The New York Times:
You dash into the supermarket for a few necessities. You figure it will be 10 minutes — tops — before you are done and on your way home.
Then you get to the checkout lanes and they are brimming with shoppers. Your plan for a quick exit begins to evaporate.
But all is not lost.
For anyone who has ever had to stand in line (or if you are a New Yorker, you stand on line) at a supermarket, retailer, bank or anywhere else, here are some tips from experts for picking the line that will move the fastest.
To some degree, waiting is all in your head. Research has found that, on average, people overestimated how long they waited in a line by 36 percent.
Customers are more concerned with how long a line is than how fast it moves, according to research by Prof. Ziv Carmon of the business school Insead and Prof. Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University. Given a choice between a slow-moving short line and a fast-moving long one, people will often opt for the short line, even if the waits are identical.
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