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Are We Running Out of Patience?

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 02: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents screen passengers at Los Angeles International Airport on May 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Security presence has been escalated at airports, train stations and public places after the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the United States in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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Most of us have seen the bumper sticker that says, “Did you move here to be in a hurry?” The short answer seems to be, “Yes!”

When I put my web site up in 1998 there was a standard rule that if your page didn’t load in four seconds or less, the customer would be gone. As you may have guessed, those days are gone. The new rule is the “Quarter Second Rule,” or in the scientific community, 250 milliseconds. Or, about the length of time it takes to blink.

As a society we seem to be less patient with the normal events taking place in our everyday lives.

Shopping

One of the most common complaints I hear in retail stores is, “Why don’t they open more check stands?” Will you really spend 30-40 minutes filling your cart only to abandon it if there are 2-3 people ahead of you in line? It would seem that yes, some people are more than happy to do that.

Lines

We hate lines. We wait in lines at movies, the DMV, airports, coffee shops, lines at theme parks, lines to vote, check-in, and checkout lines. It’s time lost that we’ll never get back.

Waiting in line always seems longer than the desired end result. Your Disney ride is way short of the winding line to get to the ride.

Well maybe the exception is the movie theater. Although you will have to wait for half an hour for the previews to end and the show you came to see to begin.

Traffic

If you haven’t lived in a large city then you’ve probably visited one and experienced gridlock on the freeways. We are fortunate here in Bozeman not to have a rush hour. We have a rush 15 minutes.

But even in Bozeman the light may change before you make it through the intersection. I guess we don’t have road rage here because the person you are pissed at is probably armed too.

Airports

Going through airport security is a nightmare. I fly fairly regularly and the check in process, bag check, and security screening empties the life out of most travelers. By the time you reach the boarding area it’s all you can do to make it to your seat under your own power.

Computer in the container, shoes off, jacket off, belt off, watches, jewelry, or anything metal off. I got dressed quicker at home than redressing at the terminal. Thanks to the “shoe bomber” we have to take our shoes off. I’m thankful they didn’t go quite as far with the “underwear bomber.” I’d have to think about flying “commando.”

Some Final Thoughts

I guess we can only blame ourselves for our long wait in lines. Our actions, or the actions of others, dictate how we are handled in retail and government places.

Being a businessperson I am always thinking and looking for ways to streamline the processes of life. How can we move people from Point A to Point B and still make a profit.

Sometimes I think those in charge are asking, “How can we profitably move people just short of them going “postal?”

I guess we all need to resign ourselves to the fact that the more we want something the longer we’ll have to wait to receive it.

I didn’t move here to be in a hurry. How about you??

Read or Subscribe to all Tom Egelhoff’s Daily Blog Posts by Clicking Here

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