Feb 19, 2013

Jumping the Line

The scene (as related by Dr. Wikler to whom this happened): A long line in a take-out store erev Shabbos. 

A woman comes in and says, "I am double parked and need two chickens etc." She ignores the line of people and expects to be served. 

The person behind the counter was not sure how to proceed (you may ask, why didn't he simply tell her to get on line, I don't know, maybe she was a frequent customer he didn't want to alienate, maybe her manner was intimidating).  He asked the person he was serving whether he minded if he took her first.  The person said okay.  The other people on line were not asked whether they minded even though each one should have been asked before the woman was served.

Question: If you were on line, what would you have done? Kept quiet but seethed? Loudly told the woman to get on line like everyone else? Loudly tell the counter man that there's a line and first come is first served? Loudly say: Everyone on line must be asked whether they mind if she goes ahead?

I found it interesting when someone said to me: The way we treat others is the way G-d treats us.  How would we want G-d to treat us?

I understood this to mean that we also make unreasonable requests of G-d and are rude sometimes.  Do we want Him to be forgiving or to take a hard line with us?

Another point the person made was something to the effect of - if the person is asking, and it's important to them, why be a stickler? It's not our job to teach others.  Why not accede to their request?

1 comment:

  1. If someone in line was in a hurry, they would have the right to speak up. Sometimes though, I see an elderly person standing in line behind me and I ask them if they want to go ahead. I will also offer to let a person with one or two items go ahead of me if I have a cart load of stuff. With the aging of society, I would think that large supermarkets would have senior citizens check out lines.