Holy @#*&! We’re number 1!

A scan of 600,000 customer service calls was studied to see in which states people swore at the operators the most and also those states where people are most polite and use phrases like “please” and “thank you”.

It turns out we Ohioans are the rudest bunch. Not only do we top the list of swearers (followed by Maryland, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Illinois), when it came to the least polite, we made the top five again, though Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Tennessee were ahead of us.

So much for our reputation for Midwestern courtesy. What can I say except “&^%# yeah!”


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    “our reputation for Midwestern courtesy”.

    That’s a thing? From Canada, you all seem rather uncouth. 🙂

  2. invivoMark says

    Well that pattern is… surprisingly un-pattern-like. I would’ve expected something like higher population densities to correlate with rudeness, or perhaps regional cultures to have noticeable differences.

    Instead, the “rude” states and the “polite” states appear more or less random. Also notable: the variability is low. Apparently, Ohio is only twice as rude as Washington (the most polite). So I’m guessing that what these data really show is that anywhere you go, the assholes make up a fairly consistent proportion of the population.

  3. wtfwhateverd00d says

    If congratulations are due, congratulations, but what a bullshit graphic labeling some states goody two shoes and others sailors and coloring from pink to blue when the rates of swearing is actually very low for everyone:

    Your record is based on one swear per 150 phone calls or 0.667%. Washington state’s politeness is based on one swear per 300 phone calls or 0.333%

    Anyway, congrats again, and f you.

  4. Alverant says

    I can’t speak for other states but in Illinois the people on the other end of the service calls read from a script and don’t listen to what we say. So of course we’re going to get mad and swear. How many times do we have to repeat ourselves before they listen?

  5. Jared A says

    I have a friend (who currently lives in the midwest, FWIW), who has used his experience working customer service to develop a horrifying yet effective strategy for getting what he wants when he makes he makes his own customer service calls. It starts by being extremely polite, but he elevates incrementally to using small, controlled outbursts of high-impact swearing at strategic moments. The methodology is essentially emotional abuse, so I can’t say I approve, but the elegance is a certain kind of beauty.

  6. says

    I’ve become increasingly rude over the years when it comes to frustrating situations. 🙁 I often apologize. The one time I really swore and yelled was at a guy working for a subprime loan company that wouldn’t stop calling my cell. I’ve been on the no call list; they were robo calling. The Ohio Attorney General’s office quickly put an end to it for me.

  7. Chiroptera says

    Huh. The swearing graphic is interesting. It lists Alaska as unlikely to curse and Oklahoma as more likely to curse. When I was growing up in Alaska, swearing was pretty much like punctuation. When I moved out of the state, I had a hard time adjusting my ordinary conversation habits. Then, when I moved to Oklahoma the first thing I noticed (and I’m not kidding, it was the first thing I noticed) is how people don’t swear during their conversations.

    I guess that doesn’t translate to telephone etiquette.

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