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Some Linecutters Can be Real Turkeys

It was the evening before Thanksgiving break at my college, and everyone was rushing to get home because the dorms would be closed soon. My school required all freshmen to live on campus, but did not allow us to have cars due to limited parking. This meant that just about every freshman who did not live close by relied heavily on public transportation. More specifically, they would all be relying on the one bus that stopped in front of our student center every hour or so and went to the local metro area’s train station. In apparent acknowledgment of that fact, bus traffic to our school was doubled to accommodate (it stopped every 1/2 hour), but the line of people waiting to get on the bus was still massive by the early afternoon. It led all the way from the entrance of the student center, through the building, and out 100ft to the bus stop. There usually wasn’t a line to get on the bus, so there were plenty of people who ignored the line as they walked through the student center only to stare in horror once they got to the bus stop. They would then dejectedly turn around and head back to the start of the line. There were lots of heavy suitcases and backpacks, and all of us were looking forward to cramming into a standing-room only bus for a half hour ride only to wait at an overcrowded train station to board an even more overcrowded train. Tensions were high, but everyone was trying to keep the grumbling to a minimum since we were all in the same boat.

Then, it happened. I had finally made my way to the front of this line after waiting patiently for over an hour. The next bus was in sight, and everyone around me was bracing to finally get on it. A pair of girls suddenly steps in front of me. They were chatting absent-mindedly as they did so, as if they did not even notice me or the line of people behind them. Assuming they really did not notice, I said, “Excuse me, but there is a line of people here who have been waiting for a very long time. The line starts in front of the student center.” One of the girls completely ignores me, while the other blithely responds “I know. I’m being selfish. It’s a life-or-death situation.” Before I or any of the other astonished onlookers could respond, the girls had already climbed on to the bus. Some choice words were mumbled around me, but there was little we could do without holding up the bus so we all just shuffled in.

I can not fully express in text the apathy and entitlement in this girl’s voice and attitude. Suffice it to say that it was extremely obvious that there was no actual “life or death” involved – at least not more than anyone else who was waiting patiently on line. If there was any outward sign at all that this girl really was in a bad spot, I might have chalked it up to dire circumstances, but the girls were giggling and gossiping frivolously the whole way. I don’t know where this girl got off thinking that just admitting that she was “being selfish” let her off the hook for actually performing the selfish deed.    1025-11


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michelle C Young November 26, 2014, 4:58 am

    In Jane Austen’s novel, “Mansfield Park,” Miss Crawford admits to being selfish and says that they others will simply have to forgive her. “Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, for this is no hope of a cure.”

    This is not a serious suggestion, though.

    The jaw-dropping rudeness has the advantage of shocking people so that they can’t respond. But someone quick might say, loudly, “Oh, no! WHOSE LIFE? WHOSE DEATH?! CALL 911!” and act as if it truly were an emergency, to shame them into a bit of humility.

    These girls (I don’t want to call them women, since they are so immature) also tempted fate, and it could have turned into a real life-death situation, if the hoard of people who had been waiting in line decided to respond in a less-shocked, and more violent fashion. Road rage isn’t just for drivers.

    • AnneOR November 27, 2014, 9:25 am

      Call 911 – that is so funny!

    • Cat November 27, 2014, 6:59 pm

      Or inquire, “Then why are you laughing and joking around? Are you set to inherit the entire estate and are glad this person is dying?”

  • Enna November 26, 2014, 5:17 am

    I would have told the bus driver that those girls had pushed in. He/she should then tell them to get off the bus.

    • Yasuragi November 26, 2014, 7:37 am

      Do bus drivers really have the power to remove people from the bus for rudeness? In my experience the driver will only sigh, or half heartedly ask them to step off. If they don’t step off of their own accord nothing more will be done. The only time I recall a driver insisting that someone get off the bus is when a guy got on without paying.

      At my university the students were all provided with bus passes included with our IDs. It’s not like the driver could insist we get off and give us a refund. The city also provided free fares for children until I think eighteen years old. You cannot believe the packs of rude, entitled tweens that terrorized the bus. They screamed obscenities, threw things at other passengers and howl with loud fake laughter if anyone complained. Passengers would ask the driver to do something but they were not permitted to remove underage riders without a parent present.

      • Calli Arcale November 26, 2014, 12:54 pm

        Technically speaking, bus drivers, like airplane pilots, do have the authority to remove anyone they feel is interfering with the safe and reasonable operation of the vehicle. But a bus driver doesn’t have the backup an airline pilot does, so they do so at their own risk. Some will enforce, some will not.

    • Elizabeth November 26, 2014, 10:47 am

      Sadly not the bus driver’s responsibility. He/she drives the bus; the riders must line up and wait their turn.

    • mark November 26, 2014, 1:36 pm

      While I understand where you are coming from I can’t ever imagine this happening.

  • JWH November 26, 2014, 5:58 am

    “It’s life or death.” Too bad this is an etiquette Web site. So many ways to go with that one.

  • just4kicks November 26, 2014, 6:30 am

    While it’s no excuse for cutting in line, maybe one of them just got word of a sick/dying relative.
    As in “cousin was in a bad car crash…they don’t know if she’s going to make it”.

    • AS November 26, 2014, 7:21 am

      You are just giving the girls too much credit. They probably wouldn’t be gossiping and laughing the whole way is something like that has happened. Also. We don’t know how many people standing in the line are going home to a thanksgiving that’ll be spent in the hospital around an ailing relative, who might be in their last few hours of life.

    • The Elf November 26, 2014, 10:14 am

      Laughing and giggling? And deadpan delivery? I doubt it.

      • just4kicks November 26, 2014, 10:39 am

        @As and The Elf:
        I re-read the original post, and concluded you are both correct…my apologies.
        If there WAS an emergency, as I originally thought might be the case, the girls wouldn’t be giggling and gossiping. They do come off as entitled and rude.
        Happy thanksgiving! 🙂

      • Jewel November 26, 2014, 10:42 am

        I do. Some young women these days have chutzpah like you wouldn’t believe. Couple that with an privileged upbringing and a lack of empathy, and that exact scenario happens whenever they don’t want to be inconvenienced. They know that very few people have the authority or the cajones to address it, so they blithely go through life like social rules don’t apply to them.

        • just4kicks November 27, 2014, 5:51 am

          @Jewel: now that my oldest two son’s are dating, (they are good boys, but not perfect by any means) the young ladies that have come this house over the past few years have been interesting.
          One in particular I STILL bring up once in awhile. My boys asked if they could the two girls they were casually seeing over one Saturday to watch movies and whatnot. Sure! I’ll make a big pot of chili or something, let me know what they like to drink (soda, ice tea etc) I’ll make sure I pick up plenty. I gave a few suggestions, which in my day, would have been “whatever your mom is mom is making would be great! Thanks for the invite!” turned into “nope, Susie doesn’t like THAT, won’t touch that… ewww!” Okay, I’m a little annoyed, but am not spending the day cooking to have your little friends turn their noses up at it. We will send out for pizza or subs or something. Okay, mom, thanks! Uh huh. Movie day rolls around, my son’s go to pick up the ladies and bring them here. I see them pull up and am standing in the front hall to meet and greet them as I’ve not meet them yet. They walk in, I say, “Hello! Nice to meet you, my son’s have told me such nice things about you both! I’m Mrs. K, ….welcome! Please make yourselves at home.” The girls look at each other….And roll their eyes at each other and smirk at my outstretched hand. Oh. HELL NO.
          That was the end of the pleasantries. I didn’t say a word, gave my son’s the “raised eyebrow” and walked out of the room. I waited up until my son’s returned from taking them home and said, “are you freaking kidding me with those two?!? Rolling their eyes at me in MY OWN HOME, when I’m introducing myself and welcoming them into our house?!? Just who the hell do they think they ARE?!?” They are NOT welcome in this house ever again, I don’t care if you both end up marrying them, how disrespectful!!! I never saw them again…And to this day will mention “remember those stuck up brats who rolled their eyes at me?!?” Yes, Mom.

          • Cat November 27, 2014, 8:04 am

            I applaud you for not driving over to their homes and slapping the mess out of the parents who raised kids who think it’s ok to be rude to their hostess.

          • Kim November 27, 2014, 10:31 am

            just4kicks, “son’s” is actually sons. It’s a regular plural.

