It’s been such an enlightening few months working with VC. It’s a role and a kind of work I’ve never officially ever thought to undertake before. Because it involves dealing with a lot of people. Trying to understand what might make them tick, being a little cunning, persuasive, and learning the tricks that will elicit the responses I want to hear. Which means it’s a lot of taking changes, it’s a lot of thinking on the go, it’s a lot of being ignored, it’s a lot of feeling helpless and lost, it’s a lot of confusion about peoples’ behaviour. It’s a lot of disappointment. It’s a lot of growing a thicker skin, laughing off the idiocy and the unnecessary way in which people tend to complicate the simplest communication, and picking oneself up to move on quickly.
Most of all, it also rather thankless, at this stage in a new business.
I’m learning slowly, though, never to count my chickens before they’re really hatched. To never take an expression of intent as anything more than just that — an expression of intent. It doesn’t prompt action in 9 out of 10 instances.
I’m learning to make believing nobody my default, so much so that when suddenly I encounter a sane, normal person in this sea of idiots I’ve been dealing with, I am pleasantly surprised.
I’m learning that sometimes even the nicest, most polite people in person, can be the rudest assholes in communication.
I’m learning that the people you think you’ll vibe with, can also turnaround and be obnoxious in the most surprising and unexpected way.
I’m learning that people will go through the most complicated communicational acrobatics, just to avoid confronting a really simple question that can so easily be answered with a yes or a no.
I’m learning to read the signs. A full room of attentive people is a good sign. A meeting of tired faces who just want to get this over with is a sign that they’re just doing me a favour. Thanks, but no thanks.
I’m learning to keep my hopes up, even when things look really hopeless. I’m learning what it is to keep getting knocked down, even when I feel like I have so much going for me.
I’m learning, most of all, to just keep swimming.
Thankfully, every now and then, my travels around the city, meeting feckless people, are peppered with stopovers with people I love, with whom I can enjoy a laugh, and share a beer.
As we did yesterday. In an unexpected turn of events, we found ourselves at the other end of town, in parts we would no venture to if our lives depended on it.
So we reached out to R, and we grabbed a few beers, stuffed our faces with pakodas, and it was just the refresher I needed after a meeting with someone who seemed intent on making me feel like I would never be able to achieve their sophisticated level of aesthetic, right from the get go.
Which made me wonder, so why did we bother coming this far?
The answer to that one is another one of the things I’ve learned: People just don’t know how to say no. So they will keep saying yes, and pretending like they really would like to meet you, and believe that they’re being very convincing about it. Even as they continue to tow that fine line between being responsive enough to lead you on, but also being a touch non-committal so as to never put a date to it.