Girl Talk Career Blog

June 18, 2010

Newsworthy Networking: Tipping the Sympathy Scales

Filed under: career worthy — lisalahey @ 3:03 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

 Girlfriend, in the world of networking now I’ve heard and seen everything.  This story is utterly true.  It is a networking story that will make your head spin and warm your heart yet it happened right before my very eyes.

It all started with a few teardrops. I went shopping with a friend (“Patsy”) the other day.  We were browsing about doing our thing and finally made our way to the checkout.  My friend looked up and lo and behold there was her high school friend she hadn’t seen in ages! They were both delighted to see each other again.  It was all very Leave It To Beaver Suddenly my friend’s friend (let’s call her Nora) began to cry.  She tried hard not to.  I was stunned.  She wasn’t making any sounds but tears were streaming out of her eyes and she was red-faced.  I asked her what was the matter but she couldn’t even answer and tried her best to compose herself.  The store manager was on the ball. She came over, excused Nora very nicely, finished checking us through and we left. 

Patsy and I of course mused on that one all the way home. 

“I’m going back to see her before I go home today,” she told me.  “I have to find out what’s wrong or I won’t sleep tonight.” 

You’d better call me and tell me or I won’t sleep either!” I shrieked, which wasn’t true of course.  I just wanted to know.

Patsy later informed me that Nora was a graduate from teacher’s college who was unable to get a job. Nonetheless, she had a condominium of her own to pay for along with her tuition fees and there she was making barely anymore than minimum wage.  No wonder the girl broke down in public and at her place of work no less.  If anything will cause a person to break its got to be money

I repeated the story to my friend “Harvey” who happens to have a father who is a retired school principal.  When Harvey’s friend heard the news he felt sorry for this girl.  He contacted Patsy who is a friend of Harvey’s too and got the full story from her.  Are you still with me?  Harvey, Patsy and I are friends.  Patsy and Nora are friends with each other. Nora is making minimum wage and worried sick about paying her bills.  I’m the tag-a-long and the blabbermouth in the story.  (You know this is all sounding so much like an LSAT logical reasoning puzzle.  What the heck.  Here’s a sketch).

ME     ———-  PATSY  ————–HARVEY 
                          /                       /
                    NORA         HARVEY’S FATHER

Okay so a Venn Diagram would have been more accurate but WordPress ain’t CorelDraw okay? Anyway.

Patsy informed Harvey about Nora’s woes who informed his father who contacted Patsy and got her opinion about Nora.  It turns out Nora came highly recommended.  So Harvey’s father, being the good guy that he is, contacted Nora. He asked her if she would be interested in him putting in a word for her to the school administrator at the school where he had retired from two years earlier.  Ummm…. I don’t think Nora hesitated very long before she shrieked YES!

So Harvey’s father put in a recommendation (not a reference since he doesn’t know Nora and there is a qualitative difference between the two) and Nora submitted her resume.  Since then I don’t know if Nora got hired but I’m betting this story will evolve into Nora paying her bills and living happily ever after in her condominium.  Wow. 

True story.  What were the odds?  Things could have played out very differently.  Suppose Nora had a stiff upper lip and  didn’t break down at the cash register that day.  Suppose Patsy and I didn’t shop at Nora’s store.  Suppose Nora didn’t know Harvey.  Suppose Harvey’s father wasn’t a retired school principal.  Nora in all likelihood would have no leads whatsoever and still stressed to the point of emotional breakdowns, poor soul.  But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.  Talk about networking with a weird twist.  Which brings me back to the beginning.

It all started with a few teardrops…

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