IN THE FIELD
After having discussed and debated over waiting and queuing, it was time to go out and see what actually happens out there. We split into groups of two and visited different places in Ahmedabad- Bus stops and terminals, supermarkets, banks, food courts, elevators and escalators within shopping malls, retail stores, railway station – and returned with a lot of observations. Then each place was mapped to record the observations. The principles and metrics identified in the last stage were consciously verified.
We visited the Paldi branch of Bank of India. We wanted to deposit Rahul’s money in the bank, so we could experience as well as observe the different activities. Here is the map of the things we observed –
Here we saw that the counters and even the branch manager’s cabin was visible from the waiting area owing to the use of glass panels, which leads to ‘explained waiting’ where the person in waiting can see that something is going on at the service end and that’s why he needs to wait. If he can see the bank employee counting the money or the manager meeting with someone in his/her cabin, he understands and accepts waiting to a certain extent. Now the passbook printing machine has been installed in a lot of banks in India, which is a direct solution to people queuing up at the attendant to update their passbook details. However we observed that the new users take a lot of time to understand the process resulting into a queue. Also, elderly people were much more patient and used to the system in contrast to younger users. Things like how the person next in line, placing his/her belongings on the counter to reserve the occupancy were interesting insights about how people behave in queues.