Work's been pretty busy as usual - and if actually getting on with the client stuff isn't enough, we are all being encouraged to get out there and business development our little socks off (so much so that where there was previously one non-chargeable time recording code for "Business Development," now there are 7!!!! - or 8, can't remember).
So, last week my Thursday afternoon to evening consisted of a tax seminar at the neighbouring accountants, followed by a reception marking the opening of new offices of a stockbroker in town (office very hard to find - above the Alliance & Leicester - very small signs!) followed by orchestra. Then 2 meetings on Friday, one with a thoroughly pleasant IFA and then another stockbrokers in the afternoon. This week I spent Tuesday evening with a group of my work meeting a group of accountants from the town and Wednesday out for lunch with another IFA. I'm getting my hours in!!
It's really strange - I'm so used to being the "junior" person at one of these BD meetings I've never really developed a knack for the kind of small talk/business talk you need to be able to make when you go to one...and be able to start up conversations with complete strangers! Slowly getting there - but the point of this is, having always been a junior member of the team, it somehow felt wrong that at the Wednesday lunch I was the senior colleague! I kept looking round for backup from one of the partners!! Still, I know it all takes time and the more I do the better I'll get - well.. that's the theory anyway!
Still, although my general conversation isn't great, my conversation stoppers are absolutely marvellous! Take Tuesday evening - there we are all sat in the restaurant, people at my end of the table (two men from my firm older than me and 2 ladies from the accountants, a little older than me but much more trendy) have been happily chatting about their pinups - Debbie Harry, Simon le Bon etc. Then someone asked me. Now you wouldn't think this would be too terrible, but I've never particularly been one for pinups or idols, even as a child. No posters on my wall, or cravings to go to concerts. So I panic. I could lie, but a) this doesn't really occur to me until too late and b) I get worried that someone will ask me a followup question about that person that I can't answer and my lie will be revealed - embarassment all round.
Okay, so first thing that comes into my head - Scott Bakula. Had a BIG thing for him in Quantum Leap (and he's still pretty cute). So I say him. Have to explain who he is. Still not much comprehension. So, and this is the really, really clever bit - the only other thing I can think of he has been in recently is Enterprise. Star Trek. Yep. Conversation dead as a dodo.
I really need help.
(on the plus side, I did see a good menu in the pub afterwards - one meal being served was brocilli and cheese bake. Yum - sounds almost bacterial)