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November 11, 2011
Networking at the Outlet
 
net·work [net-wurk] noun 1. Any netlike combination of filaments, lines, veins, passages.

The New Hook Up
If there’s one word overused in our vernacular, it’s “network,” a job expression that is particularly annoying when there’s nothing to be connected to!
 
Yet everybody’s trying to do this new-fangled buzzword. As a result, a different form of competition now challenges the job seeker: “How do you stand out in this magical network?”
 
Recently, while awaiting the departure of a connecting flight, I may have discovered an answer: You don’t stand, you sit…on the floor.

net·work [net-wurk] noun 2. A radio and television group of transmitting stations linked by wire or microwave relay so that the same program can be broadcast or telecast by all.

Plug It In
After realizing I had way more hours left in travel than power remaining on my smartphone, which was dumb, I desperately sought that strange-looking communal dock I recalled seeing at other airport gates.
 
Unfortunately, that was not happening at this particular airport’s gate. Worse, the scarce, few pathetic outlets available were secretly located on the bottoms of helter-skelter pillars. My texting colleagues strongly advised me to get down and plug in simply because “Everyone does it!”
 
Against my better judgment, I did.
 
net·work [net-wurk] noun 3. A system of interrelated buildings, offices, stations, etc., over a large area or throughout a country, territory, region.

The Down and Dirty
Sitting on the floor brings a whole new perspective on life.  Soon aghast glances from passersby made it crystal clear that despite what your texting friends say, any person seated in siddhasana past the age of %$# years wearing bifocals (progressive or not) plugged into low pole outlet is viewed as an airport sideshow.
 
It wasn’t long before I concluded that big city airports not only need to get with the high-tech program, but they should replace the sad carpeting abused by all those penny-pinching passengers schlepping carry-ons to save money for life’s incidentals, i.e. food and health insurance.

net·work [net-wurk] noun 4. A 1976 academy award-winning film title.

Yet insightful awareness occurred as well. Such as outlets with dignity do exist, but they are noticeable only to geek vision, something only a very observant (ahem) non-geek… could discover when plopped at ground level with nothing to do but follow a cord from a “camo” floor outlet to a very discreet “I know nothing about outlets on the floor next to MY ‘aisle seat’” e-user!
 
In this particular big city, an ill-equipped airport is also “dumb” with so many smartphones traveling the (un)friendly skies and not enough outlets. But wait! There is a rainbow.
 
net·work [net-wurk] noun 5. A netting or net.
 
People are forced to ‘connect.’ 
 
It wasn’t long before I had the pleasure of making all sorts of new acquaintances from my executive floor digs.  With same M.O., they all shyly approached, asking the obvious new-age, flirtatious line, “May I share your outlet?”
 
Partly shocked, yet feeling oddly flattered as memories were stirred of yesteryear, my spider networking lips said, “Power up!” to the unsuspecting flyers, then “netwebbed,” with them one after the other.
 
Bottom line, when you have something to offer that somebody needs, they’ll come to you. Find that something about yourself and shout it from your resume or your CV’s lips.
 
Network [net-wurk] VERB 6. The only hope in today’s world for people seeking employment.

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Phyllis Briskman is a verse contributor and does PR/marketing. She sharpened her first pencil as retail fashion copywriter, writing to count before Twitter tweeted its first hello. Later, she flew the cubicle to do freelance creative becoming a writer of all trades, from beauty to fitness for catalogs, magazines, and websites. Born to brainstorm, she's named retail businesses and website domains. She loves quick wit, survives on laughter, is a little hokey, but aims to please because that’s what life’s all about.

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