I feel ranty this week. Maybe I’m just tired, or didn’t drink enough coffee, or am actually just a total cranky old bitch. But in any case, my ranty-ness is expanding into most aspects of my life. Today I’m ranting about something that happened about 6 months ago, which quite frankly I think we can all agree is clearly the sign of a totally normal, mentally stable individual.
Regardless, I still believe in my rant today, so here goes.
Months ago, I was at a Meetup event downtown. It was about content strategy, and it was a great event. The speaker was engaging and knowledgable and made a ton of excellent points I still remember to this day. The thing that annoyed me came after the actual event, when the talking to other humans part kicked in. For a cranky ass introvert like myself, talking to other humans can sometimes be a challenge.
Not because I don’t like people, but just because I often don’t know what to say. I hate small talk and fake interest in things. Let’s either talk about something mutually interesting or why bother, is how I view networking type events. But it’s also no fun to be sitting around by yourself in a room full of people, so, I make attempts at human connection.
I’ve found the Meetups I’ve attended in the past to be really good for this. I’ve met lots of interesting and talented people from the Vancouver Digital Project Management group, and have genuinely enjoyed talking to and getting to know them.
I hope to meet equally amazing people at my own Meetup group, whenever I actually get around to scheduling an event. Shameless self promotion —> Fraser Valley Digital Strategy Meetup. Join that shit, babes.
[irp posts=”114″ name=”The One Where I Start a Digital Strategy Group Meetup”]
So anyway, back to the thing that annoyed me.
I was talking to a few experienced and rather senior content strategists and all around word-type people, along with some other junior level peers like myself. Conversation was good. A young woman, just out of school, came up to introduce herself. She mentioned she was just getting started in the industry and was looking for a job in content strategy. We were all talking about our backgrounds. She mentioned she had just finished school in New York and suddenly a brief silence fell over our group.
“New York?! Oh, wow!” said a senior content strategist I was in the middle of talking to, immediately turning away from me and focusing on this, gasp, New Yorker in our midst.
The rest of our small group similarly focused in on the recent graduate, eager to hear all about NEW YORK.
Not that I really cared about being slightly snubbed. It’s not like I knew these people or had any real compelling reason for them to talk to me. Just, you know, it’s kind of rude when you’re in the middle of a sentence and the listener whips their head around like an owl at the very mention of the words New York.
The thing that annoyed me here was not being ignored, or that people were drawn to stories of school in New York. The truly frustrating thing was how mindless it all was. Before these people knew this girl went to school in New York, they weren’t even giving her the time of day. Once she mentioned it, all eyes were on her.
It was like New York was some sort of mystical fantasy land where all the world’s untapped talent existed and somehow, this one had escaped and graced us with her presence.
They asked questions, but not the right ones. They made assumptions. They said things like, “Well, if you went to school in New York, then yes, I’d definitely like to talk to you about job opportunities.” There’s so much wrong with that statement. For one thing, not one person asked where she actually attended school. Or what she majored in. Or any real questions about her interest in the field, or potential interview-type questions.
They were just drawn to the infamous New York and assumed that if this girl went there, she must be good. End of story.
I’m sure this girl is good, probably frickin amazing actually. I met her briefly but she struck me as smart and though you can’t judge someone’s writing from their speech, she sounded engaging and articulate. And obviously she is just starting out in the industry, and I know it’s hard to break into, so I wish her all the best. I’ve only been here a few years so it’s not like we’re that far away.
The next time I’m in the middle of a sentence and someone whips and nae naes their head around faster than Kanye lost all his money at just the mention of a physical place in the world, I’m gonna be pissed.
By the way, it was New York state and not even New York City, so like…
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