Getting stuck in the slow lane

costco by greenwenvy08

Weird Science always gets stuck in the slow lane
[Via Ars Technica]

The theory behind slow lines: As our own science video contest is over, we’ll forward you to a video from Bill Hammack, a University of Illinois professor who’s also known as the engineer guy. In this great video that covers everything from network engineering to human psychology, he explains why some other line is always moving faster, and how to pick a store where that’s not the case.


Really nice explanation of why other lines move faster than yours. Also, that the best resolution to that is to have one line of buyers that feed multiple registers. Grocery stores do not do this – although the self-serve registers often fall into this pattern.

Often things like this will start spontaneously – one line for multiple registers. Until the line gets too long and fissions into two or more º usually because some jerk decides to move up to the front. Then everyone looks out for themselves. I love looking at them coldly and saying that there is a line here and to go to the back. interesting how often that works and everyone else is quite happy, because we all move faster that way.

But book stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble use this approach. They force it to happen rather than hoping it happens by chance. Banks also do this. And so do some big box stores such as Best Buy.

But Home Depot does not. Nor does Costco. Wish they did.Mostly why I stay away form them on the weekends.