Are you that idiot that stands in front of me and takes 5 scoops of food to slow down the food line?
A line, also known as a queue, is super irritating and yet, the most civil way to achieve order. I am widely accused by the court of the penny wise and pound foolish society, of spending a disproportionate amount of time searching for the fastest queue, just to save all of 8 seconds. I can’t stand, how I can’t stand waiting in a line.
Yes, I am a micro-optimizer and I am proud of it. I am also ashamed of it. I have calculated the fastest, bestest, elegentest way to save small amounts (in the magnitude of micro and milli) of time, space, money and other dimensions this universe has to offer.
I ask, is a civil society slowing us down? Why do we patiently wait for our turn in the long food line at a restaurant or wedding reception, when we could just break into that part of the queue and take that 1 naan we needed. But noooooo.
Civility disallows overtaking slow people in the food line. I would ban more than 2 servings to indecisive people because they serve themselves 1, 2, 3, 4 small scoops and again reach out for 1 small scoop and that was not enough because i'm probably burning their back with my eyes, so they take 1 more scoop. Then they go to the next food item and pick out individual pieces of rice while I wait for them to decide which grain they want.
I vehemently justify my time-optimizing strategies. Close the elevator door before a sucker gets to it and delays you, spamming friends with text/msg/phone calls if they are more than 20 seconds late, airport security micro optimization by taking off shoes and removing laptop at the same time and tripping, taking stairs 2 steps at a time... are all strategies I would like to include in social behaviour protocol book.
How cheap are we? Do you refuse to pay tips because principle? Would you share the cost of that wine glass your buzzed friend ordered? If you’re a guy, do you always pay for your dates dinner or go dutch? Is being on principle a way to micro optimize?
I would choose a 35 minute bumpy bus ride instead of a marginally expensive, 12 minute taxi ride and save the money in my mental chai kitty. That 8 seconds I saved in line optimization is valid in its own place, while the 35 minute bus ride is a “green” solution and so I rationalize it well.
Other ways to save money other than not tipping, you can try being a girl. Sometimes people pay for your coffee.
I plan all my travel routes. I don’t mean the travel to another country. The last time i did that was to get to the bathroom in office. There are 2 routes to access it, one is slightly shorter but the other has the kitchen in the way. The shorter path saves me 3 seconds of time, and it makes me feel like the queen of industrial science.
I’ve optimized routes based on a formula that includes quantity of traffic signals in the route, # of doors to push open in the path, time for lift (elevator) to come down, speed of closure of elevator door and the only non-quantitative reason for a tie breaker is if the view is better (of nature or cute guys).
My ears hurt if someone asks for information you can get online. “Which is the best place to have chai?” must be answered with “Google it no?????”. What a terrible waste of my talking time! It’s 100 times worse if I have to type the answer with my poor little overworked keyboard-exhausted fingers. God knows how many friends I have lost by typing ‘Google it no (saale)!!’
Poorly researched questions don’t hurt as much as redundant sentences.
Something like ‘Do you know the best place to have coffee in town? I am addicted to coffee. I can’t live without coffee. Everyday I have coffee. Coffee is my favourite. It is my life. It is very nice. How do others live without coffee’.
What a waste of my time to bear through those 6 sentences that meant the same. Talking more than 3 sentences in a row should be banned. I would have achieved so many heights in those 14 seconds.
Songs are the worst offenders. The song Rang De from the movie Takshak, actually says ‘Rang De, Rang De, Rang De, Rang De, Rang De, Rang De’ too many times way over the decency limit. I can’t stand that song.
Let’s collectively ban long emails, talkative people that state the obvious, Rang De song, open ended questions like ‘How’s it going’ and any question that can be answered by Google. This is, my friends, the key to an optimized and a happy nations. Hail Micro Optimization!