Now Brits are known for our ability to queue. We form an orderly line and wait our turn – simple and you can see clearly how long you have till you get to the front. The Norwegians also like their queues. They use a ticket system – sounds simple – you take a number and you wait until your number is called. But…. they have different numbers for different tasks. Those of you who have been to the refurbished Bolton town centre post office will have experienced something similar – you have to select what you want to do on a screen and this gives you a ticket, numbered according to what your task is. The same thing happens in Norway. This different number for different tasks means though that you don´t know how many people are in front of you in total (you may have an idea of how many people are in front of you for that task). I´m sure they think this is efficient and it is made slightly more efficient by the number of people who once they have got their ticket give up and go away.
I went to register with the police on Thursday, ticket number H53 apparently 44 people in the queue in front of me. I was there for 2 1/2 hours before my number was called. Not all 44 people had stayed and waited. If they had I´d have been there longer than 2 1/2 hours! A similar thing happened at Ikea and at the public transport office when buying a ticket. Hmm, efficiency?