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Old 03-04-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: MN
3,741 posts, read 5,484,831 times
Reputation: 1647

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camden Northsider View Post
I recently had the rare misfortunate of having to spend time shopping at both southdale mall in edina and eden prairie center (long story...) this past weekend and some of my experiences had me thinking that maybe there was something to this view of MN unfriendliness in some locales of the metro.

Specifically, any time that i stopped to ask a sales associate for directions (which was several times), they seemed offended by my interruption which was really off-putting. Now, my wife says it was probably because on the weekends I dress like a homeless person (gross exaggeration), and a couple of times the person was busy doing something... but it was strange- in the city I think people are accustomed to being interrupted or asked questions by people quite frequently, which I have never viewed as an issue nor I have I ever noticed someone working in a service position to view as an issue either (quite the contrary, most remain quite friendly and take it in stride as part of their daily routine)- but at southdale and eden prairie center, I was made to think my behavior was quite rude or unbecoming, despite the fact that I was a customer....and, although it might have been in my head, it seemed like my customer service (or the person's attitude) improved whenever I had to pull out my blackberry during an interaction, like this was some sort of status symbol to be noted of a person that otherwise looked homeless....anyone else have similar experiences, or was it just me??
Any chance this particular employee was a teen or around that age?

What I have found is our younger workforce is becoming less and less apreciative of work. When I got my first job, it was something I was extremely proud of, even though i was a pee-on doing minimal tasks for minimum wage. Either way, I carried a sense of pride and responsibility. This generation's kids seem to not give a crap attitude towards working. They know that it's a job that they probably won't have in a years time. They probably get paid nothing, so what's it to them? The probably have the job more or less to learn to work, because mom and dad said get out and get you job, very few actually NEED the job for survival. This brings me to my situation:

I was at the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth when I approached the CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK. You know, the desk that is there to help CUSTOMERS. I walked up to a 20 yr old looking male and asked

"Do you know where I can find Borders Books?"

he replied after a sigh, and a look as if I just interruppted my dad from the Nightly News, he responded with "You can't find it, it's closed, there's Barnes and Noble"

Really kid? Really? A Barnes and Noble? You mean the giant big box I walked past to come here, when the website says there IS a borders books here? What a pr.i.ck.

I have started to find more and more of this type of behavior not just in the Twin Cities but all over MN. And its more common in the younger crowds than anywhere else.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Victory Neighborhood Minneapolis
1,778 posts, read 3,758,276 times
Reputation: 1127
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I'd guess that a large number of employees at Southdale, at least, don't come from Edina (my first job was at Southdale; I rode the 6 bus out there along with lots of other fellow mall employees), so I don't think you can make a generalization about that. I wonder how you would have been received at the Galleria? (which is far more posh than Southdale) I would guess that the truly high end stores, or stores that deal with a lot of wealthy customers, at least, would know better than to profile their customers. It's been a long time since I've worked in retail, but I know from various other jobs that sometimes it's the most powerful and/or wealthy people who least look the part. I'd tend to think it was just a fluke. Or perhaps you're comparing apples to oranges if you're thinking of smaller independent places in the city versus a mall store in the suburbs, since at the local place you're more likely to be dealing with the owner or someone who feels a stronger stake in the business, while at the mall store you're more likely to encounter underpaid employees who are working for the man and perhaps are less invested.
Agreed and understandable, and it probably was a fluke set of coincidences; but in comparison, all of the fast food places I frequent on the Northside (West Broadway, Lyndale Aves), B.C., and Robbinsdale have a zillion times better customer service skills and friendly employees than what I experienced at Southdale and Eden Prairie Center (I've actually noticed an upward trend in customer service since the economy tanked lately). I can understand working for the man and not being invested, but if that's the case, they need to find a different job and not act crappy to the persons that are helping to keep them employed during the interim.

Someone else asked if the people I was referring to were teenagers- quite the contrary, it was late 20s-40s people that were most in need of customer service training.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:21 PM
 
10,370 posts, read 16,122,371 times
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Maybe the older people are angry and bitter about their jobs and feel that they've really taken a step down in the world. Not that that's any excuse, and I agree that they need to get their act together and at least pretend they care, but maybe the people you're encountering at the fast food places are more appreciative of the fact that they have jobs and are therefore more pleasant, while the other people at the mall stores (the ones you encountered, anyway) are, well, not. I rarely eat fast food, but did stop in at the McDonald's by Southtown earlier this week; the people there were also very friendly and professional.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities
17 posts, read 17,762 times
Reputation: 55
Just an update about making friends as a single transplant over 40 in the Twin Cities...

I've lived in the TC 8 years this month. I almost moved back to the East Coast several years ago but decided to stay as my work team is here.

Here's my advice to transplants - single and over 40 - wanting to make new friends in the Twin Cities:

Be very patient and keep working at it - persistence eventually pays off.

If you're looking at buying a home, talk to your neighbors beforehand and ask if there's a feeling of community - I did and it really paid off as my neighbors are great.

You are probably going to have better luck making close friends with other transplants (or natives who have lived other places - they know what it's like to be an outsider and have had experience making new friends other places). The natives who have lived here their whole lives probably (but not always) have very full social dance cards already so they aren't as motivated as you are to make new close friends.

The transplants I meet have usually formed solid friendships with other transplants.

Join meetup groups and if you don't find the one you want, start one - I did and made some great connections that way. Also there are several meetup groups specifically for transplants here.

