I leave in the morning for a conference, with the intention being to learn and network, and ultimately, to advance my career.
I’m excited for numerous reasons. However, the attendance of one particular individual and our inevitable encounters, not so much.
For the sake of argument, let’s call him James. This is the first time James will attend this particular conference. I have known James for a number of years, but he and I have drifted apart over the years. James is a trust fund, manchild that I have never been able to trust, despite the loyalty he has shown me at times. If you badmouth my friend, I will never forget it, but far be it from me to snitch on you, for betraying man code is not something I would ever entertain.
See, I mostly put up with James because of our mutual relationship with Chad. Chad saw something in him, and despite my reservations, I sought to find common ground with James. As time wore on, it became clear on my end that our differences were too much to overcome. Once I moved to a new city, we began drifting apart.
Fast forward to today. He sees me as a lone ally in a place unknown. While I deal with him to the degree I need to in order to preserve social grace, this situation presents a context wherein he will look to rely on me. I have pressing concerns - gaining knowledge and skills as well as seeking to advance my career.
If you have advice on how to handle these encounters with class, I would appreciate them, whether they be from first hand experience or not. Let me know if you need further clarification.