Politics

Love, Sex and Networking: When Revenge Goes Viral

Sat., May. 7, 2011 7:15 PM EST
by Zondra Hughes

A vengeful ex-lover can destroy your professional network.

I met this guy at a networking event, although it wasn’t my intent. As I was handing my business card to an artist, this fellow walked up, introduced himself and extended his hand for my card as well.

He offered conversation or, rather, wanted to hear himself talk. This fellow was about one of a few white guys at the event.

He was an art director who was recently dumped by his girlfriend. I smiled politely as he talked about his job, his ex and his ambitions, but the truth of the matter is that I was too distracted by the fact that this white guy was talking to me in front of so many brothers.

I heard him clearly, however, when he divulged that, although he’s never been to a predominantly African American networking event before, he was enjoying the vibe and “the chocolate.”

Yes, he actually said, “I am enjoying the chocolate.” On that note, I abruptly walked away.

The next day, I received an e-mail from him. In short, it was a picture of him with his pride and joy in hand.

Yes, that pride and joy.

“Can’t wait to see you again,” the email read.

I called my colleague, who also attended the networking event, and to my surprise,  she told me that she received the naughty e-mail, too, and deleted it.

We wondered what would provoke this single, white male to send those pictures to black women that he met at a professional networking event?

Clearly, the brown chick-white guy swirl is alive and kicking at home and in Hollywood, as
some women of color have grown tired (and older) waiting for the perfect black man.

Still, this did not explain why a seemingly normal individual — whatever his race — send a sexually suggestive picture to women he met at a networking event.

So, I emailed the guy and asked him, “Why would you send this to me? WTF?”

That email spawned a flurry of explanatory emails and, finally, a phone call.
Our conversation really opened my eyes to race-based miscommunication (mine) and the evil that women can do.

Let’s backtrack to the night of the networking event. The event hosts served complementary gourmet, chocolate-dipped strawberries to attendees. When the fellow mentioned chocolate, he was speaking of the strawberries, not of the black women as I had assumed.

“I knew I may have said the wrong thing after you left,” he explained during our phone call.

Oh, and about that email? The racy photo was a personal picture that he took for his ex-girlfriend. A few weeks ago, he cheated on his girlfriend with a woman he met at an after-work event.

The fellow networks a lot and routinely updates his address book with business cards that he gathers. The ex-girlfriend hacked into his database and sent the naked photo to everyone in his address book and that included me.

I was the first person to confront him about the naked photo and, now, he doesn’t know how many people have the photo or how many job leads and important connections she may have ruined.

He confronted the culprit and forwarded her incriminating emails to me to back up his story.
In a nutshell, she wanted to ruin his life because his cheating behavior ruined hers, and she vowed to do it again, despite his threat to pursue legal action.

“Watch it go viral,” she wrote.

I guess hell hath no fury like a scorned woman with a compromising photo at her fingertips.

No matter the circumstances of a breakup, no one deserves such public humiliation … and karma has a long memory. –zondra hughes

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