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Old 03-18-2012, 03:09 AM
 
Location: Macao
12,440 posts, read 18,395,848 times
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Default For non-Michigan people: your stereotypes of Michigan people before meeting them

To me, as a native Michigander, our state doesn't seem to strike much of an image with others. Sometimes people confuse it with other M-states. Some think it's kind of like Canada. Others just think of cornfields without thinking about the great lakes.

Anyways, for the non-Michiganders, what did you always think of for Michigan?
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:38 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
To me, as a native Michigander, our state doesn't seem to strike much of an image with others. Sometimes people confuse it with other M-states. Some think it's kind of like Canada. Others just think of cornfields without thinking about the great lakes.

Anyways, for the non-Michiganders, what did you always think of for Michigan?
No offense, but I have always associated Michigan with obesity.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Your computer screen.
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One stereotype I always hear is "You must like cold weather."

Uh...NO!
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Orange & Blue City
1,729 posts, read 862,866 times
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I always have an instant connection with people from Michigan and have many close friends from Michigan...I guess when I was growing up in B'klyn my thoughts of Michigan led to thoughts of Detroit which led to thoughts of Motown which led to thoughts of inner city living which I totally related to...

My first visit to Michigan I was blown away by Lake Michigan, the stars, the scenery...my subsequent visits were to Flint, Detroit, Caseville,...Loved it... some of the inner city neighborhoods reminded me (as I envisioned) of Brooklyn...

I'll be there in a few months and am looking forward to the visit and possible relocation...

BTW to answer your question, I guess my stereotype would be that Michiganders are just like Brooklynites

Last edited by tiluha; 03-18-2012 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 30,195,002 times
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When I lived in California and told people that I grew up in Michigan, people tended to assume that I was into hard work, pro-union, and tough. (Yes, no, and no? - I am oh so very sensative! ) People tended ot expct that young people from cold tough places tended to have more common sense and practical thinking than other young people, because you have to. How many kids growing up in Califrnia are ever in a situation where survival depends on preparedness ro making good decisions?

Our firm loved to hire midwesterners due to the work ethic generally missing in coasters. However I think it has gone missing in most young people now. Everyone young we hire seems to think they are entitled to go home at 5 and stay home on weekends regardless of whether the job is completed or not. There are exceptions of course and those are the ones we try to keep. But thye are getting harder and harder to find.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
14,360 posts, read 11,896,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post

Our firm loved to hire midwesterners due to the work ethic generally missing in coasters. However I think it has gone missing in most young people now. Everyone young we hire seems to think they are entitled to go home at 5 and stay home on weekends regardless of whether the job is completed or not. There are exceptions of course and those are the ones we try to keep. But thye are getting harder and harder to find.

That is very true, I even see it with the people my age. You see a wide range of philosophies here in Michigan, especially Grand Rapids. Michigan has always been quite blue collar (for the most part) and a strong work ethic which is passed down from the parents.

Here in Michigan, you still see kids who have to pay for all of their bills as soon as they turn 16 and start driving. Kids who work throughout high school and college and pay for all of their, things, but the laziness is also starting to come out from a lot of kids who don't get jobs. That, in my opinion is what leads to the sense of entitlement. They think they own the company and expect to only have to do minimal work and expect the company to bend over backwards for their whims.

Just my experience though. I would say it was about 50/50 as I was growing up and I'm 24.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
That is very true, I even see it with the people my age. You see a wide range of philosophies here in Michigan, especially Grand Rapids. Michigan has always been quite blue collar (for the most part) and a strong work ethic which is passed down from the parents.

Here in Michigan, you still see kids who have to pay for all of their bills as soon as they turn 16 and start driving. Kids who work throughout high school and college and pay for all of their, things, but the laziness is also starting to come out from a lot of kids who don't get jobs. That, in my opinion is what leads to the sense of entitlement. They think they own the company and expect to only have to do minimal work and expect the company to bend over backwards for their whims.

Just my experience though. I would say it was about 50/50 as I was growing up and I'm 24.
That's interesting. Just thinking, by the time I was 24, I had a college degree, plus had worked 5 summers in a factory, plus plenty of parttime jobs - a year in a grocery store, a year in a gas station, a summer trimming and cutting trees for a road crew, and had worked in about 4-5 different restaurant settings, fastfood to fine dining.

None of which I earned more than $3.50/hour (late 80s/mid 90s). At 24, I moved out to Portland Oregon, because a friend told me he was parking cars at $5.00/hour. I went out in a heartbeat and volunteered for every overtime I could get, as I knew after 40 hours, it was $7.50/hour. So, working 80 hours a week like mad.

FLASH FORWARD about 5-6 years later, I ended up making my way to New York City, where I was doing a full-time job at $25/hour....in that workplace, I kept meeting TONS of young college students doing the same job as me during their summer breaks, with a huge future ahead of them, and not really realizing how high their parttime was paying them. I was always thinking how I would have killed for a job like that while in college!!

