I get there... and didn't know that they were going to be serving lunch. They are. Freakin sweet... I love free lunch. I'm going to be getting training credit for this, so they scan my badge and give me a packet of information (which I still haven't opened)
At this point, I'm by myself... I haven't seen anyone I know. In fact, I haven't seen another man. Every one of the other 200 people are all strangers and are definitely all women. What have I gotten myself into? I silently slid to a mostly empty table and ate my finger foods.
A random woman comes by and says: "Oh! I'm glad you came! We have male models too." Great, now everyone thinks I'm here to look at men.
The show hasn't started yet, so I do what any uncomfortable man would do... I went to go get more food. It was a great defense mechanism because then the people who were joining my table weren't trying to talk to me. Luckily, at the food table I bumped into my friend KP and one of her friends. And they end up joining me at the table I was at. Then Briggys joined us. Great, I had friends that could buffer me from all the older women that I didn't want to talk to.
Alright, I'm ready for a 2 hour fashion show now. Nope. First, we're getting a presentation about being a "Polished Professional." This subject matter was definitely focused more to women, which I understand... because I was one of four men in the whole audience. I actually disagreed with the presenter on several points, but kept my trap shut because I was out of my element (I know... weird, huh?). A lot of her presentation was based on traditional/older assumptions about business dress/etiquette and I'm not sure valid any longer. The stuff that presented that seemed intelligent was really just common sense... and it was actually slightly scary that these things had to be vocalized (i.e. Don't wear a shirt that people can see down. Don't wear a skirt that people can see up). There were also some questions asked that were slightly disturbing:
- "What color socks should I wear with these slacks?"
- "What color shoes should I wear?"
- "Hmm... instead of having trouble deciding which color socks you should wear... just stay home. If you can't make that call by yourself, you probably aren't really helping around the office either."
- "Blue shoes Honey, black shoes are so over"