Sunday, January 22, 2006

Networking 101

I swear. Sometimes I can just kick myself.

I'm just getting back from this organizational function that I was helping out at. I also attended the actual function itself. I so didn't want to go. But I got conned into volunteering by co-worker friend Charles. I couldn't say no again...*LOL*.

I had to force myself to put on my tuxedo. (I have to admit, I look mighty hot in one. I may be able to share a picture for all to see...for a limited time, of course. You know, I'll pull a GeorgiaPeach.) Hemingway I was supposed to be there at 4:30 in the afternoon. But it wasn't until 5:15 I arrived. It was actually good I arrived later since things still weren't set up yet. It was about thirty minutes before I was put to work handling tickets. To kill the time beforehand, I was chatting it up with Eugene. He revealed something heavy to me earlier. It's worthy of another post.

So you know when you go to these organization functions, you're supposed to be networking. What's the first rule of networking? Well, I don't know if it's the first. But it's an important one. BRING SOME BUSINESS CARDS!!!! Oh my gosh. I can't believe I forgot to bring them again. I do that every freaking time.

I wound up sitting at a different table from my company because one of my co-workers bought a spouse that wasn't accounted for. And since I was volunteering, I was ass out..*LOL*. Charles was actually nice enough to sit with me so I wouldn't be by myself at another table. He also snagged a lady friend to sit with him. But actually I wound up at a cool table. I chatted it up with a couple guys sitting next to me. And this one lady struck a conversation with me, swearing that she met me somewhere before. I couldn't recall. I hoped she didn't see me in Boystown or something and decided to blurt it out to everyone. Luckily that didn't happen.

But Hemingway, towards the end of the ceremony, one of the guys offered me his business card, saying if I was interested in talking to him about opportunities and stuff, to give him a call. Of course I didn't have any to give him so I just smiled and said thanks. I did the patting of my tuxedo pocket to let him know I didn't have any. He wound up being Vice President of his corporation. How embarassing.

That wasn't even the worse of it. I originally wasn't planning on going to the hotel afterparty thing. It's so boring and I wind up being a total wallflower. I'm not the biggest small talker. However, I ran into a co-worker friend (let's call him Alex) who recently lost his wife over the holidays in 2004. I had wanted to contact him before but never knew what to say to him. I was itching to leave but Alex told me that he needed a ride to his car but wanted to stay at the afterparty for awhile. So I put aside my feelings and told him I'd hang with him and drop him by his car whenever he was ready to leave.

So Charles immediately enlists Alex and I to carry party favors to the hotel room. We head up, bring the favors, and then help set up the boombox. Oh yeah, the music has to be jamming.

The party's okay. I'm standing there looking good. Alex and I are chatting here and there while waiting to get a quick drink. Time passes. I have my bored moments. I go and get ice twice.

On my second trip back, which was delayed because someone locked the hallway door that led to the second unlocked room door, I locked eyes with Wade. Or rather, he locked eyes with me. I gave him a quick smile and after putting the ice on the table, started putting my hands in my pockets. Wade immediately extended his hand and introduced himself. Oh my God. He was so handsome. I learned that he was a 23 year old recent college grad working at a big insurance company. We were talking for a couple minutes, only getting interrupted when another of my co-worker friends wanted me to look at the radio. Sigh.

I swear it felt like Wade was flirting with me. But I could be wrong. It's not like he could be that open about it since we're in a predominately hetero environment. What made me think that was when Alex and I were ready to leave, Wade came up to me and said goodbye. But then in a strange twist of fate, Wade decided to leave with us minutes later. An ex-co-worker lady friend Crystal decided to leave with us as well.

So the four of us were heading down the elevator. I made little jokes and Wade was all smiling at me. He chatted it up with Alex and Crystal as well so he was an equal opportunity flirt...*LOL*. Crystal parted ways from us at the main lobby. So Alex, Wade, and I headed to the parking garage.

We got our tickets and chatted some more. Wade started mentioning that the hotel we were at was the largest one in Chicago. I didn't know that. I made some remark about Trump wanting to build a larger one. Little did I know that Wade would talk about reading Trump's autobiography and touting some of his philosophies. It intrigued me.

I so wanted to exchange emails so we could keep in touch but I didn't have any cards and I didn't even have a pen. Also Alex was there and it may have looked weird to him if I tried to get Wade's information. So when my car came, Wade walked up with us. He was chatting with Alex at the time. I went through the revolving door. Alex followed me. I had hoped to at least say goodbye to Wade but he stayed inside.

Sigh. He was too young for me Hemingway.

I guess I need to attend the next function in June for another chance to see him again. I'll be sure to bring business cards this time.


Blogger The Captain said...

Sounds like an interesting night.

I learned three things in networking within an event like that.

1. Always have business cards. And never pull out a cell phone or carry one to an event.

2. Compliment your guests often. After striking up a conversation, learn their likes and dislikes quickly. That is the best road in getting them to remember you by talking about what they love the best.

3. Try to avoid talking business. However, sell yourself as a walking resume.

1:55 AM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger Virginia Slim said...

Damn, damn, damn... don't you hate when you always feel like you miss that golden opportunity? But I'm sure you could contact Wade if you really wanted to. I mean, Chicago ain't that big, is it? But good for you. Sounds like you had an okay time, and I'm sure you were looking dapper in the tux. (Post pic soon!) Hope you have a great rest of the weekend!

10:02 AM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger That Dude Right There said...

Sounds like somebody was smitten with Wade!!!!!!1

5:28 PM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger TeeBee said...

Better luck next time. I bet you'll remember the biz cards too!

6:55 PM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger Marz said...

I learned that earlyt about always having a pen. (Flirting 101 in middle school LOL.)

Oh well.


9:31 AM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Essequibo said...

oh gotta have those buisness cards, man. It's good for proper networking, and for flipping over and writing your cell # on there. Lawd knows I've done that enough *sighs*

Anyway, life is might run into young Wade when you least expect it.

1:20 PM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Jamal K. Franklin said...

Yea, the business card rule is definitely supreme!

Coming Into Reality,

2:12 PM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger ProfessorGQ said...

sounds like a fun time...networking is always a great thing, isn't it?

3:32 PM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Mr. Maurice said...

You should have gotten shawties Info... never know he might have worked you on out.. LOL

5:48 PM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger E said...

I wasn't expecting to enjoy myself much. I'm looking at it as Wade just temporarily filling that void. Maybe that was his only purpose. The conspiracy theoriest in me was thinking I was being set up to see if I would take the bait. But I know it's not that serious...*LOL*.

7:55 AM, January 24, 2006  

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