Semi-Hungover Thoughts on Networking and the Weird World of Business

It turns out that I am not getting any younger. 1 gin and tonic + 1 big glass of wine + assorted bite-size sugary things = major headache and overall crappy feeling the next day. I was out representing my company at a cool music and technology panel at a speakeasy-type-bar. My company was one of the sponsors. Apparently you are supposed to network like hell at these dealies, so I put on my best business skirt and game face, filled my pockets with business cards, downed a cocktail and started talking to people.

As you might be able to guess from my personality type, this is SO not my comfort area. Sometimes the mood hits and I WANT to talk to strangers, but mostly it takes a little rallying, i.e. drinking my cocktail in a bathroom stall while giving myself a pep talk. Mostly I spend my time at these sorts of things asking myself, ‘how the hell do these people tick?’ With each person I talked to, after I’d extolled the virtues of my company, I went into interrogation mode. One guy told me he has 13,000 contacts in his Blackberry. He has a group of 800 ‘close’ friends that he calls or emails on their birthdays. I drilled him. How much time does it take to manage all those relationships? Does he remember details about everyone? Since he’s such an extraverted connector, is he also good at more typically introvtered things like writing and research? The answers were sickening. He is great at everything, apparently. Or perhaps this was just part of a wooing effort, as I noticed that our conversation waned considerably after he looked at my left hand and asked me if I had a special fella.

I did my duty distributing schwag, and then hit a wall. I didn’t want to talk to any more people or get hit on again (unless it was in a clever way… I’m always game for hilarious pick up lines). When I checked my inbox this morning, there was a handful of Facebook and LinkedIn requests. Ugh.  Social management. Not my forte.

But back to my headache. Do you drink at work events, even if they are mid-week? Also, are you older than 22? I really think the drinking age should be changed to 15 so that the people whose lithe young bods can process alcohol can actually enjoy this super power while it lasts.

On that note:



2 responses to “Semi-Hungover Thoughts on Networking and the Weird World of Business

  1. I so understand how it is impossible to drink a huge amount any more. I’m 26 and last Saturday I had probably 5 or 6 drinks over the course of 8 hours (with food and water!) and had the MOST AWFUL hangover the next day. I couldn’t even keep water down until 6:00. My gosh.

    Sounds like networking got old, but it also sounds like you did a great job!

  2. Yes, isn’t it amazing how the first signs of ‘getting older’ come in your mid twenties? I thought I had at least until 30. We can’t just party like we used to 😦

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