Not So Tall Tales

Dealing with a Smooth Operator


Smooth operators. You’ve probably met one at some point. I’m sure you know the guy I’m talking about. The smooth operator is the guy who thinks he’s the shit. The guy who acts like he’s way more important than every other person in the bar. The guy who lets you know immediately that he’s smarter than you. He’s the guy who’s just “too cool” for words.

After finally being freed from my house thanks to a blizzard, I ran into such a man. The Smooth Operator in question and his friend sat themselves next to me at my comfort bar (you know, the local one that you default to when you don’t want to decide where to go). After 10 minutes the duo headed outside, leaving their drinks unsupervised at the bar. As they settled back onto their bar stools, I joked with them that they should have put coasters on top of their drinks – you know, so I couldn’t roofie them.*

It’s then that Smooth Operator turned his attention toward me for awhile, taking a moment to first explain that he was in town for a school reunion thing, then telling me he owned a home and worked for a big financial advising and investment company. Not bothering to ask what I did or where I worked, he immediately pulled out his business card to give me. Always prepared for such situations, I handed over one of mine as well (having a “real” job is fun for the perks like that). Nothing says “I’m smooth” quite like handing our your card at a bar and saying “Let’s talk business sometime.”

Every word that came out of this guy’s mouth was brag-a-licious. He was so slick in every move he made and every thing he said I started to feel slimy just sitting next to him. I basically wanted to hose down after our conversation because he was pouring on the smooth so thickly. Eww.

How should I have handled this smooth operator?

  • Mess with him – I consider myself well-read and pretty educated, but I don’t typically flaunt it. This would have been an appropriate time to flex my vocabulary and actually demonstrate that I was smarter than him by talking him into a corner on any of the ridiculous statements he made.
  • Actively and obviously ignore him – By this I mean go out of my way to show him that I didn’t care about anything he had to say. This can be accomplished by reading through anything on my phone, watching the game more intently, or even reorganizing the contents of my entire purse.
  • Call him out – Sometimes, you just need to call a smooth operator out on his game. Something along the lines of “No thanks.” Just a quick statement to shut down the conversation because it reaches the point of wanting to punch him in the face.

*Don’t roofie drinks. It’s weird, creepy, and illegal. We don’t condone that kind of behavior.

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