I attended the Interop conference in 2019, which was both my first time attending and speaking at the event. After my talk, I spoke to many audience members, awkwardly carrying a laptop and power supply while trying to shake hands. I ended up losing my power supply and this frustrated me. I spent probably 10 minutes looking for it, but I suspect it was casually snagged by another attendee.

I wanted to be responsible and get it replaced quickly. I enlisted the help of a colleague who generously ordered me a replacement. It would be waiting on my doorstep for me after my trip. I still had two more days at Interop with plenty of work to do, both personal and work-related tasks. I'm an introvert who planned on blogging and studying that night. Instead, I realized that there were literally thousands of people I could meet if I was willing to vacate my comfort zone. It was not a hard choice. I promptly left my hotel room.

This was the best decision I could have made, and I am glad I did. That night, I linked up with some engineers I previously only knew virtually. Together, we enjoyed socializing and building personal relationships. The next day, I cleared my work calendar and signed up for many sessions. That evening, I attended a few mixers. One was Government-oriented, an industry in which I have extensive experience. The other was healthcare-oriented, an industry in which I have no experience. It was intriguing to participate in both discussions around how technology could advance the state of those different industries.

There was a big party later that evening, and I attended with my newly-made friends at these mixers. The conversation quickly shifted away from technology and into the personal space, which I very much enjoyed. The event was several hours long but seemed to end far too quickly. While walking back to the hotel, I became thoughtful and realized none of this would have transpired if my power supply hadn't been stolen. I smiled inwardly at the sticky-fingered engineer who secretly did me a huge favor.

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