Anonymous Staff Writer
***Editors Note: This article was submitted for our September Issue of the California Review but was unable to be printed in the issue.
Being a conservative definitely has its perks, especially when it comes to socializing. Over the past couple months I have attended at least one conservative happy hour a week. While at these functions I had the opportunity to socialize and enjoy yummy drinks and appetizers. A group of my friends and I always go, and we have all created strong bonds that not only are good for us, but for furthering the cause as well.
One week I decided to take one of the fellow interns (let’s call her Sue) in my office to an event with me. This was a very casual event (at Union Pub, if you are familiar with Washington DC). The usual specials were going on: half priced appetizers, and, our favorite, $2.50 rail drinks. Now, if you are familiar with the conservative movement then you are also familiar with their love of alcohol. Needless to say, on a Friday night, with $2.50 rail drinks, the intent was to get completely “wastey faced” (this is a College Republican term, feel free to use it as you see fit). So, we entered the pub and started to socialize. I very quickly realized that every single person my colleague talked to was receiving her verbal resume and a request for a job. On top of this Sue was not drinking.
I gently pulled Sue to the side and mentioned that it would be a very good idea for her to get a drink and settle down. I informed Sue that most people at the event were, and had been friends for years and while this was a place where she could move forward it was important to recognize that the people in attendance where there for fun, not business. Sue responded with, “No, you never want to drink at these events because you want to be on top of your game and you want to be able to pitch yourselves to the best of your abilities. There are jobs in this room, and I am going to find them.” I tried arguing with her, but she just wouldn’t take my advice (She is six years older than I am , which she thought meant that she was superior in every way).
I left Sue and joined the social conversation that my friends were having in another area of the pub and avoided my fellow intern for the rest of the night. The next day, a few of my friends asked if I had met that annoying blonde who kept trying to push herself on everyone so that she could get a job. My friends stated that she had been disruptive and annoying. I quickly lied and said I did not know the girl, and I never brought her to another function again.
Sue made some major mistakes when it came to networking, the worst being that she did not understand that she was at Happy Hour with a whole bunch of tired people who just wanted to come to the bar, have a drink, and enjoy the company of their friends. You can be a part of the group, and you can make new friends at these events, but don’t think of it as business. If you make acquaintances at Happy Hour you can contact them at a later date to discuss potential job opportunities. Sue isn’t the only one that does this, in the past couple months I have seen several people walk into our sacred Happy Hours and disrupt our way of life. These people suck all the fun out of our trivial conversation and make us feel like we are back at the office.
So, as our social calendar progresses into the new school year, take advantage of this advice. I guarantee that if you are friendly, upbeat, and fun, you will create friendships and connections that will eventually lead to job opportunities. Take your time and don’t be overly zealous. Most importantly, let loose and have a drink as well (It’s good for you)!