Our company’s primary long distance and local dialtone provider hosted a customer appreciation meet-and-greet social function with some of their upper management 4-6pm on Wednesday of this week at a downtown hotel right across the street from our office. I’d missed previous events such as this due to conflicts or troubles making the late afternoon/evening bus schedule work out because of the location chosen. I figured I could enjoy a beer or two and still be in good shape by the time I arrived at my car an hour or more after I thought it was time to go.
I arrived and wandered in to where it was held. There were dozens, maybe a hundred or more people hanging out on the hotel mezzanine enjoying the open bar, plenty of great looking snack foods and interacting. The first person I recognized was my sales rep and we chatted for a few minutes before I said I wanted to find a beer. We parted and after I had a nice cold Sam Adams Winter Lager in my hand I began looking around to see who else I knew or recognized from somewhere.
No one. Even after strolling thru the crowd a couple of times.
My wife and others have told me my father never met a stranger and there wasn’t anyone he couldn’t strike up a conversation with. I suppose a lot of this had to do with standing behind the desk at the locak Post Office as the main clerk for most of his career and having plenty of practice at one-to-one personal conversation with everybody in town who walked in. I must not have inherited that specific gene. I’ve stood and presented in front of groups from just a handful to several hundred many times and I’ve been told I do it well, but put me into a social setting where I have to initiate first contact? Well, if no one approaches me I can remain absolutely alone in a crowd.
I left before I finished that first beer. Some things never change.