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Queuing Etiquette / personal space

LindaD3x 13 197 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 10:51AM
A bit random but if i'm at a checkout or in a queue i want at least two feet between me and the next waiting customer, I do NOT want to have him/her close enough to smell their body odour or to lean on me so that i turn round and i'm looking directly into their face! Some people have NO respect for other peoples personal space.

Its happened so many times in the past week i'm wondering if anyone else is wound up by this or is it just me...?

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Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
15 Jan 2013 11:02AM

Quote:Its happened so many times in the past week i'm wondering if anyone else is wound up by this or is it just me...?

Yes any time I can smell or here the sniffing or heavy breathing I want to move away and they come closer. It's really annoying. Although two feet may be a problem for most shops. I can cope with a foot Wink Or the ones who keep catching you with their bag or whatever.
I was in the post office the other day and someone had a bad cold. Rather than containing it they just coughed full on, no hand over face or anything and every cough was followed by a throat clearing sound and then a sniff. Repeated almost immediately the same repetitive actions. And they were not aware of personal space. You can only move so far and then you're into someone else's space.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
15 Jan 2013 11:04AM
The size of our personal space is culture dependant. Arab friends always want to get closer than I find comfortable and they probably complain that I keep my distance. On a tube train, we're often closer than 2 feet but nobody makes eye contact with a neighbour.
LindaD3x 13 197 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 11:14AM
Ok Pete 1ft in a queue I guess is acceptable but the guy that did it to me recently i'd have been more comfortable with 2 metres Wink

Yes all cultures are different, some talk to you so close and you find yourself leaning backwards. I think the standard comfort space of someone you don't know well is a 3ft cube around you or did i imagine that.
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
15 Jan 2013 11:29AM
Never a problem for me, I shop in Waitrose and it would be nice if there were actually people in the store ( other than 'partners' ), let alone the checkout queu Wink

Slight exaggeration perhaps, but shopping is much more pleasurable being able to wander around with plenty of space, unlike say, Sainsbury's ! !
NaturesHaven 6 283 6 England
15 Jan 2013 12:14PM
Shop on-line...............no smelly people, your own space (which is not yet taxed), no one looks at you, how can you avoid being looked at??? Is personal space allocated at birth.............if so how much........... Get groceries delivered, become a recluse........retire from the world.........I have.......recent experiences make me more determined to stay away from the public............GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
edtaylor 6 104 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 1:26PM
I too like my own space. I tend to move up a bit if my space is encroached. I used to have a mate who wanted to almost stand in the spot you are. Whilst standing at one end of the bar having a beer. One time I noticed we had moved all the way to the other end. I like my own space left empty.
discreetphoton 13 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 1:31PM
Proxemics are always complicated. Gender bias and the attractiveness of each party comes into play too, and the experiences of each person.
It's been argued that the increasing compromises that our culture places on personal space is just one reason that people don't talk to their neighbours as much these days. People need their space.
robthecamman 6 1.7k United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 1:45PM
wear face mask and clothes peg
LindaD3x 13 197 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 1:46PM
I wouldn't mind if Gerard Butler was standing too close in a queue Wink so I guess gender and attractiveness do come into it Tongue

Speaking to neighbours brings us to boundaries and fences and if I look at my mum's old photos neighbours had those low wire fences where you could see right down the row of houses and see neighbours all talking to each other. Now we put up minimum 4ft solid fences, bushes etc because we like our privacy. Gradual changes but a massive cultural change eventually.

I still don't like smelly people tho especially if they are too close.... soap is cheap
robthecamman 6 1.7k United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 1:51PM
guess some work hard for living sweats natural odour Smile
zan 10 62 Scotland
15 Jan 2013 2:06PM
I usually carry a rucksack over one shoulder, so if anyone's behind me getting too close I just give it a 'reposition' on my shoulder and give the too-close person a bit of a bump with it. Usually helps Smile
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 2:32PM
I had someone crowd me at our local supermarket check-out a while back.

I simply looked directly at him and smiled whilst asking if he wanted to pay for my shopping once he had checked it all out for me.

Cue red-faced abuse but he backed off and went to another queue with much chuckling from the check-out lass and a couple of others in the queue who were equally pee'd off with his behaviour.

It annoys me as much a tail-gating whilst driving and usually is done by the same ignorant & aggressive characters
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 2:35PM
Commute on a London tube and any space at all is a luxury, there is not a single rush hour journey i can remember where your not not being touched in some way - ( I don't mean like that ) - we all need to get to work and all squash up to make sure we do - if there is space around someone we all look at them worried and wonder why.

But in other queues I totally agree, i'll sometimes half shuffle forward then abruptly stop - typically Mrs too close behind will bump me but then remain clear for the rest of the queue.
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
15 Jan 2013 2:47PM
In Scotland we ask "dae ye want a shag?". It normally reaffirms your personal space...

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