Every Social Gathering Is A Chance To Hustle For Contacts

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Humanizing Detail Tacked Onto End Of New Board Member’s Bio

NEW YORK—In an effort to portray the recent appointee as something more than a lengthy list of job titles and academic credentials, the bio of new Brickell Capital board of directors member Michael G. Horvath reportedly featured a single humanizing detail tacked onto the very end, sources reported Tuesday.

Never-Before-Heard Buzzword Flying Around Office Can’t Be Good

‘Our Focus Is On Platforming,’ Executives Repeat

BROOKLYN, NY—Speculating that it could refer to some aspect of their website or possibly the sales or advertising department, employees at Convergence Media said Thursday that the word “platforming,” which executives have reportedly used numerous times over the past few weeks, can’t be good.

Best Buy Employee Wearing Different Colored Shirt For Some Reason

‘His Shirt Is Black,’ Confused Customers Say

FAIRFAX, VA—Eyeing the staff member with wariness and confusion, customers at the Fair City Mall Best Buy location confirmed Wednesday that one of the store’s employees was, for some reason, wearing a black shirt rather than a blue one like the rest of his coworkers.

Uber Vs. Taxis

The rise of on-demand car service Uber has been the subject of much scrutiny for its effects on existing local taxi services, with cities unsure how to regulate it and consumers debating which one to use. Here is a side-by-side comparison of these two modes of transportation

Taco Bell To Offer Discreet Purchasing Charged Under ‘TBfoodsLLC’

IRVINE, CA—Aiming to provide customers with an effective and easy way to consume their products free from judgment, Taco Bell officials announced Thursday that patrons at any of the fast food chain’s 5,600 locations will now be given the option to have their purchases appear inconspicuously on credit card and bank statements under the name “TBfoodsLLC.”

Netflix To Temporarily Remove Every Movie Except ‘Hard Eight’

‘Everyone Should See It At Least Once,’ Company Says

LOS GATOS, CA—Saying that everyone, including all 65 million of its subscribers, really ought to see the film at least once, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will suspend all streaming content except Hard Eight for a full month.

Twitter Announces There No Trending Topics Today

‘Maybe Something Will Catch On Tomorrow,’ Social Network Says

SAN FRANCISCO—Noting the lack of any social causes, amusing hashtag games, or major news stories currently stimulating public conversations on their site, Twitter officials announced Monday that there are no trending topics today, but suggested that perhaps something might catch on tomorrow.

CEO Has Big Ideas To Grow Company’s Problems

NEW YORK—Laying out several new initiatives and detailed plans for implementing them in the upcoming weeks and months, Janneson Media CEO Adam Hamlin revealed to his staffers Thursday that he has some really big ideas for growing the company’s problems, sources reported.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Goodwill Executives Arrested After Years Of Skimming Donated Goods Off Top

ROCKVILLE, MD—In what authorities are calling one of the most wide-reaching and deplorable cases of embezzlement in recent history, seven executives at Goodwill Industries International were arrested Thursday for allegedly skimming used clothing, old furniture, small appliances, and thousands of other donated items from the charitable group.

Q-Tips Introduces New Multi-Speed Electric Ear Swab

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ—Saying the product will allow for more efficient and thorough cleaning, representatives from the Unilever corporation announced Tuesday the addition of a multi-function electric ear swab to its longstanding Q-tips line.

New Pre-Sauced Napkins Can Be Thrown Away Straight From Package

CINCINNATI—Describing it as a major time-saver over traditional napkins, Procter & Gamble announced Thursday the release of its new Bounty pre-sauced napkins, which have been expressly designed to be removed from the package and immediately thrown into the trash.

Timeline Of Google’s History

Google recently announced the formation of Alphabet, an umbrella corporation that will separate the company’s internet search business from its forays into robotics, biotechnology, and other areas of innovation. Here are some of the most notable milestones in Google’s 17-year history:

Tips For Cheaper Airfare

Whether the busy travel season, fuel prices, or airline collusion is to blame, airfare is currently very pricey, making traveling more difficult. The Onion walks you through some ways to reduce the cost of flying

Online University Allows Students To Amass Crippling Debt At Own Pace

SAN DIEGO—Touting its wide range of financially ruinous academic programs that can be tailored to meet anyone’s scheduling needs, officials at Enterprise College announced Monday that the online institution is committed to letting students amass a crippling amount of debt at their own individual pace.

Invasive Restaurant Franchise Spreads To Third State

WASHINGTON—Noting that it had already disrupted several natural communities in Kansas and Iowa, officials from the Bureau of Consumer Protection revealed Tuesday that Bonito’s, a highly invasive strain of casual dining restaurant, had recently been spotted in parts of eastern Nebraska.