Even now, I've long ago left MI, have two MA degrees, and I realize that few of my peers ever worked in a factory, in particular. They'll talk about some kids in Guam who work at $6 and live in some roommate share situation (i.e. free housing, even if cramped). No idea what Guam would have been twenty years ago, but if it was around $3.50, and I'd heard they offered free housing and they offered some free way to go there, I might have tried to get from MI to Guam to work in one of those factories instead!
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
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I have been to 46 states and I have heard alot of things about our state while traveling. I think cold and flat is what most people think of, 9 months of winter, nothing here but cornfields. Many think its dull and boring all the time, unless your in Detroit then your doging bullets. Detroits bad reputation really hangs over this states image like the sword of Damaclese. I once told someone I was from Michigan and they asked me if Id ever been to Detroit and how many murders ive seen. Another image that people have is that terrible rust belt image of falling down factorys, people in unemployment lines etc. I really hate that one too. Some of the things people picture when they think of Mi are typical stereotypes all midwest states deal with like flat, boring cold etc. The Detroit thing we own however. I wish something could be done about that one, its embarassing to be a Michigander when you hear the Detroit stuff, because that stuff is all true. All we can do is make distinctions between Michigan and Detroit, as if Detroit really isnt part of our state at all. Disown it like an unwanted step child, thats my philosophy.
On the positive side Ive also met alot of people who are visiting here from other states and they are in shock at what a nice place this is and how the sterotypes are not true. (other than those regarding Detroit)
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Lansing Metro
2,701 posts, read 2,790,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielj72 View Post
I have been to 46 states and I have heard alot of things about our state while traveling. I think cold and flat is what most people think of, 9 months of winter, nothing here but cornfields. Many think its dull and boring all the time, unless your in Detroit then your doging bullets. Detroits bad reputation really hangs over this states image like the sword of Damaclese. I once told someone I was from Michigan and they asked me if Id ever been to Detroit and how many murders ive seen. Another image that people have is that terrible rust belt image of falling down factorys, people in unemployment lines etc. I really hate that one too. Some of the things people picture when they think of Mi are typical stereotypes all midwest states deal with like flat, boring cold etc. The Detroit thing we own however. I wish something could be done about that one, its embarassing to be a Michigander when you hear the Detroit stuff, because that stuff is all true. All we can do is make distinctions between Michigan and Detroit, as if Detroit really isnt part of our state at all. Disown it like an unwanted step child, thats my philosophy.
On the positive side Ive also met alot of people who are visiting here from other states and they are in shock at what a nice place this is and how the sterotypes are not true. (other than those regarding Detroit)
I agree with all of this, except the part about Detroit. I care about Detroit, and I hate seeing it fall apart. I've been reading the stories coming out of Detroit about the financial crisis daily, with great interest, hoping that somehow Detroit can come to its senses. Don't get me wrong... I am not overly optimistic. But I would love nothing more than for Detroit to turn around. While there are certainly people in MI who would rather just give Detroit to Canada for two cents, I think there are also people all over the state who feel the way that I do.

The truth is that most Americans are geographic morons. And they can't comprehend that Detroit is a very small part of the state. Whether we like it or not, when people think of Michigan, they picture Detroit (unless they've actually spent some time here). If Detroit fails, we will all feel the hurt. I am sure of it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,146 posts, read 21,268,786 times
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Last Summer all my In-laws came out to visit and meet the newest addition to the family. It was the first time any of them had set foot inside the State although we have talked a LOT about it over the years. Their anticipation was heavy industry everywhere, gritty, grimy, flat as a board, and rather ugly. They expected most of the people to be surly, and/or depressed. Even after years of showing them photographs of the area we live and I grew up in, after countless hours talking to them about Michigan, and everything else, that was the impression of the State overall. Thanks Media Bias, job well done tarnishing the image of an entire State!

Needless to say, they saw nothing of what they were expecting and really fell in love with the State after driving through much of it to get to our place, and on their return trip back to Mass. My Sister-in-law and hubby want to move their family here so bad, it isn't even funny. Mother-in-law realized that we were not just blowing smoke up her skirt to make her feel better for "dragging my Daughter out to MI." She saw what a beautiful area we live in and one thing all of them kept saying over and over was how they couldn't believe just how friendly everyone they met were. Brother-in-law went so far as to say he felt like he grew up in the area because of just how friendly everyone was to them. They spent a few days poking around on their own, and left with a real desire to move here to MI. I hear it every week now when we talk how badly they want to find jobs and relocate. I have watched my other Sister-in-law stand on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan and cry because she thought it was so beautiful. These are people who wasn't expecting much, and all came from either rural New Hampshire, rural Mass (yes there is such a place), or Maine so the area they are from is rather beautiful also.
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