So, as I leapt off the train at Manchester Piccadilly, from Platform 16A at Leeds station, after the entire contents of my unzipped overnight bag decided to topple into the train isle and as THREE every so refined gentleman, kindly gathered up my bits…
‘Oh, here’s your laptop…’
‘Hahaha…I have your BRA!!!’
I shot off through the station, checked in to my hotel, quick changed in a little glamourous mirrored suite….flew out the door, got stuck in an elevator, ran down five flights of stairs in my Hilton ‘Gina’ shoes (that I won on the telly for celotaping feathers to my nipples 🙂 )….waved at staff, swiftly pushed through a glass revolving door, jumped into a taxi that was ready waiting for me outside…and with a..
‘127 Portland Street please….’
I was on my way to the most creative social marketing agencies, currently taking over the world… AND I was about to meet my most FAVOURITE human, who co founded this amazing agency of aged 20 something geniuses….who IS ALSO the star of MY FAVOURITE EVER VLOG. (I literally do not watch ANY OTHER Vlog, but HIS Vlog and it’s weird because, no matter how busy I am, I always seem to FIND the time, everyday to tune into his world.)
Taxi pulls up, I step out, pass my driver a fiver…and after three steps around puddles, a stairway and buzzer 4 to enter…I carefully walk up a few stairs, look right and there is it, almost raised above me, like a lofty planet of it’s own…with two giant glass entry doors and a wall lit ‘Social Chain’ sign beaming through…
To my left some builders/maintenance guys, with a Henry The Hoover were telling me that I was ‘fit’ 🙂 and to my right…almost like magic, one of the glass doors slowly eased open and there stood blond Katie, (who is Steve’s brand manager) with Pablo in her arms….with the warmest smile on her face and a..
‘Come on in…I’ll show you around…’
Right, to start this off…OH MY GOD. Nothing is more SURREAL than literally watching the Social Chain world and a bundle people do life there… at work…EVERY DAY…on my phone….before I go to bed…and then somehow waking up one afternoon, *BLINKING* and finding myself SMACK BANG in the MIDDLE of it all…almost as if you’ve rubbed your kitten eyes and you’ve ended up in some crazy Social ‘Willy Wonka’ dream, where you’ve won the golden ticket and ended up on the otherside of the screen.
I was in and LIVING the flipping VLOG, that I watch EVERY SINGLE DAY….I can’t even tell you how crazy it felt. I am A HUGE Steven Bartlett fan and since being addicted to his ‘Everyday Steve’ Vlog, I soon then became a HUGE Social Chain fan. It’s all done very well. I beamed with delight, stroked Pablo, then the faux fur had to come off, as Katie grabbed me a water and she showed me around the office. 🙂
As soon as you walked into the office…which seemed busy, there’s a warmness about it. There’s a love…and there’s an energy. Even from first moment when Katie greeted me, there was a magic. I was guided through, with my faux fur in my arms, in my heels, on their wooden floors, through the most creative office that I have ever seen, being shown each department and being told what each of them do.
It was actually hilariously because I have literally STALKED this world, these people, this Vlog like my life has depended on it. 🙂 So seeing all these faces that I already kinda knew was SURREAL. I couldn’t stop squeaking and wittering on about how star struck I felt. Everything was filled with ‘Oh my GODS‘ AND Wunna *shock* faces, with happy girl screeches and lots of ‘I’m so sorry, i’m literally the biggest stalky fan ever.’
I certainly must have looked like an over eyelashed, Oriental…tool, but I didn’t care because I was doing ‘being a tool’ in the best world ever. 🙂 I was on Planet Social Chain.
What i did notice, during my walk around is that EVERYONE was working. No one was really ‘tossing it off’…everyone seemed to not only be knuckling down and getting on with it…but at the same time CHOOSING to knuckle down and get on with it….HAPPILY. (For some reason, I thought they’d all be going wild and just doing whatever they wanted to do? Maybe because in MY HEAD, if the only rule was ‘Don’t Die’ ..and that IS their only office rule…I’d probably be up to mischief.) But they were working…hard…and loving it….AND NOT REMOTELY PHASED by me randomly sauntering through the office. They sort of acknowledged me like was a member of their team with a ‘Hi! How are you?…Like they’ve known me forever. The most naturally FRIENDLY team I’ve been around. There’s nothing fake or unauthentic about them. They’re all really different from one another…they’re certainly a well formed team….they’re young…and they’re busy.
