The Learning Lunch

The scene: a table at a networking/”learning” lunch for marketing/pr/communicator types

The menu: dried-looking chicken breast on top of a salad, rolls with tiny balls of butter by their sides, cookies

Gregarious Woman With Crazy Eyes: Hi! Hi everyone! What’s your name? Where do you work? Let me give you my card.

Hands cards all around from a stack of 100.

WASP-y Type Woman Wearing Expensive Blouse: I work for a bank selling 401K plans. You know, B 2 B.

Crazy Eyes: Amazing! Did I give you my card?

WASP: Where do you work?

Crazy Eyes: I’m between things and on top of things and I’m a grad student in branding and marketing. See, I made my own name tag. So embarrassing!

Shows off scrawled name tag that says “Crazy Eyes Branding & Marketing.” Crazy Eyes wanders to another table to pass out business cards. Rest of table eats salad.

Boring Woman One: So, do you see a lot of economic turnaround in your sector?

Boring Woman Two: Yes, things are really picking up.

Salad eating.

Boring Woman One: I worked on a website for the state. It helps people find jobs and training.

Everyone at table writes down website URL on free pads of paper provided by lunch host. Crazy Eyes returns.

Crazy Eyes: What an interesting salad! Do you think this is a vinaigrette? I mean, I’m eating it. I’m eating it! If I don’t finish it, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it!

Boring Woman One: Where do you live?

Crazy Eyes: I live in Hudson. It’s so beautiful there. I can’t wait to move away. I’m looking for a house here but the market doesn’t favor me. I used to be a high-end Realtor so I have a very nice house. I used to help Mr. Big and Big Company and No-One-You’ve-Ever-Heard-Of find house so… you know.  Then I worked in aeronautics.

Boring Woman Two: Huh.

Crazy Eyes: Actually I turned X Company into an aeronautics company. They used to do something else. So you can imagine, I’m used to working with Disney and Land’s End and Sony and Applebee’s and then… boom.

Salad eating. Much silence. Crazy Eyes adjusts the barrette in her hair. She is too old to be wearing a barrette in her hair. The presentation begins. The guest speaker is introduced by the group’s Marketing Director, who has a thick Minnesotan accent. The usual Power Point, You Tube videos, heart-warming branding stories follow. Applause.

Crazy Eyes: That was amazing. That was really something. Oh, I’m not leaving. I’m just getting up to hand out my card. I don’t think some people over at the other end of the room got it. Oh, but let me just say that this has been an amazing lunch and it was a pleasure to eat with such talented, gifted, amazing, strong, professional women.


Boring Woman Number One: Who wants a cookie? These cookies are amazing.