Are You “That Guy?”

Mime in a box

This description of the use of Flash splash pages made me take pause:

“Jared [Spool of User Interface Engineering] said, ‘When we have clients who are thinking about Flash splash pages, we tell them to go to their local supermarket and bring a mime with them. Have the mime stand in front of the supermarket, and, as each customer tries to enter, do a little show that lasts two minutes, welcoming them to the supermarket and trying to explain the bread is on aisle six and milk is on sale today.

“‘Then stand back and count how many people watch the mime, how many people get past the mime as quickly as possible, and how many people punch the mime out.’”

It reminded me a lot about posts I’ve read about “that guy” who does nothing but promotes his agenda. While it may seem obvious that this kind of behavior is not especially endearing, people still engage in it. They only promote the things they’ve done, or they talk about their needs. It’s all about them!

I think this is something that pretty much everyone has fallen into doing at one point or another. Sometimes it’s accidental because they were still learning the appropriate etiquette of a new environment, sometimes it’s unintentional because they were so nervous they didn’t know what else to talk about or they were overexcited about something new, or sometimes it’s on purpose because they’re always that aggressive about pushing themselves and their own wares.

But that example of the mime really makes this point hit home. Seriously, how annoying would it be to have a mime in your face every time you go to a grocery store? Similarly, how irritating would it be to have to deal with the same self-serving person every time you went to a networking event or conference? Or when reading industry blogs?

Being labeled as “that guy” is something that no one wants because it limits networking opportunities and, if it happens too often, the person will gain a reputation for being a jerk.

What methods do you use to ensure you are not “that guy?”

Image courtesy of Lighthelper :)

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  1. Jake LaCaze
    Twitter: jakelacaze

    This post makes a point that I’m always trying to make to my friends — sometimes knowing what NOT to do is just as valuable as knowing what to do.
    .-= Jake LaCaze´s last blog ..Why Facebook Has Pissed Me Off =-.

  2. Melissa
    Twitter: TheJobQuest

    Very true, Jake. Then there’s the trick of turning that knowledge into appropriate behaviors.

    Though really, I think that everyone at one point or another has done something that results in that little voice that says, “And why did you do that? You know better!”

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jörgen Sundberg, Melissa Cooley. Melissa Cooley said: How a story of an annoying mime makes the point about being "that guy." New post: Are You "That Guy?" [...]

  2. [...] You seem like you have a raging ego. Yes, you need to talk about your wonderfulness, but including too many stories can have the same effect as someone who is waving his/her hands and screaming, “Look at me!  I’m so great!” No one wants to work with that guy/gal. [...]

  3. [...] there’s a lot of talk about adding value to the other person. You never want to be that guy/gal who people avoid because all you do is act like a walking spam message, spewing forth your sales [...]

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