What do you Call People who Queue for a Living?

February 7, 2014
By

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In Bangkok there is a motorcycle messenger that goes by the twitter handle of @motocyrubjang. As well as his regular job, he also doubles as tour guide  and messenger. But, the most curious of his jobs seems to be that of professional queuist. If that is not a word, then they should surely invent one for Thailand. It’s basically someone who is paid to line up for others. Mr @motocyrubjang has done this kind of thing before. I’ve seen pictures he tweeted of lining up all night for a Pre-Sale event for a Condo. His customer then took over in the morning.

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At the moment in Bangkok, we have protests that are blocking a number of government buildings and ministries. One of these that are affected is the consular section that processes passports for Thai people. As a result, temporary offices have been set up at Central Bangna and Pinklao. The backlog for new passports is so long that the queues at these two locations have been massive. People have literally queued all night. Mr @motocyrubjang’s customer didn’t want to do this, so he hired him to stand in line from 4am until early morning when the office opened. Apparently he got paid 900 Baht for doing that. He then did the same the next day.

When it comes to queues, Thai people can be very innovative. If they cannot hire someone to stand in line for them, they do the next best thing. They rent shoes. Or rather, they hire someone to put shoes in the line for them.  Doing that kind of thing annoys me. I have turned up at a place before at 5 a.m.  and despite there only being a few people around, there is often ten or so pairs of shoes at the front of the queue. I’m not really complaining about this system. I just put my shoes there and then sat down while I waited for the office to open. Much more comfortable that way.

What about you? Are you willing to be a professional queuist? How much would you charge?

2 Responses to What do you Call People who Queue for a Living?

  1. Baht
    February 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Reminds me of Germans putting their towels on the sun loungers in resorts.

    As for the people queuing to get their passports… who do they have to blame? Probably the same stupid PDRC people that they support.

    Som nam na.

  2. Ian
    February 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Richard, thanks for all the invaluable information you share via twitter and your blog.

    I’m wondering if you may have heard of any exceptions they might be making for the infant passport process (i.e. maybe they are allowing parents to complete the application on child’s behalf) at the moment? I need to get a passport for my 2 month old who has duel citizenship and not so keen on the idea of queuing with her from early morning. And not entirely comfortable having someone queue on my behalf as would need to give them a bunch of documents (including passport of both parents) to be verified upon receiving a queue number.

    Any advice much appreciated! Thanks.

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