“Assumptions are unopened windows that foolish birds fly into, and their broken bodies are evidence gathered too late.” – Bryan Davis
“You are making assumptions without all the facts, and that’s not a sign of intelligence.” – C.C. Hunter
Over the years, we’ve been accused of being “frat boys“, drinking too much, being divisive, not paying attention, and even, in two amazing instances, racists and nazis. We’re kind of used to people talking shit about us for one reason or another… most of the time it boils down to someone being completely clueless, making assumptions without bothering to find out the reality of the situation at hand. Sure, sometimes it’s done with malicious intent, or for click-bait… but it’s usually cluelessness. And just like the other times, we’re not going to let this one slide either… because this one is particularly dangerous in today’s world and climate, and we won’t stand for it…
I was recently reached out to by a woman who attended one of our recent meetups (laughably, the same one that triggered this entry… must have been something in the air that night, I guess…) and wanted to talk with me about something that happened to her afterwards.
It didn’t have anything to do with our event, or any of the people who attended our event… in fact, in involved someone who has never attended any of our events. Not a meetup around Detroit or Ann Arbor, not a holiday party, not a pink slip party… no, this person has never been to any event we’ve ever held. And yet, as she was back at work talking about what a great time she had meeting people, how great Bob and I were as hosts, how many fun and engaging conversations she had… this guy she works with chirped up with, and I quote, “must be nice to have a vagina“.
I can’t even begin to describe how infuriated I got… as well as thankful that she came to me to have the conversation instead of just assuming that guy was right and vanishing on us. As we chatted, she went on to explain that this guy was basically making it clear that he now wanted her to bring him around and introduce him to us, so that he could “get in good” with us.
What stopped you from coming around on your own, skippy? What kept you away from our events for the past eleven freaking years in particular and building a relationship with us on your own? We’re always around, we’re always there, and we’re always open. Most of the relationships and friendships that have evolved from our events have been with guys… which is honestly more of a reflection of the typical composition of events rather than any personal preferences… but to put it out there that the only reason someone had a good experience at one of our events, or from meeting us, simply because they’re a woman is not only insulting as all hell to us, but also to her. She did exactly what we always tell people to do at our events – she walked in and introduced herself to us, looking for introductions. We pointed her at a few people and then moved on to do the same with others. A half hour later, she was sitting at a table full of a mixed crowd of people carrying on conversations about life, the tech scene, what she does, what they do, etc.
You know… networking. Building relationships.
Exactly what you’re supposed to do at a networking event.
And so she had a good time. She was successful. She will probably reap the benefits of her first event for some time to come, not to mention future ones.
But you… you King of ASSumptions… I wouldn’t suggest showing up any time soon. Because any guy that she introduces us to as a co-worker is going to find themselves not having as good of a time as she had.
Good luck with that.