            SO sorry, I’m so OCD about apostrophe abuse (“apostophe abuse” is actually a website). Apostrophe overuse is my pet peeve. I’ll shut up now. 🙂

          • just4kicks November 27, 2014, 5:33 pm

            @Cat: my four kids don’t have shining halos, but they do know how I expect them in public and at other people’s homes. I have told them from little on up, that if somebody compliments them on their manners and behavior, it means I’m doing my job. I was floored at their entitled and rude attitudes. After that display, I must admit, I ordered what the rest of the family wanted for dinner without consulting the “princesses”. I don’t know if they ate dinner, and I didn’t really care at that point.

            @Kim: sorry…half auto correct, half laziness on my part 🙂

          • AnaLuisa November 28, 2014, 4:52 am


            Wait a sec till I pick my jaw up from the floor.

            Just4Kicks, this is incredible. The chutzpah! Good on you that you showed them a polite spine.

            I am not sure though whether I would restrain myself from kicking them out of the door directly – no more conversation, no dinner, no movies. I understand that you did this out of respect for your sons as their hosts, but I am not sure whether I would be able to sit at one table with them after such atrocious behaviour.

            Just out of curiosity – did you have dinner/interact with them that evening after what they did, and if so, how did you handle it?

            I just cannot imagine having daughters-in-law like that.

          • just4kicks November 28, 2014, 5:36 pm

            @AnaLuisa: first of all,I love your name, how beautiful!
            Yes, I was pretty gobsmacked at their behavior, and my boys know what the “raised eyebrow” means. They were very embarrassed at the girls behavior also. We had agreed to let them hang out alone in the living room all day, and stuck to it for the boys sake.
            When my husband and I ordered dinner, he asked if I was asking our guests what THEY wanted, and I said “nope. We are getting what we and the little ones like, I don’t care what the girls want.”
            I did do something, I probably shouldn’t have, later on, when I popped in to clear the dinner plates and leftovers. My oldest was on his laptop, showing one of the girls something and I said something like, “oh! Are you showing her your gay porn collection?!?” And walked out whistling…..

          • just4kicks November 29, 2014, 1:07 pm

            Oh! @Ana Luisa: I was telling my oldest about this post, and he said he once (just once, he couldn’t stand after awhile) the girl he was seeing Mom invited him to dinner. She asked what he wanted, and he said “anything you had planned is great, thanks for asking, though.” He doesn’t remember what she cooked, what he DOES remember is they say sat down to eat, and his gf turned her nose up and went and got a bowl of cereal, and sat sulking the entire meal. The mom didn’t bat an eyelash and didn’t seem to be angry or upset. Speaks volumes.
            Again, I’m not the perfect mom/wife/daughter, but that wouldn’t fly in this house.

          • AnaLuisa November 29, 2014, 8:12 pm

            @just4kicks: thanks :-))

            I think what you did was flawless – you showed them your polite spine yet you were civil all the time. I am really glad that they did not get away with it (were never invited again in your house). Actually, I shared your story today with some friends (hope you don’t mind) and they just couldn’t believe somebody could have been so rude .

            Yet your son’s experience from the girl’s family explains a lot – if her mother does nothing she must think such a behaviour is OK. It is not a service I would like to do to my kids.

    • mark November 26, 2014, 1:47 pm

      Even if it were true, I’m not sure that would justify them cutting to the front of the line in that situation. Everyone in that line had a very good reason to be going somewhere as well.

      I’m not without sympathy, I remember waiting for a bus at college to go to work and one of the girls at the stop missed her bus and waiting for the next meant she would miss her transfer and because of that she would miss her departure time @ the airport to go home for thanksgiving. In her case it was painfully obvious she wasn’t faking it (or she deserved an oscar), I went ahead drove her up to the airport and she made her flight. (She was actually in one of my classed and it took some convincing to get her to agree to it.) But you can tell most of time and people are willing to help.

      • Antonia Siemaszko November 27, 2014, 5:41 pm

        The only line thing I could see being reasonable is someone trying to organise it by who needed to get to the station for the earliest train – IE show your train tickets and people on the 1pm get out before people on the 2pm etc. But that would have had to been organised by the school in advance of the day. You can’t really get that done on the spot.

      • AnaLuisa November 28, 2014, 4:58 am

        I can imagine a situation where a person might REALLY need to get on the bus first.

        However, in such a case, I would apologize profusely to the line, show them my tickets for the train I would otherwise miss (if this was the case), or explain the situation, ask them for what I would be verbal as a big favour, and if they consented, thank them and make them understand I know I am causing them an inconvenience and that I am grateful that they were willing to help me out.

        Ironically, if I do all this, there is still a chance that they will not let me in, and I suspect that in this case, if I act polite, the chance of getting my way is slimmer than if I do what the girls did.
        Still thinking just in terms of getting on the bus first though, not from the perspective of any future relationship with my fellow students.

  • UKHelen November 26, 2014, 7:27 am

    OP: “I don’t know where this girl got off thinking that just admitting that she was “being selfish” let her off the hook for actually performing the selfish deed.”

    I had a similar thought during this incident…

    I was in a department store, waiting for the lift (elevator), which was taking its time. I was the only person waiting and when it finally arrived I stepped in, only to have a huge, cheery, apparently related group of people rush up and all try to cram in, pushchairs, elderly relatives and all. They overcrowded the lift and the last thing I wanted was to be trapped in a broken lift with them, so I stepped out. At that point they realised how rude they’d been, and as the lift doors shut behind me they chorused, “Thank you!”. I wanted to say, “You’re still rude!” but of course I didn’t.

    OP, I think your girl was even ruder, because her, “I know. I’m being selfish,” seems to translate as, “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before. Shut up. I don’t care what you think”. As for, “It’s a life-or-death situation,” I’m not sure if she’s being flippant about HER situation or rebuking you and the other people queuing, for making a ‘life and death situation’ out of waiting for a bus, i.e. needlessly complaining about her (to her, perfectly justified) behaviour. Doesn’t matter. She needs to learn some manners.

    • Meegs November 26, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Sorry, but I don’t see what they did was rude. Did you think you should have had the whole lift to yourself?

      • Ergala November 26, 2014, 8:41 pm

        If they were overcrowding the lift then yes they were rude. They could have split up into two different groups so as not to push out anyone else who was already on.

      • Syn November 26, 2014, 9:00 pm

        I don’t assume they did, but it’s kinda rude imo to stuff a large group into a lift when it’s obvious others will be crammed against them. If everyone is part of the same group in the lift then it’s fine, but if you have strangers in there it’s polite to part your group into two and for the others to wait for the next lift.

      • Kate November 26, 2014, 11:48 pm

        The rude part is the fact that they all shoved inside the elevator, probably trying to fit in more people than should actually fit in an elevator (you know, so crowded you can’t raise your arms, I’ve been in that situation) and crowded UKHelen, who was in the elevator first (like being in line first) out of the elevator.

    • iwadasn November 26, 2014, 6:18 pm

      It’s not rude to get in an elevator that already has people in it unless there isn’t room for everyone, which obviously wasn’t the case since the whole group got in before you got out. If every single person waited for a completely empty elevator, going anywhere would take forever. Elevators are build to carry more than one person for a reason.

      • UKHelen November 27, 2014, 5:25 am

        I didn’t expect to have the lift to myself, and yes it was obvious that they should’ve split their party in two because there were too many of them. That was the easy, sensible and polite thing to do. (Lifts here usually contain a notice which states a maximum number of occupants for safety reasons, and they exceeded it.)

        • NostalgicGal November 28, 2014, 3:41 pm

          I’ve been in a failed elevator, though I was the only passenger. The company I worked for buried that it ever happened very well… so no news over it. I walked away uninjured, and I still will ride an elevator, but I don’t blame you at ALL for backing off and getting off when you think it’s overloaded. (we had two and one was misbehaving some that day, I got on it as that’s the one that showed and it finished misbehaving with me on board) The number of people is a guesttimate to help prevent the cables from being overloaded, they figure 150# per person I believe….

      • Cat November 27, 2014, 8:22 am

        It’s not the number of persons, but the total weight that the cables can handle. If they were exceeding the weight capacity, there is a safety problem. It just gives a number of persons because it’s an easy way to estimate capacity without asking people how much they weigh. Maybe putting in a scale like a truck scale on the floor of the elevator would help these people.

  • Abby November 26, 2014, 8:03 am

    Those people drive me nuts. I think OP is correct though, that little can be done about it. You could try to appeal to the bus driver, but I think the odds that he’s going to get involved and throw two coeds off the bus when he’s got a schedule to stick to is unlikely.

