Skip to comments.Why are people so nice in the Deep South?
Posted on 01/24/2013 6:23:56 PM PST by FoxPro
I have lived in Las Vegas and Los Angeles for the past 5 years.
I drove down to Huntsville, Alabama to work on some software, with a friend of mine.
I have never been to the "deep South".
I have been here for 24 hours.
It is really a bit of a culture shock after spending a day sorting things out, here.
Everybody is "Yes Sir" and "No Sir" with people differing to you with "Am I in your way?" and "Can I help you find something?"
Well, this is exactly what happened to me today.
I sat down to get to work, on my computer and the battery in my mouse dies.
I move my mouse and the arrow is just there, not moving.
It always happens at the worst of times.
So I drive down to Kroger's grocery store, walk in, stand there, trying to figure out if I should turn left or right, in my hunt for the "Battery Center".
Well this very large man walks up to me, he is wearing a Kroger badge and below his name it says "Manager".
He intones "Can I help you?"
I said, a bit jaded "Yes, I need ONE AA battery, but I know I will have to buy a 12 pack, but that's just the way things go."
He motions me over to a check stand, grabs a 4 pack of AA batteries, tears it open, pulls out one battery, hands it to me and says "Merry Christmas."
I am stunned...
DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS WOULD EVER HAPPEN ANYWHERE IN LOS ANGELES? Really?
The guy made my day and it is a seemingly small gesture, I will never forget.
But this guy knows I will probably spend $100 or more, at this Kroger's, in the next few months, than I would have otherwise.
He knows that this small act of kindness will be recouped many times over in the near future.
This gentleman knows all about not being "Penny wise and pound foolish."
I think I will like being an Alabamian.
Because they know God, or have been raised by someone who knows God, or has a role model who knows God.
Ain’t had BBQ until you’ve tried North Alabama style with white sauce. Yum!
Here is a funny story for you. Our corporate office used to be in Little Rock and we had regional offices all over the country. We had an all-team meeting in Little Rock and went to dinner with people from all over the country. When dessert time came, the Texas and Arkansas team ordered three desserts and a bunch of forks and we started passing them around so we could try everything, like a big family. The looks on the Phoenix and Chicago team’s faces was priceless. It was like they were watching a zoo exhibit.
Thanks for a positive story! I love the south and would never move north.
I moved to central KY and a small farm in 2011 after living in the Seattle burbs for 45 years. And the quality of the people here is a major factor. Even my sister in law from Chicago visited the Lexington KY area a couple months ago and was seriously taken aback by how nice people are here. And in her words, “It’s sincere.” And she said it like someone might bite into a gold coin and excitedly and stunned say, “it’s real”.
We dearly love it here.
welcome to the south, where all the women are ladies and all the men are gentlemen. it is an entirely different way of life here. but don’t let the good manners fool you into the common notion that we are all a bunch of kind hearted rednecks. and don’t buy into the idea that we are also a bunch of rubes. we, for the most part, treat people the way we want to be treated. There must be something about our way of life here in the south because when outsiders come here, we can’t seem to get them to go home.
Just don’t try to change us. we like living this way.
Its not hard to find nicer folks out here in fly over country, at least away from the big cities.
Hon, we go to Kroger and WalMart to socialize! LOL. My boys kid me all the time. “Gosh, Mom. How many people do you know?”. Hehe!
I remember that day. They gave me my pants back once they got the photo.
If WalMart doesn’t have it, you don’t need it.
At least you remember. When my sister finally came home she didn’t have a clue...
Years ago my husband and I moved to central Maine. Pretty cold and snowy area. We drove in our little Pinto and one afternoon slid off the road. A big truck with four big men pulled up in front of us, All got out with a nod but no words, pointed us out of the way and one steered and pushed and the other three pushed and the car was back on the road. they did not say one word to us. We tried to offer monies but just saw them drive off.
This was, we discovered, the rule of the road, in the area, something like leaving the camp door unlocked and provisioned in alaska for whomever might need to stay.
Over the years we became part of the folks who stopped, nodded and pushed. There was great comfort in knowing that the next car would help when stranded miles from nowhere.
I would call Huntsville more like mid south than deep south. It’s northern Alabama which is closer to east Tennessee — a longtime Republican holdout going back to the Civil War — culturally, than the deep plantation South. Furthermore, Huntsville is a big time techie mecca with more PhD’s per capita than Silicon Valley thanks to its defense industry connections. Lots of international types around as well thanks in part to its excellent engineering oriented university. That particular Krogers serves the upscale Madison area where all the engineers live. That said, it’s still Alabama and the southern culture is very evident.
