Queuing: there has to be a better way.

That’s it.  I’ve had enough!  I stood on the edge and ‘they’ just had to come and give me a nudge.  I’m a fairly patient person, but there is a limit.  It’s time I put my head above the parapet and said something.
Queuing – there has to be a better way!  Here are some of my experiences to date:
Pointless queueing:  My boiler is broken, we have no heat or hot water but I have a service contract.  It proudly advertises the contact phone number and offers me all the care in the world.  Their engineer is quite happy to rush around to my home to relieve our misery.  That is until you call the number: “Press 1 for this 2 for that and 3 for the other”!  After four levels of this, that and the other they cut me off.  Three times!  Eventually I pressed random buttons until someone in sales kindly passed me on. 
Brilliant queuing:  I phoned my bank, First Direct.  Three rings and I was through to a lovely lady in Leeds.  Oh joy!
Complex queuing:  I visited a bank only to approach the counter to be told I couldn’t be served because I hadn’t got a ticket.  Regular visitors to the branch were tutting at me and accusatorily waving their tickets in the air.  How dare I jump the queue?  Those ‘in the know’ had got a ticket from the touch-screen machine hidden in the corner of the branch.  Rather aggrieved, I waited on a seat clutching ticket 345.  Soon, I too was wafting my ticket at unfortunates who were being turned away for flouting the system.  I was still queuing.  Why make my queuing experience event more complex?  Why go through a process in order to join a queue?
Fun queuing:  When my children were young we visited a few theme parks. Naturally, I had disregarded my father’s advice which was to go on a wet Wednesday in April to avoid the queues.  No, we always went when there were thousands of people.  So for a short while only, I managed to persuade my brood that the queue was the theme park and the rides were only the way to get to the next queue.  Our change in mindset meant we had lots of fun chatting with other queuers, playing games and generally mucking about.
Productive queuing:  When conference venues tell me that they can reduce the queuing time for the inevitable buffet to seconds, I always see it as a missed opportunity.  Conferences are great places to meet new people; I have had some wonderful conversations in buffet queues. Sharing experiences, views and ideas on good practice, followed by the reward at the end of a little something deep fried in batter!
It is possible to make my queuing experience better; if only organisations gave it a little imagination, queuing could be fun.