Queuing in Malaysia

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Malaysians are not very good at queuing. I have been at a counter when someone else comes up beside me and asks the assistant a question. The assistant then stops helping me and attends to them. When I have remonstrated with the pusher-in or the assistant, they look at me blankly because this is usual practice here. However, if you go into the post office, a bank or a mobile phone store, you have to take a number (like the one in the photo above) from the little machine at the door and wait your turn. At any time of the day any of these places will have scores of people sitting around waiting for their number to be called. Once when I was waiting endlessly at the bank, I asked one of the assistants how long the average wait was and she pretended not to understand me though her English was faultless. Worse than all this though is that you cannot make a doctor’s appointment. Instead you arrive when the rooms open and register at the desk. You may have to wait all morning to see the doctor. I have all the time in the world so I am not sure why this practice irks me so much. I think it’s because it’s so inefficient and unproductive.

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