I have this class at school that is basically a discussion class, and I don’t like it because That Guy is in it. Well, of course he is. There’s always That Guy.
Wait, I don’t know That Guy, you say.
Oh, yes, you do. That Guy, as in, “please, don’t be that guy.” That Guy is the one who always has something to say, and even though it’s not something anyone wants to listen to, That Guy cannot be deterred from saying it. That Guy prevents any group discussion from being an informative, interesting, helpful one and turns it into either a soliloquy, because no one wants to actually respond and therefore actually engage him in a conversation, or a smack down, because everyone wants to respond, and how.
This particular That Guy is married to a woman who is cute and intelligent, and I don’t understand what she sees in That Guy. I think less of her for it.
That Guy thinks that his definition of word is the right definition of a word. If it’s his opinion, it must be right. That Guy says things that are not pertinent to the discussion and make no sense, and yet he takes an extraordinarily long time to say it.
At the end of the first class, my friend turned to me and said “I see that you’ve made it your mission to challenge everything he says. . . .
And I support you in that.”
Well, of course she does! Because nobody likes That Guy! You should see the looks on the face of the guy who sits next to him. I find them highly amusing. Only, it makes me a little nervous, because it forces me to wonder what faces I’m making.
Yesterday, That Guy said that a legal tradition based on religion is more tolerant than a secular legal tradition. What the--? Ok, I’m a hardcore Christian, and I loves me some Jesus, but, in the words of a favorite movie, that don’t make no sense. Because if God tells me not to do something, I’m just not going to do that, and no amount of negotiating will cause me to change my position. If we’re negotiating a contract, and I want to give you a loan at 7% interest, and you want 5%, you might just talk me down to at least 6%. But if you are going to sell me a car, and my end of the deal would involve me violating a tenet of my religion, I just won’t do it.
So it’s stuff like that, all through class.
In retrospect, I may have been overzealous in my, um, respectful disagreement.
By the end of the class, my comments are on the sarcastic side. I began at least one sentence with the phrase, “So, what you’re saying is,” which, if you know me well, you know is the phrase I use before I nail your a-- to the wall. After using said expression I will then paraphrase your previous comment in a concise, clear way, so that you can agree that, yes, you did mean to say what I thought you just said. I just like to give you a chance to clarify that you are actually an idiot before I call you one, and then explain why.
And of course, that’s not exactly Christian-like behavior. So I’m working on it. But That Guy, THAT GUY, makes it so, so hard.
Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with That Guy? Besides leaping across the table and throwing him out the window, because I'm way ahead of you on that one.