Standing in line.

NomadTrader

Registered
So, I will admit right off the bat that I don't understand the Argentine concept of a line. I've spent two years in the country between my various trips and I just kinda accept whatever happens. Folks cut in front of me, bump my legs from behind with their carts. Whatever. I just stopped caring.

Today I was in the "10 item of less" line at the local supermarket. I was at the front of the line, someone came up to me said something, which I didn't understand, but it was clear she wanted to cut in-front of me and go directly to the checkout. She sounded so sad and pathetic. So I said that if it was an emergency for her to go ahead.
I cant imagine ever asking someone to cut in-front of them in line. Unless I was in a life and death circumstance, the idea wouldn't even enter my mind. So, if someone asks me for this, I guess they must have a very bad circumstance.

When I was at the checkout, I turned around while I was bagging my items. I noticed several people line making eye contact with me. I would call it glaring, but I could not make out anger. Just...blatant eye contact.

Of course, it wasn't fair to all the people behind me in line. I didn't exactly understand what the sad woman said to me, but I usually just try to avoid any conflict in public. I kinda stick out as the only foreigner in this small town already.

I feel unbelievably stupid right now. Like I have chump written across my forehead. I feel like I should have told her to go the back of the line. That it wasn't fair to all the people standing behind me. But I really didn't understand what she was describing as her reason. . Maybe she was having a real emergency.

There really isn't a point to this post. Just writing to random online people about an awkward foreigner situation .
 

BAHibs

Registered
As someone from the British Isles queuing is almost a religion (I almost broke down in tears in Japan to find out there was another country that valued queuing like us...), therefore queue jumping and lack of respect in general for a queue is an absolute rage inducer.

I haven't actually had many problems about this in Argentina, far less than I thought I would encounter, but in any case I've learned from my Argentine partner that telling the person in no uncertain times to get the F back to the end of the line is the best course of action with queue jumpers.

The biggest pet peeve however I have had so far is when the person behind me stands within an inch of me as if we are both Formula One race drivers awaiting the green light, the ones that start shoving their products on the belt as I'm still packing and paying take gold in the idiot olympics.
 
Foreigners get taken advantage all the time. It's a sport among locals.

And you nailed the number one reason why: Inability to fully communicate in the local language at or near a native level.

My absolute best advice to anyone in a setting where they are communicating in a second language: Work tirelessly and with enthusiasm to reach a level of ability that places you on par with others. For if you don't, people will take advantage of you in just about every situation they can.

Having said that, I have learned (Through me being in other countries, operating in a language other than my native language. Being the odd duck if you will.) to be kind and respectful of others who are communicating in my native language, but as a second language to them.

Like you, I don't want confrontation. I also don't want to take liberties with someone because I could. I want to have self respect and it arrives through my conduct and treatment of others.

You made a good thread and post. I feel what you bring up is highly important.
 
As someone from the British Isles queuing is almost a religion (I almost broke down in tears in Japan to find out there was another country that valued queuing like us...), therefore queue jumping and lack of respect in general for a queue is an absolute rage inducer.

I haven't actually had many problems about this in Argentina, far less than I thought I would encounter, but in any case I've learned from my Argentine partner that telling the person in no uncertain times to get the F back to the end of the line is the best course of action with queue jumpers.

The biggest pet peeve however I have had so far is when the person behind me stands within an inch of me as if we are both Formula One race drivers awaiting the green light, the ones that start shoving their products on the belt as I'm still packing and paying take gold in the idiot olympics.
You gotta learn to ignore it because it will never stop.

If you ignore it, you can't be bothered or upset.

Take the high road.
 

Iznogud

Registered
Being strictly logical, if someone wants your place, you should trade places and move to the end of the line. You are giving away your place AND YOUR TIME. Yours only.

If you just let someone go first, then you are abusing the time of the rest behind you. That's rude and inconsiderate.
Most morons in line don't even realise it so don't worry.

Still, there are a few of us who don't like it.

The one asking to go first should ask everybody if they are ok with this, not just the one in front. The line is there for a reason.

Try saying I don't understand an am also in a hurry. Verpiss Dich!

Regarding distances, I don't care how old or fragile you look, i'll introduce you to my pointy elbows if you provide the opening.
Hate old tarts that stick close to me when i'm paying this or that and they are all over me.
If tables were reversed, they would throw a fit because i'm standing too close to their open purses. I really don't mind the physical contact.

Nowadays, i've measured the distance between my shoulder and the fist at the opposite arm to be 100cm. If you are at knuckle sandwich delivery distance you are well within my personal space and against legal regulations.

Iz
 
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Being strictly logical, if someone wants your place, you should trade places and move to the end of the line. You are giving away your place AND YOUR TIME. Yours only.

If you just let someone go first, then you are abusing the time of the rest behind you. That's rude and inconsiderate.
Most morons in line don't even realise it so don't worry.

Still, there are a few of us who don't like it.

The one asking to go first should ask everybody if they are ok with this, not just the one in front. The line is there for a reason.

Try saying I don't understand an am also in a hurry.

Iz
That's a great logic Iz.
 

Alpinista

Registered
When I was at the checkout, I turned around while I was bagging my items. I noticed several people line making eye contact with me. I would call it glaring, but I could not make out anger. Just...blatant eye contact.
Your experience does not reflect in any way my experience here. Where ever I go, I find that people are pretty respectful in this regard and line jumping is not something I have seen many times. I even wondered at bus stops etc that there are waiting lines which are respected. You just go there and ask if this is the line for so and so and ask whether said person is the last in line. That's it. I can imagine however that if you are not at communicating in spanish that it might lead to situations as you describe.

Based on how you are writing it I am pretty sure that there is some kind of misunderstanding. Could it be that there is only one waiting line now and you were - without knowing - standing in a separate line? I see that in most Carrefours for example there is now only one waiting line even if there are various check out / counters.
 

jblaze5779

Registered
I don't give a shit about anyone else's time in the line. The people in front of my don't give a damn about my time. They don't have anything prepared to check out when it is required and they talk endlessly with the check out persons. "Oh i need my DNI? I've only lived in Argentina my entire life and I still don't know the checkout process!!!!"
I waited, they can wait.

Even when I lolligag I'm still 5x faster than 99% of locals in line in front of me.

In the states I hate feeling like the person that is in the way. But here, waiting in line like a turd is normal. Feel free to double park in the street opposite of another double parked car so you almost completely block traffic. When in Rome.
 

cafeamericano

Registered
My experience here with lines has been OK, not terrible not great. I've had a few people blatantly cut the line, an obvious street drunk almost attacked me when I told him to get to the back of the line. But in general people have been OK about lines. Certainly some oblivious people, but once you do a quick glare they realize their mistake and apologize and move to the back.

I do definitely notice the lack of respect for personal space, even in areas with plenty of space to make a line.

Probably the thing that frustrates me the most is boarding a plane. As soon as boarding starts for special groups (e.g. handicapped, elderly etc) every Argentine rushes the gate even when it's not their boarding group for awhile. They're not exactly cutting because they don't try and board before their turn, but they make it impossible to get to the gate. When I'm in boarding group 1 it's a major effort to get to the gate. It's most noticeable when boarding a flight from the US to Argentina. The gate attendants will plead multiple times with people to step away from the boarding area until your group has been called. They say this in Spanish and English but Argentines just ignore it completely.
 

wineguy999

Registered
The scenario that always has me shaking my head are the people who half-fill their shopping basket, park it in the line, then go back to retrieve another item (or seven).
 
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