Cutting in line draws ire of those who wait patiently

Story by Susan Downs, Editor/Reporter

Cutting in line is one of the most annoying things. On the, the school’s news website, there was a poll on what the biggest pet peeves are. Out of the 41 votes cast, Cutting in Line had the most votes at nine and Being Left Unread in second place with eight.

People who have the patience to wait in line are disrespected by line cutters. They waltz into a line long after it’s been formed, then ask why it’s such a big deal. Those who put in the effort to get in line first deserve to get food first. It’s a big deal because the line for lunch is most often stretched throughout the cafeteria and through the door and those at the back see people just walk into the front.

I have seen someone cut in line in two different ways. One way is when someone slides into someone else’s personal space. If you are not right up next to the person in front of you, you are showing an open space for someone to slide in, like it’s their back of the line. Another way is when a person walks up to someone already in line and will start a conversation with them like they are good friends. “Hey, hi, how are you?” They think that because they have a conversation going they can just tag along in the line.

Now their argument is that we are all going the same place and getting the same food, so what does it matter what place you are in the line. This is inaccurate. There is a limited amount of time to eat, places to sit and the good food that everyone wants. Things such as cookies or milks of a certain flavor, a type of chip or even the sandwich they went up there for in the first place are limited. The cafeteria can run out of these items, so it becomes first come, first serve. The people who get there first, who were patient and got in an orderly line to get that stuff because they know it runs out or always gets taken first get cheated by those people who just cut in line.

It would not matter so much to me if it wasn’t such a big disadvantage and unfairness to those who wait in line. Cutting the line in lunch is like betrayal to your peers who are all on your team and stuck in the same place you are for four years. It’s just some common decency or common sense to just not be an entitled kid who clearly on some level think they are better than the person who was there first waiting patiently. It’s sharing and sharing is caring. It’s also a skill children learn in preschool. Clearly waiting your own turn is a lesson that needs a repeat.

Cutting in line didn’t happen in Osage Trail often and it most certainly didn’t happen at Fire Prairie, where places in line were protected and coveted. I have experienced people trying to cut in line in front of me. Just because I’m small and weak and harmless looking doesn’t mean you can cut in front of me. Calling those who try to cut out works because it’s like getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar. For most people that means they realize they were doing something wrong and are accountable for it now.

At the heart of it all, it just seems unfair and mean for those people who are too meek or shy to actually stand up for themselves and just let people take what they want and carry on with their day, lunch is some student’s’ best time of the day and it’s gets soured by this rude action.

For you line cutters out there, what comes around goes around. I hope one day it’s early and your in a rush to get to work and you are in line at a coffee shop. You’re so close to getting coffee and being on time, but then, someone walks in and you can visibly see them looking at the line. They walk and slide in behind the first person with the friend they brought with and start a conversation as if they had been there the whole time. I hope you are late to work because someone cut you in line. Then you will know that is a feeling that I experienced all throughout my high school career.