I have an extremely addictive personality.
I know this comes as no surprise to any of you that have spent any time around me at all. I’m simply physically, or mentally, incapable of doing something half-assed.
So it shouldn’t come as too much of a shocker that I’m going to use Angry Birds for my next set of analogies when it comes to That Guy and networking events…
In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years and have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m talking about when I mention Angry Birds…
…well, I guess you can pretty much stop reading right now, because none of this is going to make any sense to you whatsoever, huh? Or, I suppose you could go read about it at that resource trusted by schoolchildren everywhere for plagiarism purposes, Wikipedia, out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds (it’s not another activist “blackout” day or anything is it? ..it is? Okay, well, here’s the Rovio company website too, just to be safe: http://www.rovio.com/en/our-work/games/view/1/angry-birds) so that you can follow along, at least. Oh, and obviously they own all of the images, etc., that are related to their games. I’m just using them for the sake of comparison here to make it easier.
And just because I mentioned Angry Birds and triggered your own addiction…stop playing for like three minutes so you can read this.
The Red Bird – aka Who?
There is absolutely nothing remarkable about the red bird.
It doesn’t do anything except make a squawking noise. It just kind of lumbers along and does it’s thing…but it’s completely unmemorable.
You forget about the red bird as soon as you get access to other, more interesting birds as you move through the game.
So don’t be the red bird. You want to be remembered. It’s cool and everything that you just sort of plod along doing your job…the “old faithful” of the Angry Birds world…but if you’re forgotten, then showing up was for naught.
The Yellow Bird – aka The Mad Dasher
Much like the yellow bird, the Mad Dasher doesn’t have time to hang around and chat…they’re in a hurry, dammit.
They’ve got to get where they’re going, and they’ve got to get there faster than anyone else. Blasting through obstacles…pushing anything in his path out of the way.
While the Mad Dasher might think they’re being very effective…the only thing they’re really being effective at is creating a lasting impression of being a rude jackass. Slow down, take your time, and make sure you make the impression you want to make, not the one you think you’re making.
The Blue Splitter – aka Captain Distraction
While that’s an awesome and effective tactic to use in the game…being able to take out three times as many targets in three separate areas…trust me, you can’t do this effectively.
You cannot divide your attention among three different conversations.
You cannot possibly focus on three things taking place at the same time and give all three of them the attention that they deserve.
So keep yourself together and don’t tap on the screen to trigger the division – stay in one piece, keep yourself together, and focus on the moment. Give your full attention to the person in front of you, and then move on as the situation winds down and make your next attack…uhh, attempt at conversation with someone new.
The Black Bird – aka Exploding Chaos
Explosions, while fun to watch on Mythbusters, are nowhere nearly as cool in person.
In a similar vein, while we all secretly enjoy a good “Real Housewives of Wherever”-style meltdown…from the comfort of our couches…nobody wants to see that in real life.
So it doesn’t matter if you run into the boss that made your life a living hell before unjustly firing you, your ex that banged 80% of your friends (and only missed the other 20% because they live out of town), a former co-worker that stole all of your ideas to make themselves look better to your detriment…say it with me: it doesn’t matter.
Because if you’re the one that triggers the scene, then that’s all that people are going to remember 99% of the time. They don’t know (or care, for the most part) about the background and history there. All they’ll know, and see, is you losing your crap in public…and unless you’re at a networking event for people looking to be on the next Jersey Shore…bad move.
The White Bird – aka The Drive-By
Nope, just whips by, drops a bomb, and then blasts off at warp speed.
“Hey…did you hear [company] is about to layoff like 400 people”…and gone.
“That guy’s an ass, stay away from him”…and gone.
Don’t do that. If you’ve got something to say, say it…and then hang around to explain yourself. Otherwise, odds are good that anything you just said wasn’t heard properly, or at least isn’t going to be given very much weight.
The Big Red Bird – aka The Bulldozer
There’s hardly anything worse at a networking event then when you’re right in the middle of a great conversation with someone…and some random person shoves their way in between you and starts yammering about something completely different.
It might be important…it might not be. Either way, it doesn’t matter – now you’re That Guy.
Take your time and be patient. Pace yourself. Just hang back on the fringes, or even casually make your way into the circle that you want to chat with…and then wait.
Pay attention to visual cues – a head nod that acknowledges your presence, or the intentness of the conversation taking place – and know when to break in with an “Excuse me, have you got a moment” or something that’s on-point and relevant to the conversation already going on. That will earn you far more positive attention than interjecting between people with “I’M HERE AND I NEED A JOB!!!“, I assure you.
The Orange Bird – aka The Puffer
The orange bird is the Angry Birds version of The Pufferfish.
Looks perfectly normal, cute, minding it’s own business and just plodding along…
…and then POOF!
All puffed up and wreaking havoc.
Keep your emotions…and ego…in check. Nobody likes a puffer.
…and there you have it. Don’t Be That Guy – The Angry Birds Edition.