Thursday, May 7, 2015

All Polite-Like

I have to say that one of the most surprising things about working in the library I do is the politeness of the patrons. I remember my days as an undergrad. "Polite" was not ever a word I would use to describe college freshmen or sophomores. I could think of a lot of other words. Entitled. Loud. Obnoxious. Not all of them, to be sure, but there was a large percentage who were just not pleasant to be around, and I saw them repeatedly being rude to anyone over the age of 25.

However, most of the young students I have encountered at this school are polite to the point of almost being annoying. They wait patiently at the desk to ask if they can use one of my kajillion OSU pencils. (Use them? Take them with you! I sure don't need them.) They stand behind one another queuing up for simple questions, rather than interrupting a conversation I'm having with a faculty member. They sometimes wipe their feet on the mat before walking in. They say please, thank you and (much to my chagrin) use "ma'am" liberally.

Maybe it's the fact that most of them come from a rural background, and they were taught to treat people with respect. And maybe it's because I look terrifying and they don't want to anger the beast. Either way, I'll take it.

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