    • The Elf November 26, 2014, 10:16 am

      You’re probably right, but I doubt I would have been able to restrain myself from loudly exclaiming the problem and hoping that shame and/or peer pressure forces her off the bus.

      • Abby November 26, 2014, 10:49 am

        Sounds like she timed her line cutting right around the moment the bus pulled up, meaning by the time people know what has happened, she’s already boarded the bus. The people who climb in after her probably would rather just get the bus moving so they can get home rather than spend the few minutes trying to shame her into leaving, which I’m sure she counted on. And I imagine the bus drivers are pretty harried, ferrying busload after busload of teenagers around all day and would greet any spats over linecutting with an eyeroll and the advice to keep the line moving.

        • The Elf November 27, 2014, 11:39 am

          I agree, but I’d probably still give it the old college try.

  • DGS November 26, 2014, 8:28 am

    How incredibly rude!

  • Lera99 November 26, 2014, 8:35 am

    I once accidentally cut in line during a rush of holiday shopping.

    The line of the tills was stretched down an aisle and half way through a store.
    I had said “Excuse me” to cut through the line so I could look at the candle and candle holders in the aisle. I was shopping for a couple female relatives, trying to keep track of my holiday budget, etc…

    And once I’d picked out my items. I just stepped backwards and joined the line. Right there in the middle of the line cutting in front of probably 30 other people. I moved forward with the queue for probably 10 or 15 minutes before my brain suddenly prompted me with what I’d done.

    Horrified I turned to the man behind me and said “Oh my gosh! I am so sorry! I totally cut right in front of you!”

    He chuckled and said “No worries. It’s not a problem.”

    But I still scooted myself out of line and headed to the back. Because even if that guy was willing to forgive my rudeness, it wasn’t fair to the other people who I’d also jumped in front of.

    These girls at your college sound like they had “special snowflake syndrome”. In attractive, young women this can be especially nasty because they are so used to getting their way. So they have no shame when it comes to breaking the rules and taking advantage of people. They will laugh while breaking the rules because they are used to people letting them get away with it. They are used to always being the exception. So you all have to wait in line, but they are too smart for that. After all, what are you going to do? Physically throw them off the bus? No one would dare muss a hair on their pretty little heads.

    On the other hand life gets very hard for those women when they start hitting their 40s and suddenly the world isn’t so captivated by their physical attributes. So you can always just be satisfied that karma eventually works it out.

    • Elizabeth November 26, 2014, 10:49 am

      You were right to get out of line. Just because the man behind you said it wasn’t a problem, you were still cutting in front of everyone behind HIM; it wasn’t his call to decide for those behind him that you could cut into the line.

    • The Elf November 26, 2014, 12:02 pm

      I’ve done the same, accidentally, when the line isn’t clear. Like you, once I realize the problem I attempt to correct it. Unlike these girls.

    • lakey November 26, 2014, 5:35 pm

      I’ve seen that happen to a relative. Superficial people who get special treatment because of their looks don’t handle aging, weight gain, and loss of looks very well.

  • JWH November 26, 2014, 8:55 am

    In NYC, I was once standing in line to into a restaurant. A pair of women, out for a night on the town, tried to jump the line by impressing the bouncer with their good looks. They got send to the back of the line. Turned out that the restaurant’s crowd trended toward gay males … so being a good-looking woman wasn’t very much currency there …

  • Markko November 26, 2014, 9:07 am

    Dear OP,
    Fear not, they will one day cut in front of someone just as entitled and rude as thy are, possibly someone who was thinking how long it has been since they caused a scene or was in a good fist-fight. The pity of these situations is that the rude people never see how their own behavior caused their present problems, so they never learn. For the rude and entitle, it is always someone else’s fault, never theirs. The biggest disappointment is that you probably won’t see then reap their just deserts. It just doesn’t seem fair does it?

  • EdV November 26, 2014, 9:14 am

    Simply reading that makes my eye twitch in annoyance. While I could share many stories of similarly inconsiderate people, I think the following is much more satisfying:

    Back when the third and final Lord of the Rings movie was coming out some theatres had an event where fans could go see all three movies in one day, the day before the third movie was released. A friend and I made plans to go and secured two of the highly sought after tickets. Knowing that whatever seat we ended up in we would have for the entire day (over 10 hours of movie watching plus breaks) we planned to get to the theatre quite early to line up for the scheduled door opening. We weren’t the only people to do so, and by the time the doors were about to open quite a crowd had gathered. Just as people were starting to be let in a young man sauntered over to the front of the line and attempted to cut in which caused the people he was cutting directly in front of to object. What happened next was, in the context of line cutting karma, glorious: the theatre staff member who was manning the door stopped everybody from entering, pulled the young man out onto the sidewalk so that the entire length of the line could see him and asked in a loud voice who in the line thought that the young man had just cut the line. Every single hand went up the in the air. The theatre employee nodded, gestured for the young man to stand next to him and proceeded to let the rest of the line through the door. The attempted cutter had to stand there while the entire line of movie goers filed in, most of them tossing dark looks his way. By the time he made it into the theatre the rest of us had settled in and he was treated to a rather loud booing and a seat waaaay up at the front.

    Whenever I see somebody cut in line I think of that amazing theatre employee and that thoroughly shamed young man, and comfort myself that line cutters do get their just desserts sometimes.

    • TinLizzie November 26, 2014, 11:13 am

      I have a similar story about movie line cutters. It was opening night for a big, highly anticipated blockbuster. We had been in line for quite a while when a couple of high school kids attempted to cut in line. When the rest of the line called them out on it, the kids said, “We’re anarchists! We don’t believe in your rules.”

      At that point, my boyfriend (6’4″, 350 pounds, wild mountain man style hair and beard) walked up to them and projecting as only a theatre baritone can, said “You’re anarchists? Without rules people like me eat people like you!”

      The kids went to the back of the line and my boyfriend got a round of applause. The best part is, my guy is really just a big teddy bear and wouldn’t hurt a fly.

    • MM November 26, 2014, 12:14 pm

      Stories like this make me feel much better about the people who get away with selfish nonsense like in OP’s story.

    • Jenny R November 26, 2014, 4:48 pm

      Shame is sometimes a very good thing. I can almost promise you that young man will never, ever, ever do that again.

    • Snarkastic November 30, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Ohmygod. I guess he “got what he deserved”, but I’m mortified on his behalf.

    • Peas December 1, 2014, 3:27 pm

      We had the same thing happen at a Harry Potter midnight premier. Someone tried to saunter into the front and almost the entire line went “NO!” I think it scared him so much, he decided it was safer to just turn around and wait lol

  • Anonymous November 26, 2014, 9:18 am

    Yes, those girls were rude, but I think this was an infrastructure problem as much as anything. I mean, look at the rules the university has set up, combined with the limits of the public transportation system:

    1. First-year university students must live in residence.
    2. First-year university students may not have cars on campus.
    3. The university residences will be closed during the holidays.
    4. The buses normally only run every hour, but for the increased “going home for the holidays” ridership, they made it every half hour…….on the day that EVERY student in residence is going home.

    Anyway, maybe that whole nightmare will teach the university and the bus company that half-hour service wasn’t enough to accommodate ALL the students living in residence (and probably others who lived in town), all going home for Thanksgiving at the same time. I can’t imagine that hourly service would be sufficient under normal circumstances either, but hey, one problem at a time. What would have happened, though, to the students who might not have made it onto the bus home, because the service stopped before everyone in the massive line got on? Would they have just been “homeless” for Thanksgiving weekend, or had to crash with local strangers, or somehow get money for a hotel/motel if there was one? Also, the OP said that the overcrowded buses led to even more overcrowded trains, so it’s just a disaster all around. When I was in university, some people left for Thanksgiving a day early, and returned a day late, but that isn’t always an option, if you have classes, or practices/rehearsals/meetings that depend on all the members’ participation, and may have strict attendance rules. Christmas is easier, as is the end of the school year, because people finish exams at different times, so they don’t all go home at once, but Thanksgiving weekend is murder, because everyone leaves and returns at the same time, and it’s a relatively short break. I’ve been tempted to stay at school for Thanksgiving on a few occasions, and I know I stayed during Reading Week and Easter also. So, the way I see it, the bus company could schedule more buses that day (and the train company could schedule more trains), or the university could decide not to close the residences during Thanksgiving, and/or they could repeal the “first years can’t have cars” rule, but the course of action they chose just put everyone in a really difficult and unfair situation. I’m surprised there wasn’t more pushing and shoving.

