Why Austrian Supermarkets Suck Part I: The Queues

I have been meaning to do a big rambling rant on this subject for a while, but instead I am turning it into an irregular series. Here is the first part, about queueing at Billa, Spar and all the other sucky supermarkets they have here.

Here's the starting situation. Supermarkets are understaffed, so only one checkout is open. Five customers line up patiently, waiting there turn to pay and leave.

Here’s the starting situation. Supermarkets are understaffed, so only one checkout is open. Five customers line up patiently, waiting their turn to pay and leave.


 

2_01(1)

Eventually another checkout opens. In normal places, this new queue at the new checkout is simply a transformation of the original line, where members take same places as before, each respecting their place in the original line. People can also choose to stay in the original line.

 


 

3_01

This is what happens in Austria. The second a new checkout is opened, everyone in the original line (and even people who were not queuing) rush to the top of the new line. As you can see, customer 3 has been mortally injured in the scramble.

 




It might seem like a simple, petty thing, but this is one of the many reasons why the supermarkets here in Austria absolutely suck. Please join me again in the near future where I hope to expand more on this topic. Also, feel free to add your own suggestions on how much these supermarkets suck by commenting on Facebook, Twitter, or right here!

 

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