101 Critical Days of Summer begin; Don’t be ‘That Guy’

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col Jeff Smith
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing director of staff
Every year we lose about 57 Airmen, not in combat, but in large part, on America's highways. I've always found it strange we can conduct combat operations safer than we do in our off-duty pursuits. At this year's rates, we are going to lose more Airmen than we have in years past.

With personnel drawdowns, a loss of overall Airmen, we should see fewer mishaps, since there are less Airmen to get hurt. Ladies and gentlemen, we're bucking the trend with a significant up tick in mishaps and fatalities. I need your help. I need you to help us find "That Guy!"

Who's That Guy? Oh, come on ... you know what I'm talking about. You know ... That Guy. That guy takes one of several forms:

The Comedian -- You know the type, he tries way too hard. He thinks he's funny, the center of attention. In reality, you're not laughing with him ... but at him. If you're on a date with the comedian, it's all fun and games until ... (you fill in the ending).

The Angry Guy -- This guy is ready to rumble and has an entertainment value of four out of 10. In short, he's a jack*** when he's drunk. You avoid this guy and tend to look at your feet just to prevent eye contact. This guy tends to have more dental expenses than everyone else and tends to lose friends over time because they get tired of defending him.

The Dancing Guy -- This guy moves too much and shakes his groove thing ... too close to others. This guy flails a lot and earns nine of 10 entertainment points ... early on in the evening. But, as time, and alcohol, wear on, this guy loses entertainment value and becomes a danger to himself and others around him.

The Downer Guy -- This guy is gloom and doom and is miserable to be around. He literally sucks the life out of a party. He gets absolutely zero entertainment points.

The Drama Queen -- Hey this isn't all male-centric. The drama queen becomes overly dramatic and more psycho with every drink. This person becomes too clingy after several drinks and tends to throw things (i.e. three cell phones in three months).

The Life of the Party Guy -- This person over salivates and quickly wears out his welcome. This guy maintains a large bar tab to keep from shaking the acquaintances he's made. This guy grows quickly in debt for all the rounds he's bought for his new friends and buys the herbal tea the following day for his sore throat.

The Player Guy -- This guy is on the prowl and has zero entertainment value. If you are a friend of this guy, he's ruining you're chances of finding a date too. This guy uses a lot of gas money, as he needs to drive further and further just to find a party where nobody knows about his annoying presence.

The Risky Guy - He trips; he falls, and he's looking for attention ... at any cost. He rates an eight 8 out of 10 for entertainment value. This guy is like watching the three stooges, with two of the three missing in action. It's all fun and games until things go wrong, and they will. He'll pull you down with him. You'll get interviewed the following day for his antics. The costs will involve torn clothes, broken windows and furniture, and sometimes permanent disability.

In short, That Guy is anyone who, after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, loses control of himself, is used to excessive amounts of shameful behavior, transforms into something ugly, or is used as a reference of mockery or to make fun of someone's condition.

You might be That Guy if:
The circle of spectators has shrunken around to just the police.
You've lost another tooth opening a bottle.
You're neighbors fence has a hole the size of your car.
You decide the 300-pound bouncer has ticked you off.
You're outside the bar, and all you're friends are still inside.
You mistake you're closest friend for a urinal.
You're hugging the toilet.
No one appreciates your karaoke performance, since you're not in a karaoke bar.
You've stumbled through four parking lots and still haven't remembered you rode to the bar with a friend.

So, ask yourself, is you're friend that guy? Is he getting drunk regularly? Is he lying about how much he is drinking or having frequent hangovers or blackouts? Is he becoming That Guy?

What do you do? Take action. Visit the www.THATGUY.com website. Be prepared to offer specific examples of his behavior that have affected you or his family.

Have the conversation with him. This is the hardest part. It may help to have the conversation shortly after an alcohol-related incident to drive the point home, but ensure the person is sober. Be loving, and be kind, but be calm and persistent.
Get support. You may need to involve other friends, family members, medical care personnel or a chaplin. Gather information and advice.

Get help. If it's severe, the person may need to seek health care advice. Sometimes, the person may just need to cut back, and other times counseling or treatment is needed.

We want you all to have a safe summer, and do not want to lose a single member of our team.

Supervisors, the wing safety office has more tools and media available for your use. Please contact wing safety at 759-33216 if you have any questions.