Sunday, November 7, 2010

Southern Hospitality and the Unemployed

Throughout the job search, I have called more places than I have fingers and toes…. so I lost count.  It’s getting a bit ridiculous -  Not a single place is hiring!  

See every one of these numbers?  Not hiring.

However; it hasn’t been a complete failure…yet.  In my desperation, I called, left voicemails and/or emailed some therapists who are self-employed and explained to them my situation which went a little something like, “I just moved to Mobile, do you know of anyone who may be hiring? Help I’m desperate HELLLLLLLPP!” or something like that. 

I was truly expecting not to hear from any of them but I actually got responses!  Three different therapists called me back to let me know of openings that they heard of, one invited me to the local speech and hearing association, and one even offered to meet with me at a Starbucks to chat!  This brings me to my point:  Southern Hospitality! 

People here (for the most part) are WAY friendlier than those in South Florida. (One point for Mobile).  Of course not everyone goes way out of their way for others here – I’m not trying to make Mobile sound like a mamby-pamby land where everyone loves everyone and we have chocolate rivers and it rains candy – but there is a lot more kindness here than what I am used to.  People are polite to each other.  Nobody honks within the first .00002 seconds of the light turning green and in line at the deli counter, people actually wait their turn in a civilized manner – and you don’t even need those paper numbers! 

I find myself chatting with strangers here all the time.  Sometimes I can’t help but laugh to myself when the mailman or the receptionist goes on and on and on when I just had one simple yes/no question.  But I am definitely not complaining.  I know it’s not like this all of the time and in all places here, but I like it when I see it…correction….I love it.

Here is one example:
My parents were in town for a few days and we went to an amazing restaurant for lunch - Panini Petes.  (Jaron and I heard about it from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives…This was for sure, a dive.  With the best paninis.  Ever.) This dive had very limited seating and the rain limited outdoor seating leaving us with NO seating.  A woman, eating by herself at a table large enough for all of us, insisted we sit with her.  She was chatting up a storm and I was thinking to myself, “WEIRRRDO”.  Then I quickly gave myself a mental slap on the wrist.  Nothing she was doing or saying classified her as a weirdo.  Just because she was talking with us – total strangers – I felt like she was making a social no-no.  Back at home in south Florida, if Complete Stranger A were to ask Complete Stranger B to share a table with him/her in an overcrowded restaurant, Complete Stranger B would think they were a creep, pretend he/she didn’t hear A’s offer, walk away, and most likely sit outside in the rain before sitting with A – It just doesn’t happen.  I was disappointed in myself that I was so quick to judge, but at the same time, so glad I continued my conversation with her.  Turns out, she used to be a speech therapist in the area and she even dropped a few names for me! 
It’s kind of sad that we so quickly hesitate when strangers go out of their way to help us.  I think I can get used to Southern hospitality.   Kindness rules!   

At Panini Pete's post meal.  Photo taken by waitress.  Great waitress.  Lousy photographer.

Disclaimer:  Our moms had a point (different from mine) when they told us it is not OK to accept candy from strangers.  That is still not OK.  Also, please do not sue me if your complete stranger turns out to be a creep.  You won’t get any money.  I’m unemployed, remember?


  1. McAl! You moved to a place where people share seats at panini Petes and I'm moving to a city where some people won't stand up so babies can sit onthe subway lol Love it. So glad people are being nice! Miss you! Ps you look perty.

  2. Hey there!
    I really enjoyed reading your blog, maybe you should consider a field in writing-keep us posted, I especially enjoyed the piece on TRENDS, looking forward to your next blog