The Art of Networking
“We want Ice!? We want Ice!?:…….”Where the fuck is Vanilla!!?”
The collective mood at McFallen’s Irish Pub was quickly transitioning from restless to bellicose.
“Where the fuck is that f#ggot!!?"
Perhaps it was the 13:1 male to female ratio. Perhaps it was the fact that most drink orders included the word “bomb”. Or maybe it was the realization that this trashy bar had conned a bunch of under-employed, fighting age males into spending the little money they had under the ruse of meeting a D-rate celebrity.
My boy, he too succumbed to the testosterone-laced environment.
“Is that guy wearing a double popped collar!? Is that douchebag really wearing two shirts with popped collars!!?..... I have to fight him. I HAVE to fight him.
A former gymnast and active power lifter, it took three of us to restrain him from his well-founded and righteous indignation.
“I know, bro. I know, bro. I agree. But if you fight him, we’re gonna miss Ice.”
30 minutes later my posse and I were at the luxury hotel next door pretending to be the assistant managers at McFallen’s and asking if Mr. Van Winkle had checked in. “We just want to know if he is running late.”
Even more absurd…. Earlier that evening I had networked my way into my first ever full-time, salaried, office job. Half-drunk, at fucking McFallen’s.
To my pleasant surprise, my former orientation aide from college was also in attendance. During our catch-up I confessed that I had spent the last 6 months since graduation working temp jobs and hunting for full time jobs in front of my parents’ computer, in my undies, on Craigs List and Monster. He handed me his business card which had a nice title and boasted: “I can get you a job. Now let’s get a fucking jaeger bomb!”
Months of despair mercifully put to rest in the most unlikely of settings.
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Why did I think of this story today?
Sadly, I am back on the job hunt. I once again must convince a group of men & women to let me into their business club. It is revolting.
Almost as distasteful is the advice I am getting on my quest.
The 60+ crowd is obnoxious in their naivete but also somewhat charmingly clueless.
“You gotta go door to door and hand out your resume, son. Show people you really want it!”…..
Let me drop some knowledge on you, old-timer. In this day and age, if you go door to door handing out your resume, you will be arrested by the end of the day. Plain and simple. This ain’t the 1970s when some moxie, a polo shirt and a Bachelor of Arts guaranteed a lifetime of success. A time when most meetings included a glass of single malt. A time when, if you weren’t grabass’n with your secretary, people assumed you were a closet fruit. No sir. Times have changed, Stanley! Shut the fuck up!
The well-meaning geeks that don’t know how business works are more infuriating.
“Want me to review your resume for you?”
C’mon now. We’re adults. Please don’t litter my resume with different action verbs and a new format. You’re 40 years old, you should know a few hiring managers you can connect me to. It ain’t the CV, it’s whose desk it lands on.
Most infuriating is the generic “You’re smart, you will find something”. Thanks bro! You know, you could have at least offered to have me browse through your linkedin contacts. You still don’t have to lift a finger but it’s a bit better than the equivalent of: “I’m sure it will work out for you, chief.”
Truth is, I don’t need advice or pep talks. I already know what to do; how deals are inked and moves made……………….. I’m hitting the bars baby!
From the metal-head dive bars to the hotel lobby bars, I will be there. Looking dapper, confident, and inviting. I will start the early evening with obscure tequila or whiskey so as to lure a pretentious executive into a conversation about spirits and eventually other things. I will then linger into the later hours and buy a round of car bombs to the overserved sales guys that look prone to impetuous hiring decisions. Lucrative offers will no doubt pour in.
Deemed a safety hazard and overall stain on the neighborhood, McFallen’s was shut down many years ago. Yet it taught me valuable lessons. (1) Desperate people will find ANY excuse to go get VERY drunk (2) The more you drink the more likely it is that interesting things will happen to you. Think about it, what has a higher probability? You, the 874th applicant for a job on LinkedIn being the one ultimately hired or you getting drunk at a hotel bar and meeting a guy who knows a guy that ends up being your boss?
Let the geeks and dweebs “network” on LinkedIn and apply online. You, your destiny awaits at McSorley’s between boilermaker 5 and 8. Make sure you ink your fat new contract before you get to double digits though. Before you start wandering the bar shirtless demanding to see Milli Vanilli.