Whoops! National Etiquette Week (May 13-18) ends tomorrow, and I didn't even realize it was happening. I'm not shocked that it wasn't on my radar -- extra "pleases" and "thank-yous" haven't been flying around this week, and it doesn't help that I live in one of the least courteous states in the country: Massachusetts (according to this interesting new study by Marchex, a company that performs call analytics).
I feel a little guilty and ashamed to admit... if I have noticed one thing in the weeks following the Boston Marathon bombings, it's that my city may be "Boston Strong" but it's not really "Boston Polite." We saw tremendous acts of kindness and bravery on April 15, but the good vibes from that terrible day have started to dwindle. These days, I'm seeing the usual mad dash for seats on the T (subway) and lack of polite interaction between strangers. En route to a Sox game last week, I saw a bunch of 20-something baseball fans cut in front of a blind commuter in order to make it to the game on time. (Cringe.)
Marchex didn't review face-to-face interactions for their politeness research. But they did mine 600,000 calls from consumers to businesses (such as cable companies and car dealerships) to determine their lists of the most and least courteous states. While my state was in the top 5 least likely to use "please" and "thank you" during a call, at least it also ranked in the top 5 for being the least likely to swear during these often unpleasant chats (so we're not that nice, but we're also not that naughty... you're welcome!).
Apparently Ohioans are among the most likely to swear and the least likely to use the magic words -- ouch! Folks from the Carolinas, on the other hand, are upholding their reputation for southern hospitality.
Take a look at the map of the study's results. I think you'll find it interesting. Do the findings seem accurate for your state?
It's a fine time to brush up on manners (thankyouverymuch!):