Majority polled say they would tell queue-jumper off

Majority polled say they would tell queue-jumper off
Dilemma: Would you tell a queue-jumper off and risk confrontation?

If someone were to cut the queue in front of you, would you tell the person off or keep quiet to avoid a potential confrontation?

Of the 20 people polled at random by The New Paper yesterday, 14 said they would speak up and ask the queue-jumper to line up like everyone else.

Mr Brandon Dass, a 24-year-old student at the SAE Institute, said he would politely ask the person to move to the back of the queue.

"If he or she ignores me, I would raise my voice and repeat the request to alert other people in the queue that someone is trying to cut in," he said.


Mr Dass added that the queue-cutter may then feel pressured to toe the line. "I feel that this is the moral thing to do. I would speak up not just for myself, but for the others waiting in line as well."

Madam Neeraja Rao, a 40-year-old housewife, also feels that most people would not remain passive in such situations.

"If someone cuts the line in front of me, I'll tell them to move to the back. I'm sure that the others standing in line will tell them to do so too, because I've seen other Singaporeans do it before," she said.

Some of those polled said they would tailor their response depending on the situation.

"If the person cutting the queue is old, clearly rushing for time, or if he asks me before standing in front of me, I would just let the person go before me," said management executive Jack Lau, 25.

Others, such as Meridian Junior College student Jasmine Tan, 18, said they would complain loudly to their friends to make sure the queue-cutter gets the hint.

The six who said they would refrain from saying anything felt that engaging a queue-cutter was not worth the hassle.

"This is a small matter to me. I have a high level of tolerance and I don't think I would waste my time by telling someone not to cut the queue," maintained Miss Nurhidayah, a 21-year-old Republic Polytechnic student.

Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan said that as queueing becomes common practice in most places here, the people here should also be more vocal when faced with a queue-jumper.

"When someone cuts the queue, it is not just one person who is affected, but everyone else in the queue," said Dr Wan.

"Singaporeans should develop a culture of collective enforcement, where other people in the queue also politely ask the jumper to get in line.

"If everyone chimes in, the person may not be so bold to insist on his or her own way."

This article was first published on July 25, 2014.
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