An expletive-ridden voicemail recording, accidentally uploaded by a New Zealand cinema, is giving the nation a dose of cheer as it races to stamp out an outbreak of coronavirus.
An employee of MovieMax Cinemas in the South Island port city attempted to record a temporary closure voicemail while the region is in a level-3 lockdown, the country’s second-highest setting.
But instead of erasing his first few failed attempts, he accidentally uploaded them all, complete with his frustrated outbursts between takes.
The recording starts off well before it slides downhill: “Hello, and thank you for calling Movie Max Digital Cinemas, Timaru. We are currently closed until … ahh fuck you.”
He begins again, starting well, before stumbling and saying “Oh for fuck’s sakes”.
The third attempt ends with an exasperated “Oh fuck me”, before he finally nails it on his fourth try.
Social media has been delighting in the mistake, with many people posting about its relatability during difficult times, and voicing their support for the employee.
One woman wanted to ensure the worker did not get into trouble and emailed the cinema to say how much she enjoyed the recording.
“Literally every person screws up at work sometimes, and actually listening to this brought a lovely bit of very human humour to my day,” she wrote. “It made me laugh, and that’s not nothing in the times we live in.”
The Timaru mayor, Nigel Bowen, alerted the cinema’s owner to the recording and it was promptly updated with a politer version.
“At the moment we need a bit of lighthearted relief,” Bowen said. “Everyone is a bit cooped up with the current lockdown, so people are enjoying having a bit of a laugh.”
The cinema has been contacted for comment.