Sitting sociably round a pub table, nursing our drinks, talk turns quickly to socialising; or rather, social networking. Both Steve and Justin, with their array of social sites (think LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) chide Dave for his paltry cyber friendships
Defiant, Dave announces that he dislikes Facebook: it’s for stalkers, apparently. “I’ll go for a drink with someone – that’s social. Sitting in front of a desk, looking at friends on a computer – that’s weird.”
Apparently, Dave is a man who revels in his status as a one man band, or lone wolf. At work, he is the only person in his QS group, and amid jibes from the others that he’s scared his team off, Dave insists he’s better off alone: “I prefer it that way – I know where I am the whole time,” he explains, insightfully. The others claim that he’s essentially the idiot savant of the group, handling tax returns and number crunching.
“His grammar’s not up to scratch, though,” says Justin, who, frustrated by Dave’s unpunctuated emails, tries to give him a quick top-up lesson on the perils of the over-used comma. Unrepentant and none the wiser, Dave vows to add a smiley face :-) to the end of each sentence, thereby offering Justin the choice of a colon, hyphen, or bracket with which to punctuate all his sentences.
Going for a drink is social. Sitting in front of a desk, looking at friends on a computer – that’s weird
Justin, it seems, is himself a master of the grammatical flourish, which he uses to pepper his Twitter posts.
“I don’t really use Twitter!” he protests. “I just set it up to see what it was all about.” Well, the old adage that curiosity killed the cat may suddenly make sense to Justin, as his revelation plants in colleagues the seed of sabotage, and has them wondering out loud how many rude things they can tweet to his profile before he gets a chance to delete them …
Steve self-defines as the more moderate networker of the group – the happy medium between Justin’s non-stop digital party – and Dave’s social Siberia. “I use LinkedIn for business, it has its uses,” he points out. “You won’t find me on Twitter though, and I rarely check my Facebook account.”
The boys stuck red bins on the snowmen’s heads and pretended they were Stavros Flatley
Steve is strictly iPhone and email – no posting on walls, digital or otherwise. With these simple tools he can keep in touch, even when snowed in. “The other day, when I was stuck at home because of the snow, I got sent a picture from the boys of these two snowmen they built outside the office. They had stuck red bins on their heads and pretended they were Stavros Flatley. The cheek of it all is, now they hassle me for bunking work – when I was at home actually working!”
When I ask the aforementioned boys what possessed them to build the Britain’s Got Talent father-son duo, Dave simply replies he needed someone to talk to; after all, most of the office were snowed in and at home. Alas, in the snowy landscape, the wolf cuts a lonely figure …
Chosen watering hole: The Porterhouse, Covent Garden
Ambience: both old and trendy
Topics: social networking, grammar and the weather
Drinks drunk: three gin and slims, three Temple Brau beers, three Porterhouse Red beers, two Chiller beers, one diet cola
Stephen Barker partner
David Smith partner
Justin Vivian partner
Clare Conway Building