The Bug House Files

Enough of the BNM menace: I want porn and Nigerian scams!

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Hell on earth: the dreaded Breakfast Networking Meeting

Hell on earth: the dreaded Breakfast Networking Meeting

Back in the good old days my inbox used to be full of spam from XXX-rated porn sites and Nigerians informing me that I stood to gain £35m by simply giving them my bank details.

Now every second email is an invitation to a Breakfast Networking Meeting. The sleaze merchants and Nigerian conmen don’t stand a chance.

Networking has always oiled the wheels of industry, but it was always an informal and enjoyable affair conducted in the bar or on the golf course. Over last few years, however, it has become an industry in itself. There is now every chance that there are more Breakfast Networking Groups than actual businesses.

On the face of it, it is hard to see why anyone in their right mind would choose to assemble in a godforsaken hotel conference room at 7am in order to chew on a stale croissant, listen to an “SEO consultant” droning on about the benefits of social media for 20 minutes, and then exchange business cards with the managing director of a pest control company.

And then go to work.

My theory is that it is an addiction, like alcohol or crack cocaine. Perhaps the next step is BNM Anonymous meetings, although these by their very nature would be fraught with danger (“My name is Jim and I’m a Breakfast Networking Meeting addict…and here’s my card”).

Either that or the recession has left the business community so freaked out that it needs reassuring that somebody still cares. In which case, thank God for the green shoots of recovery.

The sooner the real spam returns the better.

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Author: Jim Ford

I'm an author and journalist. "The Bug House" series of Tyneside-based crime novels is published in 2014

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