Weekend Plans Post: Queue Theory
Maribou and I are Gen-X.
In this case, in practice, what this means is that we want our mortgage bank to send us little mortgage coupon books from which we tear off a coupon each month and put it into an envelope with a check for the amount of our monthly mortgage.
This worked pretty good until around 2015. Around 2015, the bank told us something to the effect of “dude, we have online payments now! We aren’t going to send you coupon books anymore.”
So we wrote them a letter and requested coupon books. They wrote us back saying “okay, fine… BUT THIS IS THE LAST ONE.” And so, in 2017, we got a letter telling us that we either had to pay online or go to a local branch and pay our mortgage payment IN PERSON.
We, being Gen-X, said “let’s pay in person!”
And so, once a month, we find ourselves in line at our local Credit Union.
Standing in line at the local Credit Union has me considering Queue Theory. You know. The thing where you are standing at the bank and thinking “my transaction will take, at most, the amount of time it takes to write a check and print a receipt. Why am I still standing in line behind a ton of other people when there are 4 teller lines open and every single person standing in front of their teller is doing a transaction that takes 10 minutes?!?”
Part of me thinks that there should be a teller for people who want to take 2 minutes, no more, and everybody who wants to walk up there should be able to do so (so long as there are no other people in line). At the same time, all of the other tellers should be allowed to take whomever. So, worst case, the person with a 10 minute transaction walks up… no problem! They are standing next to a person who had a 10 minute transaction who walked up 4 minutes ago. Best case, they walked up next to a person who had a 10 minute transaction who walked up 8 minutes ago. And we stand and wait and, come two minutes later, both the person at the Two Minutes Or Less window as well as the Come One Come All window both yell “NEXT!” at the same time. Worst case scenario, everybody in line knows that they’ve been grinding bean at The Corner Barista for the last X hours, standing in line for another 20 minutes ain’t gonna kill anybody and so they meditate upon the points of their ergonomic shoes and think about Nothing… until the person in front of them (or maybe even themselves!) gets told “Next!”
But they don’t do that at the Credit Union. They merely have four tellers open who help anybody. When they are done helping anybody, they yell “NEXT!” and the person at the front of the queue shuffles forward with last night’s receipts and a story about something or other so that the teller can freeze, smile, and then nod while they wait for the guy to pass over the check or the cash with a little slip detailing the account in question that needs to get the money in question.
And every first Saturday of the month, I nudge Maribou and say “I should write a post about queue theory” and she nudges me back and says “if there were a better queue theory, it would have been implemented by now.”
Anyway, I’m going to spend this weekend running errands, doing chores, and standing in line.
So… what’s on your docket?
(Featured image is “Pain Du Jour Queue” by RodderTakesPhotos . Used under the creative commons license.)