Written by John Butler
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Topics: Computers, Ireland

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

image for Dell Employee Tones Down Sarcasm To Fit In Socially At Work
Redmond trying his hardest not to be funny around an "unappreciative" work colleague

Droll office clerk, Seamus Redmond, currently one of roughly 1000 employees working in the Dell Computers Operations Centre in Bray, Ireland today admitted that, in order to fit in socially with his work colleagues, he is forced to reduce his typical emissions of sarcasm by a whopping 98% when in the office.

Redmond, known among his closest friends as a funny but "fucking sarcastic bastard at times" rarely if ever cracks a joke at work, due to, as he puts it, "a largely unappreciative staff".

Citing an example from just the other day, Redmond complained, "The other day I arrived to work soaking wet. It had been raining hard and I had no umbrella. Our secretary, Dearbhla, with whom I'm barely even an acquaintace remarked with unironic, unknowing obviousness, "Raining out there is it?".

Redmond explained, "Now, in an ideal world, my response to a comment like that would be something like, "No they've actually installed showers on the bus now and I was feeling a little sweaty so I decided to have one on my way here", but instead I, as usual, opted for inane, unthreatening politeness and said, "yeah I'm absolutely soaked" while rolling my eyes and shaking my head".

Redmond also revealed misgivings over his colleagues's receptiveness to corny yet bizarre puns, a style of joke Redmond himself is particularly fond of and indeed regularly employs when in the company of his, as he again emphasised, "infinitely more appreciative" friends.

He went on, "I remember a few weeks ago, our team leader was handing out lollypops to staff for working overtime- some sort of bullshit motivational gesture I guess. The girl sitting opposite me, Claire, started complaining that Brian, another co-worker had jokingly stolen one of her lollipops and began crying out "give it back, aw c'mon give it back yah little bastard".

"I'll be honest, the temptation to say, "hey, why don't you just call the Lollycops" was extraordinarily overwhelming, but I knew well enough that such a remark would merely draw curious stares and probably lead to me being ignored for the rest of the day. So instead I just smiled along politely with the witless inanity unfolding before me.

Redmond, a Dell employee for approximately two months now, then disclosed the precise moment he knew he would never be able to engage at work in the kind of deadpan surrealist humour that makes him the person he is.

"It was my first or second morning. I was sitting down for lunch in the canteen with my team - God I hate that word, "team" in that context - and it was very much a case of the rest of the staff feeling me out, trying to see what kind of person I was... checking if I was "sound" - God I hate that word "sound" in that context.

He went on, "The conversation for whatever reason moved to Michael Jackson and then onto paedophiles in general. Then for some reason, someone posed the question, "Is Chris De Burgh a paedophile? Despite it being only my second day, I stoked up the courage to reply "Yeah I think so, I heard he had an affair with Little Red Riding Hood - he even had the nerve to write a song about it".

"The reaction was one of scornful bamboozlement among the girls and polite smiles from the males. I knew then my sense of humour was destined to go unappreciated throughout my tenure in Dell".

Psychologist Gerry Fuchsia believes Redmond is a deeply deluded individual who only has himself to blame for his desperate feelings of isolation at work. He posited the view that Redmond has a "grossly inflated opinion of his own comedic value and that universality is the keystone of great comedy and not the bizarre, self-obsessive idiosyncractic flights of fancy upon which he [Redmond] relies".

To counter the estrangement-induced tedium of his job, Redmond has recently begun writing spoof articles on the internet. "I need somewhere to channel all my pent-up sarcasm. I don't know how many more times I can ask a co-worker, "So have you anything planned for the weekend" without letting on that I actually couldn't care less even if they told me they were planning to commit suicide by ingesting elephant urine mixed with liquid nitrogen".

Redmond revealed he is even considering writing a spoof article about his own experiences of feeling unappreciated at work. "Yeah it's not a bad idea. I'd have to use fake names though in case one of my teammates happened to read it. That's pretty unlikely though. The only websites they read are those crappy celeb gossip ones... idiots".

Redmond then thought "he could have the thinly veiled version of him talk about writing a thinly veiled version of him, writing a thinly veiled version of him where eventually the it comes to a thinly thinly veiled character that, though the laws of infinity (maybe) turns back to being a thinly veiled character of Redmond himself, thereby creating a literary hall of mirrors effect.

Fuchsia responded by saying sternly, "Redmond should lay off the hash and needs to grow up".

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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