The net-gain in networking

As a recently graduated college graduate I am now at that stage where I should be employed or looking for employment. Given our current economic situation...I am...*ahem* still in the latter part of that last sentence. So I've been becoming biffles with Monster, CareerBuilders, and the like and doing some networking. I know of the awesome powers of fact, I made a small shrine to it and pay it homage daily. However, I had never experienced it as much as I have recently.
I went to Palm Beach County's tweetup a couple of weeks ago and was introduced to a variety of pretty sweet people, from there I was invited to SFIMA (South Florida Interactive Marketing Association) which from there put me in touch with people that could potentially direct me to the right people from which I could *cross fingers* gain employment.
All this happened in the span of about 2 weeks.
Now professors never tell you what to expect or prep for when you graduate and start the job hunt....actually there is alot they don't tell you. I'm realizing this more and more as I get further into my alumni status. Regardless, just because you don't know everything there is to know about life after graduation, doesn't mean you don't do keep going and learn as you go....often times at great personal or financial expense.
So yes graduates, expect to mess up. But more importantly, remember to take a minute to concretely learn something from it, because that is priceless knowledge that can't be gained in an hour-long lecture. I can name over a dozen things I've messed up on...from resumes to smack-my-forehead why did I say that to that person...and that's just job hunting. That doesn't even cover actually doing a job or working on a project.
However, just cause I know I'm going to make mistakes doesn't mean I can just sit down and do nothing. I have a quest: a job.
Because of this quest it had made me measure the most effective ways to ending my quest (quest is a fun word to say aloud).
You can send your polished resume and cover letter to some ambiguous person you have never met before and who hasn't met you, but it will never have as much of an impact as if they had/have a chance to meet you in person and you them. They say first impressions are often the most reliable account of a person. British writer William Hazlitt said "a man's look is the work of years; it is stamped on his countenance by the events of his whole life, nay, more, by the hand of nature, and it is not to be got rid of easily.” I agree; hence the power in networking in person.
So I've taken some time in my job hunt to look up conferences and seminars that I can attend to meet people face-to-face. Fortunately for me, this seems to be the month for conferences, clubs, and seminars. So far, it's paid off. I am dying to tell you what's happened because of it, however I am deathly afraid to do so, in the event I tell you and it doesn't come through. So for now, you'll have to take my word and personal experience for it: networking pays off.

The colonoscopy

Excerpt taken from the Dave Barry column. The original can be viewed here.

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.
Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.
I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy’s office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven.
I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America ’s enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.
Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation.
In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug.. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result..'
This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep.
At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point.

Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.

There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me.
'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.

Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ..

Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.