Queues and cannibals

Well we have all heard about the long wait times to get into the passport office. Now some enterprising individuals are making money as per this article today in OpenJaw –

“As passport renewal wait times remain lengthy, and line ups of hours or even days confront those who want to speed up the process by applying in person, some entrepreneurial Canadians have found a new business: offering to keep your spot in line for cash.

Daily Hive found ads across Facebook, Kijiji, and other online marketplaces for the new service. For $40/hour, one Vancouver-based Facebook Marketplace seller “guarantees” buyers a place in the first 10 spots as soon as the local passport office opens, so you can “sleep worry-free” while your spot-holder braves the line up for you “rain or shine” and even overnight. On Kijiji for Mississauga, Ontario, it’ll cost you only $20/hour.

Passport-seekers are also posting ads on online marketplaces, looking for line place holders. “Willing to pay $20 an hour for someone to wait in line at the Victoria Street passport office,” reads a listing on Kijiji – Toronto. “Starting at 3 am – 8 am ($100 total) until I’m able to arrive.”

The long line ups are happening here in Calgary too – true story from one of our clients who went to get a new passport for his cruise –

“It was an experience, I was in line Friday at 430am, got to see someone at 2pm and they sent home about 200 people behind me because they didn’t have enough people to serve them. Just glad it’s over, I will be using full use of the drink package.”

Indeed – I would be pouring myself a bloody strong gin and tonic after this experience – I wouldn’t wait for the drink package!

Maybe this “freelance lineup” trend will go even further. Perhaps you could get someone to stand in line for you at the airport. Seems there have been long wait times recently. I can’t say I don’t admire these people putting it out there that they will stand in line “rain or shine” for $20 per hour. I think these sort of line ups might be something we will see more of as companies grapple with staffing shortages across all industries.

And a long line up (or queue as I would call it) can really drive people to distraction so there are a whole lot of help articles as to what you should do when you are stuck in a queue.

Read a book on your phone
Stand on one foot (why??? I don’t get that one but I suppose it is a distraction).

Listen to other people’s conversations. Yes I know it is nosy but it is SO interesting. I drive my husband mad when we are out somewhere and I get caught up in a conversation somewhere behind us.

Someone suggested that they imagine they are stranded on a desert island and they have to figure out which of the people around would resort to cannibalism. Has tones of Lord of the Flies! Can someone pass me the salt! And the gin and tonic!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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