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Old 05-28-2010, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,183 posts, read 16,495,536 times
Reputation: 5718
Quote:
Originally Posted by hgoodwin39 View Post
I am a transplant BUT I was born and raised in the DEEP south where you have your manners drilled into you and NEVER insult anyone--especially when you're trying to get your way! If you know anybody who was raised in the South, you can ask them and they'll tell you the same thing I just did. There are not that many Southerners here at all...I get looked at just as funny for having an accent here as I did in NoVA.
I'm with you on this one! How many times have I heard..."you get more flies with honey than vinegar". And I can tell you this...it works!!!

Some people just LIKE to complain. Some people feel that they can say things online or in an email that they would NEVER say in person.

I worked at a bank, as a bank teller, and had the best customers in the world! The bank wanted me to work as a customer service rep and so I agreed. It was HORRIBLE! All I did all day long was deal with people COMPLAINING. After a while, I realized that I started complaining all the time! So...after about 3 months of THAT, I left!

So...keep in mind what my hubby's grandmother used to say...KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS!!!

Vicki
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:31 AM
 
2,149 posts, read 2,966,592 times
Reputation: 3003
At the risk of getting a virtual smack, I would speculate that it's transplants who are your biggest problem. Surely you realize that most of the people HERE aren't from HERE. I live in a 16 year old neighborhood with an HOA, and about 75% of the neighborhood are people who moved here from the North and Northeast. Southerners, and Raleigh natives in particular, are in short supply in Raleigh.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:35 AM
Status: "Support your Local Moderator!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
18,938 posts, read 28,304,879 times
Reputation: 15627
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
I'm with you on this one! How many times have I heard..."you get more flies with honey than vinegar". And I can tell you this...it works!!!

Some people just LIKE to complain. Some people feel that they can say things online or in an email that they would NEVER say in person.

I worked at a bank, as a bank teller, and had the best customers in the world! The bank wanted me to work as a customer service rep and so I agreed. It was HORRIBLE! All I did all day long was deal with people COMPLAINING. After a while, I realized that I started complaining all the time! So...after about 3 months of THAT, I left!

So...keep in mind what my hubby's grandmother used to say...KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS!!!

Vicki
So-o-o.....
What do you do with all those flies, Vicki?
Just curious.

And I agree with your post entirely, for the record...
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
7,574 posts, read 9,599,046 times
Reputation: 7005
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
I worked at a bank, as a bank teller, and had the best customers in the world! The bank wanted me to work as a customer service rep and so I agreed. It was HORRIBLE! All I did all day long was deal with people COMPLAINING. After a while, I realized that I started complaining all the time! So...after about 3 months of THAT, I left!
Yes, any job called "customer service" is a euphemism for "punching bag" sometimes And that may be part of the OP's issue anyway--he doesn't hear from all the "nice" people where everything's going fine, just the ones who are complaining. And, he seems to have hit a few who complain in a rather nasty way, and has decided that they are representative of everyone in the South?

I'm still curious if the data he used for his generalization includes any knowledge of where the complainers actually are from (such as regional accent if he's talked to them on the phone) or if he just presumed that everyone living in NC is a Southerner? If anything can be generlaized about Southerners complaining, it's that they are passive-aggressive and often skirt what the real issue is; these jerks sound polar opposites of that. But they're jerks, wherever they're from, and likely not indicative of the people as a whole of anywhere.

cry884,I hope you now realize that the population of the Raleigh area is very diverse and you can't assume that someone is a native unless you have "reason" to (such as accent or they say they are).
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:42 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,400 posts, read 4,615,330 times
Reputation: 2712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cry884 View Post
I am always trying to improve on how I communicate with residents of the homeowners associations I manage in Raleigh and Cary. I have found a stark and pervasive difference in the communication style I receive from local residents than I had in the midwest. I wanted to get some opinions on this.

In the midwest, I would get an e-mail that said, "Hi! We were writing in hopes that we could request longer hours for the pool. Now that the sun is out longer, we hoped we wouldn't have to leave so early. Thanks!" Here, the same question comes as, "I demand to know why it is that you think you can kick us out of the pool when it's still light out. This is ridiculous- I pay your salary and you think you can take my money and treat me like crap. I want the name of your boss- you will be fired by Monday!"

The answer I give to both is the same (Thanks for your e-mail, Board makes the decisions, I will communicate with them and get back to you with their response. If the HOA's budget allows, I'm sure they will be happy to give the idea consideration. Have a nice day.) But the latter e-mail makes me feel like crap all day long. I feel like I have to constantly defend my very existence, no matter how many 65 hour weeks I pull or how many times I smile and answer politely while being called a b****.

