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The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager Brent as they continue their daily lives.
[repeated line] Michael Scott: That's what *she* said.
Tim: The people you work with are people you were just thrown together with. I mean, you don't know them, it wasn't your choice. And yet you spend more time with them than you do your friends or your family. But probably all you have in common is the fact that you walk around on the same bit of carpet for eight hours a day.
Tim: No I don't talk about my love life for a very good reason, and that reason is I don't have one. Which is very good news for the ladies-I am still available. I'm a heck of a catch, cos, er well look at it. I live in Slough, in a lovely house, with my parents. I have my own room, which I've had since yep, since I was born. That's seen a lot of action I tell you. Mainly dusting. I went to university for a year as well, before I dropped out, so I'm a quitter. So, er, form an orderly queue ladies.
Gareth: My dad, for example, he's not as cosmopolitan or as educated as me and it can be embarrasing you know. He doesn't understand all the new trendy words - like he'll say "poofs" instead of "gays", "birds" instead of "women", "darkies" instead of "coloureds".
Gareth: That's one reason why gays shouldn't be allowed into the army. Because if we're in battle, is he going to be looking at the enemy, or is he going to be looking at me and going "Ooh. He looks tasty in his uniform". And I'm not homophobic, all right? Come round, look at my CDs. You'll see Queen, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys. They're all bummers.
[Gareth's phone rings. He puts it on Speaker] Gareth: Gareth Keenan. Hello. Ange: Hi baby. It's Ange. [Tim, Dawn and Rachel all look up, alarmed to hear a woman's voice] Gareth: [embarrassed] All right. Ange: Are you coming round tonight? Gareth: I can't I'm going up Chasers with the lads. Ange: Oh come round first. We'll have a bit of time together. Gareth: All right. Ange: Have some fun. Gareth: Yep. Okay. Ange: Are you going to bring the toys again? [Gareth embarrased, hurriedly picks the phone up] Gareth: Erm, Yeah... okay... yeah... look forward to... doing it to you too. All right, bye. [Gareth puts the phone down. There is a stunned silence] Tim: The Toys? Gareth: Shut up. Tim: What are the toys? Is it Buckaroo? It's not Boggle is it? Gareth: Shut up. Tim: If it's Kerplunk I'm coming round. Gareth: It was a private phone call, so... Tim: Well, don't put it on speakerphone then Gareth. [turns round to talk to Rachel] Tim: Yeah the Jolly Farmer sounds good... [turns back to Gareth] Tim: Is it Hungry Hippos?
David Brent: You just have to accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue.
David Brent: Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous! No - purely social. I know someone who is an alchoholic and it is no laughing matter - particularly for his wife. And she's got alopecia. So... not a happy homelife.
Gareth: All right then Einstein if you're so clever, what am I thinking about now? Tim: You're thinking how could I kill a tiger armed only with a biro? Gareth: No. Tim: You're thinking if I crash land in the jungle can I survive by eating my own shoes? Gareth: No and no you can't. Tim: What are you thinking Gareth? Gareth: "I was thinking will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster then a shark?
David Brent: A philosopher once wrote you need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship, two, a decent job of work, and three, to make a difference. And it was always that third one that stressed me, to make a difference. And I realise that I do. Every day, we all do. It's how we interact, with our fellow man. Peter: How would you like to be remembered? David Brent: Simply, as, the man who put a smile on the face of all who he met.
David Brent: Don't assume. It makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me".
Tim: It's like an alarm clock's gone off, and I've just got to get away. I think it was John Lennon who said: "Life is what happens when you're making other plans.", and that's how I feel. Although he also said: "I am the Walrus I am the eggman" so I don't know what to believe.
Tim: If you look at life like rolling a dice, then my situation now, as it stands - yeah, it may only be a 3. If I jack that in now, go for something bigger and better, yeah, I could easily roll a six - no problem, I could roll a 6... I could also roll a 1. OK? So, I think sometimes... Just leave the dice alone.
David Brent: I don't look upon this like it's the end, I look upon it like it's moving on you know. It's almost like my work here's done. I can't imagine Jesus going 'Oh, I've told a few people in Bethlehem I'm the son of God, can I just stay here with Mum and Dad now?' No. You gotta move on. You gotta spread the word. You gotta go to Nazareth, please. And that's, very much like... me. My world does not end within these four walls, Slough's a big place. And when I've finished with Slough, there's Reading, Aldershot, Bracknell, you know I've got to-Didcott, Yately. You know. My-Winersh, Taplow. Because I am my own boss, I can-Burfield. I can wake up one morning and go 'Ooh, I don't feel like working today, can I just stay in bed?' 'Ooh, don't know, better ask the boss.' 'David can I stay in bed all day?' 'Yes you can David.' Both me, that's not me in bed with another bloke called David.
Chris Finch: So I get there, she's aged 19, Ferrari chassis, fantastic set of shelves and legs up to her arse. Muchos tequilas later I'm in a cab with her.
David Brent: There are limits to my comedy. There are things that I'll never laugh at. The handicapped. Because there's nothing funny about them. Or any deformity. It's like when you see someone look at a little handicapped and go 'ooh, look at him, he's not able-bodied. I am, I'm prejudiced.' Yeah, well, at least the little handicapped fella is able-minded. Unless he's not, it's difficult to tell with the wheelchair ones.
David Brent: Some people are intimidated when talking to large numbers of people in an entertaining way. Not me.
[repeated line] David Brent: So that's...
Gareth: I'm not homophobic, all right? Come around, look at my C.D collection. You'll find Queen, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys. They're all bummers.