    • Filiagape November 26, 2014, 11:30 am

      Perhaps there are problems with the system, but how does this at in any way justify what these two nitwits did? You seem to be willing to give them a pass because the situation was difficult for them. It was difficult for EVERYONE, but the rest were coping as politely as possible. As for this leading to a change in policy, no-one but the few people directly behind these girls will ever hear of it, so it will have NO impact on policy. It would have no impact on policy even if the admin knew about it. It would just be chalked up to two rude, entitled, immature college students, a type which the administration has to cope with on a daily basis, and not an indictment to the system.

      • Anonymous November 26, 2014, 9:49 pm

        I said that those girls were rude, and I never gave them a pass, but the system is messed up if there’s a bus line going all the way across campus. Half-hourly bus service is NORMAL where I live, and I’ve lived in places where it was every fifteen minutes normally, and every half hour in the evenings and on Sundays. To set up “increased, special holiday” service to be just once every half hour, when ALL the students are clearing out of the residences to go home for Thanksgiving (out of necessity, because the residences are closed), to require first-year students to live on campus, AND to forbid them from having cars on campus, is inevitably going to resort in this kind of thing. I’m sure some students probably would have complained through the proper channels–talking to the administration, writing an editorial in the school newspaper, whatever. The way things are set up at the OP’s university, sounds like the perfect storm.

    • JWH November 26, 2014, 1:06 pm

      3. The university residences will be closed during the holidays.

      That kind of bothered me when I was an undergrad. I understand shuttering the residences for summer break, but given what we (or our parents) had to pay to live there, I think they could have let us stay during other breaks.

      • The Elf November 27, 2014, 11:41 am

        Ours did, but you had to sign something stating that you knew you were on your own for food and other services the school usually provides.

    • lakey November 26, 2014, 6:50 pm

      1. First-year university students must live in residence.
      2. First-year university students may not have cars on campus.

      These rules were also in force when I was in college. There simply was not enough parking for all of the students and staff. They can’t simply repeal the second rule if the parking space isn’t there. You are right however, that their bus situation is terrible. I had to use buses when I was in college living on campus and never had to wait through anything like that. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they need a lot more buses running between the campus and the train station before vacation breaks, and it is a credit to the students that there weren’t more behavior problems.

    • EchoGirl November 29, 2014, 12:51 am

      Depending on the college, I have to wonder how much repealing the “no cars for first-years” rule would actually solve though. Maybe it would make a huge difference, but how many of those first-years are actually from families that can afford to buy them cars or can afford to buy cars for themselves? I could see that just as easily becoming a situation where a handful of students would get to drive home and avoid the line altogether and then all the kids who can’t afford to own cars would be waiting on only slightly shortened lines. Your other solutions make sense, but I just wanted to point out as someone who has never owned a car, are there really so many students who own cars that that would make a significant dent in this line?

      • Anonymous November 29, 2014, 2:34 pm

        No, I never had a car in university either–actually, I finished my Bachelor’s degree before I got my driver’s license. There were a lot of other students there without cars, in all years, so repealing the “no cars for first years” rule wouldn’t solve all the problems (and it might require finding space for more parking), but I think repealing the “all first-year students must live in residence” and “residences will be closed during all holiday breaks” rules would put a dent in those bus lines. Of course, the most logical course of action would be to run more buses at peak times (once an hour normally, and once every 30 minutes on the day the residence clears out for the holidays, isn’t even close to being sufficient), but if first-year students didn’t have to live in residence, then that eliminates the handful of local first-year students from that bus line, as they’re saving money by living at home by attending school. If they were allowed to park cars on campus, that’d widen the radius of “local” quite a bit. If the residences weren’t closed during all the holiday breaks (I’m assuming the OP’s school makes an exception for Reading Week), then several more students would probably choose to stay at school (even if they had to organize their own food, et cetera), for whatever reason. Most of all, if the bus service ran more often, it’d make it easier on everyone–not only residential students travelling home for the holidays, and back to school afterwards, but off-campus students just getting to and from classes, meetings, rehearsals, sports practices, and other activities on a regular basis. Most university students’ lives move faster than the bus service at the OP’s school allows.

  • Shalamar November 26, 2014, 9:55 am

    Some people think that admitting to their flaw gives them a get-out-of-jail-free card. I have a friend who’s chronically late. She always chirps “I have no sense of time!”, as though that will make people say “Oh, I didn’t know. That’s okay, then!”

    • Lera99 November 26, 2014, 11:25 am

      In my early twenties I was terrible about being late to everything.
      I never gave myself enough time to get dressed, ready, and make it on time.

      Luckily a woman that I was very close friends with pulled me aside one day and said “Lera dear, I adore you. You are funny, smart, warm, and a delight to be around. But it hurts my feelings that you are always late. It makes me feel like you value your time but don’t value mine. I know that it’s not your intention, but I needed to let you know that every time you show up late you hurt my feelings.”

      It had never crossed my mind that my being late could be seen as me not caring about my friend’s feelings. So I made a conscious effort to arrive on time from then on out. It has improved my friendships and my professional relationships.

      • bloo November 29, 2014, 9:22 am


        Good for you for responding humbly to kindly meant counsel! And kudos to your friend for framing her frustration in such a loving way.

    • Calli Arcale November 26, 2014, 12:58 pm

      I think when people do that, they’re not so much expecting people to treat it like some unnoticed disability but to try to defuse the tension created by their rudeness with a bit of self-effacing humor. Of course, rude people are rude mostly because they don’t pay much attention to other people’s point of view, so such jokes usually fall pretty flat. And they rarely notice.

    • J November 26, 2014, 2:53 pm

      “If I ‘own up’ to it, it’s just an adorable quirk, right?”

  • Charlotte November 26, 2014, 9:57 am

    I’ve never commented on a post here but I just had to with this one. The behavior of the two girls doesn’t surprise me at all. I see this behavior on nearly a daily basis from adults. I work in D.C. and have been for the past decade. The best example I can give for this was one day when I was waiting for a bus. I was the fourth person in line when a man came and got in line directly in front of me. I should note that I was also the last person in line when he cut directly in front of me. I said politely to him, “excuse me Sir, but I am waiting in line for this bus too.” About this time another person walked up behind me and she witnessed this. The man turned around, sneered at me (literally) and says “SO..” and continues to stand in front of me. Well to make a long story short. It turns out that he was in the wrong line and by the time he realized it, he not only nearly missed his bus but was the last person on (and probably had to stand). The woman behind me just said “well, that serves him right…what was his problem anyway?” Indeed. I don’t understand people like him or these two girls at all.

    • Snarkastic November 30, 2014, 2:49 pm

      Ew. Shouldn’t he be starring as the villain in some movie?

  • Shannan November 26, 2014, 10:07 am

    This girl “got off thinking that just admitting she was ‘being selfish’ let her off the hook for actually performing the selfish deed” because she has probably pulled this little stunt before and she knew it would work. People like her rely on the probability that making a statement like that would shock people into silence. I’m part of the majority whose jaw would hit the floor thereby giving them the opportunity to get on the bus. My SIL would have had no problem with a witty comeback for her andthe girl would have been sent to the back of the line where she belongs.

  • Ange63 November 26, 2014, 10:11 am

    I had something simular happen once in the line for the taxi’s at the airport. There was a really long line, but everybody was waiting relatively patiently for their turn.
    Up comes a girl with the ‘I’m an inocent tourist, I don’t speak the local language’ attitude who moved to the very begin of the line. People protested in the local language what she pretended not to understand (there was a lot of non verbal pointing to the end of the line etc. so she could have understood anyway)
    Unfortunatlely for her I speak her language, so I kindly told her to wait in line like all of us. She couldn’t deny understanding at the point, haha and moved to the end of the line. People around me almost applauded 😉

    • JWH November 26, 2014, 1:09 pm

      A friend of mine was on a job site recently, and needed somebody from another contractor to move some equipment. My friend asked twice for the equipment to be moved, but the guy shook his head and said he didn’t speak English. Finally, my friend (rather exasperated) said, “Fine, I’m going to go call the police.” This got a response: “Aww, man, don’t call the cops!!!”

  • Renee November 26, 2014, 10:12 am

    I had to forward this post to my daughter b/c she is experienced the same thing at college. She doesn’t have a car at the campus (car is on it’s last leg) and lives on campus. The bus is free if they show a student ID and the lines for the bus around the holidays/breaks are crazy long. Last year she sent me a photo of the chaos while leaving for spring break. They had to place cones and caution tape to make students form a line.

