Adulting: Networking.

I enjoy talking to people, but so quickly I get bombarded with boring questions, unsolicited suggestions and people who look for free labor.
I networked a lot when I was unemployed. I had no direction and openly and not-so-confidently told people I didn’t have a job. I wasn’t clear on what I wanted, and anything would do. So some people suggested that I meet for an “opportunity.”
Now, I suggest that you be clear with someone what that opportunity may be. Also, your time is VALUABLE. Do you hear me? I do NOT care if you’ve retired, been fired, or laid off. Time is a precious thing to waste. Tell them you have thirty minutes.
There was a woman who talked me to near death about her life and the company she represented. I couldn’t take it anymore. I never realized how short my attention span was.
We met in a library; which was my first disappointment. I love meeting people over food. Yes, I knew that I shouldn’t spend money out but to me, everyone is more interesting to talk to over food.
We found a little spot towards the back with a table for two. We sat across from one another and she began to tell me about her life. How she came to this country, how long she was married, how she pretty much raised her child in the library we were in, how she worked as a researcher at a healthcare facility while working at some financial company.
My behind realized how hard the wooden chair I sat on was. My eyes wanted to drop. And this yawn I had was ready to wake the whole library. I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought I loved hearing people’s stories but this time, I just couldn’t.
So, I waited about an hour thinking she’ll be done. I wanted to be polite and let her finish. Plot twist, she never did.
“Well, now I’ve said all that I’d like to tell you about,” she had the nerve to pull out the book about the company she represented. She was trying to recruit me. I was trying to go home. So I told her I had to go. I gave no excuses. Didn’t blame it on anyone just said I had to.
“Oh, I thought since you were unemployed you had time…”
How dare she? How dare she bore me to death because she thinks I have all the time in the world. Sis, I’m looking for jobs more interesting than this encounter.
I dashed out of the library and into my car regretting the draining meet up. For a moment I felt bad for her. I felt bad that it was not the industry I wanted to get into. I think I’d rather stick to the hardship of finding myself in the professional world instead of wasting precious energy pretending to care. I was disappointed knowing that in reality, I wasted both our times because I was afraid to say “no” and wanted to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I made an appointment with her the following week. In case you’re wondering, I was even more bored than the first meeting.

Panera Bread and a Starbucks, Please!


A mini adventure to Panera deserves a treat

The past few days I’ve been thinking about how much some of my family members make me laugh. As I write, I’m sitting in Panera Bread enjoying this fabulous free wifi. I was really hungry and I currently “don’t know what to do with my life”. As much as I fronted in all my meetings today it became more than obvious that this young woman is extremely promising but she is still looking for direction.

But as I watched YouTube videos of how people planned their big dreams and ideas I felt the inspiration to write- just because someone wrote to me saying that they loved my blog posts. Immediately, I looked around and my youngest niece popped into my mind.

This summer a friend of mine and my niece were in the car. My friend tells her that he imagines me meeting my husband at Starbucks. He described him to be a white poet trying to pay for grad school. I laugh because he would not let this image go! I call out to my niece to ask her what she thinks.

She says she’s not sure but imagines that I would meet my future husband at a place I don’t often go.

“But Kou doesn’t normally go to Starbucks,” my friend said still sold on the white poet idea.

“I do,” I protested. I mention about how I normally go to places like Starbucks and Panera to have a little space to do my job search, career planning, etc. “I just try not to buy food from those places.”

“See Kou,” my niece began after a quick pause, “Would only buy something if she had to.” She began to pretend to be me in a situation where I’m enjoying the free wifi and suddenly told by one of the employees that I needed to make a purchase. She started to mutter under her breath and pretended to shuffle through her pockets and purse, then grunts (I guess as she was giving the cashier the money and taking the item).

I laughed hard. I could imagine myself behaving in that way and justifying my attitude with, “’cause times is hahd.”

So the next time you’re in a funk at Panera or Starbucks, think of how you look when you are forced to buy something in order to enjoy a “free” bathroom or wifi.