There was a calm, casual, swirl to the office, where each department and each room were living their own version of Social Chain and after I waved at a few people, said ‘Hi’ and took a look around, Katie & I both sat in a pod like booth and chattered, as we waited for Steve…who was finishing up a meeting.
I was chatting to Katie like we were ‘besties’ and I noticed that she’s really great at what she does, she’s casually savvy at it. She knows the team well, Steve well and sees the big overall picture. She knows exactly how she wants the brand to travel, moving forward..and she doesn’t talk shite…she’s genuine, she laughs a lot. she lets me take the piss out of myself…joins in…lol..and makes you feel comfy. Out of all the brand managers that I’ve met, she’s the most authentic…and I know lots…infact…I used to be one…
Then Steve pops out of nowhere. By this time I already felt so at home…that I wasn’t even terrified anymore. (I will tell you that I was terrified, in my taxi, en route to the office. I don’t even know why? Must be the ‘hanging with your favourite human’ thing. 😉 )
He’s all friendly, say’s ‘Hi’ and is a mixture of warm and fun, with a mature confidence. He sits in the booth with us and chatters. Really easy to chat to. Someone who is expressive, yet at the same seems to be thinking constantly. Like his mind seems to be constantly moving, as he sits with you. He’s witty, he’s funny, yet a bizarre balance of loud and quiet. He interacts with his staff lovingly. (Wait that sounds naughty? Lol. 🙂 )
Basically, we were having this conversation, and both Katie and Steve where telling me how he’s SO emotionally invested with each person that works at Social Chain. If someones broken up with their boyfriend and crying at their desk…he’s there and see’s it as his problem….He actually cares…But really….And what CEO do YOU KNOW that actually give any shits about each team member personally? I can’t name any?? What I got from him was that he just understands life, understands people…understands how to bring the best out of a person…and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Hes not an idiot.
I mean when you have a team that is filled with young 20 somethings. I am absolutely positive that numerous ‘dramas’ can occur at any point, it’s part of BEING a 20 something, isn’t it? I was an ‘all over the place‘ 20 something in LA. I would’ve loved to have had a boss like Steve. (Infact, my boss wasn’t too bad…But he couldn’t have made much impact because I can’t remember his name? Lol. Bill? Ben? Fuck Knows. I did get asked to leave. 🙂 )
Yet even though Steve himself is young, he’s so ‘together.’ He’s calm. He doesn’t fly off the handle. He’s sort of an emotional fatherly figure to his Social Chain clan. He holds it all together. He knows ALL that is going on within every staff member. They’re all really close. They all go out together at the weekends and everything. It’s definitely the best team that I’ve witnessed and that’s what makes them work well…successfully. I mean God, they work hard, but they let loose on a Friday. They reward themselves for hard work.
Me: ‘Are you shy?’
‘Noo…I’m not shy. I’m sort of in the middle. I’m pretty confident.’
(He’s like I am. I’m the most confident, shy human you will ever meet. 🙂 )
I was actually shocked at how mature he is for his age. I’m loads of years older than him…and with a very apparent streak of immaturity. He’s younger than I, but extremely wise. Yet he’s not dull with it. I hate dull, with it. He’s warm but savvy. So when he’s talking to you, he’s open, he’ll sit back, he stretches his arm up against the back wall…he’s talk freely. Then he has moments where he’ll be quiet and look away or down. He checks his phone to make sure he’s still on schedule…which is good…but I noticed that whenever anyone walked passed the booth, he looked. So, he’s never oblivious to his surroundings. He’s aware of what’s going on around him.
What I also noticed is that HE’S BUFF. Like I don’t know if he’s been going to the gym everyday or not? BUT it certainly seems like he is. He’s all tall and broad shouldered. More than you’d think. I was impressed. Surely there’s not a guy who’s kind natured, successful, stylish, hard working, driven, fun AND HOT?
Me: ‘So do all the girls fancy you and all the guys what advice from you and to be you?’
‘Loads of people want business advice or for me to mentor them. Almost too many people for us to keep up with…but no, I don’t think a loads of girls fancy me, do they?’
