The Loo Queue – Minimizing One of the Worst Waits for Ladies

Oh, the dreaded women’s restroom waiting line. As their male counterparts come and go quickly and rarely have to endure a wait, women are unfortunately all-too-familiar with the waiting lines they are subjected to at the mall, a sporting event, concerts, parks, just about everywhere.

The fact is, a woman’s needs require that they spend more time in the bathroom. Studies suggest women take twice as long, on average, in a public restroom.

To combat these lines there has been a movement toward potty parity for women in federal government buildings. And in Hong Kong, laws require more space dedicated to female than male toilets.

Perhaps breaking down walls and building more bathrooms is the ideal solution, but it’s not the most financially friendly. Some engineers are tinkering with virtual-queue-friendly methods that use a Raspberry Pi computer and LED lights to notify people when at least one bathroom stall is free (kind of like the little “occupied” light on planes).

Clearly, many solutions to “loo queuing” will require bathroom redesign or the installation of more stalls. Until bathroom equality truly come to pass (or men’s rooms are better equipped with diaper-changing tables), businesses should consider a contingency plan to minimize bathroom lines for their female customers.

Here are a few ideas:Continue Reading

When Queues Become Violent: Safety Tips for Special Queues

It’s not just the rollout of a new Apple product or Black Friday crowds that can result in queue violence. This past spring, a 15-year-old boy from Brooklyn was shot in the foot when he jumped ahead in line outside of a Foot Locker where a long line of excited customers awaited their chance to buy a newly-released Kanye West-designed sneaker.

Because of this act of violence, the store delayed its opening and everyone waited even longer. Queue violence impacts everyone, even those who manage to stay out of the fray.  But what’s more important is finding ways to minimize the risks of violence and resulting injuries.

So how can you make your queue safe during rare promotions, special events, new product releases, or celeb appearances? Be proactive. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Here are some ideas:

Limit the Paparazzi

If the queue forming at your place of business has a celebrity name attached to it in any way, expect that there will be buzz, news vans, rubber-neckers. There will be crazed and rabid fans clamoring for a peek, a touch, a selfie with the celeb. In short, there will be a fuss.Continue Reading

The Great Court Closure Line Crisis

It’s intimidating enough to have to go to the courthouse for whatever reason, but when you get there and the line is out the door, this obligation becomes even more of a nightmare. Dealing with court-related issues isn’t optional, and this fact makes the recent lengthy lines at California courthouses extra tedious – visitors have no choice but to endure the wait.

The recession, staff shortages, and waning budgets have led to court closures and resulting long queues in the state’s courthouses. As a recent LA Times article pointed out, the lines aren’t just limited to people. One superior court judge discovered 20 feet of unfiled civil law documents in a clerk’s office. Backlogs like this have led to complaints from people who have divorced and want to remarry but can’t because the meager number of clerks have yet to process their paperwork for judges’ signatures. Changes in child custody orders can take up to four months (though most take far longer), and that can feel like an eternity to a child who is anticipating a new way of life.

According to the article, a woman who files legal documents for two lawyers at a courthouse spends two to three hours waiting in line on a regular basis. She now brings stickers and toys along for the children of parents who are waiting in line to try to quell their crying and boredom.

Jury selection has been altered to spare residents hours-long drives to serve at a courthouse far outside of their county. Traffic case trials can take a year to happen. Civil matters may require a two-year wait. Defendants are benefiting from delays in criminal trials because witnesses and victims may be reluctant to testify by the time of the trial, if they’re reachable at all. The delays and backlogs are perhaps sending a message that people needn’t bother to come to court. Not exactly a situation that’s creating more law-abiding citizens.Continue Reading