“Sir, I am most grateful for your invitation to the Pump Rooms tonight as I have an urgent need to speak with Lady Findlesham about my poor brother.”
“Miss Clarke I fear you will not be able to approach Her Ladyship until the proper introductions have been effected. It is simply not done in these circles to approach a member of the gentry, unless you can own to some stronger connection or former acquaintance.”
The poor girl, all she wants to do is talk to her, but of course in the days of Jane Austen and George Eliot it simply wasn’t the done thing.
One of the joys of modern life is that we can talk to whom we please. We don’t have to wait to be introduced. On Twitter, at a party, you can just steam in there.
But wait. Introductions really can help. They do have a place in the modern world.
Imagine someone calls you up out of the blue and says they would like to work with you on your widget-making project. How do you know who they are? Have you heard of them, do you trust them?
However, if that call had been preceded by an e-mail from someone you trust or a Twitter message asking you if it was ok for an acquaintance to call, how much better would that be? They might even forewarn you that the person about to contact you was a trusted contact at the forefront of widget development. The imposition then turns into a benefit and everybody is happy.
I think it is a really good idea to seek introductions and I know from experience that they are received far more cordially than the cold call. If there really is no-one who can introduce you then Twitter is an alternative, at least if you are following the person you want to talk to you are flattering them with your interest and attention.
Some people ignore all attempts to talk to them. The Mr Darcy figures. We can write them off as just plain rude.
Or can we?