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Marvoll1

Why is it that Chinese people seem to jump ahead of you the moment they see you in a queue?

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Marvoll1

It may be that I am the only one, but this isn't the first time this happened to me, and from different Chinese too; they seem to time when you show up, and then, deliberately try to get ahead of you in a queue, or a line to the restroom for instance, it feels like they are showing you that they are there, and that they will try to be ahead of you, or to take them seriously? It seems like an eastern passive aggressiveness to me. It does leave me feeling confused and annoyed, and sometimes, if I should react in the same measure as a response, but the thing is, they do it with their typical emotionless I didn't do anything Asian resting face as a result, I don't experience this in Europe and if I did I think we would all agree that this would be considered rude, deliberate, and dishonest, and planned out as a response; so it is very confusing to me. Does any one else have any similar experiences?

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roddy
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they seem to time when you show up, and then, deliberately try to get ahead of you in a queue

You think they're choosing to do this to you, personally?

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vellocet

You're taking this personally? Yeah, it happens to everyone.  

 

9 hours ago, Marvoll1 said:

I don't experience this in Europe and if I did I think we would all agree that this would be considered rude, deliberate, and dishonest, and planned out as a response; so it is very confusing to me.

Other cultures are different from your home?  Who would have guessed?  :shrug:

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DavyJonesLocker

don't fall into the trap like some newly-arrived-in-China foreigners and try change a nation's attitude or social norms, or you will become more and more frustrated. We all go through to some degree i think

 

It's a losing battle and like some previous posters you will end up looking like a nutcase. If you want you can try lead by inspiration, e.g. open the door for someone, give up a seat on the subway etc

 

 

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道艺黄帝

I usually call em out, non aggressively, and they'll always back off in my experience

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suMMit

It's because they see a 外国人 and think "Hmm, this 外国人 is not going to be able to communicate with the person behind the counter, they will probably have to look for someone who can speak English to try and sort this out, it's going to be a 很麻烦的事情 , I'm going to get in front of this this dillrod before it happens".

 

For a toilet, idk, I don't notice this as an issue,  usually restrooms in big public places don't have very orderly lines(at least for men). I suppose I just jostle my way in like everyone else.

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Weyland

Never happened to me. Not even once. Could be that I just have this ferocious look on me though.

Maybe you're constantly looking around the place so much that they doubt whether you're actually queuing up or not. Plus, if you're keeping the same kind of space between you and another shopper as if they were checking out money at a bank then you shouldn't be surprised that they skip ahead of you.

Also, you made an account on a Chinese language forum solely for wanting to vent about, what you perceive to be, the lack of moral character in Chinese people?

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suMMit

 

13 hours ago, Marvoll1 said:

I don't experience this in Europe

Oh, and btw, I lived in Prague for a year back in 1999, that's Europe isn't it? Same sort of thing append there

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abcdefg

I travel by air inside China once or twice a month. It's not unusual seeing the long line at the ticket counter or the long line at the security check letting someone who is almost late for a connection cut in near the head end. Was struck by how easily that worked just last week. 

 

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...but the thing is, they do it with their typical emotionless I didn't do anything Asian resting face as a result, I don't experience this in Europe and if I did I think we would all agree that this would be considered rude, deliberate, and dishonest, and planned out as a response; so it is very confusing to me. Does any one else have any similar experiences?

 

Sometimes one can be fooled by by people letting in their extended family members that have arrived late or have been waiting in a different line. The old lady in front of you sees nothing wrong with allowing her 5 siblings and cousins join her as they get close to the cashier in a grocery store. 

 

It frequently happens to me that if I have only one or two items, someone with a shopping cart full of stuff will wave me to check out in front of them. 

 

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It seems like an eastern passive aggressiveness to me.

 

You need to look up what this Psych 101 jargon means. 

 

 

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Brian US

If it happens around my neighborhood, I let it slide. Other times, I will generally say something.

 

For these discussions, I always like telling the story of my 6' 5" Canadian friend that had a man cut in front of him at a supermarket in Beijing. Friend gently placed his hands on each side of the man, picked him up, and set him down to the side of the line. Guy was so stunned, he didn't know what to do, and that was that.

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Shelley

I am surprised that people think that everywhere in the world follows the rules of queueing.

 

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ChTTay

I think usually if you call someone out for cutting in they usually back down. Regardless of in which language or where. I’ve had people try cut in before at airports in the U.K. and USA and it usually takes one person to be brave enough to speak up and then others will join in if needed. The person trying to cut nearly always backs down. 
 

I think China has got better at lining up but it depends on the time and place. Spring festival at a train station you can forget it or rush hour on the subway. Other times I’ve found it ok. Not been in a crush for a while now. 

 

When I lived in a Yinchuan, A friend and I were waiting for a taxi for ages in the pre-didi Age. Some bozo rocked up just as a taxi pulled in and got in it before us. My friend stood in the way of the door and just told him sternly to get out, that he cut in and we had waited ages. The guy got out. The taxi driver just sat mute. 

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Lu

This is my experience too. If you tell someone Hey, the line starts over there, they will usually get in it. My working theory is that many Chinese people don't 'see' other people, for them, a person is no different from a pole: if it's in front of you, you walk around it. No rudeness intended, because the person does not really exist to them.

