Jumping the queue

A true tale of heroism that takes place not in a war zone, nor a hospital, but in Victoria station in London in 2007, during a tube strike.

Our hero, a transport journalist and self-described “big, stocky bloke with a shaven head” named Gareth Edwards, who first wrote about this experience on the community blog metafilter.com, is standing with other commuters in a long, snaking line for a bus, when a smartly dressed businessman blatantly cuts in line behind him. (Behind him: this detail matters.)

The interloper proves immune to polite remonstration, whereupon Edwards is seized by a magnificent idea.

He turns to the elderly woman standing behind the queue-jumper, and asks her if she’d like to go ahead of him. She accepts, so he asks the person behind her, and the next person, and the next until 60 or 70 people have moved ahead, Edwards and the seething queue-jumper shuffling further backwards all the time.

The bus finally pulls up, and Edwards hears a shout from the front of the line. It’s the elderly woman, addressing him: “Young man! Do you want to go in front of me?”

Author: Oliver Burkeman in ‘The Guardian Weekend,’ 28 August 2010

Source: http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/

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