I have been in South Carolina for the past week and I have come to realize that the pace is so very different between the North and the South. I know that Maryland is technically in the South, but from a pace perspective, you would never know it.
I took a car to the dealer for servicing last week for an 11 AM appointment. I arrived at 10:57 and waited and waited to be able to pull into the service bay. Finally, I got out of my car and stood with my arms folded. At that point, two service reps came out and said that they would be with me in a minute. They went back into their offices and continued their very jovial conversations with the customers who they were helping. No hurry to get the cars to be serviced out of the drive up bay. I finally got to interact with a service rep about 15 minutes later. He said to me, "you aren't from around here are you?" I replied that I wasn't. He said that it appeared that I was used to a different pace. I said that I was, but that I also looked at it from a service excellence perspective. What I am used to is that as soon as you pull into the service bay there is someone there to check you in and move the car out of the service bay. It was more efficient, but I explained that their approach seems to work for the slower pace in the South. It all worked out and we were laughing and joking by the end of our interaction.
As I write this blog, I am in an airport in the Charleston, SC. We learned that our flight to DC was going to be delayed about 30 minutes due to service issues with our plane coming from its last destination. It was amazing as to the reaction. People who were impacted by the delay with their connections in DC casually got up walked up to the gate agent and began the process of changing their flights. Up North, the scene would have been very different. Loud sighing, complaining and anger would have been the order of the day. The difference was amazing. Eventually, I plan to retire to the South and it will take some time to get used to the slower pace, but I think that I am going to like it. Everybody is so nice.