Hey, cut it out


Photo by Eleanor Kay

Alec Autor waits to pay for his lunch during B lunch.

Jack Felgar

I’m not typically one to complain about the actions of others or get caught up in someone else’s business. I pretty much stick to myself at school and just try get through the day like any other senior who’s ready to move on to the next step in their life.

But there is one thing that just completely baffles me every time I see it happen: cutting the lunch line. I am almost unable to even wrap my head around why people cut in front of 15-30 (maybe more) students who respectively wait their turn in line. And that’s really what it all boils down to: respect.

I stand in the line every day during mustang block to get breakfast. I usually beat the rush, but, one day, I decided to let the line get a little longer before I entered. I stood in the back of the line and just watched in shock as 22 people carelessly walked in front of tens of students waiting to get breakfast.

22 people – mostly sophomores and freshmen, but also juniors and, sadly, some seniors. I actually began to feel nauseous in line watching people walk in front of so many students actually waiting their turn. It’s unacceptable.

Most people don’t speak up when someone cuts them. Not because they don’t care (although maybe some don’t), but because they don’t want to start conflict or they feel it would be uncomfortable. Not me. I actually take great pleasure in asking people why they made the decision to walk in front of an entire line and embrace the awkward 3-seconds of dead silence that follows.

Don’t even get me started on the excuses. I’ve heard them all: “Everyone does it,” “I want food,” “I don’t know,” “Oh I was just coming to talk to this person then I was going to leave.”

But my all time favorite: “Because I have friends that are in line”

Oh that’s really cool! You have friends? Do you want a trophy?

Basically what you just said was “I am more important than all of you. I don’t respect your time and I have no common decency.” Maybe the people waiting in line have a test to study for, homework to get done, a boyfriend or girlfriend to sit with.

This is the exact type of Falls Church, over-privileged, entitlement, you hear parents and teachers talk about all the time, but we seem to never notice and deny. It happens in front of our faces every single day- just take a few moments to actually look.  

It disappoints me that so few people even try to stand-up to the individuals or even groups of people who cut. When you ask someone why they cut you, they will almost always recognize the fact that they just showed a sign of disrespect and shouldn’t have done what they did. They are totally aware of what they are doing and will probably understand if you politely ask them to go to the back of the line and wait their turn.

There needs to be some form of punishment instituted in our school for people who get caught cutting. I know that might sound a little extreme, but if our school seriously wants to prepare its students for life after a soft-as-heck, low-risk school environment then it should consider this.

Actions like cutting only work for so long in the real world. I don’t see people cutting in the line to pay for groceries, or walking in front of an entire crowd waiting to get on a roller coaster. There’s a reason people honk at the drivers (and sometimes try keep them from merging) who fly down the closed lane on the highway during rush hour traffic, it’s not fair and it’s rude. Cutting the lunch line is the same principle.

Once again, it all boils down to a student’s basic right at school- respect. I care about it. You should too.