As a journalist, I’m sometimes invited to gala dinners. And I guess the more recognition I will have in my career, the more I will be invited to those events.
But so far, for me, it’s been difficult to attend those events, because I don’t really know all the people present there, and I often feel I’m not really in my place in those events. The only ones I really enjoy are those where I can see all my fellow journalists and the people I’m the most acquainted with in my professional world. Last year, I was at a cocktail in London invited by an investment firm, where I spent the evening chatting with French journalists and two fund managers, and we had a great time.
With experience, I tend to reach the people in those gala dinners who seem as lost as I am. And believe me, there are quite some people there who just wished they were elsewhere. The last time it was the case, it was in Berlin. I wasn’t invited at the CEOs tables. And except one or two CEO there, I didn’t know anyone. But I saw a table where one lady was sitting alone, and I sat next to her and started chatting. People started to join us at our table, and I ended my evening learning a lot of things on a company currently about to merge with another one.
But in my country, it’s different. I don’t feel at ease at all here. Especially when there’s my ex around. He’s a very well known economist in my country, and everyone knows him. In cocktails and gala dinners, he’s always surrounded by a lot of people. In other words, he’s always the star of the evening.
Usually, he will come and speak to me just for a few minutes, then leave me to talk to someone else. He also has the nasty habit of introducing me to young and not so important men who try to approach him, just to get rid of them. I find that particularly humiliating. Because usually, the guy just doesn’t get why he’s introduced to me and make very little effort to have a conversation with me. And I don’t feel like talking to them, as I really feel sorry for them. Sometimes, some of them do go into a conversation with me, because they realize they don’t really know many people in the event.
I prefer going to event where my ex is not around. But in my country, and in the financial sector, it’s difficult to find such events. That’s why I prefer going to charity events, or art events, where I’m sure not to bump on him.
And once, a friend of mine told me his recent experience at Davos. He met Nouriel Roubini at a cocktail party. A very well known economist. But in Davos, there are a lot more important people than him. As a result, Nouriel Roubini was left alone in a corner. “Nobody came to speak to him” said my friend. “I felt a little bit sorry for him” he added. So maybe one day, my ex will be left alone like that.
So, how do you deal with your ex?