No, I'm not referring to the classic 1970s Sidney Lumet film. I mean the kind of "networking" that is essential to success in…essentially every profession. I can't decide if it's a terrible thing or the absolute worst of all things.

Certainly I would hate it less if I were better at it, but I have a very low tolerance for people who are full of themselves and the painfully socially awkward. Since that covers about 94% of people in academia, I find this process to be painful in the extreme.

Hi! I noticed that your life is infinitely better than mine because you went to the Correct grad school. May I pretend that you're interesting for a few minutes in the hopes that you'll throw me a few crumbs at some point? Fantastic! Gee, where's a carbon monoxide leak when you really need one?