Next time you're in line at the bank, or the movies, or the Wal-Mart complaint desk, or whatever happens to be your very slowly-approaching goal, take a good look at the faces around you. These people are experiencing frustration. Remember what it looks like. Perhaps one day you will recognize this facial expression and hold back the witty insult that was about to get you beaten to a pulp.

But seriously, waiting in a particularly long, slow-moving line can be a very productive writing tool. I find that the more frustrated people are, the more willing they are to share their frustration with those around them, and the more likely they are to let loose a stream of personality that can be used to your benefit. They share insights that would not have come out unless pushed by a stressful situation, and stories you never would have heard were it not for that trail of people crawling towards a common enemy - because that's what it is, the goal at the front of the line; an evil, oppressive enemy to be rallied against by those at the back. I always pitied that one poor lonely clerk, complaint handler, or ticket seller, so reviled by everyone inching closer to them. Even the lined-up people near the front are mildly despised (perhaps this is only a Canadian phenomenon, much similar to the way we hate our celebrities) and are the subject of many muttered obscenities.

If you ever want to meet some random people, hear some good insults and feel some really revolutionary energy all in one place, find a line and join in.

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