Seminar Fail

I don’t know what’s gotten into me but I totally failed at a seminar I had to go to yesterday.

I had to do this training seminar on new federal regulations and there were about fifty bankers from ibanks all over the city in a hotel yesterday morning listening to some guy bore us all to tears. And what’s amazing is that I didn’t talk to a single one of them.

I walked in, got my name tag, and surveyed the buffet breakfast. I’d already eaten and I was being good about not eating the same meal twice, though there was a large tray of bacon which I easily could have eaten all by myself. People were milling around waiting for things to start and making small talk. But for some reason, I just didn’t have the energy (or maybe it was lack of courage) to start any conversations. I knew one guy from my firm and I talk to him for a while, but I didn’t meet anyone new.

During the breaks, people went back to talking to the people they already met earlier so I felt like the window of opportunity was closed. I felt like I was the odd man out and that feeling of being the awkward guy who doesn’t know anyone really brought back some bad memories. And what’s worse, I felt paranoid that people were paying attention to my lack of buddies, so I pretended to check emails on my phone to look busy. So pathetic. I was so embarrassed. I haven’t felt like that since freshman orientation in college.

Anyway, I wish there were some twist to the story where I pulled things out, but I didn’t. I just kept to myself, failed to socialize in any way, then as soon as it was over, I got the hell out of there.

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3 Responses to Seminar Fail

  1. Aaron H. says:

    I’ve been following along since your first post and have been impressed with your follow through on this endeavor. It’s inspired me to want to do the same, but I’ve never actually done it.

    However, there’s something really great about this post in that it is so familiar to every conference or seminar I’ve attended. It somehow makes everything else in your blog feel more possible because nobody is perfect and some days you just don’t have the energy to make the necessary effort.

    I love it. Keep on keepin’ on.

  2. Tam Frager says:

    I know this happened months ago, and you’re over it now, but thanks for sharing it with us. It’s good to see that not every day is easy, that not every encounter is going to happen.

    Do you think it’s because you’ve gotten used to approaching conversations when people don’t expect them, and starting one when and where it was expected — and in a crowd — was unfamiliar and scary?

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