A Fine LineThe case for queueing.

A Fine LineThe case for queueing.

For many, “queue” is a byword for tedium; it’s time mired in the mundane when you could be out there being your best self. It’s a blip in a lunch break, a vacuum in an otherwise fulfilling day.
 
Our animosity toward lines has been well-researched—as have ways to mitigate it. According to queue psychologists, the answer to making waiting in line less irksome isn’t necessarily to minimize the amount of time spent toe-tapping. As “Dr. Queue,” the MIT professor Richard Larson, put it to The New York Times: “Often the psychology of queuing is more important than the statistics of the wait itself.” Research has shown that much of our displeasure comes from the specifics of the experience—from the boredom to any perceived grievances: here’s looking at you, line cutter...

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