    I know this doesn’t help now but maybe you can consider this for the future. Find 2 other students and share the cost of a taxi. My daughter started doing this after almost missing her train due to waiting on the bus. The taxi cost for her is $25 and they divide this by 3. Depending on luggage they sometimes get a forth person in the taxi who will sit in the front seat. Money is tight in college but it’s a suggestion that maybe you can consider saving towards.

    • Anonymous November 26, 2014, 11:18 am

      Yes, this. I remember splitting taxis with “strangers” (i.e., other people from the same university who I didn’t know), on the way back to university after the holidays, just because we were all going to the same place, and most of us had been travelling for several hours at that point, and we just wanted to get back to our residences so we could shower, eat, and go to bed. So, since one taxi per student/couple/pair of siblings/established friend group would have taken forever, we all just piled in with whoever was there. Going home at Christmas time (or Reading Week my first two years, after which I found I preferred to stay at school) was less of a hassle, because of the staggered departure for Christmas break, and because not everyone went home for Reading Week (a lot of older students stayed), but coming back AFTER these breaks was almost as big of a P.I.T.A. as Thanksgiving (both ways), because classes resumed on a certain day, and a lot of people didn’t want to return to school early (even though the residences usually re-opened after Christmas, the weekend before classes started up again), because they wanted to maximize their time at home.

    • Mary November 26, 2014, 11:28 am

      Great idea! Especially splitting the cost. Only a word of warning. If they get a fourth person in there, they might be charged an extra passenger fee so they might want to factor that in.

      • Anonymous November 26, 2014, 9:09 pm

        I’ve never heard of that. A typical car has five seats (if the person in the back middle seat is skinny and/or willing to squish), so minus the driver, that’s four people……if they can all fit in with their luggage. In my experience, I’ve seen taxi drivers charge extra for making more than one stop, but never just because the taxicab is full.

    • The Elf November 26, 2014, 11:59 am

      There’s also ride sharing. Back in the pre-internet days, this was accomplished via physical bulletin board. Probably would be way easier to do it now. Basically, person with car offers rides in a designated direction or along a route for the cost of gas.

      • NostalgicGal November 28, 2014, 3:56 pm

        My university had a huge US map just off a corner of the main concourse of the student union; and a bunch of carbon slips for Rideshare (circa 30-40 years ago) There were “Have A Ride” and “Need A Ride” You filled one out and stuck it on the two bulletin boards on either side of the big map. (left, have, right need) and would put the date you were going to X or the date or dates you could go to X; and contact info. On ‘have’ you put how many passengers you could take. And could X ‘split gas’ … then there were carbons that those interested could take. Or some with car space would just check the ‘need ride’ side and take some carbons. I did a lot of these, deadheading for some gas bucks to close to my hometown, and being dropped off to a waiting family member to finish getting me home. And setting up to go back similar, maybe having to be dropped off nearby and get in to head back. Two memorable trips. -30 and no car heat and being warned to bring a sleeping bag so I wouldn’t freeze solid; and one where we had like 9 in the car and were dropping off as we went; there were six when I was dropped off 6 hours later and the rest of the car still had three more hours. It was safe enough then, and at least you got there or got back.

        • Anonymous November 29, 2014, 2:38 pm

          My university where I went for undergrad had the same kind of board (except it was a map of Canada), and I was there from 2003-2007. So, the Internet was a thing, but we still had a physical ride-sharing board, near the physical mailboxes, because someone had gone to the trouble to make that board, the student union building was a fairly high-traffic area, and the board was still useful. I wonder if it’s still there?

    • babs November 26, 2014, 2:16 pm

      Brilliant! There’s usually a solution to just about anything when people put their heads together. And I’m sure that most parents would pony up the money to assure that their college kid got out on time to make it home for the holiday!

    • Happycat November 26, 2014, 8:47 pm

      A little off topic, but why isn’t someone sitting up front in a taxi anyway? Where I am from, the front seat is usually the first seat filled, like in any car! Is this the norm in the States ….. please be advised though, my experience with taxis in the US is based entirely on tv shows and movies lol!

      • Lis November 27, 2014, 6:40 am

        I have no idea about the US but in the UK it depends largely on whether a company is using regular cars or especially designed/modified ones. The latter usually have a sheet of plastic or glass between the front and back bits to protect the driver from armed robbery and so on.

      • The Elf November 28, 2014, 8:52 am

        I haven’t seen a sheet of glass dividing front and back very often, but it is still custom in the US to get in the back for a taxi ride.

      • NostalgicGal November 28, 2014, 3:58 pm

        Only once did I get in front with the driver, and that was pre plexi window days, always for a taxi in US I get in back.

        • EchoGirl November 29, 2014, 12:56 am

          I’ve been in the front seat of a taxi exactly twice (US). The first time it was a shared-ride cab (my city has a few companies that do this, they’ll essentially make multiple “trips” at the same time so long as they’re in the same general direction, it really cuts down on fares). The second time was at 4AM and I’d gotten 2 hours of sleep and got in the front seat pretty much on autopilot. I felt so bad for doing that to the driver (who was probably not expecting that but too polite to ask me to move) that I deliberately over-tipped him.

    • Kate November 27, 2014, 4:33 am

      @Happycat, I personally don’t sit in the front seat of taxis because I was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver when I was 18. I know it’s the exception, not the norm but since then I haven’t felt comfortable.

      • honoria November 28, 2014, 10:29 am

        Kate, I am so sorry he did that to you. Do whatever you need to feel safe.

        • NostalgicGal November 28, 2014, 4:00 pm

          I agree, do what you need to do to be safe. The only time I sat up front was we had a group going, had lots of luggage, had requested a LARGE taxi because of the luggage and they sent us a subcompact. I don’t know how that one fellow got all the stuff in there, but I was the smallest so I went up front with two overnight cases and a lapful. We tipped that driver WELL and gave the cab company a bunch of feedback (we had arranged the trip the day before!)

  • SusanB November 26, 2014, 10:19 am

    You can always out them and keep outing them to everyone around them. At the very least they will have to endure a 30 min ride with a bus full of people glaring at them. There is a time and place for shame and those girls earned it. There is no reason you can’t talk about your experience on the bus with others.

  • PM November 26, 2014, 10:35 am

    I had a friend who would “excuse herself” when she behaved rudely by sighing, “I know, I’m awful” like that somehow made it OK. Finally, I said, “Yeah, you are.” and stopped hanging out with her.

  • monkey's mommy November 26, 2014, 10:57 am

    I hate that attitude. Last week I was across the country waiting to board a plane. I took the airline that allows you to sit anywhere but you board by zone then by number. The rule with people traveling together is that if you want to board together but one of you has better boarding position, then you join the person who has the worst position. That way you aren’t cutting the line. I had woke up at 5am to be early on checking in. When we arrive at the airport your zone is called then you line up by number. The guy three spots ahead was in the right spot but started beckoning his companion. When she pushed past, I noticed her boarding indicated she was in another boarding group. The guy in front of me noticed too and asked her what her number was. Her husband said “oh, its OK, sometimes they let her get by with it. She checked in when I did, I don’t know why her number was so different. But anyway I’m sure they’ll be fine with it at the gate”. Well maybe they were, but I wasn’t. I had paid extra for my boarding position and didn’t appreciate the line cutting. I spoke up, but they ignored me and the Gate agent let her on. Glad rudeness always wins out.

  • Jewel November 26, 2014, 11:15 am

    I’ve heard about blatant line cutting, but had never personally experienced it until this summer at the airport. Dozens of us were bumped from our flight and were lined up at customer service to re-book. A young man joins the line after me. Pretty soon, he starts up a conversation with the guy in front of me, leaning forward and stepping up as he talks (presumably to facilitate easier conversation about their shared experience of being bumped). These moves put him directly at my side.

    He does the same maneuver again, bringing into the conversation the people in front of the guy in front of me (got that?!). Now he’s to my side but a little forward of me. It’s clear that he’s using his gift of gab and charisma to improve his place in line.

    He makes more conversation with the people ahead, even reaching out to the couple about four places ahead in line. Now he’s standing directly even with guy in front of me. I wait several minutes, watching him. He starts making moves to step up even further. At that point, I tap him on the shoulder and tell him he belongs in line behind ME.

    Although he knew he was totally busted, he manages to stay completely in character while he moves back as though to show he simply a good guy trying to make the wait bearable with sparkling conversation while I’m just a witch more concerned about inconsequential details like who goes where in line. Once he got back to his spot and had nothing more to gain by talking to anyone, he started playing on his phone instead.

