My job brings me to some of the strangest places. Last night I was in Dublin Castle. Stale sandwiches and warm red wine in the State Apartments – the Government was honouring Cardinal Sean Brady upon his recent appointment. The gilt-edged invite said 630 to 830 (informal). Had I known how (informal) it would be, I would not have stiffed about my in tin of fruit all day at work.
The room filled up from about 630. There’s Bernadette Greevy (who Gay?), there’s Mark Durkan pretending to listen to Enda, there’s Noel Ahern trying to eat a sandwich. Oh yea, and Martin McGuinness was there looking all elegant and statesmanly. Unlike most other ‘celebrities’ he is actually taller in real life. As is TV3’s ‘lovely girl’ Ursula Halligan. Bertie looked like he had slept in his suit and used a small vexed mammal to brush his hair. Speeches were made and congratulations were swopped about 740. It was all quite dull and although it was a supreme opportunity to ‘network’ in my job: I just couldn’t be arsed. I mean, why bother? I’d rather just get on with my job and be good at it.
A good friend calls this ‘notworking’. You go to meetings just to be seen, you talk with people who want you to introduce them to others and you generally get to make believe that somehow you are here on the same basis as half of the Oireachtas. Following the speeches I took a few steps back and watched all of the notworking around me. Many of these people had known each other for twenty odd years and so were catching up and that’s cool but we could have held the World Handshake Championships there last night. There would have been the following categories:
warm and respectful
introduction to wife / husband / Celia Larkin
In each category there would have been only one winner: he’s from Drumcondra and he’s back in the castle later this month. He’s a good friend of Joe Burke and loves the blues and the Reds. He would have been so weighed down by awards last night that he might have handed a few over to the severeal flunkies floating in strategic places in the room.
I knew by about 8.05 that this is not my world, never will be. Not because I feel shut out of it but because it just isn’t me.
I’m a lover not a networker.