Just a generic geek, with a tendency for taking things apart

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
A Northerner's Guide to Southern "Hospitality"
Moving to the south east there are three major changes. First is this extremely temperate weather (and yes I am sitting outside writing this), these none of that -0F crap and you barely need an inch of snow to shut down everything - they just let it melt.

Secondly is tea, they love their sweet tea in the south. Then again I don't drink tea, or any variants thereof, so I could care less about it.

Third is the hospitality. This people are nice, I mean really really nice. Ned Flanders okally doakally nice.

Too Nice.

Sure its attractive, I doubt anyone wants to deal with the type of festering assholes that come out of New York (the stereotypical type of New Yorkers) but these "nice" people can be just as bad. If you're in a shitty situation, know it, and ask for some help they'll avoid the fact that its a shitty situation, and tell you how it isn't your fault, and that you'll do your best, and a load of BS along the same lines. Accomplishes jack squat, but hell it sure is nice of them.

Then there's the way they act in groups, this is even worse than individual hospitality. If you stick them in a committee, don't expect a (useful) report for a long, long time. Because of their hospitality they'll never reach a consensus, it gets down to XYZ has a good point, and so does UVW, and the one item RST mention is probably important as well. to which the general reply is why thank you OPQ, that's so kind of you to say. Again jack squat is accomplished and you can't even have a single leader because they all want to pass it on to someone they respect (which in case you haven't picked up on it is E V E R Y O N E) you can't even have a southern dictator, since no one wants to be selfish. Again, you're rolling no dice, but at least we have our manners ::)

Now this is all dangerous for two reasons. First nothing gets done, or if it does take forever and a day, secondly us northerners, people who aren't adapted to so many niceties, foolishly try to get things done and aren't always that nice about how we try and do it. If you push in the south, you may or may not live to regret it.

The reason I bring this up is because as part of an Engrish project we had to participate in two mock interviews, once as the candidate, and again as the interviewer.

Apparently I'm a very dangerous interviewer.

Most of the locals were hi, how are you (insert a bunch of bland questions with prepared and regurgitated answers) thank you, blah blah blah.

Then I came up as the interviewer. The job the candidate, John (named changed) was looking for was as a systems administrator (if you haven't noticed by now I am a geek, I know something about the field) and my opinion of John wasn't very high. I think John is pretty lazy, has the sophistication of an internet troll, and despite what he may say is a generic luser who thinks his xbox is l337. That aside his prepared paper work was crap, the resume he prepared was barely half a page, and didn't include a fraction of what he claimed he had in his cover letter. personally i have no problem exposing these flaws. How the hell else do people learn.

But I was wrong, horribly, horribly wrong. How dare I question a nice southern guy about his paper work.

I started off easily enough, hi, you're here for this job, tell me about your education, why do you want this job, and he was giving good answers so I started weaving in harder questions, like why he didn't include these items on the resume, was he working on them, how did he feel his education compensate for a lack of experience. Hell I started helping him along repeating and confirming high points.

But I'm still wrong, because I presented a challenge, a slice of reality to an area too damn nice for its own good. I know I was a little hard. The questions I was asking were not questions you would ask a serious applicant - if this had been real I wouldn't have even bothered calling John back, let alone for an interview. I don't feel bad about asking hard questions, actually I wish the person interviewing me would have asked a challenging question or two - like everyone else the questions were being read off a hastily written list of questions, regardless of the responses I gave.

Needless to say John was more than willing to take a few shots at what my experiences were, and honestly I didn't feel like arguing over how much I've webmastered and consulted (which would be eight sites and counting) partially because it would have been bragging and I usually try to avoid that (what's the frelling point?) partially because I had already pissed him off.

I guess all I'm really saying is that as a Northerner in the south, questioning people isn't a good thing, they aren't used to it and it will put you in a very awkward, uncomfortable, and generally not-nice situation.

(note: sorry for any changes of tone/style in the corse of the post, I started writing this 5 hours before I had it to a point where I could hit post safely)

"you can't even have a southern dictator, since no one wants to be selfish" I'm truly sorry that you think this but you know that I am more than willing :)
I feel your pain when I am in Mount airy, but not nearly as much. even though I am from SC, I have the decency of being from near a larger city, so hospitality is there but not to the point of ridiculous. as fart as "John" goes I'd tell him where to stick his crappy resume until he fixes it. Oh well I guess thats because I have the largesse of having a mom from NY and a dad from here. ;)

Its done with, so it doesn't really matter now. I jut needed to rant. John will get what ever he gets if its a low mark fine - hell I probably did him a favor by grilling him in a mock interview now. Better to make an ass of himself now than when he chooses to job hunt.

Group dynamics, even you'll think twice before forcing a decision on everyone. Besides, ME, you aren't a typical southerner, actually you arn't a typical anything come to think of it.
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