Monday, 8 February 1999
There is a long queue at the ATM. There are two machines actually, but one is unused. It's either empty or broken. I join the queue.

It is quite common that there is just one machine operational, especially on a busy Saturday. ATM machine at VSB Bank It is impossible to complain ( now. The bank office is closed. Grumbling among fellow customers is the only alternative. A companion in distress paraphrases "To avoid complains on service we stop giving any".

Is the other machine really out of service? I assume that somebody in the queue checked it out. I did not, and neither did the ladies in front of me. Waiting lasts long, but there is some progress at last. It's the turn of the ladies in front of me. Behind me is a group of fresh queuers up. Nobody tried the other machine. So none of the companions knows sure that the other machine is out of service. Yet, nobody switches.

How long would it take before a pig headed mutant tries the other machine? Unfortunately, such a mutant assimilates. The whole queue will watch with great interest. All will be happy to conclude that the other machine is inoperable indeed. That's what they knew all the time, didn't they? Blushing with shame the mutant will have to join the queue.

At last, it is my turn. With some fresh cash I do my shopping at the Gouda market. When I get back the queue is still there, with new participants. It is like a traffic jam (.../traffic1) which can last for hours without apparent reason.

I assume that group behavior is hereditary. Newcomers copy the behavior of the group. Group people are clones. This type of herd acting frightens me. Why does a group of people stop thinking?

You'll find similar situations in companies. Everybody thinks to know, but nobody really does. The clones are still there. The original is gone.

Reader, I unclone myself. I won't join the cash queue anymore. I move on, to another bank which plans the stock of cash more successfully

Till next week!