Before you read this article, take a five count. Slowly inhale through your nose for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth counting to five.
Who needs a road or a vehicle to be in a rage, a shopping cart can do just fine. Some people seem to think that by pushing their shopping cart in your behind in the check-out line the cashier will move faster. I’ve also noticed people behind me counting the items in my cart to make sure there are 15 or less. (Are 10 cans of Alpo considered one item or 10...it’s all dog food.) Also when someone finally has their groceries rung up and they pull out coupons—look out! The sighs and groans that come from the line are only duplicated by the changing of cashiers or someone being sentenced to jail.
Line rage at the DMV got so bad that you’ll occasionally see an armed state trooper roaming the lobby instead of patrolling the highways. They’ve also introduced appointments.
Line rage is not always unjustifiable. It can be brought on by rude store personnel or by someone standing in line in front of you waving for their three friends to join them.
I’ve recently read in the Daily Planet of long lines and people’s discontent with poor service at the post office. Uh oh! We don’t need the public going postal too.
But all is not lost, yet. I have some suggestions.
“Not in a hurry, left early.” That’s my new mantra. It gives me, and especially those who are even more incompetent, time to handle their business.
Reading tabloids. I look forward to standing in line as an opportunity to read the Enquirer, Globe and all those other papers that I have never purchased and never will. Who knows! Maybe Elvis and Jimi Hendrix really did come from another planet. Perhaps they can even install news racks at the post office and DMV.
Be nice. Sometimes I turn to the impatient person behind me and insist they go in front of me. It confounds the hell out of them.
The five-second count. Recently I’ve had to go as high as a 10-second count. But watch out! I can only hold my breath for so long.
I’m amazed at the length some people will go to gain a few extra minutes out of a 24-hour day. We’ve all heard of fistfights and shootings on the freeway because someone wanted to get a few car lengths ahead of someone else. Impatience causes stress, and stress is a leading cause of death in America.
Beware! Those few minutes you may gain rushing about could be the cause of your demise.
Winston Burton is a Berkeley resident.