 

Like your taxi driver, I have never seen a person in charge call anyone out on it. They just help whoever is at the ticket window/taxi door/whatever. When flying back from Taiwan I was waiting at the tax-back office at the airport. A Chinese person cut in line. The tax counter lady noticed and told the person to get in line. (The person did.) I was completely amazed she did this, since I'd never seen that in China.

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dtcamero

this happens to me a lot in china.

i think it does happen to foreigners mostly, although i've also seen people cut in front of other chinese who weren't paying attention. 

 

maybe it's because I don't stand so close to the person in front of me that my crotch is within breathing distance of their butt... as the chinese seem to do when the line up.

i prefer about 12" personal space, and this may be why some chinese think "this foreigner is just thinking, not waiting in line" or "this guy doesn't know how things work here" etc.

 

it used to get me worked up, in particular one day in shanghai after I was second in line at a 鲜芋仙, and just as the people ordering left, a young girl walked up and squeezed her body in-between my body and the counter, and started to quickly give her order. I walked over to her side, about 12", and said "噢你好,我在排队" in an unsubtle way. if she hadn't realized I was in line, she would have been embarrased, said sorry or whatever. On the contrary however, she studiously ignored me (i tend to stand out... a 6'4 pale caucasion speaking loud chinese). This revealed that she not only knew what she was doing, but had no intention of giving way... I saw she was just trying to finish and pay as fast as possible. well the clerks there aren't that fast, and so I glared at her for about 5 seconds before saying again in a louder voice "你干嘛? 不能 我吗?"  at this point she turned and looked up at me "对不起..." but what should have been a feeling of victoriously shaming a rude girl's bad manners quickly turned into regret over probably looking like an aggressive jerk. the clerk quickly took my order, and as he handed me my receipt I could see his hand was shaking. again shaking hand when he gave me my dessert.

in the end I think a more measured response is best, because as has been mentioned above, you're not going to win the war of trying to change every ill-mannered chinese person. another ill-mannered person will show up tomorrow and you have another several hundred million public shamings to go. in the process you'll probably just come out looking like a jerk and no one will learn the lesson anyway.

 

nowadays I just say in a clear but not aggressive voice ”啊 不好意思, 我先来了“ and 99% of the time they quietly move out of the way.

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DavyJonesLocker

@dtcamero yeah i was the same at the start. This is what I mean in my earlier post. You need to learn how to handle this situations , deal with it gently and pick you battles otherwise you will go insane calling everyone one (subways etc). I just say 你好,别差对吧  I think you need say it quickly rather than mull over it as resentment starts to build.

 

I do notice that in more and more places in Beijing anyway, the counter personal are not letting people cut in line. 

 

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imron
25 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

the counter personal are not letting people cut in line. 

This is the only long-term way to solve the problem.

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Weyland

You guys know @Marvoll1 will, likely, never come back, right?

Why then spend so much time deliberating over a question that was clearly meant to cause division.

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dtcamero

@Weyland i think it’s a fair topic for discussion, regardless of the OP’s intent. there are a lot of manners issues in china that are unusual in major, developed cities. 

 

like how about the scrum trying to get on and off of elevators/trains...one time i saw an elderly man trying to get off a crowded train at rush hour, but when the doors opened the people on the platform didn’t let anyone off, but just surged into the train. 

that poor man couldn’t find a way around all those people and just gave up and waited until the next stop to get off.

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Weyland
22 minutes ago, dtcamero said:

i think it’s a fair topic for discussion


mehh

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abcdefg

I have been extensively trained in this venerable martial art. In fact, I have a black belt. 

 

For three or four years I took Tai Chi class every morning outside in the park with a bunch of locals. Most practitioners were elderly females, as was the teacher. After class if the weather was nice, half a dozen or so of us would sometimes go on a shopping expedition to some interesting market or other and then have lunch, followed by mah jiang over tea. 

 

They sometimes invited me along. We always took the bus. They all had "aixin ka" 爱心卡 free bus travel cards, which made that too attractive to pas up. Under their guidance, I learned the gentle art of the scrum. The movement is not entirely forward directed, it involves a good bit of vigorous laterality to unbalance competitors before the bus steps are actually reached. This "opens a hole" in the ranks of the enemy. Elbows work well, but should not be conspicuous. A benign friendly smile is a good thing while conducting this combat; makes it somewhat less likely that you will get decked by some upstart. 

 

They had the ability to maintain an aura of "sweet gray-haired old auntie" while at the same time relentlessly shoving ahead. The more body area pressed against the person you are trying to edge out the better. Cannot be shy or modest about this since it has a useful unsettling effect. Sometimes after a particularly vicious move, one says "Oh, excuse me" as if it were an accident; but it's done without backing down or giving way. 

 

They also taught me a few things about "jiang jia" 讲价 (dictionary translation "discussing the price.") It was a matter of pride never to give what was initially asked. In particular, if I wanted to make a purchase, they gathered around me and created a loud chorus of "pianyi yidian ba" 便宜一点吧 ("cheaper, cheaper") shaming and exhorting the laoban 老板 (boss or vendor) to cut prices to the bone. Any seller who didn't yield would be left in tears as our little flock moved on to try our luck at the next concession. They were very protective of my finances. 

 

(Some of this is tongue in cheek, in case it is not apparent.)  

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