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  • Writer's pictureJackie Bradbury

THAT GUY: Whatever Guy

You're in class, and you're asked to pair up to practice a new technique.

You ask your partner if she wants to go first and she shrugs. "I don't care."

Okay.  So you ask your partner to go first.  She does the technique, correctly but with no energy and no mental engagement at all.  It's your turn, and while she does her side correctly (she's not an Exceptionally Bad Uke), she doesn't seem to be paying attention to what you're doing.

You ask, "Did that seem right to you?"

She says, "I don't know."

You reply, "Well, what about this way?"

She shrugs again.  "Maybe."

You ask, "Did it seem to matter when I did this thing here?"

Another shrug.

Oh joy! You're paired up with THAT GUY: WHATEVER GUY.

Whatever Guy seems to be very bored, not engaged in class at all, and is 100% unhelpful when you're trying to learn whatever you're being taught.

Whatever Guy hangs around the fringes of the class and never asks a question.  His martial arts skills are usually good enough the few times they do things with energy and engagement. Usually, though, he moves a bored and disinterested way so he looks sloppier than he might otherwise.

Whatever Guy offers no opinion, no feedback and generally doesn't seem to care whether or not anybody - including himself - is learning correctly.

Whatever Guy will rarely or help you figure out a technique. She doesn't seem to care whether or not she - or anybody - learns what's being taught correctly.

Whatever Guy might as well be a BOB for all the help she gives you.

"Actually, I think if you turn your hips a little more..."

When you run across Whatever Guy at a seminar, the portion of the session you're paired with her is your least favorite part of your day, and the one where you'll feel like you made the least progress and learned the least.  You'd rather work with The Philosopher or The Fanboy or Ranky McGee because at least they seem to want to be there and care about what's going on.

Your best hope is to wander away and hope you can pair up with someone else. You're not sure if this bothers Whatever Guy at all.  At this point, you're not sure you care either.

When you're leading class or instructing, you're never quite sure if Whatever Guy understands what you're teaching, because he just sort of stands there and says nothing most of the time.  You have to work very hard just to get a definitive yes or no out of Whatever Guy.  You'll spend a lot of effort trying to engage Whatever Guy and you'll fail.

Have you run across WHATEVER GUY?  What was your experience with him or her?  Any tips on how to cope with him?

Use the "THAT GUY" category to find all of the THAT GUY posts on TSC!

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