Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The NEXT Top Ten Things I Hate About Networking


I think I struck a cord when I posted the Top Ten Things I Hate About Networking back in November 2005. In a year and one month, I have received literally hundreds of emails from people saying how much they enjoyed my tongue and cheek breakdown of what I hate about networking...or as I like to call it.... the slow painful death!

I have literally met some of the most incredible business people thanks in large part to that post! Thanks to being profiled on the Blog Herald, MSNBC and listed countless times on the search engines, I have literally captured an entirely new audience for my BLOG and my Book for which I am most grateful!

But given that I have discovered so much during my journey of creating The 8 Minute Ripple and what it means to really connect without the pressure and falsity often found in normal networking circumstances, it just seemed like the right time for a sequel.

So with no further adieu....The NEXT Top Ten Things I Hate About Networking!


1. I hate networking because most events refuse to post No Idiot Allowed signs. Nothing peeves me off more than getting stuck next to Bob the real estate investment guy who one minute is telling me how successful he is at building his real estate empire and that I should think seriously of investing with him and in the very next sentence to hear him thanking his lucky stars for the free drinks and food. Mind you this is as he palms as many H'orderves as he can possibly conceal with his overly large sweaty digits.

2. I also hate networking events that fail to post one other sign....THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK. Nothing is worse than getting stuck talking to slippery slurry Sally who for some reason read the bumper sticker "I Drink To Make Myself Look Smart" and took it literally.

3. I hate getting stuck in a conversation with someone who has smoked a carton of camels and has no idea how their breath, their clothes, their eyes, their teeth, their aura looks, smells or tastes. I said it....tastes!! As one of my former soccer players once pointed out to me that when you can smell it you are already tasting it. She of course wasn't referring to cigarrets but some other reprehensible bodily function but her point remains valid in this circumstance too don't you think?

4. Fricken Power Networkers! Okay I know this may offend some but I seriously can't stand Super Slick Power Networker Dudes and Dudettes that migrate from event to event. Networking breakfasts, lunches, happy hours and dinners day in and day out an in hot pursuit of that next awesome lead and opportunity! I wish these people would wake up and realize that their 30-Second Elevator Pitch (which I hate more than pimples on my you know what) isn't wity; it isn't funny and without question is one of the most annoying factors of any networking function. No event, no meal and okay.....to be fair....no amount of alcohol is going to sooth the pain and frustration that a power network can and will inflict on you as they spew their heinous prose. Run...Run fast....Run Far....Power Networkers can and will sap your soul. It's their lot in life!

5. Limp Chicken. Powdered Eggs. And bacon that once might have been meat but is now just some greasy rawhide insult to the pig that it was stripped from. Enough said!

6. Did I say Power Networkers? Okay....I so despise power networkers that it bears mentioning one more time. There are few places in a networking event that I would consider safe and off-limits. The parking garage....maybe. The foyer as you talk on your cell phone....probably. BUT ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY YOU SHOULD BE SAFE IN THE BATHROOM! The bathroom should be and should always be OFF-LIMITS to POWER NETWORKERS. Nothing is worse than having Chip Durango representing I AM GOD'S GIFT TO WHAT YOU NEED INC. popping up at the urinal (sorry ladies....but this might be more of a man complaint) next to you and rolling with his spiel.

WHAT?

Chip, first don't approach me in the bathroom! It is just plain creepy. Second, Chip why on Earth would you ever think its okay to even look in the direction of another guy who is holding his most valuable possession ever and asking "So what do you do?" I am peeing you MORON and if you look at me again and distract me then your shoes get all that they deserve! And last Chip, don't ever, ever, ever extend your hand hoping to get a little handshake action while trying to be cool and sociable and all while still standing at the urinal. Chip....refer to item #1. It also applies here.

7. I hate the aspect of networking that involves being approached like I am a Tijuana Whore. I don't personally know any Tijuana Whores and don't think any are readers of my Blog but just in case I might offend one, I use that term for the pure purpose of illustration. The use of said Tijuana Whore is in no means a representation of any Tijuana Whores, living or dead, and any similarities to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. Honestly I don't even know if Tijuana has these kinds of ladies of the night. Again...just for illustration purposes only.

Now with my disclaimers out of the way.....you know what I mean.....People coming over to you and looking you up and down to see what you are wearing, how hip your hair style is and whether you are worth their time and effort. I am not a piece of meat after all! Now I am beginning to understand why my single lady friends never go to bars!

8. The other thing I hate about Networking is the plastitic (yes I made that up) word "fascinating." Nothing irks me more than to hear someone say "fascinating" at just about every sentence break when you talk. You know what is fascinating? How the human race couldn't follow suit with the rest of the mammals and eat our young before they could get out and do serious damage to our gene pool!

