Thoughts on Queuing from a Queue Master
Welcome to the Q dimension. “Q” as in “queuing” (pronounced kyo͞oing).
To those of you yet unaware, at a FLL® Tournament the queue is an actual place. It is the area located somewhere between the pits and the competition tables. It is a mysterious zone for adults. It is here that teams must say farewell to coaches and mentors and line up in numbered slots, waiting their turn with other teams to run their robots at designated schedules.
For those curious as to the word’s history, it is a French word which has been used by the British since 1837. The word “queue” is a descendant of Latin cōda, which means “tail.” “Queue” appeared in 1748 in English, and originally referred to a plait of hair hanging down the back of the neck. By 1802, wearing a queue was a regulation in the British army, but by the mid-19th century queues had disappeared and the word’s meaning became more associated with standing in a line and forming a ‘tail’. In modern era, queuing has also come to mean ‘hurry up and wait!’
What do teams do in the Q Dimension?
Many team members take the opportunity in the queue to talk or send texts. Some sit and relax while others jump up and down and do a team cheer. A few unfortunately keep busy fixing the robot they dropped on the way from the pits.
What should teams NOT do in the Q Dimension?
This is not the place to do any programming (having a computer is usually not allowed in the competition area) or entirely rebuild your robot. It’s also not a good place to catch up on your sleep or argue with team members.
What SHOULD teams do in the Q Dimension?
The queuing area is a great place to practice Gracious Professionalism®. Teams can talk with each other, meet new friends and thank the hard working volunteers. It’s also a good time and place to communicate with your table partners – especially about any shared missions.
The Q Dimension can be a magical place filled with suspense, wonder and awe. This special area is benevolently overseen by a Queue Manager (of which I am one). In fact, it’s my favorite place to volunteer and I’ve queued teams at local Tournaments, Regional Championships and even at the World Festival.
Maybe I’ll see you sometime… in the Q Dimension.
(just for fun: what’s a word that has 5 vowels in a row?)