There's a new book dedicated to that moment where you look around and everyone else seems to be in a faster queue than you (the worst), and it gives some top tips on how to queue properly. Because we spend a lot of our lives stood in queues, so you might as well do it right.
David Andrews, the author of the aptly titled *Why Does The Other Line Always Move Faster? *says: 'Our minds are rigged against us. Regardless of time actually spent, the slowest line will always be the one you are standing in.' He added that, if there are three queues, there is a two in three chance one of the queues will be faster than yours, while you only have a one in three chance of your line moving quicker. So it's not just you - the odds really aren't in your favour.
According to researchers at the University of Surrey, you should pick a queuing line with the most men in it because guys are more likely to get impatient and quit the queue - giving you the most beautiful gift of all: free queue space. Also, you can work some right/left mojo and always pick the line on the left hand side because 90% of the population are right handed and naturally veer to the right. Unlike you, of course. You queueing wizard.
Another top tip is, if you have the option to join a 'serpentine line' - like the ones in Primark where it's one queue and people are filtered off to different tills - then opt for that. Mathematicians working on 'queuing theory' hit upon those lines as the most effective, as it means one really slow person won't hold everyone else up. Who knew Primark had got their queues on point?
If you're really desperate, there's no serpentine line, and the left hand queue is being a proper bitch, then you can always remind yourself of how important the stuff you're buying is. Really think about what would happen if you didn't get it. According to research, people buying stuff they think is crucial or important are way more patient than those who are buying a load of tat. Yes, I'm talking to you, person standing in the Primark queue holding an owl cushion.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.