So here is where I need your opinions and help. What is it about this area that makes this so common? I feel if I can understand the "why", I can tailor my communications (proactive communications as well as replies to e-mails and calls) to better suit the personality type I am dealing with... The type that has made so many assumptions that he's riled himself up to hate me before he's even spoken to me. It is making a job I love quite miserable and I am willing to do any amount of work to remedy the situation.

My only working theory right now is that we're a unique blend of Southern individualist/ do-it-yourself/ no-one-tells-me-what-to-do and highly educated people who are used to knowing how things work (and therefore perhaps instead of being curious and asking, assume they know what's going on and make incorrect assumptions).

I am really stumped and would love some Triangle-specific input on this. Thank you.
Sweetie, I would bet my lunch that the email you recieved is NOT from a native Southerner. at all. There arent many of us left in the Triangle Im told, and a true native wouldnt have blasted you that way from the start.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,183 posts, read 16,495,536 times
Reputation: 5718
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
So-o-o.....
What do you do with all those flies, Vicki?
Just curious.

And I agree with your post entirely, for the record...
I don't believe that is a disclosure item!!!

Vicki
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:24 AM
Status: "Support your Local Moderator!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
18,938 posts, read 28,304,879 times
Reputation: 15627
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
I don't believe that is a disclosure item!!!

Vicki
lol
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Cary
472 posts, read 877,528 times
Reputation: 701
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
How positive are you that it is Southerners, and not transplants, who are sending these emails? I find that much more of a (former) New Yorker/New Jersey kind of attitude than "local". Have you compiled data on who, specifically, is sending these emails and where they are from originally? I've been told (by New Yorkers) that one of New Yorkers' favorite hobbies is to complain
Reading the OP, I don't get the impression that he's placing blame for this phenomenon on Southerners (i.e., "we're a unique blend of Southern individualist/ do-it-yourself/ no-one-tells-me-what-to-do and highly educated people.") I'm sure he's aware that his communities have a high number of transplants.

Not that I want to get in the way of another natives-versus-transplants food fight.

Last edited by BurntHombre; 05-28-2010 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Midtown Raleigh
1,074 posts, read 1,814,399 times
Reputation: 932
Quote:
Originally Posted by sowk09 View Post
I can't offer a 'why' as I'm from the South and act nothing like that, but maybe a suggestion. Every other month or so, maybe you could send out an email asking for suggestions for improvements? Then maybe the complaining types would feel more heard and that you care more (I know you do, but maybe they don't perceive it that way) and be less likely to send demand emails. I would say the better your relationship is with them, the more likely they are to send a pleasant email with requests. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice! This is actually something I've been trying with my boards of directors who are game for it. To be honest, they get burnt out and beaten down pretty fast. They put in a lot of effort (volunteer effort on their own time) and then they ask for suggestions and get insulted. Maybe it is the transplants. But I'd be shocked if it was folks from where I grew up in the midwest... I never heard things like that there. I like to be proactive though, so this approach may be the one to stick with. I admit my motivation waivers to reach out when my reaching causes people to bite my hand, but I think I should just stick with it and roll with the punches.
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Midtown Raleigh
1,074 posts, read 1,814,399 times
Reputation: 932
Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiblue View Post
I think you have a good point here, but maybe it isn't due to the OP's communications, but perhaps his/her predecessor?

I don't know how long cry884 has been serving in that role, but I witnessed similar behavior (in a completely different context) in the workplace. When management changed, people had nasty attitudes about certain things because "that's how we used to do things", even though the new management was trying to improve upon existing problems. There was definitely some friction because people didn't know how the new management was going to handle things differently, so they were defensive about certain things because they were used to having to be that way. Could be something similar happening here.
I've been around several years, but did get my portfolio piecemeal from all different managers. The worst anger seems to stem from certain communities, so that may be it. I find that places where the residents get together informally to talk about the HOA tend to be angriest (because they find they have similar complaints and put the blame on the HOA, developer, board, or manager, but don't check to find out if their assumptions are correct). But I don't know how to prevent that.

I do send out a lot of proactive communications (and feel I'm good at seeing them through a homeowner's eyes to ensure the tone is positive). I hold extra meetings, but sometimes I just feel like it's a losing battle trying to win hearts and minds on the side while doing my regular job all day long. I would never think to treat anyone the way people treat me, but I try to look at it with interest rather than offense. Every once in awhile I must admit, it tears me down a bit and makes me wonder why I put so much into it. Maybe it's not a Raleigh thing- maybe it's just everywhere now. I was in a larger city than Raleigh before, so I know it's not that it's occurring because we're not in Mayberry. Could it be possible that times have changed just in 10 years?
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