Thursday, March 19, 2009

From Headache to Adrenoline Rush

Yesterday I went to one of my weekly networking meetings. I got there early with the intention of networking before the program began. Unfortunately, there were very few people who arrived early, and they had already broken up into "huddles" where three or four of them lean in real close and have intense discussions. They're probably talking about March Madness.

So I swaggered over to the buffet and loaded up my plate. I decided to sit at a table of people whom I did not know. Uh oh. I sit down and meet a lawyer ("L"), and a small business owner ("SBO"). I introduce myself with a big smile and explain I'm one of the new members. L starts going on and on about how we don't need anymore lawyers in the group. SBO just smiles, helplessly. L continues to berate the fact that there are so many in the legal profession as part of this organization.

I ask L how long he's been in practice. He tells me 30 years. At this point, with a headache already starting between my eyes, I couldn't help myeslf, so I light-heartedly suggested, "You know, some of you all should retire! Let the newbies get our feet wet!" SBO bursts into laughter, noting my charm. L is not very amused.

I start feeling head-achey. Is this what this club is going to be like? People that are annoyed that I even joined? I can't believe we're paying money for this. Wait, thank you Lord, someone I know has just walked in! I jump up and rush to him, then shamelessly beg him to come join my table. He obliges, much to my relief.

Now that I have one fun person to talk to and my headache has melted away, I decide to redriect myself. Maybe L is having a bad day, but I will not let this opportunity pass me by. So I make a mental checklist of things to do:
  • Talk to that lady over there.
  • Join that club within the club.
  • Volunteer to help in this capacity.
  • Talk to other person about one other thing.
After the meeting adjourns, I jump up and relay around the room to catch all these people before they leave. Success! I get to everything on my list, and then some.

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