Waiting in line to return something you bought or to exchange that orange tie for something that you'd actually wear is tedious enough but at Christmas-time those lines can become unbearably long. Some businesses just do not empathize with their customers and thus sometimes enforce thoughtless rules.
I'm talking about any business that is so stupid, so insensitive, so contemptuous of their customers that they do not use the one-queue policy. Don't they ever think about the poor shlub who lines up at Counter #1 and waits 30 minutes because the moron in front of him is returning an item without a receipt, the box is not the original one, the item is obviously tampered with, and worst of all, the product is not even sold at that store, all the while watching the other customers on counters #2 through #7 speeding through the lines. How frustrating is that? And so unnecessary.
Let me give you an example: the other day, my wife ordered a window valance online from JCPenney and asked me to go to the Customer Service counter to pick it up. Being the busy and lazy guy that I am I asked her why she didn't simply have the item shipped to the house. She explained, as if to a child, that since she also has some items to return, she can have both things done at the same time. I wanted to ask her what's that got to do with me, but I bit my tongue.
So there I am waiting on a single line with 5 customers in front of me forking into two counters when some JCPenney Employee comes by and yells out, "Please form two lines!" I yelled back, "No! You can have two lines behind me, but I am not getting on one of two lines - there's only one line in front of me." I pronounced this with a strong measure of authority which caused that employee to slink away.
Had I and those in front of me formed into two lines I know I would have ended up on the line with a customer ahead of me who requires 4 hours of rigorous and tortuous servicing. I was not going to have it. All cashiers and customer counters should always have one single first-come first-serve line no matter how many cashiers there are.
Store Employees Should be Trained in Queue Management
I know that supermarkets have tried to address this problem with self-serve checkout counters and counters for people with "10 items or less," but even at those there is always the possibility of the guy in front of you taking forever to ring up his one, single bunch of bananas. I believe even supermarkets should be designed so that there is only one line that feeds into the next available counter so that no one is ever caught in that dreaded scenario where an item is missing a barcode and an employee is sent to find a similar item to correctly be rung up while you are forced to read an entire book on your Kindle.