Lesson #1: Why Not to Drink at Trade Shows (if you care about your career).

Happy 2017! With show season starting soon, this particular story came to mind.

My first (& last) foray into working for a corporation was back in the 90’s when I was hired by a major East Coast beauty supply distributor to work in their showroom. Each year they held a small trade show about an hour from corporate headquarters. Since I was low man on the totem pole that year, I had to stay behind to work the store over that weekend.

When the rest of my coworkers returned, they had all kinds of good stories to tell me, but 1 in particular stuck with me. I’m happy to say that I’m the type of person who learns from other peoples mistakes. Maybe by telling this story it will help some of you learn, too.

For those who aren’t in the beauty business, it’s customary for every show to hold a big party the night before the show floor opens for business. At this particular party one of the women who worked in the corporate office (can’t recall which division) had too much to drink. She began hanging all over 1 of the distributorships owners & was telling him how hot he was (very untrue) & how she wanted him (I’m sure she did at the time). to make matters even worse, the man’s wife (who also worked at the corporation) was present at this party, too.

It was evident that she was 3 sheets to the wind, so they called security to come escort (basically carry) the woman back to her hotel room. The hotel was connected to the ballroom where the party & the show were being held. The guards dumped her into her room & left her there, but later they found her crawling down the hallway trying to find her way back to the party!

All I can say is that it was a damn good thing for her that cell phones & social media hadn’t been invented yet. Nowadays, several people would’ve snapped a photo of her drunkenly crawling down the hallway, then hash tagged it “#hotdrunkenmess” & people across the world would’ve known about it before the party even ended. It probably would’ve been made into a scandalous meme & gone viral, too.

Believe me, it was THE talk of the whole corporation because you know how word spreads when people make fools of themselves in public. A few weeks later we heard that woman’s name being called over the loudspeaker to report to the owner’s office. All of us in the showroom looked at each other & went “Uh-oh”! She was only with the company a few more weeks after that. We figured that she was told to find a new job & they graciously allowed her to leave quietly with whatever dignity she still had intact. We never heard or saw her again.

Since then I’ve been to several show parties & have only encountered 1 educator that was way too tipsy. When you’re slurring your words, you are WAY too tipsy. I made a mental note to avoid this man in the future because he obviously does not use good judgement.

The moral of the story: never drink alcohol at a business function, even if it’s free. The price of your reputation being ruined is just way too high.

cocktail-parties-are-about-unwinding

 

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