Teachers, The Ethics of Waiting in Line, and Why Dave Is a Great Humanitarian
The PTSA always provides the teachers with a nice spread of food on the first day back, so we can load up before the endless meetings; this year there were several tables in a row, parallel to the cafeteria wall, offering a buffet of fruit, muffins, donuts, coffee, bagels and cream cheese, and cookies . . . but when my colleague Krystina and I made our approach, we had to contend with a long line . . . a long line inching along on ONE side of the row of tables, the closer side, but no one was serving themselves along the other side of the tables-- and the tables were a good six feet from the wall, so there was plenty of room for people to line up and serve themselves on that side as well-- so I said, "Let's go" to Krystina and walked past the line, grabbed a plate, and served myself-- unimpeded-- on the far side of the buffet, but I looked back and Krystina was still in line and she wouldn't budge-- most teachers like to follow the rules-- and I think a few people might have looked at me askance, because while I didn't cut per se, I did serve myself before a lot of people who were waiting patiently in line, and I served myself much faster than the people slowly plugging along on the crowded side of the row of tables, and once I got back to my own little table and sat down, I noticed that the other teachers had followed my lead and they were now serving themselves on both sides of the row of tables, so though I did something slightly immoral, it was ethically utilitarian, because once I broke the ice, a greater number of people served themselves in a more expedient manner . . . so nice job Dave, for making things flow more smoothly and for making a bunch of teachers realize that sometimes you need to break the rules of etiquette in order to get a system to work more efficiently.