Listerine Introduces New Mouth Styling Gel

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Announcing that consumers no longer need to settle for plain, drab dental features, Johnson & Johnson unveiled its new line of Listerine mouth styling gels Wednesday.

Executive On Hot Streak With 2 Straight Logical Decisions

CHICAGO—Saying the impressive display of business sense came entirely out of nowhere, employees of public relations agency Davidson Communications confirmed Wednesday that CEO Donald Marshall was on an absolute hot streak after making two straight logical decisions.

McDonald’s Turns 75

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, which was founded in 1940 as a Southern California barbecue joint and has since expanded to more than 35,000 locations across the globe. Here are some highlights from the company’s history

Corporate Wellness Programs

Following in the footsteps of Google’s new employee meditation program, companies across the country are introducing more wellness initiatives aimed at keeping health care costs down and boosting worker productivity.

The Pros And Cons Of Open-Plan Offices

More companies are remodeling offices to incorporate open-plan layouts in an effort to save money and encourage collaboration, though many employees complain that the setup eliminates privacy and makes it hard to concentrate.

Walmart Vows To Defend Whichever Gays Buy Their Cheap Shit

BENTONVILLE, AR—Despite Governor Asa Hutchinson’s refusal to sign a controversial religious freedom bill that seemed to permit businesses to discriminate against homosexuals, officials from Arkansas-based retailer Walmart announced Wednesday t...

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Fast Food Customers Less Appealing Than In Commercial

GREENVILLE, SC—Expressing his disappointment shortly after sitting down for lunch at a local franchise location Wednesday, area man Peter Strauss told reporters that the customers at Burger King were actually far less appealing in real life than the...

Pfizer Mercifully Puts Down Another Batch Of Trial Patients

NEW YORK—Following unforeseen complications during a trial of the company’s new cholesterol medication Lipodrin, researchers at pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer said they were forced to put down another batch of test patients out of mercy Fr...
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Every Social Gathering Is A Chance To Hustle For Contacts

Social engagements mean different things to different people. For some, they're an occasion to get together with old friends and share some laughs. For others, they're a chance to maybe meet that special someone. For me, social gatherings are much more than that: They're a golden opportunity to hustle for contacts.

As a computer consultant who makes nearly 40 percent of his income doing freelance web design on the side, I have to be networking 24/7. If I relax at a cocktail party, picnic, or memorial church service, I might as well forget about making my career dreams a reality. Every minute I'm not hustling for contacts is money down the drain.

Sure, I make a decent living. But if I don't use my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary to seek out potential new clients and partners, what right do I have to complain if I don't succeed in this business? Not much.

At any given social gathering, I'll spend maybe 90 percent of my time working the crowd and looking for new people. (A stranger, after all, is just a client you haven't met yet.) The other 10 percent is for touching base with old contacts and glad-handing the event's hosts so that the invites keep coming.

Don't get me wrong: I don't approach every person I see at a party. You have to be selective about the people you associate with. I only focus on chatting up people who can help me further my goals. Given the choice of talking to a brilliant historian or a guy who's got small-business contacts up the wazoo, I'll take Mr. Well-Connected every time. There are millions of people in this world, and life is short. Why waste time with folks who can't offer me anything when there are plenty of perfectly nice people who can?

Learning to recognize the right people to approach at a particular event is a vital skill. A nephew's eighth-grade graduation ceremony, for example, can put you in direct contact with 300, 400 people. But only a handful of those hundreds are probably worth talking to. If you're in the tech game like me, keep an eye out for folks wearing polo shirts with embroidered logos of computer companies. Also, terms like "ethernet" and "routing systems" are good words to have your hustling-radar set to pick up.

In the event that someone you approach turns out to be not worth talking to, you need an out. Luckily, there are tons of good getaways. It can be as simple as a quick over-the-shoulder glance accompanied by, "Oops, looks like the wife needs me." There's also the "going to the bathroom" trick, but then you have to head in the general direction of the can, which can take up valuable time better spent talking to a guy who knows a guy who works at Adobe Systems.

Hustling for social contacts isn't something that just happens. You have to make it happen. To this end, I can't stress enough the importance of a nice business card. Case in point, I went to a costume party a few weeks ago. Now, there aren't a lot of places to put a business card when you're wearing a Spider-Man suit, so I fashioned a card-holder utility belt. And thank God I did, because I passed out 75 cards at that bash. And from those 75 lucky people who learned about my business, I received two e-mail inquiries. That, my friends, is smart partygoing.

People are always asking me if I ever take a break from hustling for contacts. The answer is no. Meeting and making the most of every friend of a friend or business associate of my ex-wife is the reason I'm in this game. I'm not going to stop making contacts until I'm dead. And when that day arrives, I'll get one of my priest contacts to put in a call to the man upstairs to get me a better seat.