Friday, June 19, 2009

ummm. not so cute in orlando

location: orlando (picture is of orlando convention center)
time: 11:53pm eastern standard time

on a good day, when i've got my style going on and little jaunt in my step...folks may consider me cute. tops. seriously. me no angelina folks.

it is wise to have some self-awareness.

i have definitely not been looking oh so cute while in orlando. style wise, i decided to go for the professional almost matronly look. for the past few days, i've been attending an AV hardware show for gawd's sake. i hadn't attended a hard core technology show in a long time, but i remember quite clearly that having your style on isn't really a good idea. one just has to have ovaries to stand out here. when dudes check you out, it isn't anything also doesn't mean you are just means that you are female. so having your style on at these sort of events attracts even more attention. despite my matronly wear, i found that i've put my "WTF are you looking at?" face to use quite a bit while stomping ...err... walking the show floor over the past few days.

in addition to my looking a lot more matronly on this trip, i've been feeling bloated and all around grumpy at the food within walking distance. i mean, the best i was able to come up with today was yogurt (that contains a lot of sugar/fructose corn syrup) and water.

overall, bloated + matronly style + grumpy = not so cute foodie hunter.

because i was so grumpy, i decided to take a break before one of my meetings by sitting on one of the benches outside of the convention hall. so i was sitting there, responding to various emails on my blackberry. then a guy that worked for one of the big hardware vendors exhibiting asked if he could sit down on the bench, i said "sure" while not looking up from my blackberry. didn't think anything of it. seating areas are at a premium at conventions. he then proceeded to call a colleague. when he is done, he turns to me and asks "how are you liking the conference?"

"huh?" i said while looking at him.

in a space of a few seconds i assessed that
1) he wasn't slimy (i.e., he wasn't looking at me like i was 1 of 10 women left on the planet)
2) he was probably taking a break from his booth duty
3) this would actually give me an opportunity to pick his brain about the attendee traffic in the exhibit hall from a vendor perspective

i told him that it was my first time at the conference and then asked him what he thought of the foot traffic. well, why not get right to what i want to know? he was game and told me what his thoughts were about the traffic in comparison to the last few years he has attended. then we ended up talking about the US economy, the global economy, global politics, transportation systems in denmark, london, paris vs US, sustainable business practices, universal health care, and cultural diversity.

this isn't exactly small talk.

i'm pretty certain that i wasn't flirty either. i didn't see him as being flirty either. so didn't even think twice when the business card came out as the conversation was winding down. in previous careers, when i had to be in the field... the business card exchange was pretty know "networking". yet, instead of saying "well, we should set up a meeting to talk about potential partnerships between our companies...etc.." or something along those lines. it was way different.

it was different because when he handed me his card he said that i should let him know when i am in town (he's canadian) and that he'd take me out. ummm, taking me out is a lot different than "we should meet up for lunch sometime to discuss X or Y business opportunities". he also said that he goes to a SoCal city on business really often and wanted to know how far that was from the bay area. i told him it was pretty far. i said that i didn't have my cards (which was true...but i'm also not one to hand out the contact info anyway for non-business can give me your info if you want, but it doesn't mean you are going to have mine.)

then he said that he'd like me to email him so that he could have my contact email. he said that he'd like to have my email address so that he would be able to send me a note when he was in my area and that he'd like to get together sometime.

my instant thought was "i am so not ready for this kind of thing."

so i just smiled and said nothing. we said our goodbyes as he had to get back to booth duty and i had to go to my meeting.
you know, i have to admit. it was pretty well done. i didn't see that one coming. it was pretty smooth. i enjoyed the conversation.

i am going to anticipate the question from you dear, i'm not going to email him. the business card is going to stay here, in orlando.

i am not ready for this sort of game.

it is pretty funny though, what unexpected things that can happen when i'm feeling not so cute in orlando.

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