...a potent blend of Miss Manners and Batman

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Waiting for You to Do the Math

Let's say I'm standing behind you at Zabar's and that I have, say, a pack of Cafe Noir cookies available at no other store in the tri-state area. Further, let's say that you have twelve bulky items and that you plan to pay with a credit card. Should you let me jump ahead of you? It's not a question of 'should.' You must.

Do the math. If each item takes 10 seconds to scan and pack up and your credit card takes an additional minute, then the transaction has made both of wait 3 minutes before I've even scanned my biscuits. My transaction will take all of 15 seconds, but the combined waiting of the two of us is 6 minutes 15 seconds (3:00 + 3:15).

But what if you let me go ahead of you? I hand my cookies to the salesgirl (there are no salesboys at Zabar's) and skedaddle 15 seconds later, and then three minutes after that, you're done, too. The two transactions have still taken the same amount of time, but our combined wait was just three minutes thirty seconds (0:15 + 3:15). You have saved a fellow American a full three minutes, during which time I plan to do something really creative that can better humanity. You must let me go ahead of you. It is not only in my best interest but in the best interest of our great nation.

I've thought this out carefully. Now step aside.

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About Me

My pesky alter ego who will set you right if you break one of the unwritten rules of getting along