I stopped by my local McDonald's to pick up some coffee this morning, as I was moving slowly and wishing I could stay home and sip hot chocolate all day (seriously - snow? in MARCH???).
There were 2 registers open, but rather than one or two lines, there just seemed to be a gaggle of people standing around. I joined the gaggle at the end, thinking it was a single line, more on the left side. The register on the left opened up, and, since the guys standing somewhat in front of me and to my right were there first, I motioned to them to go first.
This enraged the guy standing behind me. According to him, there were TWO lines, one for the right-hand register and one for the left-hand. He and I were in the left line, and the other two guys were in the right. He carried on for several minutes calling the two guys rude line-cutters and made everyone quite uncomfortable, particularly me. I told him several times that I wasn't worried about it, that I had thought it was a single line, and they were ahead of me, but he just wouldn't drop it and kept calling the two guys rude to "this nice lady. How could you do that??"
As I was waiting for my coffee, one of the two guys came up and tapped me on the shoulder and apologized. I told him that I wasn't annoyed, that I had apparently misread the line (or gaggle) situation.
All in all, it was more drama than I needed first thing on a snowy Monday morning.
My question is: how could I have handled this better?