A few days ago, I worked with a client in Africa. She emailed me today because she realized she did not thank me for the consultation. I’m glad she did this. It’s prompted me to write this post, which I’ve intended to write since Jupiter went into Libra.
Two years ago, I moved to the American South. Southerners are known for their good manners and their reputation is well deserved. I was raised…um…poorly. Having Mars and Mercury in Libra, I have always aspired to have manners. I’ve been at this since I was a ten-year-old child, reading Emily Post that I got from the library. I can’t say that I ever succeeded. I have improved my manners, but that’s different from having good manners.
I moved to the South from Colorado. I lived there for more than twenty years, having come from Arizona. People in Arizona tend to be warm. Seriously. They’re warm and they’re casual. People in Colorado are cold and casual. I never figured out why, but manners are definitely not a focus there.
When I moved here, I knew it was going to be ‘Sir” and “Ma’am” all the time. If you don’t grow up using these titles, they sound awkward when they leave your mouth. Again, with time and practice, I’ve improved. But here’s the interesting thing I wanted to write about:
I was talking about this with a friend some months ago. She lives in region that does not use formal terms. She said if you were to call someone, “ma’am” in her city, they’d probably look at you as if you had three heads and they may even correct you. I knew exactly what she meant! I’ve seen this reaction before. But check this out…
In practicing my Southern style manners, I wanted to speed progress (Mars in Libra), so I started to call people “ma’am” and “sir” when calling for service. I’m talking about national stuff. T-Mobile. Home Depot customer service. I had no idea where the person I was talking to might be located. But I’ll tell you something. It sure made a difference in how I was treated. It was amaaaaazing.
It didn’t matter who or where I was calling, the person on the other end of the phone, was invariably kind. I could really notice it when I called folks in Colorado. Yep!
I had a corporation when I lived in Colorado. I dissolved it when I move but there were loose ends here and there. For example they billed me four times for something I paid before I left. I could have gotten on the phone and cussed them. Stupid baboons! Instead it went like this.
“Yes, ma’am. I have problem and I’m hoping you can help me with it…”
BAM. Instant nice.
Now if you try this and a Southerner (living wherever) picks up the phone and encounters manners on the other end, they will help you to the end of the earth and back again.
It’s not too late. Jupiter is still in Libra. Is there anyone out there who will cop to the fact, they set an example of rudeness, everywhere they go?
If you’re like that, what do you think about experimenting with a new way to present and express yourself?
I’ll tell you one thing. If you work for tips, you’d be well advised to acquire skills in this area. Especially if you’re young.