If there’s one reputation Penn students have, it’s being impolite — especially to workers in the service industry. Penn kids reportedly tipped 40 cents at McGlinchey’s earlier this year. Other waiters and waitresses have similar tales of rudeness and cheapness.
And it’s not just food service. “I sit at this post and some of the kids just glare and keep it moving … no ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ or anything … where are some of their manners?” AlliedBarton security guard told the Daily Pennsylvanian in 2012.
But, apparently, Penn kids are nice to delivery people. Really nice. Best-in-the-nation nice.
A new survey from GrubHub and the Huffington Post's Spoon University ranked the 10 nicest colleges in the country, based on how frequently students used "please" and "thank you" in the special orders box. Penn came out on top.
Have Penn kids turned a leaf in their behavior? Is this a new beginning of a polite Penn where students will tip well, will say hi to their security guards, and won't try to cut in on the cute girl who's already talking to me, c'mon! (Um, not that I know from experience.)
If this reporter's skepticism is any indication here, then … no. But there's more to this: A bunch of schools in town are polite! Four Philly schools made the list in all.
- 1. Penn
- 3. University of the Sciences
- 7. Temple
- 10. Drexel
Plus: The College of New Jersey, which is less than an hour from Philly, was fifth.
So where's all this Philadelphia politeness coming from? It's not like we're known for it.
Maybe it's this: Perhaps the students at these universities know delivery can be tricky: Sometimes you get the wrong food, sometimes an order gets forgotten. And writing "please" and "thank you" is a good way to try to make sure everything goes smoothly. So maybe they're just being polite in order to get something in return. Nonetheless, politeness for one's own self-interest is still politeness, so: Good job, Penn kids!
Or maybe it's this: Obviously, charting how often someone writes "please" or "thank you" in the special instructions box isn't much of a way to measure politeness. Maybe the Penn kids slam the door in the delivery driver's face afterward. "Thank you," they say, sarcastically. Or perhaps they were raised right by their caregivers and told to always say "please" and "thank you" and it hasn't made them a better person at all and this list is bullshit.
Or, maybe, just maybe, we've been unfairly maligned as rude. The City of Brotherly Love is just that, and we're the most polite city on the planet — and outsiders lie about us because they're jealous of how nice we are.
Yeah, that's it. It's that last one. I can only end with one note: Thank you for reading this article — please leave a comment if you'd like to!