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Meet The Man Who Waits In Line For A Living

$2,000 every week? Wow.

People often must spend time waiting in lines when they want things. Most people, given the choice, prefer not to spend time waiting in lines. Robert Samuel, of New York City, understands these things. More importantly, he understands that some people hate waiting so much, they’d pay others to do it instead. That’s why he founded Same Ole Line Dudes LLC, a company of professional line-waiters.

The company is based in NYC, where there are many things worth queuing for (or paying someone to queue for). The company website contains a completely separate page explaining their policy on Hamilton tickets. There’s even more demand from hungry customers for Dominique Ansel Cronuts, Dō Cookie Dough, and other fancy local specialties. And for those who cover transport costs, they are willing to not just stand but deliver.

The Origins of Same Ole Line Dudes

This is only the latest development in Samuel’s unusual career, which began five years ago this September. People all over America clamored for the long-awaited iPhone 5. Samuel, recently unemployed, observed the way people would camp outside Apple Stores days in advance and form lines spanning city blocks and had an idea.

Samuel took the third spot in line at one store and offered it to the highest bidder on Craigslist. Someone bit and paid him. He wrote another post advertising the same service at a different line. Then another, and another, until he had $325 in his pocket. For this, NY Daily News gave him his first of many interviews. He knew he had a good idea on his hands.

For some time, Samuel treated this the way some treat Uber: a way to make extra income, but not a “real job.” According to The New York Times’s 2014 profile of him, queuing supplemented his salary as security for “a financial services company.” Fast-forward to 2017 and the Dudes are making an average of $2000 a week. During a more recent iPhone launch, Samuel made $14,000 in a single day. Gotta wonder if his mother still believes he should go back to college.

In August 2012, NYT published an Opinion article titled “Why Waiting in Line is Torture.” Among other things, the author reported, “Americans spend roughly 37 billion hours each year waiting in line.” Robert Samuel may spend more time per year than the average person doing so, but we don’t need to feel too bad for her.

Turns out you can get paid for a lot of weird things. Here’s a story about an internship where people get paid to sip gin.

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