In life, one of the biggest power moves you can pull is telling someone “I got a guy.” An “in,” or a “hookup”. Whatever you want to call it, when you get into a situation and your personalized solution is just a phone call away, that is a great feeling. In high school and college, your Guy was probably for booze and weed or maybe to get your Adderall fix, but as we mature, so should our Guy relationships (for some of you, you probably still have a guy for weed or Adderall and I guess that’s okay, not judging, but maybe you need an attorney as your Guy too).
Your Guy probably isn’t someone you would consider a close friend. That relationship is something different. Your friend will almost always be there for you but that is expected. Having a Guy is more like gratuity — always appreciated, never expected.
Of course, the relationship with your guy (or girl, your “guy” can be a woman but, for the sake of this column, I’m just going to refer to this person as “guy”; no sexism intended) can be quite delicate. In essence, you are exploiting a personal relationship that your Guy could take better advantage of if he wasn’t dealing with you. Whether that be a set of tires below cost or spending his Saturday morning fixing some shoddy plumbing in your new house, your Guy would be making more money if he weren’t working for you. So respect that.
A few tips to keep in mind once you have established the relationship with your Guy. If he is going to be doing work in your home, make it a point to have his drink of choice in stock. Diet coke, seasonal Sam Adams, Makers Mark or whatever it is, it’s almost certainly cheaper than the $100 an hour labor rate you would be paying if he were to be doing it on the clock. A little appreciation goes a long way.
Next, be prepared to reciprocate. “But I’m just a desk jockey, and I don’t even work in IT. No individual person needs what I know how to do.” That’s just fine. Your Guy probably understands that. But there are times when he may just need someone with a pulse or a little upper body strength. Needs help getting a couch up the stairs? Move heaven and earth to help him out or do not expect him to come tow you out the next time you get stuck in a snowbank. One of the best Guy relationships I have is with a local landowner that lets me access some of his premium hunting land. People would pay many thousands of dollars for this same access. I get it for the ultra-low price of two Saturdays of my time a year. I consider it a ridiculous bargain.
Don’t overuse your Guy. You don’t want to become a burden or an annoyance. He has a life too and needs to make ends meet just the same as you.
Finally, and this is most important: do not, I repeat DO NOT, “loan” your guy out. Yes, throw any business you can at your Guy if that is appropriate for your situation, but do not tell someone else that you can get them a discount or free labor. That is exceptionally rude and probably the quickest way to turn your Guy from someone that hooks you up to someone that charges you an additional 10% and calls it the friends and family discount. Also, there is a pretty good chance you met your Guy through a friend. Abusing the relationship will definitely reflect poorly on your friend. I have taken a few friends out to my aforementioned landowner Guy’s place several times, but I always clear it with the landowner up front and let my friends know that my relationship with the landowner has been one I have worked really hard on and they need to respect that.
Don’t blow it. .
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