Business Magazine

Social Notworking

Posted on the 14 April 2015 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl
Social Notworking

Editor’s Note: So excited about this post! Ms Career Girl debuts its first fiction post from our new columnist, Roseanna Robson. Enjoy! 

I can do this. I can approach a group of complete strangers and talk my CV at them. How hard can it be? It’s procedural. It’s mundane.

I was now a few steps from the ring of intimately conferring women whose relative seniority was perfectly represented by the varying expense of their haircuts. They seemed like a good crowd to start with but I was planning to work my way through everyone in the room by the end of the evening.

‘We still need to get talent attached. We’ve heard a few exciting rumours but nothing has been confirmed yet,’ Short and Sharp was explaining to Basic Ponytail.

‘It’s hugely important to get the talent right,’ Salon Blowdry observed.

‘Absolutely. A social media campaign can depend upon it.’

‘And sometimes, no matter how much you plan, you can always end up signing the celebrity who goes and says something racist, or has a punchup, or dies that week,’ Basic Ponytail chipped in. The women tutted in unison as though this were a problem they were only too accustomed to.

They must have noticed me by now. Their backs were still knitted together. I cleared my throat. No response. I craned my neck to try to break through their wall, but no. They were now occupied on their phones – undoubtedly checking the latest updates of their social media campaigns.

‘Double Double, Toil and Trouble’ What am I doing? ‘Fire Burn and Caldron Bubble.’ At least they’re looking at me now. ‘Fillet of a fenny snake’ Fewer hand movements. ‘Dah-da-dah-da boil and bake!’ Ok, good. End.

‘Macbeth,’ Salon Style diagnosed.

‘That’s right. Well, you remind me of the three witches.’

‘How flattering. What does that make you?’

‘A traitorous King, I suppose.’

‘I see. Penny Foil, pleased to meet you.’

‘Florence Forge.’ I stuck out my hand, but no, that didn’t seem right. Penny hadn’t tried to shake my hand. Are handshakes suddenly gauche? Are we supposed to kiss? Yes, that’s sophisticated and adult. God, I’m really doing this. Both cheeks!

Penny pulled away from my far too close face and shook her hair, disgruntled that I may have unsettled it. It dawned on me that I would now have to undergo a similar exchange with the other two ladies present.

‘Florence Forge, nice to meet you’ Kiss kiss.

‘Alice’

‘Florence Forge, nice to meet you.’ Kiss kiss.

‘Sandra, you too.’

‘And what do you do, Florence?’ Penny enquired as she took a sip of Sham-pagne.

‘I’m actually a freelance community manager. I launch social campaigns for various brands and certain high-flying individuals.’

‘Like what?’

‘I’ve just done a twitter campaign on the nation’s favourite paint stripper – which is a product, not a person.’

‘Right.’ Don’t look at me like that. It was an incredible campaign.

‘What about you, Penny?’

‘I work for a company called WonLine.’

‘Oh, cool.’

‘Have you heard of us?’

‘Yeah, I think so. It rings a bell. A really loud bell.’

‘Well that’s surprising because we’re very small indeed.’

‘Oh, really?’

‘Very small. You’re within the inner circle, in fact.’ Alice smiled smugly at me and Sandra shrugged her shoulders like some sort of admission of guilt. They were Penny Foil’s dedicated employees.

‘We’re a startup,’ Alice elucidated. ‘And getting more and more well-known every day.’

‘Fantastic.’

‘2000 hits on the website a week, five potential investors and a three percent increase in market spending.’

‘Impressive.’ How else to respond?

‘Excuse me, girls, I’ve just seen a very important man who needs to buy me lunch,’ Penny announced and skipped off. Sandra smiled apologetically at me and handed over a card.

‘She likes you.’

‘She does?’

‘She wouldn’t have introduced herself otherwise. That’s her signal,’ Sandra winked.

‘Sandra,’ Alice barked, ‘we have to attend to Penny at all times.’

‘Give us a call, Florence. This could be the start of something,’ Sandra encouraged before being whisked away by the militant Alice.

She had liked me. She had liked me? The three witches remained on my periphery for the rest of the event. They mainly kept to themselves, leaping on people every now and then who they tried to squeeze money out of. Penny may have liked me but I wasn’t sure I liked her.

I ended up tossing the card in the bin with my name tag. Penny was imperious, arrogant and mean. I had a lot to learn about the industry but my lessons were not going to come from an Anti-Social networker who didn’t know the first thing about how to make real connections.

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