Background to the Lunacy
I support Manchester City Football Club and always have. This inevitably means that I take it personally when non-City fans make derogatory remarks about the club. My reactions range from mild annoyance to rage, depending on what is being said, who is saying it and in what context. I would worry for my mental health were it not for the fact that half the population of the planet would seem to be similarly afflicted when it comes to their sporting diversions. It doesn't have to be football. All competitive team sports will attract a fan base of some description and a proportion of them will be fanatical, superstitious and obsessive. It could be rugby or baseball or ice hockey. It doesn't matter as long as it's a mainstream sport involving some sort of a big ball or a smaller ball and a bat, usually made of wood.
All of this is encouraged by the media. As I write, we are hours away from the first Manchester Derby of the season (in other words, City V United, for those of you who are not of this planet and do not know). It is Sunday morning and since Friday, the silliness has been played out over the airwaves and social media in the shape of a 48 hour long dispute about which of the clubs is now the bigger and what criteria should be properly used to measure the said "bigness". Maybe it's who sells the best pies or has the prettier looking stadium seats or which of the managers has the sharper hair cut. City win hands down in all three of these departments, I hasten to add, but that's by the by.
So is it any wonder that fans get upset when things do not quite go their team's way over the weekend; and is it any surprise, for that matter, if hostilities on the terraces and twitter pages spill over in offices and factories throughout the land come Monday morning? Possibly not. I for one have witnessed the aftermath of bile and fear and loathing between colleagues in the midst of a dispute about their respective teams and I have a salutary tale from the pages of Facebook concerning what happens when things are taken too far. So without further ado, here is a very public email recently generated from the Human Resources Department of a large, high profile company (which will remain nameless). A copy of this emailed document found it's unfortunate way on to the World Wide Web together with a verbatim copy of the employee exchanges that provoked it. Here it is in full.
For the Attention of All EmployeesFrom: Human Resources"We are copying these email exchanges to all Departments. The employees involved have both been summarily dismissed and the police have been notified. What follows does not represent the sorts of electronic conversations we encourage in this company, even in your lunch hours. If you really must indulge yourselves in "banter" of this nature, we suggest you do not use office software and equipment to do so. We understand that some of you feel irrationally emotional about the fortunes of your football teams, but if you feel homicidal or suicidal about how your club has fared over the weekend, please get this out of your systems before Monday morning, by either killing yourselves or killing someone else (but do not get caught and above all, do NOT bring your football frustrations to work!!!!) Here is a collated copy of the running dialogue that got the two people concerned well and truly fired.Employee 1: Dear Colleague, I see your team of talentless muppets lost again on Saturday. May I remind you that one week ago you promised to bump yourself off if they lost again this week and lo and behold, they did. So what were you even doing showing up at work today, or ever again for that matter? You are supposed to be dead, after all.Employee 2: I have scissors in my drawer and you are sitting four desks away from me. Is it really wise to be sending me emails of this nature?Employee 1: My scissors are bigger than yours and are not even standard issue. They are more like a decorator's scissors. I keep them in my personal locker just in case, along with a missile and the means to launch it and shoot down planes. Do you still want to complain about my first email?Employee 2: I will do more than complain. I will come over there and pass wind in your vicinity. In fact, maybe I'll just go totally Route 1 and sit on your head, trumping repeatedly. They will be very bad trumps. I will eat a curry beforehand and it will be a Vindaloo.Employee 1: Do you think your football team is shite because your centre forward eats loads of chocolate biscuits every night; swigs gin and is therefore a big fat dickhead? This is him:-
Employee 2: You stupid hyena-featured orangatang. That isn't even our centre forward. It is your's.
Employee 1: How can an orangutan be hyena faced? Are you really, really "special" and not in a good way? Is that why you think an orangutan can be hyena faced? We are playing you next week and it will be 28-0. People will see the score and think it was a very one-sided rugby match.
Employee 2: No, because we will put all invisible treacle on the grass and we will wear anti treacle boots but you won't because you won't know about the treacle and no one will tell you.
Employee 1: You still wouldn't beat us. This is because you are a pub team. I bet your pitch is always full of treacle. I bet you lost to your under 11's girls team when the first team trained with them last week.
Employee 2: We will all boo the referee and scream the cheat word repeatedly and for ninety minutes. One of us will run on the pitch and pull the hair of that man in black. He will be intimidated and give us two penalties.
Employee 1: Your home kit looks like a bridesmaids dress. It might as well be pink. Next season, it will be.
Employee 2: Your club will introduce tiaras to your kit next year just to fleece fans like you of more money. You will buy one and wear it in the street. You will look ridiculous without even knowing it because this is how stupid you are.
