A UK expat at a Danish accounting firm has been terminated by his employer following an incident described by one colleague as “the most excruciating four hours of [his] life”. According to reports from the Danish-language newspaper, Appelsin Ugentligt, the man accompanied his co-workers to the firm’s annual karaoke party at a Nørrebro bar last Friday night and reportedly sang the 1952 Frank Loesser-penned hit “Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen” 17 times in a row.
Colleagues of the British worker said the first rendition of the song was annoying but predictable, given that most foreigners in Denmark love the tune and are surprised that it’s not the national anthem of Denmark. However, after his third performance the mood become less tolerant and attempts were made to disconnect the microphone. The UK man interpreted his colleagues’ body language (which included at least one co-worker making a “throat slashing gesture”) as encouraging and took it as a sign to continue singing the tune for the rest of the evening. The former employee’s boss, who refused to be named, had this to say: “While I could almost bring myself to tolerate hearing the awful song 17 times, he had the nerve to keep pronouncing København as ‘cope-en-HAR-gen’. There was no doubt, he had to go.”
The firm’s HR team agreed with the manager’s views and terminated the worker’s contract after a meeting on Tuesday morning. The UK worker was apparently shocked to learn of his dismissal, although when contacted by our journalist he was extremely positive on his prospects for the future. “This has taught me a lesson,” he said “My talents clearly lie in a career on stage instead of accounting.” He then shuffled away in the direction of the nearest smørrebrød vendor, singing merrily: “And there she stands waiting for me, with a welcome so warm and so gay, wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen!”
Expats and karaoke apparently don’t mix well, with a recent case in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur also involving an expat fired after an unusual karaoke incident. In that case, a Italian national had his contract torn up after switching the karaoke microphone with his penis.