Courtesy vs Rudeness



On Monday I landed a job taking over the maintenance of 5 rental properties in a small town west of us. Although I was aware that it was gonna involve some pretty nasty work, but, thrilled to get the work. It means that I can pay for my meds without taking money from household funds.

The owner of the properties is WW II vet in very poor health, and the guy who usually does the maintenance work goofs off and just collects his check.

I started the week off on a house that had just been rented but the occupants had not moved in yet as they were coming from Nashville Tn.

It was sometime in the mid afternoon, and I was in the process of hanging a new front door, I heard a car pull up in the drive but didn’t bother to turn around as I pretty much had my hands full hanging the door alone.

From behind me a slurred gangsta voice. said" What do you think you are doing?" I turned to see a blk man in his mid 20’s with the typical inner city look, baggy pants with the waste about to his knees, pink T shirt and pink ball cap turned sideways. I just answered. "What the hell does it look like I am doin’?" He replied well you are either taking that door down or putting it up I guess." With the cardboard box and instructions layin there on the porch I’d thought it was pretty obvious.

Well, in a couple of minutes came a white girl also in her 20s, a baby on her hip, and an 8 year old in tow. She asked if I was the landlord, and I said "heavens no girl, I am just the hired hand." Her Momma had rented the house.

I went ahead workin’ when the dude came over and said "what kind of money do ya make?" I replied, "well, I don’t see where that’s much your concern, but, generally its paper money." (I can be a smart A too if need be.) The girl said Duwayne mind your own business, you ain’t in the city now." He came back with “I was just wondering what kind of wages they paid around here." I said "depends on what ya do, round here wages aren’t all that high. Unless you are some kind of executive." Now, maybe I was being a little to smart mouth, but I really don’t like folks puttin their noses in my business especially if I don’t even know them.

The girls said “he is a dishwasher and cooks helper." I smiled at her because she was very polite, and I said well, is he certified in food service? And she said "no", I replied very politely back," he will need to take a class and be certified up here. Even to wash dishes."

Well, that was all it took to set him off, he started swearin this and that, said it was because he was black, and on and on. When he finally caught his breath, I said "man, the colour of y’alls skin has nothin’ to do with it. It is just the law here." However, if you really want to work up here I’d suggest y’all lose that big city ghetto attitude. These farmers and oil field hands, don’t really take kindly to that attitude." He popped off something about rednecks, then he said what’s with all these Confederate flags around here, you even got them on your van." And, we saw a place over in the next town that had a bunch of them flying over some gravestone."

Honestly, I didn’t know whether to puff up like a cobra, or just laugh, but I knew this was fixin to go somewhere. I just took a breath, and said that isn’t a gravestone, it’s a memorial to the Confederate dead buried in this county, and that’s my home"….

Lord, I thought he was gonna pass out…………he walked off mumbling something to himself, I looked at the girl, and said hon, where are you from, if you don’t mind my asking?" She gave the name of a town of about 6000 about 30 miles north of us. I, stopped what I was doin’ and said "child you best set that young man down and give him a good talkin’ to about how people act and what they expect from other people, ya know politeness, and mindin’ your own business, and folks don’t like people runnin’ their mouths about something they have no clue of. I concluded by sayin’ I try real hard to be polite and get along with most everyone. It doesn’t always work, but I try."

"Also there are several other things here that I am supposed to fix. So, I am prolly gonna be around here for a week or so, and your landlords other maintenance man, well let’s just say he ain’t as pleasant as I am."

She said "thanks for the heads up, I’ll talk to him."

I said “that’d be right good." It will certainly be to y’alls best advantage, and it has nothing to do with the colour of his skin, it’s he’s just plain rude." She lowered her head a bit and say yea he is, that’s what my mom always brings up about him.

So there ya have it just one more way that Southron upbringing is the best. I might have saved that fellow a whupping from some big farm boy down the road someday. There just ain’t no end to doin’ good now is there?