Last weekend, in addition to spending time with lots of cool people for a cool cause, I also spent some time in a bar in a ski town in New Hampshire before ski season. It's a lot like spending time in bar in Cape Cod in March.
Lots of local yokels and a spattering of tourists who are disappointed that tourist season isn't in full swing. So they drink and act like buffoons. Of course, last weekend, it was more like lots of tourists and a spattering of local yokels. And me right in the middle, taking full advantage of the last vestiges of pumpkin ale before it disappears for another year.
If I could have a dollar for every time somebody picked me up in a bear hug and walked me across the room without my consent, I'd have...well...six dollars. But hey- that's at least 3 bear hugs too many!
But the walking bear hugs weren't my big problem.
I went into a bar with some friends to play fooze ball and air-hockey for a while. Turns out, quite a few of the 200 plus volunteers were in this bar, as well. Never did get around to air-hockey. But I did talk to quite a few of the volunteer people. Plus a couple guys who I thought were part of our giant group but actually weren't.
They were actually up in New Hampshire doing some winter camping. "Oh! Winter camping!" I whined. "I miss winter camping! I haven't been in years." So one of the guys, Quinn, asked where I had been winter camping. I replied that I had been in Utah, Texas, Washington, Oregon, and my favorite winter camping spot, Yosemite National Park. "Do you have any tips for winter camping?" he asked. "Get good gear," I replied. "Keep your clothes inside your sleeping bag, and sleep on top of your boots so they don't freeze." "Well, I thought we had good gear. But I'm still really cold." he said. "We stopped at Dick's on the way up and bought all our stuff." "Dick's!" I screamed, "You can't get good winter camping gear at Dick's! It's like 20 degrees out there! Dick's sells bags for, like, 50 degrees. You need to go to REI or EMS and get a zero bag! You should really get a hotel room tonite." "Maybe I could stay in your hotel room" he said. "Yeah, no." I said. "We need to change the direction of this conversation now."
"Ok, how bout...you tell me what are your vices?" he said. "Ok. I drink way too much Diet Coke. I eat too much junk. And I don't get enough sleep. Those are my vices. What about you?" "BORING!" he said. "Your so called vices are going to put me to sleep." "Well, what do you want me to say? That I'm a heroin addict? I drink too much Diet Coke, eat too much junk, and don't get enough sleep. I have no idea what you are looking for with this." "How about...I have sex with random strangers I meet in New Hampshire." he said.
Here's the deal. I don't know what was more pathetic. His God-awful attempt at a pick up line or the fact that this did not phase me a bit. Not one bit. It's like I expect behavior like this. Because I said: "Good try. But no. I guess you had to give it a shot. But that ain't happening. Not a chance. So...it was nice talking to you for a while. But I think we're done. Have fun camping and don't freeze to death."
Like the "criticism sandwich" you are taught about when coaching: compliment, constructive criticism, another compliment. That's how I respond to creepy guys in bars. God forbid I harm their self-esteem or anything!