At my job there is one bus back to where I live, which is around 50 minutes drive away. I don't have a car, and getting this bus is the only way I can get back to where I am living without spending around £40 on a taxi. So every day I leave my job at 17:20 and walk to the bus stop.

Apparently there is a queue here, but out of 60 or so people there only 20 are queueing. The others are just standing around at the stop. I just walk right to where the stop is, and I have been doing the same thing for the past year and a half no problem. But in the last two weeks there have been one or two too many people to get on the bus (which is obviously the company's fault), and an unconvincing queue has formed in order to democratize this. I carry on as always, and stand outside the bus stop to get the bus home.

On the past three days, a man who works there is very insistent that I go to the back of the queue. He has no authority more than I do. I just ignore him because I don't think it's right that I should stay late to help people, then have to be last in a queue whilst selfish people who rush out early to help themselves get to the front of it.

Over the past two days, he has loudly and publicly spoken with me, almost trying to shame me into doing what he is doing. I don't respect him or anyone who tries to control others. Today it has escalated somewhat, where he and some others were physically attempting to block me from accessing the bus, and another person in the crowd smearing chewing gum on my bag. I think this is totally unacceptable, and I will report it to the security where I work.

I have to do this five days a week, and tomorrow I am unsure what to do. I could just queue up and let this bully boss me around. Or I am thinking to record the entire altercation on my phone for my own safety.

This is at a UK software development company. I know it is very trivial, but I don't want to start queuing outside every day for 20 mintues just because a few new starters decided there would be a queue.

But please, if you have any suggestions / think I should queue up and I'm totally wrong, or that I should stand my ground and get security involved. Good advice is appreciated.


Thanks for the advice everyone. If anyone wondrers how this went I just decided to make sure I am first in the queue by showing up very early. I walked up to the person who was trying to get me to queue yesterday and politely said "I'm sorry about my conduct, I made a mistake." - we shook hands and he said "no hard feelings". So I think the situation is resolved. Also there was no confusion whether a queue existed today with everyone standing single file and nobody cutting ahead.

The bus / coach is paid by my employer and not public transport if that changes anything regarding that this is put on hold.

  • 19
    Back when I was living in England, jumping the queue for a bus was definitely NOT DONE, especially if there is a chance of not everyone getting on. I don't know if that has changed. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 18:44
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    Not sure I understand this scenario -- so the people not in the queue are saying they have a right to board ahead of those in the queue? Because they got to the stop first but chose not to physically stand in the queue?
    – mcknz
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 18:49
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    Yes there is literally only one bus. Some queue some dont and there is no rule that says you have to. Nobody else seems to get called out for not queuing but I have been singled out now and the problem is escalating because everyone knows who I am (that I don't queue in their imposed new part-queue) so they make a big deal about my arrival each day. I'm wondering how to deal with that. I think my question title is clear enough that not everyone is queueing up so I don't want to start either, and whether that is reasonable or not?
    – user75557
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 19:03
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    If not first-come-first-served, what order does the OP want for getting on the bus? Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 21:28
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    Are you actually British, or are you just working there? Either you're a genetic anomaly or you're just not clued into the culture yet, but jumping the queue anywhere is incredibly rude. An offence equal in reprehensibleness to stealing from the elderly or abusing a dog. A sober brit muscling you at the bus stop means they're probably bottling up 99% of the urge to throw you under it. Don't jump queues - it's bad enough with strangers, but with people you work with every day you're likely to have them all hating you in short order.
    – J...
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 22:40

3 Answers 3


In my experience, people who queue up for a bus have priority over those who don't. You trade comfort (having to stand up next to a road or sign for X minutes) for privilege (the ability to get on the bus earlier).

In some cases, where there's plenty of room on the bus, it doesn't matter whether you queue up or not -- everyone gets on.

[H]e and some others were physically attempting to block me from accessing the bus, and another person in the crowd smearing chewing gum on my bag.

When multiple people are working against you, this is a good sign that you have violated some social norm, unspoken or not. The fact that there is no official rule does not mean that no rule exists. They may have overreacted, but that does not justify your breaking that norm in the future.

Unless you want to continue to be ostracized from the group (and perhaps sustain some injury!), you would be wise to conform to the tribal practices: get there earlier and/or get in the queue.

  • 19
    "When multiple people are working against you, this is a good sign that you have violated some social norm, unspoken or not. The fact that there is no official rule does not mean that no rule exists." +1, you put into words what I struggled to
    – 2rs2ts
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 19:40
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    One interpretation is that the very early arrivals, who are sure to get on the bus, just cluster. When there are enough people to make order matter they form a queue. The bus boarding order would still be first-come-first-served, but with physical location ignored for early arrivals. Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 22:10
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    This serms the best explanation. people are not clearly happy with someone arriving at the last minute “stealing” their place. The OP must be young too...I clearly had that behaviour he describes when I was maybe 10 y old. An adult should know better Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 22:56

"Other people break the rules!" is not a valid excuse for breaking the rules, unfair as it seems.

Just get in the queue. And get in there early, so you never have to worry about not fitting in the bus.

Oh, and you probably should report the incident, as well as make a request that the company do something about the fact that the bus does not have enough capacity for everyone.


You're jumping the queue but blaming other people who are upset that you're doing so. Then you call the people standing in the queue narcissists. Pot calling the kettle black springs to mind here.

In case I wasn't clear, wait your turn like everybody else.

  • 2
    I don't see where OP called anyone a narcissist? This should be a comment, as you're just scolding without offering a course of action.
    – user812786
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 21:44
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    I think it's pretty clear I think the OP is in the wrong which is what he asked. Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 2:04