The Name-Dropping Networking Specialist

2009 September 15
by mockers


I have tried to write this post several times since Mockable came online.  I’ve always had to stop because it just made me too mad to be funny.  I’m sure that right now several of you are wondering why that’s different from any other day.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing inappropriate about helping out a friend or allowing a friend to help you out.  In fact, I would venture to guess that a large percentage of you guys who are reading this right now while you’re supposed to be working (ingrates) got to where you are with at least a little help from a friend.  There is also nothing wrong with requesting a favor from a friend who is important enough to make things happen for you.  It is NOT okay for you to make the practice of making friends and then getting them to further your career your main strategy for getting ahead.

The two major things that these assholes don’t understand is that 1) You should only cash in favors when it’s absolutely necessary and 2) the relationship can only be exploited if it is genuine. You know – people you went to college with, people that worked side-by-side with you on a tough project, people you went down on in the barracks or even people you grew up with in the old neighborhood.   Not the name-dropping networking specialist.

The truth is, we can see you coming a mile away.  I can see it in your face as you walk up to me and make direct hollow eye contact and give me a firm handshake.  I have to resist the urge to quote Randall from Clerks, “I don’t appreciate your ruse ma’am.”  I can hear it in your voice as you tell me some bullshit story while repeating my name in your head.  You then proceed to verbally poke and prod to try and get me to reveal something about my life that you can use later.  My kids’ names, my hobbies…whatever.  All the while you do everything you can to keep from disagreeing with me about anything.  I resist the urge to tell you how I am equally attracted to both your spouse and Adolph Hitler and then attempt to get you to agree with me about their shared attributes that have caused me to be so attracted to them.

And then you attempt to dazzle me with your knowledge of the world.  If I tell you that I like a particular advertising campaign you’ll respond that you know the head of marketing and spin a yarn about why the campaign turned out the way it did.  If I tell you I like tennis, you respond with the time that you shared a cab with Pete Sampras and made friends with him.  I resist the urge to tell you that I like cereal and then take bets about which character you’ll claim to know – Frankenberry or Toucan Sam.

You think you’re getting ahead with this bullshit.  I promise you…you’re not.  We see you coming, we know what you’re about and we file you away in our minds to use you when we need someone devoid of personal pride to go down into the mud for one reason or another.  If you’d spend as much time mastering whatever industry you happen to be in as you do memorizing business cards, you’d be much, much better off.  And you’d enjoy the added benefit of being able to look your children in the eyes without feeling like a complete soulless fraud.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 September 15
    WB in OH permalink

    WOW! We have that guy here. I ignore him every chance I get. Does that make any sense?

  2. 2009 September 15

    So what you’re saying is that you like woman with cheesy little mustaches?

    Seriously, my husband works with a guy like that. You should hear the bullshit that this guy tells people. If it weren’t so entertaining, my husband probably would have “accidentally” killed him at work a long time ago.

  3. 2009 September 15

    As they always say, it’s not who you know, it’s who you…Well, did you think I was going there? Needless to say, they don’t last long in my business. You can’t survive here not doing your JOB. Bullshit doesn’t walk here unless your a politician.

  4. 2009 September 15

    Hey guy! I can sure tell that you are one mega-shrewd business man!
    Not like those little table-scrap collectors…do ya know what I’m sayin’ to ya?
    I was out on the back nine with Shiny Rod the other day…yea we go way back, and he said that “Bullshit doesn’t walk unless you’re a politician”. Ya know what I’m sayin’ to ya?
    Well…gotta go…meeting with some very big people…but remember, YOU are the man!!
    Chow babe! Have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch!

    Yea, ya just wanna kill ’em don’t ya.

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