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.
Welcome to my neck of the woods!
People in the rural north are friendly folks too. Its a different kind of nice but good folks just the same.
I am also a refugee from L.A. I have found that great Southern attitude here in Dallas.
Have a great time down here where civilized people live.
two more years and I am there
I live in Huntsville. For a lot of people who have never been to the deep South, it is a shock.
And then many of them move here.
Welcome to Huntsville.
BTW, if you want to go to church somewhere Sunday, we would be honored to have you at the Jordan Park Church of Christ.
The above link will give you plenty of info on how to find us.
North Carolina was a second home when I was growing up in MA. I miss it terribly.
Welcome home-American by birth-Southern by the grace of God.
The least Multicultural societies are most often the nicest.
(Ringing in with the correct answer:)
It is the buckle of the Bible Belt !
Same way in rural Northern California (far from the coast).
I have lived here since 1966 and the people here are about the nicest anywhere. Guess it is in the water! I have discovered that if I am nice to others, they are nice in return. Love HSV.
My husband and I, both Texans, were at the car rental counter at a California Airport. The young black woman behind the counter asked my husband for his drivers license number.
He verbally gave the number, a typical trust issue in Texas.
In the way of young black women, head and chin back, shoulders, doing a slight zig-zag, she says “To-To, you ain’t in Kansas anymore, I’ll need to SEE that license”
We got a kick out of that reaction.
The moral? We are as surprised at cynicism as you are at openness.
Sssssssshhhhhh!!!! I live about 50 miles from Huntsville . . . don’t want the word to get out too much. A good thing can be messed up . . . just look at Washington!
No argument...but for a reasonably large city, I have found the people of Indianapolis the nicest, friendliest folks around.
We went to the New York Worlds Fair on our senior trip in 1965. We did run into some extraordinarily rude people but also some nice ones.
I particularly remember a woman at the fair who was engraving things for a reasonable price. She looked Jewish to me. I asked her how much it would cost me to engrave my name on a few medals I won at the Florida State Track Meet.
She looked at them and said she would not think of charging me for engraving those medals. She did a good job too.
Make sure you get over to the Huntsville Space Center and take a sidetrip over to Redstone Arsenal.
Be sure to write Krogers and let them know.
That would be a nice letter for his personnel file.
I’m 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*). I get comments from project managers and engineers in cross functional teams all the time asking to work with me because I’m easy to work with while other team members are rude and in a hurry all the time. I had a comment last week asking if there were more of us from Texas they could work with instead of the New Jersey corporate office. It is just how we are raised.
*I have a big Christmas story around this I have to share one day about the ultra-lib obsessed over not offending anyone at Christmas that he was demanding we didn’t get our boss a gift.. crazy stuff.
Everyome could be as nice as us...
The secret: “An armed society is a polite society”.
Traditional Southern greeting that Yankees will never understand.
I miss Carolina BBQ.
Sweetheart (if you do not mind my calling you that), THIS is the way of Southern people!!
I grew up in VA. Very hospitable and congenial.
Moved to Miami, FL. NOT so.
Relocated to AL. WOW.
I was accustomed to “bumping into” someone in the grocery and saying excuse me - my fault or not. But here in AL, the OTHER person said it FIRST!!
The Kroger is:
300 Hughes Rd., Madison AL 35758
I cant remember the managers name, I was just to busy processing what had happened?
Does anybody know the managers name at this Kroger’s?
I cant find this on-line.
A big, gregarious guy, with no hair.
They have these huge pork loins on sale for like $9 a piece this week.
Welcome to what America used to be. If you’re up for a drive, come on up I-65 and visit us in TN.
Sorry but that is roll on the floor funny. Takes skill to turn a required policy that some people can get frustrated over into something funny. Disarming skill.
Yeah, but if want to know where you really stand with people, you’ve got to come up to the cranky Northeast. The range is from the sincerely rude in NY and NJ to the sincerely nice in NH, but it’s not all wrapped up in a cloying facade.
Can I go to church with you this Sunday?
Freepmail me if you would like to.