Can you point me to a place that serves this in the Huntsville, Alabama area?
I’d always heard that Bob Jones University was the buckle on the Bible Belt.
BTW....the original Bob Jones, and several of his progeny did and do hue the strict Baptist, anti-charismatic line. But a while back I heard that one of the Joneses in the line of succession had jumped the tracks and was a stalwart charismatic. Anyone know anything about that?
At least you remember. When my sister finally came home she didnt have a clue...
Hey, she’s my sister too! When’s she due? (as if I didn’t know.)
No sale regarding your suggestion they don't ask for drivers licenses at Texas car rental agencies...Total BS.
The moral? We are as surprised at cynicism as you are at openness.
Ya would have received the same response from white woman.
Ya see it's not cynicism for a car rental company to ask for your freaking drivers license, just like they do in Texas...LOL!
It's simply common sense...This isn't 1950s America, regardless of where ya call home...
My Sister married a Naval Aviator and they have been all over the United States as well as most of the world. She says the rudest people they have met are from San Francisco.
They are retired and now spend 6 months every year in some country usually in Europe. My Sister says the Scots are friendliest people in Europe. The last two years they spent in Hungary. At first they got a bad impression as no one would offer to help you if you obviously did. Then they got to noticing that if you actually asked them for help, they were very forthcoming. They even asked a student for directions and he spent the whole day driving them around showing different attractions and then refused any money.
Hahaha! Why...we just love on everybody!
It’s “old school”, and tells you alot about upbringing.
I attended a private school in Huntsville in 1964. Something had just happened that caused these church schools to spring up all over Alabama. As a first grader I was ignorant to the greater issues at the time.
The basic politeness you refer to is still found in the southern expatriot community, white and black as you travel America.
In increasing infrequency, I should add.
Great people everywhere in the metroplex :)
“Funny, I have a merchant in Texas like that, but he
is from California.”
I have lived in California all of my life, small town,
rural California, that is. Kindness and friendliness
abounds. Where it doesn’t is where rural communities
have been invaded by city dwellers, sad to say.
All Californians get a bad rap for the outrageous
actions of the dominant large city folks. If the truth
be known we proud, small town California hicks are
not so different than Ruralville Anywhere, USA.
I think the biggest difference in people is between
urban and rural, as opposed to state or region.
I was in NYC my h.s. senior year (1977) with an exchange student and her mother. They spoke minimal English. Apparently, we took the wrong way to the subway... We stopped at a corner store to ask directions... The store owners did not speak English either... At some point, I encountered a man and asked for assistance. He told me that I must not be a local because of my smile...
To Be a Virginian
either by birth, marriage, adoption,
or even on one’s mother’s side,
is an introduction to any state in the Union,
a passport to any foreign country,
and a benediction from the Almighty God.
That TOTALLY depends on what context it’s used in. Most of the time it’s used as a term of endearment. But in rare cases it is a polite way of saying “oh, that dumb@ss”.
Pretty much the same in any state, generalities being what they are.
In the 23 years of my work experience, my first job, our company had facilities in various parts of the country including NJ and AL. The people in AL were the nicest folks and very polite. They would get us lunch and they brought some good food especailly BBQ.
However, the NJ facility, when we were there, we constantly had to walk on eggshells. We were told that we had to be very formal and demure, we were also instructed to dress much nicer and that even included weekends. We were in NJ for two weeks too install new system. And when installing the new system, we had to constantly ask permission to do this and that. The funny thing, for lunch, they always bought us fast food and for dinner, we did dinner on our own and excluded them.
Our last night there, we went to a very nice place to eat with the NJ folks. It was the kind of place where there were no prices on the menu. One person in our group ordered Filet Mignon and I ordered lobster. We were told thanks for hard work and were more than welcome to order anything on the menu. Two weeks after we got back to Indy from the NJ trip, I got called in and got chewed out about the lobster. The general manager (GM) was pretty livid that I ordered lobster and how I haven’t paid my dues to society and I need to know my place. My response back was if the GM felt I didn’t deserve to eat at a nice place, he should have been upfront and said so, of course I would have something to say to him afterward though. Nothing was ever said about the filet mignon.
