Sydney, Australia - Just three months into a new job at a government department and payroll officer Michael Flannery has been fired for being too nice to his co-workers.
"Michael was such a friendly and supportive guy," said former colleague Danielle Mendelsohn. "So naturally people were wary of him from the start."
The consensus was that Flannery had been trying to ingratiate himself with upper management and push someone out of a better paying position.
"No one's that nice unless they have an ulterior motive," said Dan Huskins from HR. "I mean come on, this is payroll we're talking about. It's hard enough to stay civil doing that shit, let alone chirpy."
Karen Wilson, whose cubicle was next to Flannery's, revealed that in addition to being insufferably nice, the father of three was loathed for being heavily involved in office charity events and fundraising activities.
"He was always trying to make the rest of us look bad," said Wilson. "Most people duck and run when they see the chocolate box lady coming their way, or pick up the phone and pretend to be on a call that can't possibly be interrupted by something as trivial as raising a few bucks for kids with cancer. But Michael used to wave her over every time and buy two dozen of those goddamn chocolate bars. Then he'd hand them out to everyone like a self-serving prick."
Todd Reiner from IT agreed.
"Michael never bitched about people behind their backs or got involved in petty office feuds unless it was to offer some advice on how to solve things," said the 21-year-old intern. "No one wants to work with someone like that. It's not normal."
Flannery apparently annoyed so many people with his unshakable niceness and perennial do-gooding that management was forced to intervene.
"It became clear that Michael was a disruptive presence that had to be removed for the sake of all concerned," said former supervisor John Braithwaite.
Reiner recalls the incident that he says was the final straw.
"It was one night right on five o'clock when Sandra from reception slipped over in the tearoom and twisted her ankle. I didn't see what happened next because I had to get home and play Xbox, but I heard Michael rushed over and helped her up. He even got her an ice pack and stayed with her until the medic arrived. Sandra's a bit of a cougar, so obviously he was just trying to get into her pants."
Others said they were disgusted with the way Flannery had accepted his termination with good grace.
"He even shook hands with the security guard who coldly escorted him from the building," said Huskins.
When asked if they felt bad that Flannery had been fired, his former co-workers were unanimous in a verdict that Reiner summed up succinctly:
"Nah, man. No one feels sorry for that arsehole. He had it comin'."