Gareth: If you like Top Trumps, you should come to me. I've got about five different sets. Don't try to beat me at Monster Trucks, though, 'cos you won't. My speciality. Rachel: Yeah, it's a game of chance though, isn't it? It's what you... Gareth: No, it's not. I would know what cards you've got immediately just through what cards I've got. I used to play it by myself, with a dummy hand just testing out every different scenario of which cards would beat which other cards for hours, sometimes three or four at a time. But put in the work, the rewards are obvious. So I'd know exactly what card you've got in your hand from what cards I've got and I would know, probability wise, exactly what feature to pick on my card to defeat, statistically, any card that you could have in your hand at that precise moment. You will never win. [pause] Gareth: Could still be fun, though.
Gareth: You're so immature. Tim: [Making a phone call] Oh Gareth, If there is one thing that I am not, it is immature. Gareth: You are an immature little tosser. [Gareth's Mobile rings he answers it] Gareth: Gareth Keenan. Tim: [Childishly into his phone] Cock. [Gareth slams his mobile down]
David Brent: The reason I put "If it's in you, I'll find it" is, if I waste good time and money looking for it, and see it's definitely not in you, I don't wanna be sued 'cos you haven't got it, so, you know, not gonna get me on that.
David Brent: Is this why you're around all the time? Keeping tabs on me? I don't need a babysitter, you know, so... Neil Godwin: Well, with respect David, I think you do.
Neil Godwin: I don't let anyone talk to me the way you just did - not my staff, not my boss, no one - certainly not you.
Dawn: A real relationship isn't like a fairy tale, if you think that for the next forty years, every time you see each other you're going to glow, or, every time you hold hands there's going to be electricity, then, you're kidding yourself really. What about reliability, or er, someone paying the mortgage, or someone who's never been out of work. Those are the more important, practical things, you know. In reality.
David Brent: How old would you say I was, if you didn't know me? Employee: Forty? David Brent: No, how old do you think I look? Employee: Ummm... thirty-nine? David Brent: Most people think I look about thirty. Employee: Definitely not. David Brent: Oh, are you calling them liars? How old do YOU think I look? Oliver: Between thirty and forty? David Brent: Yes. More honest.
Gareth: Well, I'm glad we had this little chat. I don't want you to think of me as your boss... Donna: Well, you're not. Gareth: Well, I'm higher up than you, so I am. What I'm saying is, don't think of me as a boss, but know that I am. Donna: I don't think you are. Gareth: [getting really defensive] Well, I'm team leader, so I am. I'm higher up than you.
Dawn: I'd be lying if I said my life had turned out exactly as I'd expected. My old school recently had a reunion, which I didn't go to, but one girl in my class it turns out, right, she is now running her own Internet auction website, making a fortune, and is happily married to a marine biologist. She used to eat chalk.
Gareth: Yes, I've had office romances. Not here. At another place I worked at. Good-looking ones, as well. But they're not a good idea, office romances. It's like shitting on your own doorstep. I've had loads of offers here, but I go 'no way, distracting'. And that's actually one of the major arguments against letting gay men into the army. And I haven't got a problem with that, right. A gay man's not gonna put me off, I can look after myself. But if you're in battle is he gonna be looking at the enemy or at me, going "Ooh... he looks tasty in his uniform"
David Brent: Let's agree to disagree. Neil Godwin: No. Let's agree that you agree with me.
Gareth: I can read women. You've got to know their wants and their needs. And that can be anything from making sure she's got enough money to buy groceries each week to making sure she's gratified sexually after intercourse.
David Brent: When people say to me: would you rather be thought of as a funny man or a great boss? My answer's always the same, to me, they're not mutually exclusive.
David Brent: People see me, and they see the suit, and they go: "you're not fooling anyone", they know I'm rock and roll through and through. But you know that old thing, live fast, die young? Not my way. Live fast, sure, live too bloody fast sometimes, but die young? Die old. That's the way- not orthodox, I don't live by "the rules" you know. And if there's one other person who's influenced me in that way I think, someone who is a maverick, someone who does that to the system, then, it's Ian Botham. Because Beefy will happily say "that's what I think of your selection policy, yes I've hit the odd copper, yes I've enjoyed the old dooby, but will you piss off and leave me alone, I'm walking to John O'Groats for some spastics."
Gareth: We go there every Wednesday night, and it's a fun place, but it's full of loose women. My own problem with that is venereal disease, which is disabilitating right, especially for a soldier. And it's irresponsible to the rest of your unit as well, right. You've been under attack for days, there's a soldier down, he's wounded, gangrene's setting in, 'who's used all the penicillin?' 'Oh, Mark Paxon sir, he's got knobrot off some tart'
David Brent: Trust, encouragement, reward, loyalty... satisfaction. That's what I'm... you know. Trust people and they'll be true to you. Treat them greatly, and they will show themselves to be great.
David Brent: I gave a speech only this morning to my staff assuring them that there would not be cutbacks at this branch and there certainly wouldn't be redundancies, so... Jennifer Taylor-Clark: Well, why on Earth would you do that? David Brent: Why? Oh, don't know. A little word I think's important in management called morale. Jennifer Taylor-Clark: Well, surely it's going to be worse for morale in the long run when there ARE redundancies and you've told people that there won't be. [pause] David Brent: They won't remember.
Gareth: Condoms come in all different flavours nowadays. There's strawberry and curry and that. Do you like curry?
David Brent: They're malleable, and you know that's what I like really, you know. I don't like people who come here: 'Ooh, we did it this way, we did it that way'. I just wanna go do it this way. If you like. If you don't... Team playing-I call it team individuality, it's a new, it's like a management style. Again guilty, unorthodox, sue me.
David Brent: I don't live by "The Rules" you know, and if there's one person who has influenced me in that way of thinking, someone who is a maverick, someone who does 'that' to the system then it's Ian Botham.