Thursday, March 13, 2008


I get e-mails from this Netparty organization that brings young professionals (and me) to an after-work club for drinking, coat checking and business card exchanging, often in that order. I don't go for the networking so much as the high-end nightclub, and also to share my hilarious, ironic business cards. Last night, Netparty held their event at Marquee, the "quintessential ultralounge," whatever that means. I don't buy it, because Marquee has its name on the front door and I think the quintessential ultralounge would try its hardest to stay a secret from me, like I'd need a gay makeover and a guide from to find the damn place.

My sense is that, no matter how exclusive the club is, if you're there early enough and dressed like you have money, they'll let you in. Netparty started at six; I arrived at 4:15. You get there early, you find the place, see the layout, no surprises. You get to practice your skulking skills, too — I set up surveillance across the street, curious about how early the line would materialize. (Well, not quite: First I walked around the neighborhood, all warehouses cum galleries, looking for a Starbucks. Then I lowered my expectations and looked for anyplace to sit down. Then I raised my expectations and looked for someplace to sit where I wouldn't get rained on. Then, failing all three, I decided to ponder the question of how early is early enough.) Aside from the people working the event, the first arrivals came at 5:47 — interesting, since at the last Netparty dance club blowout, the line was stretching around the corner by thirteen minutes to opening.

So, speaking of confirmation bias, I was the only person there by myself. Everyone else was either with their friends, calling their friends, or texting their friends. To fit in, I called that special number on your cell phone that tells you how many minutes you've used up, then thirty seconds later got a text back so it looked like I was legitimately waiting for someone. Man, that's retarded.

One thing I picked up on, though, was that no one was networking. There were a few people in sales going around the room, making small talk, collecting my hilarious, ironic business cards, but for the most part, everyone kind of stuck with the little group they came in with, kind of defeating the whole point of this exercise.