We all need great friends - my hope for all in this forum is that you find your tribe here! Hope this is helpful!
Jodie
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:26 AM
 
594 posts, read 520,243 times
Reputation: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodie603 View Post
Just an update about making friends as a single transplant over 40 in the Twin Cities...

I've lived in the TC 8 years this month. I almost moved back to the East Coast several years ago but decided to stay as my work team is here.

Here's my advice to transplants - single and over 40 - wanting to make new friends in the Twin Cities:

Be very patient and keep working at it - persistence eventually pays off.

If you're looking at buying a home, talk to your neighbors beforehand and ask if there's a feeling of community - I did and it really paid off as my neighbors are great.

You are probably going to have better luck making close friends with other transplants (or natives who have lived other places - they know what it's like to be an outsider and have had experience making new friends other places). The natives who have lived here their whole lives probably (but not always) have very full social dance cards already so they aren't as motivated as you are to make new close friends.

The transplants I meet have usually formed solid friendships with other transplants.

Join meetup groups and if you don't find the one you want, start one - I did and made some great connections that way. Also there are several meetup groups specifically for transplants here.

We all need great friends - my hope for all in this forum is that you find your tribe here! Hope this is helpful!
Jodie
Good post, though I must say that this rings true for just about anywhere I've lived.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:38 AM
 
10,370 posts, read 16,122,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campeador View Post
Good post, though I must say that this rings true for just about anywhere I've lived.
Agree; it's solid advice that transfers to many different locations. I suspect the big difference is that this metro area is still less transient than many other bigger cities, so the percentage of people who grew up here (and thus have lots of friends and likely more regular extended family obligations) is larger and more obvious than some places. Still, even that is changing rapidly, and there are plenty of people here who moved here from elsewhere. I think the key is to, as the other poster said, keep at it -- and not worry too much about where your friends are from.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:49 AM
 
9 posts, read 2,504 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Or maybe it is something about you that people don't like?? I don't personally know of anyone that has had any problems making friends here so I always wonder when people come on this board and complain about not being able to make friend if it isn't "Minnesotans" that are the problem but the person looking for friends?
I think ignoring all of the articles and many many anecdotal stories from newcomers and putting the blame on them is extremely shortsighted and, sadly, very symptomatic of why it's so hard to meet people in Minnesota if you're not from here. (See: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/pro.../03/outsiders/ as one of many examples)

When you've grown up with your tight knit circle since childhood, you're coming from a place that has no empathy for anyone else who arrives here with no such history. You have to wonder why so many end up leaving. Who can penetrate that insularity? Why should it have to take years before someone finally feels welcome or at home?

And it's unfortunate that a lot of newcomers do think that it's perhaps because there's something wrong with them, but then all they have to do is a keyword search online and they'll find a multitude of information about others experiencing the very same thing.

Last edited by cheapheadphones; 01-12-2015 at 09:51 AM.. Reason: added a link
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Charlotte for now
97 posts, read 32,251 times
Reputation: 57
"Minnesota Nice" is basically the state motto and I think that just gets perpetuated. I've been here for 8 years and have found most people very pleasant.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:11 PM
 
206 posts, read 64,530 times
Reputation: 215
I just moved away from Minnesota (born and raised there) and while I adore the friends I made, they were people I met at work and a few through school groups. In general, our experience was that established neighborhoods tend to enjoy keeping their circles closed. We have special needs kids, and that sure didn't help to feel welcomed. We found other amazing families who were supportive and that was a lifesaver!

I've stated before (and took some heat for saying so), that I don't feel Minnesotans are all that "nice", overall. But I wouldn't say mean, either. Friendly, polite, and definitely will wave you through a stop sign for sure. But if there is a difference of opinion, or irritation, watch out. Most people aren't going to be outspoken (in person) in those cases - they quietly hold a grudge and can be very "cold". The irony to me is that people defending how nice Minnesotans are can sometimes be the ones putting down others , here.

Glad to hear it's going well, Jodie! Now, are you staying WARM?

Last edited by Meraki; 01-14-2015 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:23 AM
 
268 posts, read 139,992 times
Reputation: 227
I can only speak to my own experience, but after living here (in the western 'burbs) just seven months (and we moved here sight unseen, from 1800 miles away, and while only knowing one family in the area!), I feel as though we've been welcomed by most people with open arms.

My kids-- 6th, 4th and 1st graders-- have each found 'their' circle of friends and feel as though they belong. For my husband and me, our social circle is growing a bit more slowly, but still we don't feel as though we're pariahs for not being native Minnesotans-- and we're starting to get the lay of the land (we are starting to know which families are friends with each other, who lives where, etc).

I will say that a good chunk of this feeling of belongingness was absolutely accelerated due to our heavy involvement in youth hockey (my husband coaches full time and our son plays)-- but any activity, from gymnastics to dance to swimming or even involvement in a church or synagogue or volunteering for a cause you're passionate about will almost certainly aid in helping you to find 'your tribe'. Also, since I work from home for a company that's headquartered in NYC, I don't have work friends (at least none that are local!)-- but that would have also helped significantly in our transition.

It's not easy relocating, no matter your age or circumstance, but looking at it as a fun adventure helps significantly-- most of my friends who've relocated have said it takes up to 4 years to really feel as though you belong in the community, but so far I feel as though we're off to a good start-- I hope others have similar success!
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