Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Being "That Guy"

We all have heard of “That Guy.”


You know…that guy that always parks his car under the tree.  Oh, THAT guy!


You know…that lady that walks two huge dogs around the block at 7:00 every night.  Oh, THAT lady!


You know…the actor that played in that bad movie about the dinosaurs in the volcano.  Oh, THAT guy!

Not only do you know of “That Guy,” you probably are “That Guy” to someone else.  I’m sure I’ve been referred to as the guy who drives the beat-up Toyota Corolla, or the guy that works on the General Electric product, or the guy that has the twins.  “That guy” is usually defined by his behavior or actions, which may or may not be a good thing.  The other day, I was referred as “That Guy” in a very good way indeed.

“That guy that always talks about skin cancer.”

I wear that title with pride because I didn’t earn it from brash and annoying behavior (at least I don’t think I did). Instead, I became “That Guy” through subtle consistency:
  • My screen saver at work has three oscillating words floating back and forth that read, “Wear your sunscreen!”
  • On Casual Friday, I usually wear a t-shirt related to a melanoma fund-raising event or one of my BITNP t-shirts.
  • My colleague, Elliot often places a newspaper or magazine article related to sun safety or melanoma on my desk.  Rather than store it in my briefcase, I leave it laying there for others to see when they come by my desk.
  • When others are surfing for online news during their lunch break, I’ll seek out skin cancer-related articles and keep them on my screen for others to see.
  • While questions about it are rare, I wear my melanoma awareness wrist band daily.
  • Although such conversations are also rare, I jump in anytime skin cancer or sun safety is mentioned…not in a preaching way but just to participate in discussion.
  • When people ask me how my evening was, I’ll often say, “Pretty good…I wrote a blog post last night about tanning beds (or whatever) and got a good response.”

I have found that being “That Guy,” has affected how people act around me:
  • When someone comes to work on Monday with a sun burn or tan, others will whisper “You better not let Al see you!”
  • If someone has a spot or mole on her skin, they’ll ask me about it.  (I remind them that I’m not a doctor…but encourage them to see one).
  • I am approached about sun screen all the time.  Someone might be looking for a loophole (“What SPF will protect me but still allow me to get some color?” Um…if you get color, you’re not protected).  Others might be seeking the best brand or application.  I refer them to my blogs or other sites.
  • People brag to me when they take positive action towards sun safety (“Hey Al, just wanted you to know I rented an umbrella at the beach.”  “Hey Al, I went to the dermatologist yesterday and they told me…” (I’m most proud of this effect).

You can be “That guy (or gal) that always talks about skin cancer” as well.  You don’t have to stand on a pulpit with your Skin Cancer Foundation Journal in one hand and a bottle of SPF 30 in the other.  You can be approachable and still be “That Guy.”

People are more aware of how “That Guy” treats his car by knowing he parks it under the tree every day.  Being “That Guy” that always talks about skin cancer hopefully makes people aware of my mission and more aware of skin cancer and sun safety.

Be “That Guy!”

1 comment:

  1. I haven't owned my "That Guy"-ness yet. Mostly because it makes me feel bad to inconvenience other people, and the subject of cancer is very inconvenient for most people, in that it makes them uncomfortable. Although, I suppose I can attest more than others to the discomfort that actually having cancer will cause. So maybe I should speak up more.