9. I hate finding someone at a networking event that is hell bent on meeting me just to get my card. I see these kinds of people all the time. Jumping from connection to connection like there is a grand prize for the first person to collect everyone's card who is in attendance. Yes...ladies and gentleman at the end of tonight's festivities we will be giving out the award for the most shallowest person in attendance tonight. Tonight's winner is Skipper Pinger from the Do We Cheat 'Em and How Inc.!

I mean seriously, just put on your name tag "Don't Care What You Do and Don't Want To Know....Now Hand Over Your Card So I Can Win Me Some Damn Prizes!" so we can both save some time and oxygen and I can slink back to my corner and enjoy my beer!

10. Finally....the last thing I hate about networking is some yahoo who happened to luck into stealing one of my business cards (because I rarely, if ever, give them out) and putting my information into his PLAXO Address book (without permission I might add). Nothing brightens my mood more than receiving 15 emails over a two week period from some idiot I met once pretending we are friends and asking for my help (my help?) to update his address book with MY favorite color, MY address and MY birthday. You can't even zing the guy back without PLAXO requiring you to sign up for their Free but let me be clear....ANNOYING SERVICE. As stated in #8 about eating our young....I amend that to say if we aren't going to eat them....why on Earth would we ever let them have computers?

So there you have it folks. If the comments contained within this email offend anyone I apologize. If after receiving said apology you are still angry you might seriously consider getting some help as you likely are a Power Networker. BUT WAIT! THERE IS HOPE.

The next 8 Minute Ripple is happening on January 17th in downtown Austin and it is guaranteed to cure you of your Power Networking Addiction. If interested, please send an email to steve@ripplcentral.com to be added to the invitation list.

Now Stop Networking. Start Connecting!


Happy Ripple New Year!

Steve

11 comments:

Carlon Haas said...

Or don't you hate it when those "networkers" start spamming your blog with comments like "Hey, that's cool! Now please go to my site on erectile disfunction."

Great article, Steve.

Drew McLellan said...

Amen.

Really, I just can't say more than that. Okay, I can.

It's all fake. That's what I hate about it. If someone is genuine and uses the word fantastic -- good. If not, then yuck.

I wonder if they think we really can't see the difference?

Drew

Karen Sopko said...

PLTT! OK you got me, one of the funniest posts I have ever read.

It's ironic that the people who always get past the velvet ropes are so hopeless in a real conversation. Some of the best fun I had last year was watching a networking Casanova become a real human being during a Ripple event. There is hope for the hard core networkers - Ripple On!

MagnumVox said...

Spot on, my friend!!!!!
Spot on!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is one the funniest things I have ever read. I mean seriously....you should write more stuff like this because this had me and my staff rolling. You not only bring your point across brilliantly but you manage to make it absolutely memorable in the process.

I am personally forwarding this to all the power networkers I know!

Too bad you aren't in NY as we are in desperate need of one of your 8 Minute Ripples.

Ripple On Steve!

Joel

Thom Singer said...

Steve, you are right, there are lots of things to hate about networking events. But dont throw the baby out with the bath water... there is still good in the world of networking events, one just has to accept that the negatives can cloud that water.

This post is a great one, you writing style is very funny.

thom

Steve Harper said...

Thom Singer has a fantastic rebuttal to this post on his BLOG. Check it out at:

http://thomsinger.blogspot.com/2006/12/top-ten-things-i-like-about-networking.html

Anonymous said...

I read Thom's post and thought it was a rip off of your very funny take on networking. Perhaps he's needs to seek help for being a power networker?

Great stuff Steve. Keep inspiring us. Keep stretching us. AND keep making us laugh!

Brain

john said...

Steve,
I'm new to both networking and rippling-- but not so new to drinking too much, pestering, or even borderline stalker-esque behavior, so please approach help me understand your blog's tone.

While your underlying points are inarguable, I would've thought that the man who hopes to proliferate the Ripple would write his blog with some compassion for the ol' Chipster.

Maybe I'm not there yet, but I'm guessing that practicing compassion for Chip goes hand in hand with the underlying idea of hosting networking events based on the principle of connecting with people outside of the elevator pitch paradigm.

Please help me learn more.

-John

PS: A couple of quotes come to mind in this context:
"Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them." —Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations, VIII:59.

I also recall a quote from "Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence" by Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee:
"Emphasis on gaps often arouses the right prefrontal cortex--that is, feelings of anxiety and defensiveness. Once defensiveness sets in, it typically demotivates rather than motivates, thereby interrupting, even stopping, self-directed learning and the likelihood of change."

Steve Harper said...

John,

Drop me a line and we can talk. steve@ripplecentral.com


Ripple On!

Steve

Anonymous said...

In this world of armchair bloggers who created a generation of critics instead of leaders, I'm actually doing something, right here, right now, for the city, for my country. And I'm not doing it alone. You're damn right I'm a hero. - Green Arrow, Smallville