    Lesson to him: your scheme to get your way is no match for a crabby woman who had to wake up way too early to catch a morning flight she didn’t want to be on in the first place just to get bumped to face several hours of travel delays.

    • JeanLouiseFinch November 27, 2014, 12:40 pm

      Something like this happened to me at a theme park. Six big teenagers tried to cut the line in front of me and my family which included a couple of little kids. We had all been waiting for over 30 minutes to get onto the ride. I called them out and they lied about how they had been in line all along. The good thing about a theme park is that they have security and the good thing about lines is that there are plenty of witnesses. I pointed out the long line of witnesses behind me and threatened to call security and get them thrown out of the park. They left the line. Never fool with a cranky old lady in a line. Never.

  • Dyan November 26, 2014, 11:31 am

    No I would have said to the bus driver I want the two girls removed they cut the line, and I am sure the people behind me would have stuck up for me..

  • NostalgicGal November 26, 2014, 11:51 am

    Sounds like they needed much more bus service; so that is one.
    Sounds like I would have actually stepped around the two if possible and accidentally nicked one with a bag ‘oh I’m SO sorry’ and meantime push on, and hopefully the ones behind me would do their version of ‘doorblock’ as they got on….

    I made the inter-city 3 bus trek one time, during the 1987 Twins Won the World Series and crawled Nicolette Mall (big main traffic downtown street) AFTER the parade held in their honor. I had business at the Mart; and went. At the transfer point I could get on my bus and get a seat; and with that many people downtown they were running busses every 5 minutes up the Mall…. and in four blocks it was standing room only; and we quickly had a bus conga line of nose to tail busses crawling through the debris and crowds (four at the time we fully got into the packed area) More busses joined our clot as they drug along. A man with a toddler forced the doors open and got on, and driver stopped the bus as he was not behind standing line. Man screamed about having tried for over an hour just to get on a bus, and the driver crossed arms and said if you are on the steps I can’t move. He got off. Three blocks back he could have gotten on… instead of standing in snow for an hour he should have started walking until he could get on. We started moving again and by the time I got near my stop we had 7 busses still at barely rolling and needing breathing permits… I told everyone around me I had to get OFF and people shifted and let me get up and get off, that was a real worming. Three hours later, other than trying to windrow the debris, the bus I got on to go back was almost empty, everyone was home. I think in this situation that the bus system did what they could; and cutters probably would have been physically removed by the other passengers.

    Getting a cab and splitting it might be the easiest thing to do with that heavy a traffic; and call ahead and reserve the ride… it might behoove the cab companies on heavy volume times like this to dispatch anybody they can to sit in a queue at the same area and offer a flat fee for up to so many bodies to go from near the bus stop to the train station. Someone should bring that up with the local cab company.

  • Ashley November 26, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Line cutters are SO obnoxious. I don’t live in a town that has public transport so I’ve never experienced it there, so I’m not 100% sure how I’d handle it. I’m glad the OP said something, it just sucks that the person on the receiving end was a selfish brat. Maybe if more people had stepped up and said something? How much pull would the bus driver have in this case? Or did the bus driver not even see it?

    My worst incident involving line cutting was when I was standing in line at the bank for work. It was a busy day, and I was last in a line of about ten people and there were already people at all the spaces at the counter and at the drive through. It was finally my turn and I take just one step forward towards the only available teller, when all the sudden this old man who I didn’t even realize had been behind me swoops in front of me, blocks my path with his cane, and takes my spot at the counter. Apparently he had come in very shortly before this incident happened. I could see ALL the tellers who saw it were just flabbergasted. The teller who was supposed to be helping me tried to stick up for me, she said “Sir, that woman has been waiting quite some time now, and she was next, one of our other tellers should be done in a minute” He turned and looked at me, then back at the teller and said “I don’t care” in a tone that truly indicated he did not care about anything but his own self. It all happened so quickly and the teller started talking to him before I even had a chance to react.

    My husband’s worst incident was at a convention we attend each year. He plays this game made by a company who is one of the main vendors at this convention. They do pre-releases of special items at this convention. If you don’t get the items at this convention, it’s months before you can buy them anywhere else and they have a limited amount of these items, that ALWAYS sell out on the first day. Naturally, this causes quite the line to build up. Normally it’s very tame and orderly, just very very long. I once stood in the line for my husband as he was playing in a tournament at the time it opened. I staked out a spot in the middle of the line and STILL ended up waiting three hours before I could make my purchase. Anyway, the year of this incident, my husband went to the hall early, and got a spot right by the doors so he could be one of the first in when it opened. So he had already waited an hour there before he could get to the place the line formed for the booth. He managed to get a spot quite near the front, so I was excited for him when I wandered past and saw him there. An hour and a half later I went past again and he had moved probably about three spaces. Turns out there had been an incident with line cutters and this had caused the line to slow WAY down while the cutters were dealt with. They put up such a fuss I guess that the booth had to close while convention staff came to deal with them. They wound up getting kicked out of the entire four day convention. My husband had to wait longer than usual but he got what he went for so he was happy.

    • Bibianne December 2, 2014, 11:56 am

      GenCon… the awesome, brilliant, and totally crazy, yet best 4 days of gaming!

  • Kamatari November 26, 2014, 12:37 pm

    I know this doesn’t have to do with people waiting in line, but I absolutely CANNOT stand when people in cars try to cut in line. If anything, they are one of the reasons why the line is so long to begin with! If I see someone trying to cut in front of me, then naturally I’m going to slam on my brakes. This makes the person behind me slam on their brakes, and so forth, especially if someone tries to cut in front of them. I always refuse to let them in. If I can plan my time correctly and wait patiently in line, then so can you.

    • Mary November 28, 2014, 12:48 am

      But the problem is that in most places everyone isn’t supposed to wait in one line, especially if a lane of traffic is ending and people are supposed to merge. It’s called the zipper merge. If there are two lanes of traffic everyone is supposed to stay in their lane until the point of merging and the the cars in each lane take turns going ahead.

      Unfortunately many people don’t know this even when there are signs everywhere saying to do the zipper merge and take turns. So people in one lane get resentful to those trying to follow the proper procedure and won’t let others in. Of course there are always jerks that will take advantage of situations and try and skip over everyone. Driving on the shoulder and such.

      • NostalgicGal November 28, 2014, 4:27 pm

        Most of the time when they are merging a lane off, they tell you in advance and almost everyone merges in well before do or die. Then there is someone who just zooms merrily to the end and no one wants to let them in because we merged together 15-20 cars back like nice people. And yes shoulder drivers….

        I lived in a metro that was having massive traffic issues and there was a light goldish color late model expensive car driven by a young dark haired man, heading south about 3-3:30, quite regularly. He would be jockeying through every lane, changing with a twitch, fighting for every half a car length, would drive a shoulder, and had a cellphone glued to his ear. Highway patrol never seemed to see him and he was just in SUCH a hurry to do WHATEVER was so vitally important, he was a road hazard.

        One afternoon I’m heading south in my big green old monster car, a huge thing. Mr. Car is there doing his usual dance and such, sometimes I think he stood on his seat, and. I was coming up to my exit, and there was a semi across from me in left lane doing the speed limit. I am going to have to leave soon, so I make signal to leave. Mr. Car is behind us and doing the dance and zipping back and forth behind us two looking for that 3″ of gain… Mr. Semi makes the gesture for CB, I give him ‘no’ but I use a thumb and indicate guy behind me, in front of me so Mr. Car can’t see. Coming up behind me on my side is another semi. Mr. Semi apparently called the one behind me and did some maneuvers to suck Mr. Car behind him, and the other semi came up behind me. Then Mr. Semi slowed down as I take my offramp and two semis head down the road side by side and that fellow WAS standing on his seat trying to tear his hair out and still having the cellphone in his hand. And someone called ahead. Two exits later, there is a place that Mr. Car liked to do the shoulder drive and right there at the one overpass they had Highway Patrol and they got him for sure that time. I had a friend at the courthouse and he filled me in. They had enough call in reports Mr. Car should have lost his license, but they took it for only a year.

        • Amy December 10, 2014, 11:13 am

          But.. the people “zooming merrily to the end” are the ones doing it right. As Mary said, in most places the “zipper merge” is the proper procedure. It’s really a lot less confusing and more efficient if the cars in the ending lane stay in that lane until “do or die”, at which point each car in the continuing lane should let one car from the ending lane in front of them.
          The problem with it is all of the people who won’t zipper merge, and insist on holding up both lanes by getting over in advance. Then the continuing lane thinks, “Well, I already let someone in”.. so they won’t let the person trying to do the zipper properly get over.

