Who Goes There: Just Too Jivin’ Jake

Just Too Jivin’ Jake: ConRep

A Vo-Tech educated, self-described biker dude electrician, Just Too Jivin’ Jake arrived in-country with the same deployment group that I was with. Now clean shaven, first impressions suggest a rather good looking, cheerful and friendly guy. Unfortunately, the friendliness is revealed to be almost creepily perky. Colleagues, bosses, friends and strangers alike are treated to a syrupy cheer most often encountered in car salesmen or obnoxiously over-doting old grandmothers from the fifties. Many people shake themselves off like a dog when Jake walks away, as if trying to dislodge the little balls of sticky smarm left clinging to the edges of their aura.

Compounding the unpleasant treacle, Jake spews intimate and unfortunate details of his private life within minutes of meeting someone, in the apparent misguided belief that this is interesting. (Though dying to be counted as a friend of the way-cool Brit PSD teams, this unregulated volcano of personal information guarantees a sort of appalled disgust from their end.) Astonishingly self-absorbed, he’s able to proceed with the details at length, once clocking a two-hour monologue after having just been introduced to the unfortunate victim (me).

Obviously, then, it takes only moments to learn that Jake has a wife and three teenage children at home. Through his supiciously energetic efforts to explain how and why his wife is the problem in their marriage, it becomes clear to everyone but him that his wife sounds smart and interesting and that he, in fact, is likely the problem. As his naval gazing progresses and total strangers are treated to a close-up view of his drug-addicted, recently arrested, or pregnant children, the general conclusion is that he seems to be needed at home: why is he in Iraq? Well, he’s always giving to others and needs some Jake time …

Apparently that includes dates with women in the next camp down the road.


If you’re in a meeting and someone says something that almost seems to have been intended as a joke but isn’t funny and in fact doesn’t really quite even make any sense, ignore it and proceed: it’s just Jake. To be fair – and to his credit – Just Too Jivin’ Jake arrived ignorant of anything having to do with governmental contracting, yet has worked hard to fill in the gaps. Having been under the questionable mentorship of Wo-Wo Wospecki, he was deprived of any really useful training. What has resulted could have been worse, though ignoring the contracts he claims that he doesn’t have to time to keep up with is not really a recommended strategy for success.

Too self-absorbed to be interesting, too odd to be comfortable, too familiar to be liked, Just Too Jivin’ Jake is best avoided.

Defining actions and characteristics:

  1. Greets people with My friend! whether you’re friends or not
  2. Tells jokes no one thinks are funny (or even really understands)
  3. Wears weird big black shoes with two inch thick soles, said to have springs in them.

Why he stays:

This is his time. Maybe it’s harder to get dates when you live at home with the wife and kids? I’m not sure, and frankly, you couldn’t pay me enough to ask him.

[All names have been changed – OS]



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2 Responses to “Who Goes There: Just Too Jivin’ Jake”

  1. fahrusha Says:

    Amazingly, Just Too Jivin’ Jake can often be found visiting NYC (or DC) on a “business” trip. Who woulda thunk it? Same smarmy personality and always too much personal confession, ready to unburden his soul to his unfortunate just-met victim. It’s a wonder how many women have had to run to the Ladies’ Room, alas, never to return.

    • Seren Says:

      Yes, I think there’s probably at least one Just Too Jivin’ Jake in everyone’s life! Ladies’ Rooms are lifesavers 😉

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