Waiting in line and keeping your cool

If you want to see someone become a monster, make them wait in line to buy a Hatchimal for their niece. Hey, it’s a just the simple, real fact of life during line season! See, in November, a month that opens with an election and closes with TSA pandemonium and Black Friday, we spend a lot of time queuing up—and also a lot of time getting angry in queue. The intensity only continues in December to increase as many dumbly forgo online shopping for last-minute gifts in favor of perusing at brick-and-mortar stress incubators—I mean malls. And though the seasonal Starbucks cup next to me suggests this season is supposed to be jolly or whatever, customers tend to get, ahem, a tad hostile. But why does waiting in line make us feel so crazy and transform us into the worst versions of ourselves? Well, I could default on “waiting totally sucks,” but TBH, that doesn’t satisfy word count the way I need it to. So, I called on Richard Larson, PhD—the go-to authority on line theory who has ever-so-charmingly garnered the nickname Dr. Queue—to shed some light on why the

grumpiness and lines are like avocado and toast.