Katie: ‘Currently more girls are watching the Vlog than guys…and it was definitely the other way around before.’
Yet the good thing about this Vlog is that he has such a diverse audience. Everyone is watching it. It’s a show. Be you a Mum, a girl, a guy…It’s a great balance of work life, with guy banter, with the additional savvy chick in place. It’s a great story to watch develop. I’m hooked. But you know that, as I go on about it so much. The way I see it, he ALREADY has the guys on his side…They want to be him, they want to work with him, for him…The girls…will again follow suit, as they’ll feel all inspired by him, know he’s successful…and will ofcourse either way…totally fancy him.
After meeting him. I totally fancy Steve. (And I never fancy anyone.)
Anyway..we were all sat in the booth, laughing away, talking about work, fun, looking through messages, taking the piss out of each other. We talked about life, I found out that he doesn’t like people who don’t spell things appropriately. Lol. Katie prefers short sharp messages, to really long winded ones. To be fair…we all have our space in Cyberland. I’m a blogger. It’s doing well. 🙂 He’s a Vlogger. It’s doing well. We’re on similar Cyberland ground, with completely alternate patches. He runs Social Chain and gets gifts to his desk everyday…I just totter about Wunna Land, with my shit love life and get an inbox full of *privates* from strangers.
Katie: ‘He’s really good at thinking on his feet…’
Steve: ‘I’m not really too shaken by what people think of me…’
Me: ‘You really should’ve kicked that Vice Girl. 🙂 ‘
Katie: ‘I’ve sometimes gone up to Steve with important things to tell him and he’s hidden or pretended to be on his phone, just so he doesn’t have to talk to me! Lol’
Steve: ‘I’m not really bothered by the whole red carpet scene..it’s boring after a while..’
Me: ‘I can’t believe that guys trying to out Superfan me…lol’
Steve: ‘I’ve noticed that the smallest things can make people so happy. It’s strange as I don’t see meeting me as such a big deal? But people seem to want to..?’
The whole ‘pop in’ was great! Kinda like being at a quiet corner booth at a bar. Doddz was there filming…He films all day, every day. But it all felt really easy. They’re used to having a camera there constantly now, that it’s invisible to them…and cameras never bother me…I’m a natural . 😉 Haha!
As I was sat in the booth, all these characters that I watch every night in the Vlog, kept casually walking by me and each time they did, I just couldn’t help but stop in utter amazement and be star struck like a weirdo. LOL. They’re cyber stars and they don’t even KNOW IT. I knew ALL OF THEM, from each episode. Lol. And like I said, it was SO overwhelming because I’d be chatting about one of them and then they’d JUST APPEAR out of nowhere. It was madness…or in my words…
‘I can’t take this…it’s like a Trippy Disneyland.’
Anyway, after an hour or so…my time was UP and they all had to get back to business and shoot off to their next meetings! I get all that, it’s how it is….and I love it. The energy changes immediately and it all smashes right back into action. And just like that, after quick hugs, a picture and an ‘I’m sure i’ll see you again’…He vanished in a magical puff of smoke. (Well just walked to a do a phone meeting, in another part of the office. Lol.)
‘Can i go down the slide..?’
Katie: ‘Really? In Heels? Lol’
So the ever lovely Katie showed me around the bits of the office that i hadn’t seen. I saw people laid in sleeping pods, working away on laptops..right above the booth we were sat in. Another group were in a big brand meeting surrounded by Flamingo wall paper. Steve was taking a call in a cosy log cabin’ type room. (Which is my favourite…everyone knows that I find my best peace in the forest.) The whole office is like an adventure. Anything can happen and everything does…
Then poor Katie had to hold my flipping faux fur and handbag as i climbed up some stairs and shot down the slide into a blue and white ball pool. 🙂
As I left, I chatted to Katie a lot more…as we talked about my work , where I was headed and the stuff I was doing and she gave me advice, which I couldn’t appreciate more. They’re definitely a company that I would want to work with…I want to be on Team Social Chain. When you leave that office, you realize how special they’ve made you feel…and that’s a talent in itself. I mean they should even open their own Talent Agency sector, where they represent Cyberlands most popular Social Stars…because no one would do it better than them. They’d rinse it.
It was literally the best Monday that I have had in 2017 so far…
Why not watch it…;)