The Japanese are pretty used to lining up, especially in big cities. This means that when people cut in line, it’s that much more obvious.
I was at a Family Mart this evening to buy a drink. They weren’t busy, but both cashiers had a customer. I stood on the dotted line they provide to wait my turn. As the far cashier finished her transaction and I started forward, an older businessman coming into the store stepped up in front of me and asked for cigarettes.
I was vaguely annoyed, but the cashier got an absolutely disgusted look on her face. She looked my way and apologized with her eyes for the guy’s rude behavior, and wore a contemptuous look for the rest of the guy’s sale.
Meanwhile, I backed up to wait my turn, and when the near cashier started ringing me up, he apologized for the inconvenience. I responded loud enough for the jerk beside me to hear that it wasn’t his fault, and that people who like cutting in line were everywhere. The man in question, oblivious to our disdain, took his smokes and left.
Sure, I could have called the guy out on it, but the first cashier’s reaction on my behalf was somehow more satisfying. Despite the annoyance, I actually consider this a positive anecdote.