Oddly Enough

How long is it reasonable to stand in line?

LONDON (Reuters) - A nation renowned for the art of queuing may be losing its patience, a survey has shown, with the average British adult able to stand in line for only 10 minutes and 42 seconds before tempers start to fray.

The most loathed lines were in supermarkets, followed by the Post Office and airport check-in and security.

Older respondents over 55 became restless in a queue nearly three minutes before younger people but those aged under 35 were more likely to take their frustration out on those around them.

Two thirds of respondents said “faffing,” or dawdling, by those in front of them was the thing they hated most.

Most Brits would rather avoid queues entirely, with eight in 10 adults instead choosing to pay their bills online, according to the survey by the Payments Council, the body for setting payment strategy in Britain.

The online poll of 2,006 adults found that one in five people do their shopping at night to avoid the lines.

“Our research shows that more of us are waking up to the fact that you can skip the queue altogether, saving time and money, by using ‘queue dodging tactics’ like internet shopping, online banking and paying bills electronically,” said a council spokeswoman.

Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Steve Addison