Why the Other Checkout Line Always Moves Faster

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.

Why One Line Is Likely to Move Faster [YouTube via Make]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.