As I’m a BIG BOSS now, I’ve moved up in the world and am now mixing in much higher social circles. Take today, for instance. I’ve been invited to a drinks reception at a fancy city centre location. It starts at such and such a time with complimentary wine, followed by speeches, but I’ve been told to arrive 20 minutes early in order to ‘mingle.’ I’m not quite sure what this means, but it I’m about to find out.
Mingling sounds ominously like having to socially interact with total strangers with whom I’ve nothing in common bar we’ve been thrown together at this event. Neither of us particularly want to be there but it goes with the job, so tough luck matey. I’d much rather be back at the coal face, getting on with the actual work. Which, sad man that I am, I find incredibly interesting.
But here I am, suspiciously eying up all around me, while nibbling on a lukewarm cocktail sausage. I’m socially awkward, a floundering fish out of water when it comes to small talk and networking events. Whereas others hold court and strut about like proud peacocks, I cringe and want to curl up in a ball until it’s all over. I nod and smile, but inwardly I’m dying the slowest of deaths.
So think of me, when you read this. Any survival tips would be much appreciated. Failing that, feel free to list any topics for inane conversation which might while away five minutes or so. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one hiding behind the potted plants in the corner, desperately trying to avoid eye contact with everyone. I’m odd, I’m awkward but I doubt I’ll change how. I’m me.