Generally most southern truck drivers have manners that would embarrass most of us up north. In New England you are dealing with people that tend to be more closed off, and less likely to display old school manners that you tend to get from a southern truck driver. You get a lot of yes sir, and thank you very much from the men and women who show up after dropping off a truck of southern vegetables and picking up a load of northern roofing. In most cases I can tell almost instantly where someone is from by their accent, but people from the south definitely have a lot more charm in what they do.
Here comes the racist part, which I am sure you all have caught on to by now. When we are talking about the black southerners, I have found a near 100% friendliness that is infectious. It wears off on you actually when a black man or woman comes in to pick up a shipment that leaves everyone all smiles for at least an hour afterwards. It is a little bit different, the men are so amazingly polite and the women could crawl right in with the rest of your crew and be one of the guys immediately, but they are both equally charming. Of course the white southerners are pretty damn cool to meet too, once in a while you can get a meanie head in that bunch.
This is one of my problems with racism in general. I’m sure someone somewhere has had some sort of an issue with someone from somewhere and they let it affect their whole lives. It’s too bad really, because I always feel like I made a new friend with anyone that treats me good. White, black, yellow, red, blue, green I just don’t care. I did think it was amusing though that I was out there chatting with a black man and a black woman, who were both jawing back and forth. He was dropping off asphalt, and she was giving him a hard time about the smell, she was dropping off fiberglass and he was giving her a hard time about the itch. They both sounded like characters from Gone with the Wind, and no I don’t mean the slaves. Stop being racist!
The very last thing they both said to each other as they were leaving was “God Bless You” and as a northerner I was looking around to see who sneezed. As I said it was absolutely charming the whole exchange, and I really wish we could import that, but until we do, I guess I’ll have to be happy that I can go hang out on the shipping dock, and soak it in. People are the most fascinating animals on the planet. Don’t forget that.