While at the deli, one of the workers casually commented on how polite I was (despite the tone of my online presence, in meat-space I’m usually courteous, especially to those who work in the service industry*). Before I could say anything, the guy behind me piped in with “That’s just good Southern upbringing.”
Now, I wasn’t raised in the South and have no discernible accent that would imply regionalism. It’s not a big deal, but for some ungodly reason I turned, smiled nciely and said, “I’m not from the South, but I guess you can get good upbringing anywhere.”
As the words were coming out of my mouth, I knew it was a mistake. The man stiffened, gave me a weird look and asked if I was “one of them damn Yankees coming down here to steal the jobs**.”
Good Southern upbringing, indeed.
* It seems that service industry people get treated like crap 90% of the time regardless of how polite or professional they are. This isn’t just servers and bartenders, pretty much all service industry folks. So next time you’re at the supermarket, smile when you say “hello” to the cashier and when done, say “thank you” to the cashier and the bagger. Takes two seconds.
** One, Florida’s unemployment rate is just under 10%. Two, I’ve lived here over 13 years. Three, really?