Grandma, please move to the front of the line
A new law in Israel allows seniors over 80 to skip the queue.
How much time do you spend waiting in line? Ever wish you could just skip the whole ordeal and get on with your life?
If you're 80 years old and live in Israel, your wish just came true. A new law says seniors and disabled people have first priority in line in public places and should be sent directly to the front.
The law was proposed in June and passed this week. Now, seniors can request a jump ahead at post offices, banks, cinemas, performance halls, stadiums, national parks and large supermarkets, and their request must be granted. There are some exceptions, including medical appointments and car lines (i.e. waiting in traffic to enter a public place).
Israel is not the first country to do this. Brazil goes even further, requiring line priority for people over 60 in businesses and government facilities. Failure to do so could result in a $700 fine.
And in case you were wondering how much time people spend waiting in line, we're here to tell you: Richard Larson, a professor at MIT, estimates that people can spend up to two years of their lives waiting in line. It's enough to warrant some real, scientific research on the psychology of lines, and what all that waiting does to our brains. For example, did you know that an early-20th-century Danish engineer named A.K. Erlang developed a mathematical model of how lines worked, and it went on to help phone companies figure out how many lines and operators they needed to add to their switchboard to keep customers from waiting too long?
Fascinating stuff, we know. Because seriously, waiting in line is horrible. So we salute the folks who have reached "a certain age" in their quest to avoid this painful practice. We say to them: "Please, go ahead."
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