (yes some people)its just that they have lost hope and the last voice of dissent has drowned. They just need a person to verbalize what they feel and they will surely back you.
    live free or die…

  16. AJ (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    @ libertarian makes very good point.

    While I was at KHI airport waiting behind 10-15 people for my turn to go thru metal detector at lest three or four people tried to cut in the queue but each time I would leave my spot and confront the person and make a big scene and each time it worked. Folks please, you must speak up.

  17. AJ (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    @ libertarian makes good point.

    While I was at KHI airport waiting behind 10-15 people for my turn to go thru metal detector at lest three or four people tried to cut in the queue but each time I would leave my spot and confront the person and make a big scene and each time it worked.Folks please, you must speak up.

  18. Thepath2jannah (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    Whether you want to call it lack of civic sense, moral values, or awareness I personally feel it all falls in the lack of religion. All things said, it is by far the lack of understanding the true religion that lets people with an excuse to be angry for no reason, inhumanly driving skills, or abuse ot power be it airports or driver license office or passport office.

    It is this lack of understanding the essence of Islam that has led to the degradation of our values in this society and loss of importance of the words ‘Pakistani’ internationally.

  19. Balma (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

    Dear Thepath2jannah,

    I beg to differ. It is actually too much religion that has brought Pakistan to this stage – total destruction of every thing.

    One of Mahatama Gandhi’s son who was also an alcoholic had become a Muslim (in 20s I guess). When people asked him for his thoughts on his son’s conversion to Islam, Mahatama Gandhi commented that he will be very happy if his son would quit drinking as a result of becoming Muslim. I really don’t know what happened to his son (name I guess was Abdullah Gandhi). I believe that Muslims act the worst when they think they are fullfilling a religeous obligation.

    For example, check out their budtameezi at Haj. Shaitaan ko maarnay kay chakkar may hundreds ‘path2jannah’ chalay jaatay hai’n.

    Try to be a near a mosque on Friday at Jumma prayers in Karachi. Aisee budtameezi keh Khudaa kee panah. And here, I will blame our TV and RAdio Mullahs. People like Asrar-o-Ramooz Ahmed and Auntie Farhat Hashmi. They tell people to not watch cricket (Asrar Ahmed please raise your hand) and cover themselves in phantom burquas. But, they don’t tell them basic insaaniyat – form a line, wait for your turn, yield to other cars, wash your hands before eating, don’t touch your groin in public, don’t pick your nose in public. Don’t get me started now!

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