"Hey I think I know you. Yeah aren't we Facebook friends?" the eager young man said as he shoved a business card into my hand. The move of a seasoned power networker and one that makes me immediately uncomfortable.
"Hmm I don't know. Maybe?" I sheepishly said. I looked at his name tag, hoping to get some idea who this person was only to find that it was so poorly written it was unrecognizable. Drats!
"What's your name?" he asked. I began to feverishly looking for my friend. Help I wanted to scream!
"Steve Harper," I replied.
"Wait a minute, aren't you the guy that wrote some book? I know why you seem familiar, I've heard all sorts of things about you. Nice to meet you. Wow, Mr. Networking right here in the flesh," he said with an animated bow. "No," he continued, "we're not Facebook friends. I think I hit you up on LinkedIn a while back and you said that you don't accept LinkedIn requests from people you don't know professionally. I totally respect that bro," as he slide up along side of me. "I actually use the Facebook question as my ice breaker. Like it?"
I was rendered speechless. He didn't actually wait for my response.
"Yeah so it looks like a target rich environment eh?" A Top Gun line, really? "Lots of prospects. I sell pre-paid legal services, what do you do again? I mean besides the Ripple thing?"
He continued. "So how does Mr. Networking approach these kinds of events?" He leaned in close like I was about to impart some invaluable wisdom.
"Oh you know," like he was already in the know. I could not help myself but he ate it up."Would you excuse me?" I could either vomit on him or do the polite thing and go find a bathroom.
"Sure bro. What am I thinking holding up Mr. Ripple. You've got some people to Ripple here I am sure. I'll catch up with you later bro!" Bro? Seriously? Shoot me now. I began to walk away but not before he threw out this little diddy. "Hey let me grab a card from you." His hand suddenly seemed to turn into Stretch Armstrong's hand as it snaked it's way out like he would gladly fondle my pocket for me to find one.
"Ah bro, I am fresh out. You know how it is too much networking."
"Word!" he said as he made some sign that could only make me think of the gang signs I used to see from my former hometown. "Already gone through my second box this year." It was only February. The poor trees.
"I'll find you on Facebook. Serious this time. Look for me okay bro? Then I'll have my girl give you a ring and we'll arrange some java time."
What event had I gone too? Was it clown training and I just hadn't gotten the memo?
As I got into my car later that night my phone buzzed. It was a Facebook friend request.