[*This is a draft from a year ago.]
Networking is yuppiespeak for “talking to people.” Some people do it well, some people do it poorly, and some don’t do at all. One of the reasons I have risen in the ranks of the Local Yuppie organization is my ability to talk to people–because sometimes it seems like I’m the only one willing to do that.
I’m not even that good at it. I was an extremely shy kid, but Ireland cast a spell on me and now I have the ability to hold a conversation with anyone. Yes, I have kissed the Blarney Stone, which sure and begorrah has given me the gift of gab, but the true credit belongs to the Irish pub, where I learned how to talk to anybody and everybody.
One of my biggest complaints about the Local Yuppie organization is that they can be a little cliquey. I remember when I first started coming to events, before I had actually joined, how difficult it was to even identify the members of the board, let alone get them to talk to me. Some of them were outright hostile. I actually enjoy getting under people’s skin, so rather than scare me off, that actually motivated me to get more involved. There were a few events where I showed up just to see how badly I could piss off the ones that clearly didn’t like me.
All this, and now they want me to be president. Not because I’m the best person for the job, but because they didn’t build a sustainable organization and now no one wants to run it. I’ve heard other young people in the community complain about feeling unwelcome in the organization, and I know it’s true because they did the same thing to me at first. For people who are less contrarian than me, that’s a total turnoff. The organization doesn’t grow because most people don’t choose to hang out with assholes in their free time. We get enough of that at work.