I remember seeing a story in a business magazine about a local company and their business success. Front and center, it was often one lady being interviewed about it. The company seemed to be having a string of wins. That some lady, who I will call “Madam Marmalade”, would appear front and center again.
It had been a few months before I had ran into any mention of their company. (Although I enjoy reading about the inner workings of our local business community, I found myself a touch bored of many of its inhabitants. My life gave me free rides on hurricanes. Their carousels filed to present the same dopamine thrills). I was digging up my notes on local businesses and select personnel. I ran across a mention of Madame Marmalade. It seemed like an ass-backwards moment of serendipity. I was not one to challenge, considering I had found myself unemployed during the year’s “hay making” days.
With time on my hands to apply for work, pray, and do research; I dug around companies websites. I wanted to know what companies were doing and if they actually needed people working for them. I was also open to ideas and connections to find work. I would think that Madam Marmalade would have decent ideas. I found her office’s address easily. But the biggest thing on there was a quote I have to paraphrase due to my poor memory: “I have been known to be bribed with a bottle of wine”.
With a brain for the ephemerally ridiculous; I did some leg work to get an introduction and an opportunity to get on with my haphazard professional life. I purchased a bottle of dessert wine, which was grown in my home state. I also wrote out a card, using my best handwriting, attaching my name with contact information. I left the card and wine upfront at the office.
It was two days later that I got a short message left on my phone. After a short telephone tennis game, we set a date and time to meet. Irony is observed in that I wasn’t nervous. I felt that I had prepped well with written questions, groomed from articles and my own memory. The walk up stairs, coupled with the check in at the reception desk were not hard, although they constituted the most painful parts.
I watched a few of the people I recognized from the website walk around, looking diligent in whatever tsks they were doing. These coworkers smiled politely as if it were no issue that someone of my apparent ilk were there. It was less than five minutes later that I was able to speak with Madam Marmalade.
Madam Marmalade led me to a small office, small for someone of her notoriety and small for the dumpy building we were in. She was polite and cheerful in a PR programmed sense. Madame Marmalade had a floral patterned dress, which was what she was known for. She wasn’t down to earth nor was she arrogant. Her opening line surprised me, when she said : “I didn’t know what to make of the card and the wine when my assistant told me about it”.
I was quick to laugh when I told her that I got the idea off of her website. Her face did not present a smile but what looked like an attempt to not grimace. For what I remember, she shoved us past niceties and into “brass tacks”. I was open with my issue; being unemployed and wanting gainful employment. After I presented my bald tire list of certifications, educational attainment, and experience. She gave me an interesting suggestion.
Madame Marmalade suggest I engage in some volunteers work within the city. I know of some of the people that did this but it was a bit of a tall order. I had previously failed to “get in good” with anyone in the group. I was treated lukewarmly by some. I had no ill will but I recognize a fruitless endeavor when presented with the tree. I did not look poorly on her gesture.
We wrapped up within a cordial timeframe. I still had “work finding” chores to do. She either couldn’t bring up a connection I could speak with or wasn’t willing to stick out her neck. In a positive way, I don’t think that she knew of any one.
It hit me that Madam Marmalade ran in a small professional circle, occasionally having engagements with the “downtown” set. But outside of seeing a few local industrial managers at a fundraiser, she doesn’t have that type of alignment with the people I need to connect with.
This run in and series of weird interactions technically didn’t constitute Inhumane Resources but an acknowledgement that raw organic networking isn’t that big of an asset. You may run into someone in the lime light that may just be a competent person that attracted the fickle attention of an already hungry media.