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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I went to a networking event last night--since apparently, me sitting at home watching "Adult Swim," does not seem to bring in clients...what a word!--and while it was bearable--I did meet two great, smart, fun guys--the event did bring home to me the fact that...most people are missing the concept of networking. Painfully missing the concept.
Networking is NOT attacking me, while I'm trying to pay for my overpriced glass of w(h)ine, with a hard-sell for your t-shirt folder/investment product/repair service. Not hot. Instead, how about you try to engage me in a conversation and then we exchange information, and if I'm interested in your product, I ask further questions, and you answer? Weird, I know, but at least in that scenario, I'm not likely to chuck your biz cards at the end of the evening, since I'm still so irritated by your shrill pitch.
Also, like the song says, people "ain't nothing but mammals," but when you're asking me condescending questions about my business and plays, while maintaining unwavering eye-contact with my ta-tas (who, by the by, are also seriously NOT into you)...yeah, that's also not going to turn me on.True story: one man seriously asked me what my latest play is about, and just to wrap the stupid questions up, I said, "prostitution," and he said--I swear to God he said this--,"Oh, is it based on life experience?" Clever! I wonder if his "flirting" with me wasn't making his hand jealous.
Here's what people don't seem to get about networking: networking isn't about meeting another human and immediately think that said person will get you a job, or a date or anything. Networking is about meeting people with whom you might eventually be trade on your human currency...stress the "might eventually" part.
Two people meet, they talk, maybe they have something in common, they exchange contact info, and maybe, perhaps, just possibly, at some distant time, one may be able to help the other. Maybe. You go out to a cocktail party to interact with other people, to have a conversation, to pay too much for a drink and if you're very lucky, you might meet one carbon-based life-form with whom you can have an intelligent, even interesting conversation, which will, hopefully, be repeated in the future, and if you have enough of these conversations, and you're interests align, maybe at some point, that person can put you in touch with someone who can put you in touch with someone who knows someone, who knows a guy...who is maybe hiring. Or needs your services. Or his sister went to your college so sure, he can do you a solid. Or whatever. It does require some patience.
It also requires that if you meet someone who is doing something which seems odd to you, maybe you STFU and learn something? Yes, my cleavage is still a little cranky.


  1. This is why I so infrequently attend formal networking events. To actually network, you must show up with your brain, be on your best behavior, and turn on your ears so you can listen. Many nights after work, my brain, ears, and/or behavior are not fully functional - so I spare everyone else until I'm up for real networking.

  2. I completely agree with you...but I also think each event has it's own "character," since I went to a great cocktail party last night, at which everyone seemed to be, in your words, "fully functional" and not sleazy. I have another one tonight, aimed at Seven Sisters alumnae so we shall see...