Like this one time at a conference when I had to go to my publisher's formal cocktail party. I'm standing around with a glass of red wine in my hand, feeling like an awkward idiot because I *know* cocktail parties like these are all about meeting the right people and schmoozing with folks who might be good for your career and selling oneself.
All of which I HATE.
Then I notice someone leaning up against a column, looking kind of weird and out of place --like me! So I approach him, and he turns out to be fascinating, and funny, and geeky, and we get more drinks and proceed to have a grand old time. Then another fellow joins us, who turns out to be the first guy’s assistant, and we start making inappropriate comments and snide remarks and laughing so loudly that my editor’s boss joins us, at which point we rein it in and behave ourselves.
As soon as the two men walk off, my editor’s boss turns to me and says: "Good for you! That’s an important connection to make."
And I say, "Wha…?"
And in response to my vague look she says, "You realize he’s the national buyer for ****" (fill in incredibly important chain of bookstores)
And I say "Wait, wha…?" ... and only then realize I've been saying inappropriate things to someone Very Important.
And then later in the evening I'm all tongue-tied around the fellow because I now know he could be a Strategic Asset.
That’s the kind of suave, strategic player I am. So if I ever approach you at a party, you can be sure I think you're not important.
Wait. That didn't come out right...