2 Second Fix: How To Be Polite

2 Second Fix: How To Be Polite

My husband Rich is polite in service situations. I am not. I was born in New York City where politeness is actually rude. It implies you are a rube and an imbecile who wastes people’s time with idle chitchat such as “hello” and “excuse me.” Rich was born in the midwest.
Service folk often wear name tags. This drives me to idle bad thoughts such as “how can some one with a pretty name like Amanda be such a rube and imbecile who is wasting my time by asking me absurd existential questions such as ‘how are you?’ “
Rich calls people by name—as it appears on the tag. He actually says “Hello, Amanda.”
I’ve tried this and it works very well in terms of polite exchanges. However, it is not the real me.

2 thoughts on “2 Second Fix: How To Be Polite

  1. I grew up in the Northeast and when I moved to Wisconsin 20-odd years ago I actually thought servicepeople were making fun of me when they smiled widely and asked “how are you?” in such a warm, friendly voice. I couldn’t come up with any other reason they would be doing such a weird thing. Now after several decades here I can appreciate the friendliness and semi-reciprocate but yeah, it does still seem unnatural to me…

  2. “How are you?” is merely a cue for you to say, “Fine.”

    Or maybe, “Fine, gimme the goat stew, with extra baby goat.”

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