Small Talk

Picked up my name tag and walked into the room filled with rows of empty chairs. Women in skirts, heels and jewels. Men encased in jackets, light catching the balding spots. Me in my suit, clutching my purse, overcome with anxiety. It’s like the school cafeteria all over again. Where should I sit? There are a couple groups of people scattered throughout the room-should I join them? I decide to sit in the middle of an empty room, take my chances.

People filter in and seats are claimed on either side of me. The presentation starts and is over too quickly. The bar opens and silver lids are lifted from chafing dishes. Suited waiters make their way through the crowd, proffering beef wellington and spinach squares. I only know a couple people in the room by sight, but the one girl I worked with on a group project was immediately surrounded by a talkative group. Following the advice gleaned from Matched in Manhattan, I quickly entered the drink line and ordered the Kool Aid of wine, white zinfandel. I start chatting with the guy behind me and it’s smooth sailing from there.

 How do you deal with “networking socials?”

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