The unspoken rules of queuing have always been a way of life for the British. Social Historian, Dr Joe Moran explains the history of queueing, with Laud Akoto – Menswear Floor Manager of Next retail store based in Croydon, discusses his own experiences with customers and the way in which they queue.
INS: “Thank you for calling…
OUT: How can I…”
I spoke to Dr Joe Moran on the phone – A professor of English History, at The John Moores Liverpool University and author of “Queueing for Beginners: The Story of Daily Life From Breakfast to Bedtime.” He specifically spoke about the history of the way in which the British queue. He explains, its origins, why queueing is still in our nature and whether the British queueing etiquette has been influenced by any other cultures.
I also wanted to speak to someone who would be able to discuss another angle. Laud Akoto based in Croydon, has been a part of the Next retail chain for 4 years, as Menswear Floor Manager. He spoke about his dealings with queues during the holiday seasons in particular and handling different types of customers. He explained what the retail chain does to keep its customers preoccupied whilst waiting in a queue and also touched upon the differences in culture from Britain – where he was born, to Ghana – where he spent some years growing up.
I headed off to Elephant & Castle on a wet winters evening and spoke to members of the public in a place where queues have become less and less significant: Bus Stops. I questioned them, asking what they thought were the unspoken rules of queuing and also offered them a chance to share their own joys and frustrations.