It was a Friday afternoon that I then went and the bakery was busy. There were lineups ten people long. I picked up two loaves of bread and some cheese cake for my son Tony; and then went to the back of one line that was beside a pillar. I initially made the mistake of trying to join the line by the pillar which meant actually budding in line. I saw the people lined up behind the pillar, quickly corrected myself and walked around the pillar to get to the back of the line.
I stood in the line for a few minutes when I noticed this woman standing beside me. I suspect she had made the same mistake that I had initially made and was budding in line. I tried to position myself in front of her but she stood right beside me. But to be honest, I wasn't completely certain that the woman had in fact budded in line. If she was going to contest the issue I was going to yield to her. I didn't feel particularly hot-headed at the moment anyway. Still, I persisted in jockeying for position in the line.
When the lady and I got to the front of the line, I put my purchases on the counter first. There was one clerk bagging the purchases and another ringing the purchases in. As soon as the two clerks finished dealing with the customer in front of us, the bagging clerk began to deal with my purchases and the cashier rang in one of my loaves of bread. The woman, who was short with an angles of malevolence on her face, got very angry and so I gestured to the clerks to serve her first. The woman continued to shout at the clerks. I suspect that the bagging clerk then told her that she had budded in line. This only made the woman more angry. The clerk got very angry too and another employee had to pull her away from the customer. Another customer, who stood behind me, tried to restrain the lady. He even put his hand on my shoulder till he realized that I was then a bystander. I just stood by thinking that the best policy on my part was to do nothing. I did wonder if the lady was going to direct her ire at me. Thankfully, the clerks then rang my purchase in quickly and gave me my change. However, in my nervousness, I fumbled and dropped the change on the floor. After picking up the change, I looked behind me to see a lineup of ten people just wanting the quarrel to stop so they could make their purchases.
I felt sheepish as I went back to school with my purchases. As I was saying, I was not completely certain that the woman had budded in, and may have in fact been at the back of the line when I joined it. Maybe, I should have just yielded to her. But maybe the clerks did see that she had budded in line. As it was, the incident was unfortunate. Queue-jumping is rude and if the lady had done that, she deserve being chided by the clerk. But with my not knowing for certain the she had, the proper thing for me to have done was to let to go completely.
Still I wonder. If the lady had been in the right, would she have shouted so at the clerk, particularly since the clerk served her first in the end anyway? Or did the clerk falsely accuse her? Or was the lady trying to save face?