The Myth of Southern Hospitality
I did some shopping for the folks for our Turkey Day celebrations, and during the trip I experienced a reaffirmation of something I noticed when I first got to North Carolina: the average person in California is much, much nicer.
To get what I mean, go and shop at Safeway or Nugget in California and then shop at Kroger or Harris Teeter in NC… there is no comparison. Nobody begrudges you asking for directions to a product in CA; in fact, they drop what they are doing and walk you to where you need to go. They ask how you are doing and/or if you if you need anything when they make eye contact. They have great efficiency at the checkout lanes, but it doesn’t hinder their personal interactions there either.
In NC, on the other hand, stock boys sigh when you ask them to direct you to some hard-to-find item. The deli workers get mad at you when you point out that they pulled the wrong brand of salami out of the case. Checkout attendants ask you inane questions about paper towels you are buying, or make little annoying comments like “Geez, getting enough beer today?” Yeah, I’m an alcoholic… now STFU and bag my groceries already!
You would think that with all this righteous red state crap going on, they would revel in their role as the supposed defenders of “Regular Folk with Moral Values and Good Manners in General.”
P.S. Sure, I realize the comparison I made here is quite David-Brooksian in nature… so sue me (at least I acknowledge it).