After You Buddy… (or International Adventures In Queuing…)

You’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t do anything beastly while I was over in New York, and in fact, my visit brought home a couple of things I long suspected were not ‘all bad’ about our friends in the colonies…

I’ll explain in a minute – but first, please bear with me while we rewind a few years to an incident at the BA fast check-in desk, when a small child asked her mother why they were queuing while I was wandering past the line and straight through. “Well darling,” she said, “He thinks he’s FAR too important to queue up with everybody else”.

Now my ticket allowed me to do this, I wasn’t pushing in or doing anything untoward, but I still cringe now at the memory of those words … how very ‘British’ of me ;-).

In the colonies however, a different set of rules apply entirely … On my recent trip over I had purchased some sort of special VIP pass that allowed me to go to the front of the queue when waiting for the hop-on hop-off tour bus that I was using to get from one ‘attraction’ to the next … so as I again walked past the queue, some of whom looked like they had been waiting for several hours, I really was fearing the worst…

I eventually reached the front, and made apologetic noises and conciliatory hand gestures to the poor soul who’s place I was about to take, and while I was busy trying to simultaneously shrug and point at my VIP pass (not the easiest or most attractive series of movements) the chap just smiled and said “No problem buddy, I was too cheap to get one of those – you paid for it, you stand there.”

It was exactly the same at all the other places on the trip where I had also paid for some sort of VIP access … either a separate entrance, a doorman who unclipped the barrier and ushered you through, and on one occasion, when the ‘greeter’ type person saw I’d ‘upgraded’ they all but barged everybody else out of the way to make sure I was the next one to go in…

So, two messages there then … firstly, when it says VIP, make sure it is VIP, which is something I’ll go into more detail about in the next ‘Lowedown’ … and secondly, the huge difference in reaction on either side of the pond to somebody ‘upgrading’ themselves.

What would have got a multitude of dark looks, hostile muttering and advanced tutting back here in Blighty, received very few derisive comments and more than a few grudging looks of respect in the colonies … and I’m sure you’ll agree that somebody of an entrepreneurial bent would get a lot less of the ‘so you think you’re something special’ or ‘getting too big for your boots’ treatment over there too.

I’m not suggesting you do anything as daft as  become ‘more American’ (and under no circumstances should you ‘high five’ anybody, ever) 😉 … but you would probably do well to convince yourself that, despite the reaction you get from others, there is nothing wrong with trying to better your situation, and when you succeed, accepting the rewards of efforts without guilt.

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Tim Lowe