Monday, August 5, 2013

Don't be “that guy”

If you’ve attended more than three or four model contests, you’ve run into “that guy.” He’s at every contest, local, regional, and national. He’s in the United States and has peers in Europe and Asia. He’s international. Here he is in his five incarnations.

1. The guy with body odor. I swear, every contest I go to there’s one guy who smells really bad. It's like he hasn't showered for a week, or he's just finished installing a new roof on his house and came directly to the contest. Either way, he’s gross and offensive. Take a shower. Use some Axe, liberally. Don’t be that guy.

2. The know-it-all. Several years ago I was talking with friends in the contest room and was introduced to a man who I knew as a respected expert in his field. As my friends continued chatting, the guy pulled me aside, pointed to a model on a nearby table, and started critiquing it. Keep in mind, I’d never met this man before and here he was showing off how much he knew. I'm sure he was correct in his analysis, but it was not the right time. What if it had been my model? At least he was a real-life know-it-all, but still. The other kind of know-it-all is the one who walks around dispensing his knowledge with random quips, stories, and anecdotes. He’s more likely to speak at you rather than with you. Don’t be that guy.

3. The loud talker. Everyone knows the loud talker. He's not unique to scale modeling. You can hear him from across the convention hall. Often he's on his cell phone. A 2011 study found that 72 percent of the time he’s a know-it-all as well, which makes him doubly toxic. Please, use your inside voice. Don’t be that guy.

4. The cheapskate. This one comes from a friend who occasionally works as a vendor at contests. No matter how low he prices the kits on his table there's always someone who asks for a bigger discount. Look, we all seek out a good price, but if you find a $45 kit priced at $20, jump on the bargain and be happy. The vendors need to make a few dollars, too. Don’t be that guy.

5. The complainer. This guy finds his groove as soon as the date of the convention is announced. He's immediately on the forums berating the organizers for having it too late in the summer. Or he doesn't like the location. Or the venue. Or the expense. Or the parking lot. Or the food. Or the lighting in the contest room. You get the idea. Putting on a convention is hard work. I can assure you the organizers have done everything they can with the resources they have to make the show a great experience for you. Give them some slack and try to sympathize a little. Don't be that guy.

Enjoy the show!


  1. Holy cow, we've been to the same model contests!

  2. I know one person that fits #2 , #3 and #5 man he really is a tool.