Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

In Which I Point out that I Suck at Networking

Three examples in support of the above assertion:

At temple this morning I ran into my recent former boss, of whom I am fond, and who Mike reports knew all the Hebrew in the songs. I made sure to tell him that I had a new boss, who knows him from his public health student days. Some might call this ass-backward networking, letting someone know when they could have been helpful to you two weeks ago.

Then during my Aging and Public Health class, we had a guest lecturer in to talk about cognitive functioning and dementia. This happens to be what I'm hoping to pursue in my own work; our regular professor (who is also my advisor) suggested I get with the guest lecturer a month ago just to introduce myself and whatnot. Somehow I never got around to it. Today's class would have been a great opportunity, but during the break I nervously played with my fingernails instead of approaching him and my only contribution the whole afternoon was to volunteer to take a frontal lobe test in front of the class (I did well, meaning I do not have dementia, or if I do it's probably Alzheimer's).

Then while waiting for my train home, I ran into someone who had recently been a guest lecturer in my other seminar. She has a background in public health and anthropology, and she's done a lot of work in Haiti. I mentioned to her that I and three of my colleagues were going to give a presentation on Maternal and Child Health in Haiti in the coming weeks and she said I could pick her brain in the train (not only a gruesome image, but one that rhymes). Only the thing is, none of us have started any of the reading on Maternal and Child Health in Haiti because we have midterms and our presentation isn't for another six weeks. So basically, we made small talk about balancing a marriage with an international career, and touched briefly on her kidnapping. After which, let me tell you, I felt like a moron telling her about how I snapped and insisted we move out of Hobbs the day the washing machine was jacked.

I am no good at networking.

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