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The other morning I went into a gas station to prepay on my gas pump. There was a woman at the register cashing in winning lottery tickets, and another woman behind her. I fell in place as #3, wishing I could have just paid at the pump, but that morning all I had was cash.

The lottery machine is down the counter by another register that was not open – this is where the lottery lady and the cashier had moved to in order to complete her transaction. An old woman walked in, saw me and the other woman waiting in line, and walked over to the second register. I eyed her suspiciously, but knew that the cashier wouldn’t take her before us. After all, we were here first.

When lottery lady walked off with her 23 tickets (and hopes of hitting it rich), the old woman stepped right up and began her business with the cashier. I looked at the woman in line in front of me and said, “Well that’s not right…” to which she replied, “I was here before her.”

Apparently the cashier, who I know from first hand experience is a miserable old man, could have given a rat’s ass who was next in line.

Another case in point – we’ve all been at a grocery store with too few cashiers open. The lines grow long until they finally announce “Aisle 5 is open with no line!” In my world, the folks who were already in line should get first dibs at life in the fast lane. But no…it’s always some tool who wasn’t even in line yet that zooms his cart to the aisle. Sometimes I find that I am in position to be that tool…but I always offer the place in front of me to someone who was already waiting.

Or take the deli counter. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who pushed their cart up to the counter first. In my world, when the deli dude asks “who’s next?” it’s customary (and polite) to turn to your fellow shopper and ask permission to go next…or to relinquish your turn and let them go first. Folks who just barge up and ask for two pounds of baloney are dickheads.

Then there are the car cutters. Those folks at an intersection that can’t wait the extra 6 seconds it would take for your car to pass. No, even though there is nobody behind you, they feel the need to insert their vehicle between you and the car you were trying to keep a safe distance in front of you.

I hate line cutters. I really do. Is there a special something in their molecular make up that leads them to believe that they are above waiting their turn? Some sense of privilege that I am not privy to? The only thing I hate more than line cutters is my inability to call them on it. Like George McFly, I’m not very good at confrontations. I usually rely on the wrath and big mouths of others to set these assholes straight.

Folks, it’s the holidays, where lines are long and the roads are crowded. If you find yourself in one of the aforementioned situations, stop, think, and wait your turn.  And if you see someone cutting, call them out on it for those of us too meek to do it for ourselves.

If all else fails, just sing along with Spongebob Squarepants…”Don’t be a jerk. It’s Christmas!”

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