Friday, March 06, 2009

Why you must never date a business journalist

A friend recently pointed out that now-a-days having a conversation with me is becoming virtually impossible, because I keep asking most of the questions and reply with a 'hhmm' and 'ok' and 'sure' and 'can you elaborate?'

In other words, my interviewing skills that come in handy in my profession, are now rubbing on to my personal life and before I even realize, casual dates are turning into episodes of Devil's Advocate.

My journalism professor was right. She'd said, "Once a journalist, always a journalist." Meaning, even when journalists are off-duty (practically that never happens), they end up thinking of story-ideas, looking for scoops in every conversation and casual remark. So much so, I would expect people to run away from scribes like us.

I've got nightmares, wherein all my interviewing skills culminate and spoil what could be a cozy date over a cup of coffee. Imagine, she was sitting right in front of me and a conversation that (Holy shit!) went like this...

1. So, what's new? How was your last quarter?

2. What steps are you taking to battle this economic downturn? (Hope you aren't planning to make me pay for your cappucino.)

3. That's a nice dress you're wearing. What was the acquisition cost?

4. Your operating costs must have gone through the roof, after you moved to your new apartment. How are coping with it?

5. And what else? Are you seeing someone right now? Any mergers in the pipeline?

6. I was actually planning to move into the suburbs. And I liked your apartment too. I'll share half the rent. How about forming a joint venture?

7. Do you like kids? I love them! If I'm laid off, I think I'll be a baby-sitter. So many kids in this country, yet so few people to take care of them! It'll bring me additional revenue.

8. Why don't you also take a Vodafone connection? I can call you for free, then. Helps manage costs, better.

9. just placed an order for a chicken teriyaki. What was the strategy behind that? How do you see it making a difference to you in the long term?

10. Is that a gold necklace? Whoa.. gold prices have crossed the limit you know. You should go for silver or copper, once in a while. Or just tie the noose around your neck, and show off the great Indian rope trick! Ha Ha Ha.

11. comes your order. Isn't this your first ever chicken teriyaki? How do you plan to celebrate? Aren't you issuing a press release? (The ET guys are sitting hungry at the next table, if you'd like to know.)

12. Hmm...yummy. This tastes really good. The price to yearnings ratio is the best one on this, I can already guess. Delicious stuff.

13. Now, gotta to be kidding, telling me you are single and all, eh? You don't like men, or is it that the recession has put your expansion plans on hold?

14. Two of my close friends are getting married today, you know. To each other! I'm so happy. Their due diligence lasted just 3 weeks, and bang! The guy bid for her! And despite being really hot and all, there were no competitive bids. He acquired her overnight!

15. I write about brands, advertising and positioning you know. Positioning is so important in relationships, I tell you. I mean, whoever said "We're just good friends" needs a crash course in learning the right positioning and also the right positions.

16. You sung really well at the Community Hall last night. The organisers are good pay-masters, but after last night's performance your share prices must have gone through the roof!

17. Excuse me, my phone's ringing. A PR chick is calling. Gotta throw some attitude, to let her know who's the boss. "Hello...yes...I'm in a meeting right now. Call me later." Yup, so where were we?

18. Those jeans are nice. They fit perfectly, don't they? How much did you invest in them? Come to think of it, how are you planning to improve your bottom line? You could do without the pink-chaddi.

(Run lola run!)