  • K November 26, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Definitely special snowflake behavior. This post immediately made me think of that Ellen Langer Xerox machine line-cutting experiment from the late-’70s, in which people were likely to allow people to cut in line when the cut represented a minor inconvenience, just by saying something that sounded like an excuse even though it added no new information. I wonder if this girl was entitled enough that she frequently took advantage of people’s willingness to let small rudenesses / acts of entitlement slide, due to social convention — and then didn’t care enough to represent her attitude once her entitlement led her to demand a fairly large favor (two people were going to have to wait an extra half hour as a result of her behavior!) rather than a small one.

    Also, I think the Langer Xerox experiment is pretty well-known, but I think it’s super-interesting; if you’re interested, there’s a pretty nice breakdown (and ideas about the reason behind people’s responses) here: http://www.sociallypsyched.org/item/xerox-mindfulness-experiment

  • Guin November 26, 2014, 2:17 pm

    There are days when I have to repeat to myself “I can’t police the world.”

    People that would knowingly bypass a line (whether as a pedestrian or a driver) in most cases are doing it knowingly, thinking “What are THEY gonna do about it?”. Some people are just jerks. The ones that do it by accident are usually so apologetic and try to right the wrong.

    There wasn’t anything to be done, unfortunately. Even if you had pushed ahead of them or blocked their way with your arm, they would have just got on behind you, not scooted to the back of the line. People who behave like this aren’t likely going to be “shamed” into feeling bad. They acted wrong on purpose, justifying that their time was way more important than anyone else. We see these people all the time, in every place.

    I witnessed a near fist fight at a drive-thru fast food place last week. There were two entrances to the parking lot, one clearly marked for “drive-thru” and the other unmarked. A man in a truck cut into the line of cars for the drive-thru, and then three men were out of their vehicles shouting at each other. Yes, it was unfair, but a jerk will likely always be a jerk. In my experience. 🙂

  • Anonymous November 26, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Actually, this story gives me another idea. Remember Assertiveness Heck? For the uninitiated, Assertiveness Heck is a place for victims of etiquette faux-pas that could have been fixed/mitigated/avoided altogether by speaking up. It’s a waiting room full of loud children and their parents, and a TV blaring the most annoying children’s show you can think of. Nobody there knows how long the wait will be, or what they’re waiting for, but they’re too timid to ask. There’s a receptionist there who’ll gladly answer that question/wave you back to see whoever (which would actually release you from A-Heck, since it’s more of a “Waiting for Godot” kind of situation), and this receptionist would also gladly turn down the TV, or ask parents to control their children, but again, nobody there is willing to speak up.

    Anyway, since Assertiveness Heck gained a bit of traction here, how about……Infrastructure Heck? People who set things up to be a hassle, either deliberately or just through lack of common sense, would be relegated to a place where they have to wait in an interminable line, thinking they’re going somewhere, or getting some government service done (like the DMV down in the States), and, just like the myth of Sisyphus, every time a person in Infrastructure Heck gets to the front of the line, the person there tells them they have the wrong form, and they have to go to the back. As soon as someone speaks up and says, “This isn’t working, let’s change it,” and offers a concrete solution (labelling/colour-coding the forms better, charting peak traffic times so people can avoid them, staggered breaks for the workers, etc.), then Infrastructure Heck would cease to exist, and all the people there would be released back to Earth. Complaints without productive suggestions would have no effect whatsoever. Anyway, some candidates for Infrastructure Heck would be the people who run the OP’s university, and the bus company in town, the people from my first university who were in charge of roommate-matching (I encountered many, MANY “Goofus and Gallant”-type pairings there that fell apart within a few weeks), any medical professional who runs hours behind schedule and still wants their patients to arrive early, amusement park planners who think it’s acceptable for people to wait three or four hours for an attraction, and several others I haven’t thought of yet.

    • Anonymous November 26, 2014, 3:07 pm

      P.S., When I say that Infrastructure Heck is for people who “set things up to be a hassle,” I mean, I’m envisioning it as a place for people who create situations where people are likely to break the rules of etiquette, like the girl who cut to the front of the hour-long bus line did. Yes, she was rude, but the university and the bus company should have predicted that scenario, and set things up so that it didn’t result in a stampede of students desperately trying to get on the bus home for Thanksgiving, and waiting an hour in line just to get to the bus stop (and probably waiting longer after they got there, since the bus arrival times obviously couldn’t match up with each individual student’s “reaching the front of the line” time).

      • The Elf November 28, 2014, 8:48 am

        You make a great point, but a certain degree of this is inevitable. No one is forcing the hand of adult, independent Thanksgiving day travelers, yet the day before Thanksgiving remains the biggest travel day of the year. The best thing the school could do is run more buses, set up a website for students to negotiate ride-shares, and put security there to manage the line. But the crush is still going to happen.

        • Anonymous November 29, 2014, 2:50 pm

          Of course the crush is still going to happen, but it’s almost as if the university and the bus company are trying to create a problem, by making it so that all the first-year students live in residence, all the students in residence have to vacate the residences for Thanksgiving, and, given the fact that Thanksgiving break is only a few days, it’s pretty much guaranteed that everyone’s going to be leaving and returning right about the same time, on buses that only run every 30 minutes, which is supposedly an “improvement” over their normal hourly service. Also, I’d argue that, while nobody is “forcing the hand” of adult, independent Thanksgiving travellers, the university did remove the option of staying in residence, a lot of university students can’t afford a weekend in a hotel, so even for students whose parents aren’t pressuring them to come home for the holidays, it’s not much of a choice. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the university officials, and the owner of the bus company, were sitting back with popcorn and watching all the chaos play out.

  • Carrie November 26, 2014, 3:28 pm

    My state university had a great system when it came time to go home for holidays. Most of the students lived in a big city and its surrounding suburbs downstate, and the student bus company would arrange a sale for away and return tickets. Buses left on different days, so you could leave early if you were able and grab an emptier bus, and there was no limit to the number of buses the company would order. Yes, it was cramped and uncomfortable, but for the price it couldn’t be beat.

    Students would line up an hour or two before the start of the sale, since there were so many people interested in buying tickets. One year I was towards the front of the line, and at one point people started standing up in anticipation of the sale beginning. At that time, a large group of students congregated near the front of the line, nonchalantly peering into the sales room. When the doors opened, the group, you guessed it, swarmed in like it was Black Friday and commenced their purchasing. The bum-rush held up the line quite a bit, as not only did you have to pay up front and receive a voucher to order tickets at individual tables, but the employees would limit the number of people allowed into the room. Too bad they couldn’t spare an employee to control the front of the line.

    Not so surprisingly, I saw a former, very obnoxious roommate and her obnoxious friends in the cutting crowd. Wonder if karma ever caught up with her.

  • ColoradoCloudy November 26, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Someday little miss cute is going to try that on someone who will pull her right off the bus steps by her pretty little hairdo. I wish I could be there to witness it.

    • NostalgicGal November 29, 2014, 4:28 am

      Me on a bad day…. she better not be there.

  • marbar November 26, 2014, 3:41 pm

    This reminds me a bit of the first year I ever attended the Austin City Limits music festival (held in Austin, TX every autumn). No parking is allowed anywhere close to the festival site, so most people park downtown and ride shuttle buses to and from the festival. As you may guess, there are a LOT of people who need to catch those shuttle buses after the last performance of the night is over! My companions and I were walking as part of a LONG line for a LONG time…and then, as we got close to the actual buses, a few semi-inebriated, loud, 30something (at least) guys decided that they were too good to wait in line like the rest of us suckers, and cut in. Everyone around them started berating them, but they were positively gleeful about having avoided having to wait in a long line like everyone else, and were very vocal on the entire bus ride.

    The next evening, there were barrels along the line route, with rope strung between them, and festival workers manning the line to check for line-jumpers. Now, several years later, there’s a fairly robust setup to prevent line jumpers — last time I was there, a good chunk of the route had chain-link dividers. Plus, the end-of-the-evening lines are manned by festival workers. No more line jumping issues. (Plus, I believe they also increased the number of buses available for transporting people.)

    This is what a *functional* organization does in response to line issues. I’m surprised that there aren’t more line-jumping problems at these schools, to be honest. Maybe they think that because this only happens a few times a year, they can afford to take the easy way out and ignore it?

