Maybe You’re Not Really Being Snubbed

Everybody hates being snubbed, right?  So much so that some people will write articles about CNN when it happens to them.

I read this article last week, and it stuck with me, because I had some uneasiness about what the author, Jessica Brondo, was claiming as widespread snubbing.  Is snubbing a word? It didn’t underline in my writing window, and it sounds cool, so I’m going to go with it.

Anyways, the summary of the article was this: Last year, the author attended a conference (SXSWedu), networked with some people where she got a lot of business cards and such, then upon getting home she attempted to reach out to many of the people to get advice, and got no response.  Her idea ended up taking off, and this year, people are seeking her out.  People who ‘snubbed’ her last year are suddenly finding the time now that she’s no longer just a face in the crowd.

The premise of her complaint is focused more on gender.  She feels that women should have been more supportive of her.  I’m actually writing this taking the gender element out of it because I don’t think my points tie to gender at all.  And what is my point?

I don’t really think she was snubbed.

mb-2014-05keepoutAt least not in the true sense of the definition.  When you type snub into Google, the first definition returns ‘rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully.’

And I don’t think her complaints fit the definition. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Everybody, not just her, was looking for an angle – The conference that the woman attended was busy.  Wildly busy.  Everybody was meeting one another, exchanging ideas, and sharing contact information.  The amount of information shared was overwhelming.  Had she been the only person trying to share information, she might have a claim of having been snubbed.  As such, I think that the sheer volume of information exchanged meant that most of it simply got turned into noise.
  • She was a face in the crowd – From the sounds of it, the conference that she attended had a lot of successful people and a whole lot more people looking to become successful.  While her ideas may have been great, the fact is that when you’re around a whole group of people looking for the same thing as you, then you go home and do the same thing that every other person probably did, you aren’t separating yourself.  Nothing here indicates being snubbed.
  • People have limited time – After the conference was over, what do you think the successful people did?  They returned back to work and resumed doing the things that got them successful.  Success comes with hard work, and the people that had attended the conference likely had things piled up, so in order to maintain their continued success, they put their own work first.  If there wasn’t time left over for them to respond to every e-mail from the conference, does that mean they were snubbing people?  I say no.
  • Nobody owed her anything – The tone of her article bothered me because, while she never same out and said it, she seemed to have a sense that the women she felt snubbed her owed her something.  They really didn’t.  Now, if the conference had put together some sort of follow-up program where people could ‘sign up’ for post-conference mentoring, then I could see her point if she participated and the others didn’t.  But, there was nothing like that.  I think that she had to look at it that any response she may have gotten was great, but any non-response was not malicious…nor was it a snub.
  • It’s the same as applying for a job – I wonder if Ms. Brondo has applied for jobs in the past.  I’m guessing that she has.  I can’t speak for her experience, but I know that I’ve applied for plenty of jobs, and while I’ve gotten many returned calls, returned e-mails, job interviews, and even job offers, the fact is that more often than not I’ve gotten…nothing.  There have been times where my resume matches every qualification they list, yet I get nothing.  Is that annoying?  Absolutely!  Is it a snub?  No, it’s part of the game.
  • It’s the last word of the definition  –   Looking again, the definition of snub is to “rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully.”  While getting no responses certainly made her feel rebuffed, ignored, and spurned, I just don’t see how she can go out and claim that any of of it was done disdainfully.

I’ll part with this thought.  Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I am genuinely curious, though I don’t think we’ll ever find out, how she is handling this.    After her success and after this article, surely she is being sought out just as she sought others out last year

Is she personally answering every e-mail?  (Not a form letter or generic response, but personal, detailed responses).  Does she have the time to help every person that might ask her to or does she have to revert to either ignoring or sending a form response?  While I’ll likely never know the answer to that, I’ll speculate that she can’t possibly address every person that reaches out to her.

But, the thing is, that’s perfectly OK! And it was OK back when she was the one seeking a response.

Readers, what do you think, was Ms. Brondo snubbed or do you think she took something personally when there was nothing personal involved?  Also, I removed the gender element that she made a main point of her argument.  Is that reasonable, or does she have a point if you put that back into the equation?

