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The Lane You’re In Is Always The Slowest!

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Can you relate? It never fails and usually seems to happen right when you’re in a huge hurry and everything is riding on your ability to be timely.  Is Murphy’s Law ringing true again or is there something more to the lane debacle?

You’ve tried switching lanes and then THAT lane slows down, then the other lane you were i seems faster, so you move back and then your lane slows down AGAIN!  Or, you’re in line at Price Chopper and amother cashier opens a new station but somehow as soon as you leave that line, the previous cashier decides they’re gonna win employee of the month and blasts everyone through before you’re checked out! Huh?

Turns out it could just be a matter of perception and we are all the victims of our own eyes. It is said that all lanes of traffic actually move at the same rate but we only notice when our lane happens to be going slow and you’re frustrated.  After all, if you’re going fast and are making progress with a big smile on your face, what’s really to notice? Also if you think your lane is the slowest, you can be sure you’re not the only one and if everyone makes efforts to move over, then (you guessed it) the lane you thought was fast gets bogged down and your slow lane gets a huge boost. Figures!

Now barring of course when there actually IS a legitimate cause for the traffic jam like a disabled vehicle (which you never see till you’re right on top of it) or in the case of the supermarket line, someone trying to write a check (which your frustration rises while you watch helplessly) the best advice seems to be to stay in the lane you’re in and both lanes will probably come out in the wash and arrive at point B at relatively the same time. Maybe we should allow more time for our commute or to grocery shop, but I’ve heard that a thousand times and yet still wait to the last minute! Wash, rinse repeat? See ya out there!

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