  • Gabriele November 26, 2014, 5:01 pm

    Renee, I think that’s a great idea. You might look into the possibility of gift certificates from the cab company…for someone on a limited budget it could be a great gift. Those who shared the cab could pay her in cash and she could use it toward another expense…or a gift for someone else.

  • Cat November 26, 2014, 5:16 pm

    This reminds me of a scene from “Fried Green Tomatoes” in which two young women take a parking place for whom a lady has been patiently waiting. Their response to her protest is that they are younger and faster than she. She loses her temper and plows her larger car into their VW multiple times. She tells them that she is older and has better insurance.
    It’s hard to rein in one’s temper then dealing with folks like this.

    • admin November 26, 2014, 5:49 pm


    • Lera99 November 26, 2014, 6:10 pm

      Long Live Towanda!!!

      I adore that book and movie.

  • Immy November 26, 2014, 7:47 pm

    Wow. Just wow.

    I don’t have a car and use the bus system a lot. Because it’s a tiny town the buses are also tiny, and since there is no bus system for the local schools I have learned to really, REALLY, hate the days schools get early. The Middle School is at the very stop I have to get on/off the bus for work, and they have NO Manners what so ever. I’ve been trapped ON the bus because the kids press themselves right up against the doors as a crowd. Eventually they do move because, hello the doors CAN’T OPEN, and yet continue to stand there as a pack with no room to step off. I’ve waved my hand in their faces with EXCUSE ME I’D LIKE TO GET OFF! before they’d back up a smidgeon.

    And getting on the bus? Holy crap. Forget about a line, I’ve seen them almost push over a woman CARRYING HER BABY in their rush to get on as fast as possible. And if you do manage to get on with all the kids, you get to endure them screaming at each other and climbing all over the seats. I was absolutely horrified watching one kid try climbing up a pole because one bad stop and he’d go flying.

  • Angel November 26, 2014, 8:50 pm

    Some people are just jerks. Really. It is unfortunate that the bus driver can’t do anything about it–but in this case I think that if the whole line had spoken up she wouldn’t have had any choice but to move to the back of the line. The issue is who many people are willing to speak up. Most of us don’t want the hassle. And this is what the rude people are counting on. If she keeps it up though eventually she will meet her match. Wouldn’t it be nice to be there when that happens lol?

  • kingsrings November 26, 2014, 11:22 pm

    I used to encounter something similar when I had to go to a local food pantry several years ago. We would all line up outside of the pantry before they opened, usually an hour to an hour and a half before they opened. Without fail, friends of some of the people at the front of the line would show up right before the pantry opened and get in line with them, cutting in front of the others who’d been waiting in line for a long time! If they were confronted about cutting by us, they would just say that they weren’t doing anything wrong because their friend had been “holding” their place for them! It was so maddening! And since the pantry wasn’t open yet, there were no workers around to police it.

  • JeanLouiseFinch November 27, 2014, 12:45 pm

    This situation is tailor-made for a couple of quick cell phone photos and public shaming. Since loads of people saw what they did and they were apparently members of the college community, taking their pictures and sending it to the college paper and/or posting it to the college website and describing the incident. You could have even mocked Miss “life or death” by posting it as a plea to pray for whoever was in a “life or death” situation. If everyone was aware of her rudeness and sense of entitlement, she would be less likely to get away with it.

  • Cherry91 November 27, 2014, 3:23 pm

    This reminds me of a scene from Dead Like Me (heads up – some bad language): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xubEJp7RXyA

  • AnaLuisa November 27, 2014, 6:39 pm

    I’ve read some comments which suggest either avoiding the situation altogether (by hiring a cab), or hoping that someone else will eventually give the special snowflakes a taste of their own medicine (even willing to be there to witness it).

    I feel that this is not a solution, though. Who, if not us, when, if not now? If everyone prefers not to cause hassle by calling them out on what they have done, chances are that they will almost always get away with it, and I am cringing by the mere idea of it.

    This said, however, I have no idea what would be the proper thing to do when faced with such an incredible chutzpah? To drag them out of the bus and to the end of the line would certainly not be advisable as it might result in a lawsuit for physically attacking them. To loudly nag all the time of the bus ride would mean stooping to their level of rudeness. I am not sure whether one can reasonably expect any help from the bus driver given the situation.

    I must honestly say that I am stuck – does any of you have any idea of anything what the honest line-standers could do and not be ashamed of the next morning? Some elegant solution a real lady or gentleman would use?

  • Rieslingbamko November 27, 2014, 10:36 pm

    The girls were rude but I was more upset with your school while reading this. It sounds like a logistics nightmare. I attended a university where freshmen were required to live on campus too but they certainly provided for student parking. I would have been calling a cab, hitching, or having a relative come get me before I stood in an hour plus line.

  • Ann November 28, 2014, 7:34 pm

    My college, which was located in SmallTown, was about an hour from LargeCity (where I was from), and about 30 minutes from MediumCity. Since many students didn’t have cars, there were frequent buses on every weekend going to both cities. At Thanksgiving, when everyone wanted to leave at once, the school staggered the departures for the cities and also had the buses stop at two or three locations on their way out of SmallTown where students often went anyway (a couple groups of dorms and a couple of large apartment blocks). Many professors cancelled class for the Thursday or Friday before the break anyway. There were still lines but nothing like the wait at the OP’s school.

  • Jaxsue November 29, 2014, 11:44 am

    The most blatant line cutter I’ve witnessed was at the airport in the security line (TSA). The line was long, per usual, and as I was called up to the TSA stand (where they check your passport, flight info), a woman ran over from another line. They call YOU specifically, so what she did was really wrong. Unfortunately, the TSA agent let her go through ahead of me.. He told me he sees a lot of rudeness at security (so let’s reward it?). Maybe she was late for a flight, but even if that was the case she should have said so, along with an apology. And she certainly didn’t look harried, as I would’ve if I were running late.

  • B December 1, 2014, 8:11 am

    For everyone saying call a cab, phone family etc – you’ll probably find that most people who could do this, already have. As for hitching, I really would not recommend that.

    Sometimes logistics are just bad. Sometimes you just have to stick this kind of thing. It’s not the university’s responsibility to get students home, and the bus company is probably doing the best they can, with other areas to serve.

    When I was at uni, the logistics of 5,000 students all leaving one tiny town meant that hundreds of us would end up crammed onto the railway platform throughout the day. There was nothing to be done about it, and I never saw anyone behave like these girls – we all helped each other cram on. I still have fond memories of the drivers’ expressions as they came round the corner and saw 300 students waiting for a 4 carriage train!

    • NostalgicGal December 6, 2014, 9:55 pm

      Three uni’s in two towns divided by a river, and a few chronic overflow dorms, tied together by a bus. You could be registered at one and take classes at another (one had their classes 30 min off the other two schedules to allow such things to be easier). The bigger city had just replaced their aging fleet with some new busses. That had issues with flexing in the frame. I was on the college bus, we had come from the other side across the river and to swing by the one overflow dorm then up to the biggest campus. It was more than full. The handicap seats were flopped up (to take wheelchairs) and people were lapsitting and crammed to standing. One big dude was at the front holding on both sides and keeping everyone behind the stand line. And not everyone could get on at the overflow, so. We head a block and a half, have the green and swerve into the right turn. And the bus flexes, and drops both pieces of windshield right onto the pavement and under the wheels. We did a few funny side to sides wobbles and stopped, with blown tires. They GUESSED that we had a hundred and thirty, nobody counted. Two replacement busses were called for, campus was called and said yep we have a bunch that will be late. The busses went past the overflow and picked up nearly a bus full that hadn’t gotten on the last one, so they called for #3; and got us up to campus finally. They took every new bus off the city service while the company sent out people, parts, and equipment to fix the issue (took a month) and the student commuter got issued the oldest bus they had that still ran… but they also put on a tripper that just went from the biggest overflow to the big campus until overflow trimmed out (sometime around Christmas). I’m still thankful that bus didn’t tip when it blew the front tires, that driver deserved oak leaf clusters for keeping it up.

  • Jen December 19, 2014, 1:36 am

    I carry mace for just this kind of purpose (that and other things…). Yeah, it isn’t very nice, but watch how quickly a line-cutter bolts when they see it. And if anyone says anything, well, I would plainly say that a lack of health insurance prevents me from getting into any fistfights. Wait–this was an etiquette website, yeah? Lol.