Drinking for free: Week two

Tom posted on the Wellingtonista recently about the places to drink for free. Join me as I try to score free drinks every week until the end of the year.

For the second event in my series, tonight I went to:

“The 2007 Annual General Meeting of Members of Young IT Professionals Network Incorporated trading as Unlimited Potential (the “Society”) will be held at the Wellington Convention Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Wellington on Thursday, 1 November 2007, commencing at 6.00pm. Join us from 5:30pm for networking.”

Now, if something says that there’s “networking” at 5.30, you’d read that as “drinks”, right? So in that spirit, myself and a couple of of other IT-ish people (Tom and James) RSVPed and concocted a clever plan to go for the drinks and leave before the AGM.

Of course, that’s not what happened. James, Tom, Shirley and I showed up at a little after 5.30 (apparently there’s no longer an umbrella on the corner of Wakefield and Cuba – when did that happen?), we found a group of people standing around in the town hall, and while the ceilings sure had pretty moulded plaster ceilings, THERE WAS NO BAR!!!!!!!!! James left because he’s a good family man, so we cut out of there straight away, and headed to Finc for a bottle of Squawking Magpie pinot gris. For $39 it was easily dividable by three, and peary and delicious. After Shirley decided to go study, I made Tom go back to the Town Hall with me, out of determination to live up to my drinking challenge for YOU, my dear Hubris reader.

So back up the pretty tiled stairs we went, going “hmmm, it sounds very very quiet”, but when we saw the door to the foyer room place where people had been gathered was open (wow, how badly constructed was that sentence?) we thought we might as well creep in there to see if perhaps the bar had been set up while people were still AGMing. We stepped in, and we saw that it was, so I raised my arms in a great big “Woooooo…” but then, I saw him. The Wellington Convention Centre’s very own Clarence Weidman, complete with blue blazer and grey slacks. He was standing possessively behind the drinks table, so I changed course and headed to the badge table instead. Clarence muttered something and made a move to hold open the door into the council chamber, and so somehow Tom and I found ourselves sitting at the back of the AGM, me trying not to snicker as we came in the middle of a speaker that I of course took totally out of context when he was asked “So what did you say to him in the morning?” and he spoke about how he let the mysterious him talk about himself, totally like they’d hooked up, especially after he said “oh yeah he pulled out all the keys”. Everyone looked very serious and not sniggery at all, so I tried to take photos of the council chamber’s chandelier instead, but my camera battery was flat. I said “Aye” to some things, and hoped that someone would say no, and then the meeting was over, and the “networking” started.

The event itself

Companion: Tom, who I have been doing a lot of drinking with lately. He works in ICT as well, so he was a legitimate guest of the event.

Venue: The drinks were held in the foyer outside the Council Chambers in the Town Hall, on the first floor. I love the Town Hall so much that my very first post on the Wellingtonista was about it, so it was nice to see a new area. The Council Chambers were all wood panelling and leather, just the way you’d imagine someone evil like Kerry presiding over, and the foyer was lighter-coloured, but nice and old fashioned. The toilets had sensor-lights in them, which was appreciated.

Drink: The bar table had glasses already poured of now-warm Sav, Chardonnay and red (I didn’t recognise the brand, it was probably some side-Montana label), as well as Heineken and perhaps Tui? They topped up glasses if they noticed you bring one up, but then stopped attending the bar so it was grab-what-you-can.
Tally: 5 glasses Sav, approximately $35 in a bar, $12 at home

Food: There were two platters of antipasto stuff on two tables, with a plate of mixed bread on each. The selection of meats and cheeses and bits and pieces, was really good-looking, but as I said to Tom “You can tell that Kerry provided it due to an obvious lack of thinking and follow-through in terms of not actually providing us with knives with which to cut the cheese”. Of course, Clarence Weidman came out with them then, just to ruin my joke as well as make me attend an AGM. Bastard!
Tally: A whole bunch of stuff, but not a sizeable meal of it though.

People: I recognised a lot of people from Bar Camp, and I got to talk to Mike and Matthew about the olden days of the interweb (like, totally last millennium!) which was fun. I also am now apparently joining a women in ICT group, and if my bag was at my feet I’d tell you exactly what it was, but you know, my couch is too comfy to get up from.

Scoring factor: There were some cute boys, but I didn’t talk to them. A lot of people seemed to take off straight after the AGM, so I wonder where their priorities really lie…

Celebrities: There was someone there who is going to be nominated for Wellingtonista Person of the Year. But I can’t tell you who. Yet.

Gifts: None. Apart from the gift of networking, I suppose.

Total freebie value: It cost me $13 in wine while waiting around, and then 20 minutes of listening to the AGM, but I talked, networked, ate and drank for an hour, so I’d say I was $20 up (that’s serving myself at home prices), ultimately. Plus I got to do this entry, and that’s what’s most important, right?

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