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8/12/2012 1:50:48 PM -
Why I'm no longer vouching for certain people...

I’m going to put on my “Guy Who’s Been Around the Block” hat for a minute here and dispense some hard-earned advice. I’m allowed to do this, because I’ve been around, believe me. I’ve been through the scenario I’m about to describe at least 168,726 times in my life – and so have most of you – and I’ll tell you right now that it always ends the exact same way. Trust me, I’m an authority on the subject at this point. Here it is.

If you have a friend, acquaintance, or coworker that you repeatedly find yourself having to vouch for with others, you should consider this a major red flag and get that person out of your life. The people I’m referring to here are the ones you have to tell others about by saying shit like, “But he’s really a decent guy,” or, “He’s really not that bad once you get to know him.”

I used to do this a lot, because despite being known as some kind of angry prick who hates the world, I actually do look for the good in people when I meet them. I don’t want to dislike people, and if I discarded everyone I didn’t like at first glance before getting to know what their deal was, I doubt I’d even have a job (or any friends) at this point. I do end up disliking a lot of people, but I definitely need a reason first. I don’t just start out thinking people are assholes or con men before seeing how they treat me first. If they’re nice to me, I’ll vouch for them.

The thing is, I’ve been burned doing this – and the connecting thread with all the times I’ve had shit blow up in my face is that whole, “I know he acts like a (fill in the blank) sometimes, but he’s really a good guy” thing.

I’m going to state for the record here that I’m never saying this shit again, about anyone. Every time I’ve ever said these things about a guy, it hasn’t worked out, and I’ve sat here wondering why the hell I decided to vouch for the anus in the first place. This is especially applicable when you have to explain this shit to multiple people who’ve been telling you the guy really is an asshole.

“Yeah,” you’ll say, “I can see why you’d think that on the surface, but ‘Phil’ is really a decent guy.”

Really? Is he? If he is, then why isn’t that evident to the naked eye? Why does “Phil” act like a dick so frequently that you find yourself constantly having to explain his behavior to other people who dislike him? Why can’t he just be a nice guy who doesn’t come off like a prick? Why should anyone have to take out a shovel and start digging to figure out that Phil’s not an asshole? If he really is a “good dude,” why is it so hard to see this?

I’ll tell you why.

Because if it looks like a duck, flies like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a damned duck. And if twenty people think it’s a duck while you think it’s an eagle, there’s a good chance you’re wrong, because eagles don’t look, sound, or fly like ducks.

Here’s what happens every time. You end up being friends with someone – or coaching with them or working with them – and they’ll be cool to you because they want something from you. You have something they need, so their dickbag tendencies aren’t going to come out right away, because if they do, the guy isn’t going to get what he’s looking for from you. If he really is a dick – and he is, believe me – you’re going to hear about it from plenty of people. Since he’s cool with you for the time being, however, you’re going to say it. You can’t help yourself.

“Yeah, I know he can be a little rough, but he’s actually a good guy.”

And then, eventually, you find out for yourself that the Greek chorus was exactly right – that the guy, in fact, has been a douchebag all along.

The point? Never again will I defend anyone in this way. The words “But he’s actually a nice guy if you can just get past (insert assholish tendency)” will never again come out of my mouth. You’re either regarded by the world as a good guy, or you’re my damned enemy and I’m coming after your ass if you try to f--k with me. That’s how it is from now on.

Fool me once,
Angry Coach

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