Employee 1: We have an electronic ticket admissions system. This means we are better than you
Employee 2: Your club pies are made of bat excrement and you all pay five quid for them and like it.
Employee 1: What about you people? Your tea is made with the club cat's urine and none of you have noticed this because you are all cretins.
Employee 2: All your players are ugly. Only ugly players are allowed in your team. Yet you still sing their names, which means you must fancy ugly blokes.
Employee 1: You wish you could marry your centre half even though his nose is permanently broken and he has cauliflower ears.
Employee 2: Your goalie is a cheat and will throw the ball into his own net when you play us. We will buy him a fish supper for doing so. We know him to take bribes of this nature and he is cheap. It is all arranged.
Employee 1: That won't matter because your keeper is blind and has two glass eyes. This is why we will beat you next week. No matter how many times our goalie throws the ball into his own net, it will not be enough.
Employee 2: Wow, how many incidents of a cranial nature does your left back suffer during a game? Is he in the Guinness Book of Records for this?!
Employee 1: You are so scared of us, you will spend the whole of next week's game in the toilet.
Employee 2: You will!
Employee 1: I am ringing in sick tomorrow and coming to your house and will knock it down. I have rented a wrecking ball for this purpose and a crane and I have also purchased a really big mallet from the pound shop.
Employee 2: You won't be able to because I will have already knocked yours down by tomorrow morning with you in it. Something heavy will drop on your head and you will die. Think of this as a favour to you, seeing as you are intending to ring in sick tomorrow anyway, but won't have to if I kill you. It will be like the most cunning sickie anyone ever pulled. It will be what people will remember you for.
Employee 1: I have put all stupid crap on your facebook account including this:-
Hello everyone. I am a new visitor to Employee 2's Facebook account. I work with him and he looks like the above.Employee 2: You vote Lib Dem, you do.
Employee 1: You do!
Employee 2: You like United!
Employee 1: You like liverpool!
Employee 2: If our players all got their legs voluntarily amputated, we would still beat you 10-0 away. This means our club is bigger than your club.
Employee 1: Errr, no.Employee 2: Yes, though.
Employee 1: Get knotted. Do you want me to put in a grievencce?
Employee 2: You can't even spell grievanse. Not even with a spell check, you dense-headed freak.
Employee 1: You better think about what might happen to your daughter's pet pony.Employee 2: Oh yeah? Well, this is what is going to happen to your head before you even leave work tonight.
Employee 1: You wish your hair was like David Cameron's hair.
Employee 2: I do not! You don't even have any hair. You look like Bobby Charlton, you do!
Employee 1: You know nothing about football. You think the game is played with an oval ball and you don't know what offside is. This is why you keep writing to the local newspaper complaining about linesmen cheating. The last time your poxy team got relegated, you said it was because of this when really it was because your team was utter pants.
Employee 2: Everyone thinks you're boring. You are so boring, that if a baby albatros was sat at your desk, no bugger would even notice until at least home time, if at all!. It would do more work than you as well, the albatross would.
Employee 1: Remember when you picked your phone up and the wire was all coiled up and you couldn't unravel it? It was me that did that because I knew it would take your stupid arse two hours to disentangle it.
Employee 2: When you went to the toilet just then, I poured all tipex on your chair. I see you didn't notice and have sat on it and it isn't even dry yet. Lol.! Lol! Lol! I would hate to see the back of your skirt right about now.
Employee 1: Did you steal a paper clip whilst you were at my desk putting tipex on the chair? I have noticed one is missing from the box. You might get the sack for thieving. Also, you had better check your overcoat pocket because I have put all dead kippers in it. You will totally get the sack for this if people find out because I will tell them it was you that did it just to annoy everyone because of the smell.
Employee 2: I took your lunch out of the fridge and I have eaten it. Thanks for that.
Employee 1: Thanks yourself, because I knew you would do this. You are cheap and you are always stealing peoples' lunches. I put arsenic in my sandwich this morning. I suggest you call an ambulance but it may already be too late.
Employee 1: If you do this to all our players on Friday night, we would still beat you on Saturday afternoon. This player would beat all your players put together.
Mrs I Liesalot (Human Resources Department): We are interrupting this exchange because someone has put it on Facebook. Security are on their way. Clean out your desks. You are both terminated with immediate effect. As for all those individuals who accessed our public Facebook pages, please be assured that we have closed our Facebook account to prevent the trolling activities of our competitors from going any further. Keep football away from the workplace. Some of the people out there in the world are completely psychotic and we would all do well to remember that.SignedMrs I LiesalotNovember 2014