“assorted-color bottle lot on shelf” by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Armed with a deck of business cards and a Vaseline smile, Samuel stepped into the networking mixer. And went straight to the bar. Before the bartender could ask for his order, Samuel was patting sweat from his forehead using two or three of those little white napkins. He ordered an old fashioned.

He paid for his drink and wondered how the evening had gone to shit so soon. He was there to ingratiate himself with investors and industry connectors. But walking into that sea of suits sunk Samuel’s confidence under echoes of polite laughter.

Samuel knew no one there. Thrusting himself into circles of conversations was an extrovert ability he did not possess. Samuel slugged down his drink to embolden himself and slammed his empty glass on the counter. He faced the gathering and inhaled deeply. On his exhale, he pushed off the bar and Samuel wandered out into the crowd.

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