This is not about misguided suicide attempts.  This is worse.  This is about line cutters.

I went to SIP yesterday on my lunch break.  It’s this cute little cafe in Post Office Square in the Financial District that sells organic sandwiches, salads, and teas.  It was a lovely sunny day, business people on their lunch breaks were scattered haphazardly in the downy grass in groups of one, two, or three, and I was tra la la-ing my way through the park with one of my coworkers.

We had taken lunch a little late so as to miss the flood of people scrambling to SIP like ants cascading out of an anthill, and when we arrived, we were the only two in the cafe.  I had to ask my coworker to read the menu to me, as I had forgotten my glasses that day and excessive squinting gives me a headache. During this time, an older gentleman entered, and we graciously allowed him to order before us.

While we waited for him to order his food, an order large enough to feed his entire family plus any relatives by marriage that deigned to attend this banquet, I might add, the second lunch rush started and the space between us and door quickly filled with people.

I gestured for my coworker to order ahead of me, noticing a middle-aged woman slinking down the display case out of the corner of my left eye.  I had a strong sense of foreboding, but I brushed it off.  She couldn’t really be that ballsy, not with a room full of people watching.

As soon as my coworker was done ordering, I moved forward and opened my mouth to order a free-range chicken sandwich but instead I heard,

“Two garden salads!”

At first, I thought it was my thighs finally taking control of my vocal cords and demanding that I order a salad, but it turned out to be the same woman who had slid sideways to the cash register on my left.

Both I, and the guy behind the counter, blinked at her in disbelief as she stood there, patiently waiting for him to acknowledge her order as if she hadn’t done anything wrong.

I could see his conundrum.  While on one hand, though she was clearly in the wrong, she was still a customer, but on the other hand, allowing her to cut me might piss me off.  As a previous employee of the service industry, I felt bad for him and decided to take the higher road, despite my abject annoyance with this self-righteous woman.

I caught his eye, rolled my eyes, and gave a tiny jerk of my head, indicating that he could allow this grievous infraction of line etiquette.  He looked relieved and then proceeded to take her order.  After it was completed and she was getting ready to pay, she turned around and gave mea dirty look.

No, she didn’t.

I’m pretty sure the 15 person-deep line behind me gasped audibly, but that could have just been my imagination.  Regardless, I definitely gasped.

I was too stunned to do anything as she collected her change and flounced away.  A middle-aged woman had just cut me in line, been allowed to get away with it without so much as a finger shook in her face, and then had the nerve to give me the side eye.

A word of advice, people… Don’t let that be you.  Nobody likes that person.

In general, line etiquette is as follows:

1. If there is a line, go to the back of the line and wait your turn.

2. You get one spot in line.  Your five late friends cannot join in the line with you.  You can, however, go to the back of the line with them and scold them for being late.

3. Do not ask the person directly behind you if it’s okay to make an exception to add your friends to the line.  They do not speak for the entire line and their opinion is therefore moot.

4. The only exception to adding to the line is if you are waiting for an immediate family member who will be joining you shortly, or a celebrity who will provide groan-free autographs to all who are waiting in said line.

That is all.

 Lastly, to the middle-aged woman who  needed her two garden salads and non-fat latte so fast she had to cut me and then be rude about it… you’ll get yours.

Heck, she probably dropped those salads crossing the street five minutes later.

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