Tweet When I was a kid lining up for anything was one of my favorite things. A large part of this is due to the fact that my last name begins with A, so as a result, if not first, I was always third or fourth in line. This meant that I was always the first to go and who doesn't like being first. Unless it was one of those unfortunate days where we lined up backwards and those of us with As went to the back. And then, well, I would just be pissed.
So as I grew and lines grew more complicated, I still didn't mind. Especially since I have a knack for choosing the fastest moving line. Then I moved to Ghana. <insert long sigh>. You see the line in Ghana or cue as it is called, does not work the same as it does in the Western world. Hell, I wonder if it even follows the same concept because many days I often find myself lost on how the cue is actually working.
You see in the Western world when you go to the bank and have to stand in line there is one long cue. Everyone comes in and stands in their respective spot. As tellers become available the next person in line moves out and one moves up. Simple. Right?
But in Ghana the bank cue, or any cue for any other service is never that outright. Standing in line in Ghana is like that bad dream you have about missing the bus to school. You come in and realize their is a still calm in the bank, you would join the line, but everyone sitting down, so you are not quite where to go. Then a security guard motions for you to take a seat in the flock, so you do. You sit there patiently waiting, watching the line move and finally the person in front of you moves to the teller. Now you know you are next, a bank teller becomes available, you stand up from your seated position only to realize someone from the right of you has been called. No big deal you think to yourself, then another is called from the right. After an additional three people go before you, you start to question the security guy, aka line warden, who then tells you these people had started transactions and are now finishing them.
Yeah, I know you are looking puzzled because I used to look that same way. So let me clear it up for you, when people approach a teller and present a check they don't stand their and wait until the teller gives them the money. Instead they present the check and then make their way back to their seats until their money is ready. Weird you may think. I call it insane.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why you cannot stand at the teller window until your transaction is complete. Instead you sit back down only to stand back up two minutes later to collect your money. The bank is not the only offender though. Imagine going to KFC, you see tons of people, but no real line. Instead everyone seems to be leaning on the crowded front counter. Why you ask? Some are waiting for their food and others are just not sure how to stand in line and order; therefore they just look for an open register and approach when they notice the cashier free, even if you have been standing in front of that same register patiently waiting. Obviously when fast food hit Ghana, the memo on line etiquette in fast food restaurants didn't. I can't tell you the amount of times I have wanted to ask someone to remove their derriere from the counter so that I can comfortably order without someone staring into my wallet. What happened to ordering and moving to the side or sitting at the counter with stools until you are called?
And God forbid you don't want to conduct your business while someone is standing at the counter with you. Because then you become the onery one. I once got the look of death at the Registrar General's office for telling a woman I would wait until she moved away from the counter to conduct my business. I just thank God that sweet baby Jesus whispers in my ear or else I might have said, "Bitch, I need five feet of personal space to conduct my business." But instead I just gave her the death stare right back until she moved.
So what is the lesson of this story you may ask? When in Ghana remember cues follow Darwin's theory of evolution: "Only the strongest survive."
Until next time. Smooches.