schmoozing

Is an ugly word. It reeks of grease stains, and cold hors d’ouvres, and plastic glasses of wine. As I slid across the floor with a plate of spring rolls and a glass of not-wine, another self could see me from the window. I looked uncomfortable.

There must have been others standing around, squinting at name tags. But even the networking world has its regulars, and people fall into natural circles where they laugh and pitch themselves.

That’s another thing. A pitch is really an acronym for a pithy (d)itch. One that you dig for yourself, and surround with single-line sentence-fences.

“I’m a Senior Specialist in Education Research.”

“Hi, I’m the co-founder of a start-up focused on affordable healthcare.”

“Hello. I’m a PhD student looking at the impact of increasing access to microfinance in rural Nigeria.”

Some fences are, of course, more elaborate than others. But there is little room for the stuttering wanderer, trying to find her place. While she navigates her way through winding sentences, essentially kind people look to the drinks table for a polite excuse.

I went home and made a wordle of the words that might define me. It looks something like this:

Wordle: professional wordie

How to fit that onto a business card?

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