The Last Straw: My Networking Conference in Helsinki

Turner Finland

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What is it like being a Copy Editor:  Networking to get more Copy Editing clients

Day one at the conference brought buyers remorse in anticipation of another four-day snooze fest conference filled with academic small talk. Day two brought mild optimism back, despite fact that the participants didn’t seem to care for my value proposition – in business speak (vis-a-vie paper editing work, as they had their own in-house English editors at their schools – bourgeois socialists). Day three saw a break in the clouds of despair with a new wild card being introduced into the game (booze). And day four, despite getting to watch Finland’s comeback music king, there is remorse in the air. I had successfully managed to make it through another night of tedious conversations about topics I can’t even put into words (maybe I could with graphs, an abacus, and some type of academic jargon interpreter), but it all fell apart when I was betrayed by a so-called friend.

What is it really like being a copy editor:  The Re-Cap

Day 1

Panic sets in as Turner realizes that just like last time, he would have to endure hours of force fed conversation. Turner almost swindles a last minute refund of the conference by exaggerating a fictional sob story, but against his better judgment, he begins to transgress to a bad poker player and thinks – “Well, I have already paid this much, what’s the worst that can happen?”

Day 2

Turner is filled with hope, as the conference is full of Scandinavians who have big academic budgets and English that is manageable to work with. Things are looking up for Turner until he has first 5 five conversations end with “…my University provides that – Oh look, more free horderves”. Feeling depressed, Turner goes for a walk around Helsinki and finds some solace in a husband-to-be dressed up as penis – Turner is no longer the only dick in town.

new dickhead on the block

Day 3

Feeling down and out, Turner has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, but after reviewing the schedule, Turner sees there are two social mixers today. Social Mixer One has unlimited beer and strange Danish branded vodka. Turner finally feels in his element and proceeds to mend previously short lived conversations by distributing free State-sponsored booze to socially awkward academics. Turner finally feels a profound connection with the academic community and feels prepared to welcome his new viking descended clientele. Social Mixer Two involves a free concert in a beautiful concert hall. Said party was mentioned to include champagne and more free horderves. Said party did not mention boring-as-fuck 1.5-hour speech on Methodological Measures and Nuances. Turner makes a break for the bathroom and witnesses champagne being set up for the after party. Turner raids champagne table like Israeli soldiers on Entebbe.

the rescued

Day 4

Turner attends final night gala dinner ready to tag team the event with lifelong friend and social justice advocate Jack Daniels. Turner is confused and yet delighted at the overly sweaty ex-Finnish rockstar on stage playing classic Finnish rock songs. Turner mingles and munches the snacks while grooving to Finnish jams and discovers bountiful free drink tickets scattered throughout the venue like buffalo on the open prairie. Turner forgets that the pioneers’ over indulgence of the free, bountiful buffalo leads to the near extinction of majestic beasts. Turner proceeds to rightfully claim his mined prospects but unfortunately hits his tipping point. Turner vaguely recalls a verbal disagreement with a French professor over French participation in World War II. Conversation ends with one party calling the other a “cheese-eating-surrender-monkey”. Nearby professors feel uncomfortable and continue sipping their Sea Breezes.

Turner vows to never go to another conference ever again – unless Jack apologizes.

So what is it really like being a copy editor? Let’s just say I don’t think we need Gitmo anymore.