The IT department of Reynholm Industries, the fictional corporation from the hit television show The IT Crowd, has been left short-staffed this morning after one of its two technicians, Roy Trenneman, failed to show up for work.
The department head, Jen Barber, confirmed to me that Mr. Trenneman’s absence was unexpected. She said that while he had been abroad on annual leave last week, he was due back in work this morning. She stated that he had not phoned in sick, but was unable to confirm whether or not Mr. Trenneman had contacted her by email. When pressed on this, she explained that she doesn’t bother with “all that computer stuff.” She mispronounced the word ‘computer’ in a highly comical manner, putting the stress one syllable too soon. This lent an air of credibility to her statement, at the expense of her credibility as a character.
Ignoring Ms. Barber’s over-the-top attempts to seduce me, I next spoke to Mr. Maurice ‘Moss’ Moss, the third member of the IT office crowd. Mr. Moss stated that he is “darned peed off” at Mr. Trenneman’s absence from work. However, speaking in a bizarrely staccato style, he explained that most of the department’s workload was shouldered by an answering machine rigged up by Mr. Trenneman.
This automated machine plays recordings of Mr. Trenneman at fixed intervals, and anticipates the responses of the caller. I pointed out that it was highly unlikely that every caller would say the exact same things with the exact same spacing between their lines. Mr. Moss said he needed to go to the bathroom, then pretended to walk down some non-existent stairs behind his desk. He lay on the floor for ten minutes before shouting, “Jen! Is he gone yet?”
Then the well-known comedian Noel Fielding unexpectedly emerged from a closet wearing make-up. Mr. Fielding was clearly on a lot of drugs, and he’s been treading water career-wise for a while, so I gave him a wide berth.
Next, I spoke to the director of Reynholm Industries, Matt Berry. He spoke in a similarly stilted manner to Mr. Moss, but with more conviction behind his utterances. He dismissed my queries about Mr. Trenneman’s absence, preferring to speak at length about sex with women. I was keen to ask questions about his parentage, given that his late father, Chris Morris, was only 12 years older than him. He smiled, winked at the camera and told me to “take it up with Graham.” He then compared me favourably to a supermarket and tried to sell me a high-interest loan.
Reynholm Industry’s HR department confirmed that Mr. Trenneman spent last week on holiday in Iraq, but was expected back in work this morning. I later received an anonymous phonecall from a number in the London area. The caller, who refused to give their name, made some explosive claims about Mr. Trenneman. The caller said that “that big boss-eyed dunderhead made some bad internet friends.”
I queried whether making fun of people with an ocular disability was acceptable nowadays, but received no response. The caller then said that Mr. Trenneman had recently grown a “big bushy bread” and changed his name to Tez, and then “something like Hally Killy.” I asked if the caller was taking a characteristically broad swipe at the Japanese, but they yelped and hung up. When I rang the number back, I was told to turn my computer off and then on again. I complied, thinking it best to stay on the good side of my anonymous source. Unfortunately, they hung up without divulging any further information, and I lost several days’ worth of my monthly budget spreadsheets which had not been saved.