Not so fast, Skippy! I grew up with blacks, whites and folks from South of the Border, and my husband grew up with blacks, whites, and Lebanese and Syrians, in different areas of the great State of Mississippi. They'd been raised, as we were, to be polite. On the other hand, after we were married, we lived in an area of New Jersey that was almost solid white, and it was one of the most UN-friendly places I'd ever lived in.
It has nothing to do with race or ethnicity, it has to do with what's expected of you as you're growing up.
Pay it forward. A bit ago I was headed out to work and an out of state car had slid off the road and was stuck in the snow. I stopped, got my tow strap, and pulled them back onto the highway. The guy started digging in his wallet and I told him that wasn’t necessary. He seemed surprised. I told him to simply pay it forward.
A little bit ago my wife was in a store getting some diapers, wipes, etc. for the grandkids, about $30 worth. Her debit card keeps getting rejected (turns out my direct deposit paycheck hadn’t been direct deposited, was nowhere to be found-—oops) and she is getting very flustrated. A woman back in line steps up and paid for her stuff. My wife asked her for contact info to pay it back. The woman just smiled and told her “Pay it forward”.
I agree, we thought it was hilarious! This happened over ten years ago, we still remember it!
The only reason I mentioned race, was so ya’ll could get the proper picture, BTW.
Haha! So true.
Actually, it is a characteristic of pro-family areas. My mom and I talk about this a lot.
I know a lot may disagree, but the NYC area is loaded with great folks. I won’t say polite, but they can be so helpful, and tend to jump in and help older folks. We have come to the conclusion that you see helpful strangers in areas that cherish large family.
SFran is the exact opposite. It is one of the rudest areas in the US.
People are nice down south because they are ignorant, and believe fictional accounts of the Meaning of Life, like the Bible.
You need to discount this trivial experience you had and embrace the lib model of bitter, racist, hateful idiots that is most certainly a more accurate description.
Welcome to Red State America.
You should probably warn him about the whole hugging thing before he shows up at your church.
I lived in Lower Alabama for 7 years; most polite people on earth.
I lived in Lower Alabama for 7 years; most polite people on earth.
I was accustomed to bumping into someone in the grocery and saying excuse me - my fault or not. But here in AL, the OTHER person said it FIRST!!
Out here in the SW Wisconsin boonies, we will stand there for over a minute exchanging apologies when that happens!
My old stomping grounds ! The small culture shock is when I moved to Colorado in 1995 and at the time I worked at MCI as a contractor. I had to step out to take my car to the shop and stopped for a bite to eat at a Taco John’s. I ran across a couple of co-workers and kind of got the brush off when I asked if I can join. Kind of odd compared to being in Indy. Back in Indy, if you were out to lunch, it was kind of socially expected to ask someone to join you if you see a co-worker.
But the people who gave me the brush off, as I knew them better later, they were from the East Coast (Maryland & Wash DC) and one of them had the reputation of being into political correctness. After I got laid off, a year after I saw Ms. P.C. when I went to the grocery store to get cigars for poker, she was rather curt with me and asked what I was doing there and basically told me I didn’t belong in Colorado. When I still worked at MCI, that woman told me she didn’t like my accent and remarked she didn’t like rednecks.
Also at the time, the national speed limit was on its way out and there was discussion on a 75 mph speed limit and she of course remarked that we should stay at 55 mph and remarked on how states like Maryland believed in safety and kept it at 55 mph.
But back in Indy, definitely nice folks but it also depends on what part of Indy. The folks on the East-side were not friendly and that area has gone downhill even more since the 1980’s or even late 1960’s.
> I have found the people of Indianapolis the nicest, friendliest folks around.
I had a patient from Atlanta, black woman, who said yes sir, thank you sir- very polite to me. I had to tell her she doesnt have to call me sir. I talked with her awhile and found out her kids say yes maam and yes sir to her and her hubby. She said her kids would never disrespect her or anyone else. I was refreshing to hear some parents are doing it right
Thanks for your post. We were raised this way... “Southern by the grace of God.”
That manager went above and beyond even for a southerner.
Just beware the dreaded “Bless your heart!” :o)