Oh! So Rude!

Sorry, I should have come up with a snappier title but I’m still too retrospectively flabbergasted by this woman’s behaviour to think straight.

Picture the scene. There’s only one guy on at the news-stand and there are a number of people milling about waiting for their coffees at the coffee counter. I have picked up my Guardian and am standing at the other counter, Guardian laid out, money in hand, ready for the news-stand guy to finish making a latte so I can pay and go and catch my train. Which is when The Woman turns up. The Woman also wants to buy a paper only, and she also has her paper and her money ready – so far so good. This puts her in the top ten percentile of all newspaper purchasers at the news-stand at Vauxhall. But here’s where she goes wrong. She walks straight in front of me, slaps her newspaper down on the counter right next to mine and starts indicating she wishes to pay. News-stand guy, who is up to his elbows in steamed milk, doesn’t see this blatant act of queue-barging starts trying to ring up her newspaper with one hand and make coffee for the coffee crowd (who were there before either of us) with the other. Me, I’m just standing there agape. The small part of my brain that’s still functioning thinks, well, in fairness, I only have a two-pound coin, so if she’s got the correct change, I’d hold her up if I insisted on my rights by going first. But no, The Woman does not have the correct change. The Woman hands over her coin, points to the paper and demands 5p in change. She then bustles off.

What really annoys me about this episode is my own cravenness in standing there and letting her do it without so much as a squeak of protest. It’s possible she thought I was waiting for a coffee, but in those circumstances you don’t barge past, you check first. Besides, the look of horror on my face should have tipped her off about her solecism. And, yes, maybe she was in a hurry and had a train to catch. But this was in a train station … where we all have a train to catch.


20 responses to “Oh! So Rude!

  1. Queuing is a lost art. I think we’re beyond the point where people can be re-educated so the only viable options is to allow registered commuters to carry and use handguns 😀

  2. I think it’s very important for the sake of all concerned that I never get access to a handgun… it would make for interesting blogging, but would quickly become very messy indeed.

  3. She wasn’t in too much of a hurry to wait for 5p!

  4. Frazzled Aunt

    It’s obvious, she was French. Did you check to see if it was Le Monde or Le Figaro she was buying…

  5. London City Soul™


    i can’t stand people like that

    what a (excuse my language) bitch, i’d have kicked her mattocks, accidentaly of course!!

  6. Some people are oblivious to others or just plain rude.
    I found this entry elsewhere today and thought that you’d like it http://20six.co.uk/venables/art/11576494/2_posts_in_2_days_#comm

  7. yorks – yes, I noticed that too…
    Flo – As far as I could see, it was Le Daily Mail, but I’m not 100% sure…
    Flighty – plain rude in this case, I think…

  8. I work at a station. I hate hate queue jumpers and if I see someone doing it I always politely* ask them to join the queue. Usually the customers who were waiting their turn sort of nod as if to say “well done” or shout over “yeah, join the queue”, but if I don’t say anything no-one speaks up. Occasionally you get the “but I’m in a hurry” reply, like they’re the only one who has somewhere to be.

    *Unless I know they have done it intentionally, in which case they get a big dose of “THE BACK OF THE QUEUE IS OVER THERE!” with much exaggerated gesturing.

  9. the trouble is that you are still young enough to put up with this sort of discourtersy.when i was your age i never said boo to a goose, but now when your my age you seem to get fed up with people doing stuff like this and not saying anything to them. anyway don’t let the b******ds get you down.
    cheers john

  10. If you or I, or any other decent commuter with transport rage issues, had access to a handgun in times like this, well… there would be no blogging to be had. Straight down the nick. Oh dear.

    (In the case of this woman, I would just have said something like “erm, excuse me, there’s a FUCKING QUEUE!”)

  11. My wife (way too polite) would have said nothing, smiled at her and when I later asked how her day went, would have burst in to tears and sobbed with rage and frustration on my shoulder.

    I (way too impolite) would have accidentally stood on her foot in a manner calculated to cause maximum damage and discomfort for the rest of the day.

    Nowt as queer as folk.

    p.s. bringing my bike down to London village next week; four wheels swapped down to two, with a 900cc engine strapped between them.

  12. Blue, you miss my point. Licsenced commuters would be allowed by law to administer swift, brutal and totaly disproportionate justice if I had my way. Annual season tickets would come with a free handgun 🙂

  13. License to the cretins clogging up the public transport system? Oh, sounds like heaven!

  14. I meant “to kill”… the important word being “kill” and being strangely absent from the above comment… oh look it’s 5pm- says a lot 🙂

  15. Yeah – that’s the thing. Give all the season ticket holders a firearm and license to use it and the result would be carnage. The Woman probably had a season ticket too … Don’t like to wait in a queue? Just gun down everyone in front of you…

    Blue soup – sounds like it’s time to go and face the commute home…

  16. Pingback: » Arm the commuterate The Model Commuter

  17. I think I sly sticking-out-of-the-leg as she left the stand might have taught her a lesson. Or is that too cruel?

  18. Commuting: red in tooth and claw…

  19. I bet she did that ‘don’t look anyone in the eye and I’ll pretend I don’t know I’m being an obnoxious cow’ routine as well. Vile critter.

  20. That’s her to the life, Pog. Do you know her?

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