When you’re shopping does it always seem like your line is the slowest? You’re not entirely imagining things, statistically your line is slower more often than not. Watch this interesting video to see how research on telephone trunk lines explains holiday shopping queues.
Bill Hammack, the guy behind Engineer Guy Video, takes a moment to explain how research in the early days of the telephone industry applies to the queuing systems used in modern stores.
There’s two big take aways from the video. First, you can’t avoid selecting the slowest line most of the time in the open queue system (even if, psychologically, you feel like you’re doing a great job hunting for the best line); and second, shopping at a store with a shared queue that feeds multiple cashiers is always superior in terms of line speed.
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 12/22/10