Social Solitude: Big mistakes

Well would you look at that. It’s a new week, which means it’s already time for a new blog. Now I’ll be honest - when Sara approached me about writing a blog during my internship, I was a little hesitant. Having said that, I’ve actually found myself looking forward to writing this, and future blog entries more and more. But all this excitement notwithstanding, I do have a confession to make. This profession of guilt might be a little late, as the infraction in mind happened several weeks ago. But as I always like to say, it’s better late than never. So here goes… I made the biggest mistake an intern can possibly make in his first week at a new company. I asked for a day off.

Now before you grab a college textbook and beat me over the head with it, let me defend myself first! I didn’t report for duty because I was away engaging in another activity. I was in Tallahassee for an evening reception at the mansion of none other than our state’s governor. (Whew, here’s the sigh of relief – I had a good excuse, and my boss agreed).

Can you imagine my initial excitement when I received an invitation to represent Asian-American students throughout the state of Florida at a reception held by Gov. Charlie Crist? I was thrilled! But that exhilaration was short-lived, as it was soon followed by a pang of depression when I realized the reception was going to be held on a weekday. But not just any weekday. It was the first day of my second week interning at Sara Brady Public Relations.

Despite this initial setback, I did attend the reception and it was quite an experience. Among the many distinguished guests were the president of the Asian-American Federation of Florida, the creative director of Asia Trend Magazine and the Consul General of Japan in Miami. It was an honor for me to stand with these individuals before the governor of our state to represent the interests of my family, friends and colleagues.

And while this experience was not directly related to my work here at the firm, it certainly lent some insight into the many challenges that face any political candidate in today’s trying climate. Gov. Crist’s dilemma in losing his political party’s support for the Florida senatorial primary race, combined with the unforgiving oil leak disaster affecting his state, is not a quandary that many other candidates would envy. And though the stress of the enormous weight upon the governor’s shoulders was apparent the day I visited his residence, he still managed to put forth the humble, genuine personality that all who had met him prior told me to anticipate. But I suppose that’s to be expected from any candidate for office these days.

Mark Twain put it best when he said:

"The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all."

And when someone is running for office, I’m sure it would behoove a campaign for the candidate to relate to as much of his constituency as he can. Just as I made a fatal intern mistake not too long ago, so too will any political hopeful who doesn't reach out.

After all, what good are the ideals of any candidate if he doesn’t manage to get elected?

Thoughtfully, Anthony-Ray