Monday, November 15, 2010


The law firm I work for has been out of town at a business expo/trade show for the last few days. While there, I realized something horrifying about myself. On a horror scale it was a little more horrifying than when I found out (about a couple of months ago) that college degrees don't automatically qualify every American for an income of at least $40,000 a year; and a little less horrifying than the time I came home on break and realized that my brother's and my tooth brushes were the same color. The horror that has come to my attention is that I have not progressed in maturity or personality since pre-pubescence trick-or-treating and here's why.

The similarities between trick-or-treating and trade show swag grabbing are unparalleled. It starts with the child (me) visiting the home (booth next door), with the one sole purpose of scoring free anything.

"what do you do?"
"I'm a receptionist"
"Oh great, hey we have really good credit programs for low-income households"
"Thanks, can I have a tiny Snickers?"
"Sure, here's my card"

But as we know getting free things like Snickers doesn't satisfy that bug inside of all of us to get free stuff, it just wakes it up. So I move on, and get a little more swag savy the longer I'm there.

"Who are you with?"
"I'm a legal assistant with an IP firm, these stress relievers are free right? Thanks, see you around."

Business card: averted. Eye contact: avoided.

The next thing I know I'm an "IP Attorney" hula hooping my self-respect away in a contest in the middle of an aisle with professional businessmen trying to make their way around my over-zealous swivels. All for a tacky wind chime branded with "Corporate Alliance: Because Business is about Relationships."

So, just when I think I have grown up and reached adulthood, life takes me to a business expo to show me that I'm no better than an awkward stage nine-year-old on Halloween. Except I tell more lies.

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