27.07.2016 - 27.07.2016
I have every respect for structure and purpose and I know that a great deal of this structure comes from the British and their heritage. Colonising the world has enabled these structures to become shape and form across the world, but it has been enlightening to witness it here in the UK where class and politeness, which was once the the cornerstone of the empire, has now some more interesting permutations.
Of course queuing has been an established practice since the Indian Empire for the British, and something that comedians have suggested the British could win Olympic gold medals in, and yesterday I got to witness the form of queuing designed by the British for the British by that bastion of wonders, British Post.
In its new iteration one selects from a touchscreen on entry the service one requires and is provided with a printed number. All very school gala when buying a ticket in the chicken raffle, but then a digital voice launches from the ether with a sound as terrifying as the call from a Butland's holiday camp,
"One 0 seven"
"Number one 0 seven"
"Number one 0 seven will be seen at counter four"
And just to be assured of what this all means, a digital display above counter four now flashes with the number 107.
You can now leave the queue and head for the flashing number. Satisfied that order has now been maintained.
After a couple of calls from the invisible mouthpiece, "105", " 109" I yelled "Bingo!"
Sharon very unhappy. Many people laughed (as the British do, behind their handkerchief), a couple out loud.
My work was done.