I wrote earlier about Swedes systematic line forming – with the help of numbers. Organizing lines tends to be quite quick and cutting is avoided using this wise system.
However, a problem occurs with impromptu lines – even though they are easily anticipated lines.
One great example of this is what occurs pretty much every time a train stops at a major train station. As the train pulls in, the people on the platform head for the door. They create a giant mass that encircles every door and push to position themselves so as to be one of the first to enter the train.
Then, the strangest thing happens. The doors to the train open, and, surprise of all surprises, people want to get off the train. The ring of awaiting passengers looks perplexed. Do they move to the side to let these passengers off, and risk losing their prime position for boarding the train?
Often the person closest to the line of fire, the one who risks being trampled in the ensuing melee, the one directly opposite the door, will back down and move to the left or right. This leaves a tiny opening for the passengers aboard the train to push through the crowd.
The remaining people, refusing to move and give up there space in the line, roll their eyes, look at the ground, and grunt with annoyance, at the people that have decided to get off at the stop they have been spending the last minute trying to leave.
The doors to the train are often wide enough for two rows of passengers to exit or enter. When the line of people exiting the train trickles down to only one passenger wide, those passengers who have been waiting on the 'correct' side, will push their way on to the train while others continue to disembark. This creates a lot of dirty looks from those getting on and off the train. Some might even mumble under their breath. But rarely will it go so far that anyone has to talk to each other.
Despite the fact that most train travellers in Sweden take the train on a daily basis, they still seem utterly surprised by the fact that there are often passengers that want to get off the train.
So if you want to be like the Swedes, as soon as the train arrives, push your way as close as possible to the door and then refuse to move anywhere but onto the train. But if you just want to keep the peace, it is often easiest to wait until the crowd has subsided and board the train. The conductor will not leave until all the passengers have boarded the train. The only thing you risk is losing a seat, and if there are many people trying to exit the trian, chances are you will still get one!