The methodology behind the Travel + Leisure piece that ranked the District the third most rude city in the nation was questionable at best. But that didn’t stop more than 150 readers from unleashing their pet peeves in the comments.
In addition, readers ranked D.C. as even higher up on the rude scale than T+L did — behind only New York City. Columnist Petula Dvorak has more on the whole issue in her column.
We’ve narrowed those entertaining complaints down to a few general themes:
1. The transients are the problem.
“I think a lot of the problem in DC is that it’s SUCH a transient area, and so many people don’t want to be here except for work and just want to go back home to whatever their hometown is. When you never emotionally unpack your bags, you don’t make any personal investment in the place you’re living in, and when you don’t care about the area or the people in it, rudeness is often the result.” - DCGal6
2. The tourists are the problem.
“... when I’m nice to people in this city, they’re nice to me. Maybe tourists just need to sweeten their steps.” - LNNS
3. The D.C. natives are the problem.
“Im from DC and im proud to be rude to all these idiot transplants. Go back were u came from.” - pjohn1
4. The politicians are the problem.
“At no time in U.S. history have approval ratings of our government been so low. The constant sniping of one political party from the other is unfortunately, the way of the world. The nastiness, vulgarity and intolerance is spilling over everything and everyone. Frankly, I wake up days and just feel angry. What a surprise.” - abbypuppy133
5. Metro is the problem and the escalators in particular make everyone crazy.
“Just get outta our way on the metro escalators and you’ll be fine. But seriously, how are people supposed to know to stand to the right if Metro doesn’t post any type of signs warning them to do so...” - luvdc8o8
In other words: Everyone else is the problem.
As tempted as we are to build another poll — “Have you lost all hope in humanity?” — here are a few bright spots we found in the stream:
Low standards for kindness?
“This bums me out. I’m pleasantly surprised every day at how often I see strangers being nice to one another in DC. On the metro, on the buses, on the streets. I dunno... maybe I just have low standards for kindness.” - LNNS
‘True Washingtonians’ are actually very nice.
“This topic comes up every few years and completely in my opinion doesn’t represent the facts. One fact is that too many of the people in Washington were not born or raised here. They are outsiders who have brought their rudeness to Washington. In future how about speaking with a true Washingtonian about how the city has changed due to the transients bringing their bad behavior to the city thus giving the city this undeserved reputation. True Washingtonians are some of the friendliest people one will encounter in this country.” - wawbass4
Defending the Metro employee, throwing Hill staffers under the bus:
“I’ve only been here a year, but so far I have yet to meet a rude DC bus driver--subdued sometimes, maybe, and frustrated sometimes at rude drivers cutting them off, but not rude. I watch them help nervous tourists and newcomers get where they need to go, be extremely patient with assorted DC crazies from all walks of life, and stay remarkably calm under a lot of pressure. I love you, DC bus drivers! The RUDEST people I’ve ever met were a crowd of liquored-up Hill staffers. I watched them be condescending to event workers, slobber grotesquely on young cocktail waitresses, and crack unwitty and offensive jokes at the expense of everyone not of their ilk. A nasty bunch. Made me sad.” - nbo4