14 thoughts on “Maybe You’re Not Really Being Snubbed”

  1. I have to agree with you and say that based on this description, she wasn’t being snubbed. People just get busy with their day-to-day lives and since she wasn’t someone they personally knew, of a household name at the time, they didn’t have time to respond to her inquiries. I highly doubt they went out of their way to snub her.

  2. She certainly has the right to be disappointed that she didn’t get any response, and ironically only now that she’s having success does she get any traction – but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. People want to see a glimmer that her idea will be successful before they invest their time and effort into it. I think the biggest error is that she turned it into a gender issue – she expects all women to be supportive of all other women just because they are female. And like you said, they don’t owe her anything.

  3. I don’t even know where to start with her article. It seemed pretty whiny to me…and unappreciative of the attention she is now getting. Instead of celebrating her success, she is sticking it back at the people she perceives didn’t give her attention. That’s not a way to influence or win people’s favor.

  4. I’m of two minds about this.

    The dinner she mentioned is held by an organization dedicated to connecting women in education technology. (http://edtechwomen.com)

    In that sense, I can see her being disappointed. But I’m also not convinced she followed up. If all she did was email everyone once, then she should have tried harder.

    I think the issue here is the idea of snubbing. Snubbing is active. You choose to exclude a person or type of person. These women just didn’t follow up with her.

    And it’s a shame that she felt so alone, but that’s also why a lot of communities have small business associations to help people with questions. There are usually mentoring programs, too.

    I think it’s understandable to be frustrated. But the fact is that most of the people contacting probably aren’t the ones who she reached out to. (If so, then heck write them a politely snippy email about it.) Her name is out there more, so more people are aware of her efforts, which means more people may have an interest.

    But this isn’t a case of a girl being snubbed by popular people until she becomes popular herself. This is a case of a newbie not getting the help she wanted, then getting herself some exposure and — surprise surprise — getting attention.

    • I think some of her article was trying to say that people who wouldn’t respond to her a year ago now are contacting her with an interest in investing. I have to read between the lines a little bit and kind of think that if she was reaching out looking for investors, that many of those she was reaching out to just felt she was looking for money, and in their defense, they probably get pitched many opportunities per day.

      All going back to the fact that I really don’t think she was snubbed.

      Thanks for the detailed comment!

  5. Did you try contacting her, to see if she would respond any differently from her ‘snubbers?’

    I think I will try that…just to see what happens. I’ll betcha I’m ignored.

  6. I think Ms. Brondo is being not a snubbed after all. As what you’ve said, the conference that the woman attended was busy, unless if you meet her in a restaurant and try to talk to her and she doesn’t even answer you then we can really conclude that Ms. Brondo is really a snubbed.

  7. I don’t think she was snubbed. You’re right, people only have a limited amount of time and maybe she didn’t make as strong an impression as she thought she did.

  8. I kind of agree with you. But the problem is that when I read her blog post I agreed with her too. I feel I sympathized with her feelings somehow or somewhere deep in my heart. However, after reading your points, which are more sensible and rationale than related to feelings, I do agree that it was not a snub at all. In fact, these conferences do give us a lot of exposure but getting success (or conversion of hits to customers, as online markets say) is very difficult. Average conversion rate in online world is just 2%. So, at the end of the day her not having been picked up does not really mean she was snubbed but essentially means she was not able to make the additional mark while meeting business opportunities in that conference.

    • Good perspective. If she would have written it in the context of ‘I tried and it was disappointing that I didn’t get any responses, but such is life’ I probably would have been very much in her corner. I’ve been there myself. When I started my blog, I reached out to other blog owners, and very few responded. It happens. When I apply for jobs, the number of callbacks is a very small percentage. It happens.

      A snub is if they would have gone out of their way to exclude her. I just don’t see anywhere where that can be illustrated.

  9. People in America now make a career out of being offended in any way. The people at the conference owed her nothing. She needs to get off her high horse and just get on with her business. Where is it written that women have to support every other woman’s endeavors simply because they are of the same gender? If that’s what we’ve come to, I’m ashamed of my gender. We preach that we are equal to men and then whine when we don’t get help. Does she honestly think that every communication a man sends out gets attention? My bet is that she is pretty fresh out of college where she has had her hand held and been told how special she is just for existing. She needs to put on her big girl panties and get on with her work.

Comments are closed.