What it Means to be a Brit

I catch the bus to work every morning. Sometimes I am there on my own. Sometimes another few people are waiting in line with me. Most of the time, I am the last to join the queue. Rarely do I reach the stop, and therefore the beginning of the queue, first.

This is all very simple. Everyone knows how to queue. Everyone understands that whoever reached the bus stop first should get on the bus first. It’s simple, right?

Not for everyone, it would seem. A few mornings a week, two schoolchildren catch the bus as well – both boys, they must be about 10 or 11 at a guess. They wear the embarrassing red and blue caps and shorts that denote their public school status. They often reach the bus stop last, running to meet the bus, giggling all the way. Aww, what cute, joyful children, I thought when I first saw them. This opinion soon disappeared when they proceeded to board the bus before me but I decided to let them off, figuring that, as they were in a rush, they may not have known I was waiting for that particular ride.

But it happened again. And this time, they had time to wait at the bus stop. They had time to notice that Iand another chap were there first and yet still, on they got.

Now, I realise that due to my ludicrous reverse-snobbery-chip-on-my-shoulder, I have a dislike of public schools and anything elitist in general. I believe that public school teaching can bring children up to think they’re superior to everyone else just because their parents happen to have white collar jobs. I know this isn’t a popular opinion and makes me small-minded and bitter but that’s how it goes. So, already I hadn’t exactly wormed to these children and then they go and queue-jump. It makes  me wonder just what they are being taught at these schools if they don’t understand the simple rules of queuing.

I know, I know, I know some may think this makes me sound like a grumpy old woman (and with 28 looming on Friday, I shouldn’t be taking any chances) or do lack of manners bug everyone? Am I being woeful intolerant or completely sensible?

I won’t point out their error, of course. Obviously, as a good English lady, I will grit my teeth and smile politely as they barge in front of me to get on the bus first. Then rant and gnash my teeth and moan all about it on my blog instead. Because queuing isn’t the only thing Brits are good at, they’re also wizards when it comes to moaning about something incessantly and then categorically failing do anything about it.

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