Last Saturday evening, I was invited to this event called Pub Crawl.
A friend said it was an event where a group of people would rendezvous at a particular point and then hop from one pub to the next. Thinking that we would be pub hopping to new finds around Makati City, I agreed. Who wouldn’t want to know the newest pubs in the place where I live right? Also, knowing what a decent pub was, I figured there was a little bit of English elegance to it. Boy, was I wrong.
In my line of work, I meet a lot of people. Most, if not all, are business owners and/or are high caliber professionals in the industries I am involved in. I do not exaggerate. I attend so many events and are involved with so many groups, projects and companies, networking has become second nature to me.
Part of the success of my networking experience is that in every event, or group I get involved in, there has always been common ground. It’s either we have common friends, or is connected some way to my family, or we come from the same industry, or we’ve worked on a project together in the past — friends introduce me to their friends who they think could add value to each other’s professions and businesses. People adding value to one another.
There was nothing of value from the event I attended last Saturday night. In fact, I was so embarrassed to be around the group I refused to have my picture taken. It was that bad.
The profile of the group was young, their background – unknown. Obviously, it was not the crowd for someone who talks to so many high-caliber professionals on a day to day basis. I was so angry at myself for letting my friend talk me into it, I was seriously fuming on my way home. I have never been so humiliated and embarrassed in my life.
Upon arrival at Z Hostel (why Rommel and his team would cater to events such as this is beyond me), I immediately asked for the agenda: What pubs we were going to, etc. No one could provide me with concrete information. In fact, one of the organizers said it was a secret. A surprise.
My initial thought was: A secret? A surprise? As a paying customer, wouldn’t I want to know where I was being taken to? What if this was an organized attempt to profile and eventually kidnap their customers? (I’m exaggerating but you get the drift). As I looked around the room, I found a lot of sleazily dressed women with thick layers of make-up puffing on their cigarettes and drinking cheap beer. “What you are, you attract” couldn’t have been more true at this stage. From that point on, I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy the rest of the evening.
Second, they made us wear these awful, awful, awful yellow shirts. They didn’t even buy decent name tags to go with those shirts. To cut costs, one of the organizers wrote on my Php 500 brand new shirt with a marker. They should have written “desperate” on each of the participants forehead while they were at it! Just thinking about this particular incident makes me cringe.
The event had the feel of a school field trip except there was no principal or teacher. The event was immensely juvenile. To put it subtly, it was a hook-up joint. A twist to the usual networking-masked-as-speed-dating-events you hear about.
My gut was right from the start. I should have listened to it. But the good news was that, after my walk out, I gave my shirt to our houseboy in my building. It fit him like a glove.