Ilivetolearn's Blog

January 26, 2006

lines, lines, lines

Filed under: Spain — ilivetolearn @ 11:32 am

This week we had several interesting queuing experiences. At Ikea, where we wanted to return two pillows, they have a machine that spits out numbers; A’s for merchandise pickup, B’s for returns, C’s for other customer service. Even though it was just after opening time, there was a line-up at the ticket-disgorging machine, and the B number we were assigned was thirty away from the one being helped. We decided to keep the pillows.

Then we tried to go to an exhibit of items from the Cairo Museum, which opened about a month ago…we figured on a Wednesday morning several weeks into the run it wouldn’t be crowded. Upon arrival, we discovered that although it is free, visitors are obliged to wait on a long line to visit the taquilla (ticket booth), and then on a shorter line leading to the actual exhibit space. Again, we gave up. It was very cold and we weren’t dressed for wintertime queue-up.

Last month, we did spend way too much time freezing while waiting to buy tickets to the Nutcracker. It was reasonably priced and right here in Pozuelo, but the tickets were only available the day of the show, beginning at 11 AM. At our arrival (11:15) there were already about 50 people stamping their feet and trying to stay out of the wind and in the sun. Each transaction at the taquilla (where there were two or three people working, but of course they did not open another window) seemed to take 10 minutes. After an hour or so they took pity on us and let us wait inside the lobby (where there is also access to the taquilla), but the rate of service didn’t change. The only thing that saved us from killing ourselves out of frustration and utter boredom was the drama of one woman “queue-barging” as they say in the UK, and being called on it by the woman right in front of us. The resulting fracas of the two yelling at each other and others getting involved was, in the end, more enjoyable than the performance itself. And longer in duration.

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