In later years of my career, I have found that I don’t care to deal with people from the US Northeast especially New Jersey. Not nice people and they vote democrat too ! And the executive types are the type I don’t care to deal with. In my current job, I had to deal with a NJ customer and it started with a phone call from an East Indian and I pushed back and then the phone changed changed immediately and I was dealing with an Executive VP and he just started barking one order after another laced with threats such as filing a lawsuit and criminal charges if I didn’t fix his problem this instant. A real POS if you ask me. My manager and legal got involved.
When I worked at Lockheed Martin, we had counterparts in Gaithersburg, MD and they were a PITA to deal with. They plan things out but they never tell what they are and they expect you to drop whatever you are doing this instant and do work for them. I even politely asked them if they can tell us what is being planned so we can be prepared and get some work done ahead of time so it can be done well instead of having to do it in a hurry. They gave a curt response back they were not going to work that way and insisted that we are expected to be at their “beck and call” whenever. When it came to vacation, they told us that we don’t start vacation until Saturday morning and we were expected to be available into Friday night for whatever work they wanted done. And I really pissed them off when I left like on Thu afternoon or Fri morning after I had my 40 hours. They usually call me 5 minuted before I am ready to leave with bunch of work that they wanted done and I told them to find someone else to do it or it can wait until I got back. How they knew, we were required to put in our availability time in our calendar.
The gist of it, I don’t care to deal with East Coast people especailly with their entitlement mentality and having to constantly have to be very careful in how I dealt with them since almost anything can set them off and they demand to talk to your manager.
> Im in East Texas (edge of the South) but I telecommute with teams in NYC, New Jersey, and Chicago and there really is a big cultural gap. We are obsessed with being polite, they are obsessed with being politically correct (to the point of rudeness*).
It’s nice, isn’t it? I live in Houston and some people are nice here, but when we were south of Lafayette, the people couldn’t have been nicer.
“The least Multicultural societies are most often the nicest.”
Sociologist Robert Putnam wrote a very interesting book about exactly that, called “Bowling Alone” ...
My company has offices in a number of states, among them Texas and California.
In Cali nobody dares say merry Christmas or even happy holidays.
In Texas everyone says merry Christmas, and refers to all the holidays by their proper name. Easter also.
I’ve died an gone to heaven :)
(yes, am in Texas now)
call the store!
You can call someone anything
as long as you end with
“Bless Their Heart”
You should probably warn him about the whole hugging thing before he shows up at your church.
I'm sorry, but that was funny. Because it's true! lol
SFran is the exact opposite. It is one of the rudest areas in the US.
You've hit on an unpleasant fact of life here. SF Bay Area people tend to see children as optional accessories to their lives.
That is So wonderful!! If I could tolerate the COLD, I definitely would consider WI. GO PACKERS!!!!! (Our FAVORITE NFL team. - Don’t ask “why” as it is a family secret. :-)
Most of California was like that before we were inundated by New York and east coast college students during the Viet Nam War. They got their deferments, hung on in our low-tuition state colleges, and stayed after graduation. The California culture has suffered ever since.
Like the store manager in this story, which I totally believe. Yet there was a level beyond which we did not go. It may not seem to make sense in the context here, but it does to me; and I call it "honor."
I sometimes trash southernors here for hypocrisy and thin skins, but the underlying fault is not living up to your heritage. Y'all should do and be better.
Welcome to the south. Kick your shoes off and stay a while.
Well, it’s Ma’am....but I’m not pickin’. I’ll PM you a place near me that’s worth the drive.
I got a smoked pork loin from a butcher in the Texas hill country last month for under $9.
“SFran is the exact opposite. It is one of the rudest areas in the US.”
Of course, and if your life was an ongoing pain in the a$$, you’d be rude, too.
"They're courteous, open doors, you sneeze they say bless you," Chris Gamell, of Dallas, said.
A Jackson, Miss., man said he was a bit skeptical of what he would see in this "cow town," but he said he was converted after spending a couple of days here.
"Everybody's been awesome!" he said.
Read more: http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/local_news/mlb-declares-kc-one-of-the-best#ixzz2IxJXeWgO
Have you tried the boiled peanuts yet?
Bible-believing Christians, of whom there are many in the Bible belt, are blessed to be a blessing. Never deny them/us our blessing!
But these were really big!
It is pretty cool being in the South. Zero stress, very easy lifestyle, nothing rushed, people are much slower and willing to have a basic life. It is probably the way everyone should be.
No, where do I go for this?
Yes indeed. I am in rural CT and the people here are very friendly and would help a stranger in a minute.
In the old days they were known ‘goober peas’.
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