Thursday, August 22, 2013

Small town, Mississippi, you did me a service!

    ... because I'm gonna have some great stories to tell! Living in small town Mississippi, was like living in another world! I have never lived in the south. Not at all.  I am 1/4 hillbilly on my mom's side, which is why I always walk around barefoot, but I still had no idea what I was getting in to moving down there!
    Let's talk about some of the miscommunication going on! First off, I couldn't understand anything anyone was sayin'. And they couldn't understand me!! That's gonna lead to some miscommunication for sure!  I noticed one right away when I went through the Wendy's drive thru on one of my first few days in town.  In the south, people don't like to be usin' all kinds of words to communicate. Well, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, but when it comes to asking someone to repeat themselves, because you didn't hear them or understand what they were saying, they don't.  They will use all kinds of words when they get up in your face about something! But that's another story for another time!
    So, Wendy's drive thru... as if a drive thru window isn't hard enough on the understanding. Well, if they don't understand you there, they use ONE word: "Ma'am!"  That's it.  And it's not even said in a way that makes you think it's even a question.  "Ma'am!" Kind of yelled and a little bit of annoyance in your tone of voice.  Well, I had absolutely NO idea that saying "Ma'am" meant I was supposed to repeat myself.  I figured it meant that they were trying to get my attention so they could say something else to me.  So, in the drive thru, for probably close to two or three months, I would say, "Yes?" Or "What?" when they said, "Ma'am".  Now, what would a normal person do If they weren't getting the response they anticipated with the "question" they were asking?  Most people would phrase it differently. But not people in that small town!! They just get annoyed, and say "Ma'am!!!" even louder!  My response was always the same, as the first.... "Yes!? What!! What do you need?"  Usually this would go on for a few minutes before the person would finally say something like, "I'm gonna need you to repeat that!"  Then I would.  I honestly did not have a CLUE why everyone kept saying "Ma'am" to me.  And honestly, what's with the "Ma'am", now that you mention it!!? I hate being called "Ma'am".  It just isn't my thing! I know there in the south it is supposed to be a respectful way of addressing someone, but if the tone of voice is angry, what difference does it make what the actual WORDS are!?

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