Student - September 6, 2011

At the back of the queue...

Joëlle and Inge are standing at the back of a queue roughly fifty metres long for the WUR shop. Hopefully they will soon be able to pick up their books but they aren't counting on it. After all, it is nearly one o'clock and their next lecture starts at one thirty.

Joelle (left) and Inge keep their spirits up.
 The first Monday and Tuesday are traditionally the busiest days in the WUR shop, although today's queue could well be a record. The shop staff had warned  they were better off coming the week before when it was still quiet. But JoĆ«lle and Inge shrug their shoulders at this. 'One of my fellow students went last week but the books hadn't arrived. So that doesn't really help.'
But if you think the book buyers are having a hard time then you haven't stood in line for the student administration desk. The queue might be shorter but the waiting time is even longer because nearly everyone in the queue has a complex, time-consuming problem that needs solving.
Maurice is here, for example, because something went wrong with his registration. Last weekend he got a threatening e-mail notifying him that his account would be closed. 'It seems as if I wasn't the only one who got that e-mail', he says looking around.
Based on the average speed moving forward and the stories of students who have already got to the front of the queue, Maurice can expect to wait two hours before he can tell the desk about his problem. Fortunately he is able to move about half a tile further after the interview. Any more questions? He's not in a hurry today.  

Maurice (middle): 'About two hours in the queue.'