I spent this weekend sitting behind my booth once more, at a local SF/Fantasy show. At least I assume that's what goes on. It's really just a geek-fest. There's not a thing wrong with that. I've had many a fine, fine day hanging with "my people". As I age, thought, misanthropy sets in. I just don't like most of the people I meet at these shows (with some prominent exceptions).
I find the annoying types break into three categories:
1) The Glory Hound. This person, male or female, seeks to impress you with tales of their successful derring-do (usually in the context of a roleplaying game or gaming situation). Among friends, particularly those with whom you've gamed, this is fine and fun. When a complete stranger wearing a name tag starts, it is annoying. I don't know anyone involved, I don't know why you need to impress me, and I don't like you well enough to listen to this shit. Sometimes they relate their dealings with various organizations, like the phone company or a hospital. Let me explain again. Unless I KNOW you, I DON'T CARE. Please, go impress someone else for a while.
2) The Slavish Admirer. I see this more often around authors and minor celebrities, where crowds of geek types are leg-humping and fighting for attention like puppies over momma's best teat. Because I am an artist and dealer at these shows -- and I have a very attractive husband who dresses to take advantage, the bastidge -- this kind of behavior occasionally comes my way (or someone tries to use me as an access way to my husband, in a kind of circular logic I don't grasp). This is unattractive behavior. Cut it out.
3) The Perpetual Victim. Perpetual Victims have a tale of woe in repertoire, and will recite it complete with gestures and ooky personal details within 5 minutes of making eye contact. Everything is wrong for these people, everyone is out to get them, and none of it is their fault. I am the only sympathetic ear they've found in the last 15...minutes. These people don't understand that once they've started their mind-numbing rendition of all their (usually self-caused) troubles, I'm joining up with the other side. I'm as sympathetic as the next person and I understand that sometimes people really have pain and trials. However, again, I DON'T KNOW YOU. I can't help you. I'm working as a jeweler, not a therapist, and you aren't buying anything from me. I heard you telling this story at the last booth you were at next to mine, and you are going to tell the exact same story at the next booth. Really. Go away.
I barely talk to people at shows anymore, because it is never immediately evident (geeks being what we are) when some average looking guy in a Star Trek uniform will turn into one of these creatures. I must force myself to look up at potential customers to give the friendly smile and greeting. I certainly don't try to engage them in conversation while they peruse the booth because, oh no, they might start TALKING TO ME. *sigh* I do not have the right personality for sales. I just don't.