Let’s face it, you and your boss are probably never going to be best friends, but at least they aren’t one of these horrible bosses. In honor of the return of Men at Work on TBS (Wednesdays 10/9c), these are the 10 TV and movie bosses you most definitely would never want to work for.
Remember that annoying kid from high school or that roommate who could never take the hint that you didn’t want to hang out with him? Now imagine that kid is your boss. That’s Michael Scott. He’s awkward, he’s incompetent, and worst of all, he think you’re best friends. It’s an impossible situation to be in. The guy sucks, but he’s your boss so you can’t exactly walk away. You have to fake a smile and laugh at his bad jokes and take his idiotic advice until one of you quits or is fired, or you suffer a debilitating stroke from having to put up with him for years. Eight hours of Michael Scott, every day. Good Lord.
Work is stressful enough without having to worry that your evil boss is going to lose his shit one day and try to block out the sun or sell you to some Germans. There’s a reason that Homer was so easily able to accept Hank Scorpio as a boss even though he was a Bond supervillain, and that’s because Mr. Burns is even more despicable. When you prefer a dude who’s probably responsible for mass genocide to your current bastard of a boss, you know it’s time to freshen up your resume.
Ari is that boss who will just ride you into the dirt and then stomp on what’s left of your bones until there’s nothing but ash and sadness. He doesn’t care about what you have going on in your life because you’re just a disposable whipping boy, someone for him to berate whenever things aren’t going well – or even when they are. He’s completely unreasonable, he’s ungrateful, and you’re probably going to have to do something hideously awful at 3AM after he calls you with an emergency involving a hamster, cocaine and a giant jar of lube.
Work is hard enough without a boss actively undermining you at every turn just because it will save her a few bucks. Of course, that describes the average corporate mission statement these days, so I’m sure you can relate. Rachel Phelps is the ultimate embodiment of that grotesque ideal. She’ll destroy careers, ruin lives, break up families, anything, so long as it means she can trade in her already million dollar palace for a slightly better palace with its own cabana in Miami. Plus, she’ll break into the locker room and insult your junk, and nobody needs that.
Professor Farnsworth represents two of the worst types of bosses all in one ancient package – one, he’s completely lost his mind and forgets everything, but you still have to do what he says and pretend that he’s right all the time, and two, he doesn’t give a damn about your well-being and will think nothing of sending you on some insane expedition that will end up with you getting eaten by some monstrous alien or kidnapped by giant Amazons. Either one is not something you ever want to have to deal with. Put them together and you have an impossible situation that only a robot, a mutant, a pizza delivery boy from 1,000 years in the past and a weird crab man can endure, and I don’t think you’re any one of those.
Don Draper turns the employer/employee relationship into something more akin to some hideous Freudian case study. He’s a master manipulator, even if he doesn’t mean to be, and you’ll find yourself destroying your own will and sanity just to get one tiny compliment from him. But he’ll never give it to you, and after years and years, you’ll just find yourself sitting alone in a dark room, drinking and wondering why daddy doesn’t love you. You’re an ant to him, a nobody, and the human psyche just can’t handle that shit. Plus, he’ll probably try to have sex with you at some point, and you’re no home-wrecker.
Come on, the dude’s name is Scrooge. This is the dude to whom all other bad bosses are compared. He’s the OG of shitty bosses. He’s selfish, he’s greedy, and he’ll probably try to pay you in buttons and some left over bread he found in the dumpster behind the office. Forget about time off, even on holidays, and if your kid is sick, well, tough luck, pal, crunch those numbers or you’re fired. Sure, that’s probably only a slightly exaggerated version of your current boss, but at least your boss probably doesn’t show up raving about ghosts every Christmas. Or maybe he does. Those Jesus freaks do get pretty worked up that time of year.
Bill Lumbergh is the epitome of that passive-aggressive jackass who will just wear you down until one day you snap and set fire to the whole place. He speaks in that obnoxious corporate language and everything he does feels like it’s put through some inane bureaucratic matrix designed to see how much productivity he can get out of you while treating you as poorly as possible. The worst part is that it’s not obvious. There’s nothing you can concretely put your finger on to complain about because he’s so mastered the art of passive-aggression. He’ll take and take and take and he won’t stop until you finally snap. And then you’ll either end up fired or in federal pound me in the ass prison.
All the bosses in Horrible Bosses were bad – obviously – but Kevin Spacey’s Dave Harken would be the worst to work for. I mean, would it really be that bad working for a boss who looked like Jennifer Aniston who just wanted to bang you all the time? And come on, even though Colin Farrell’s character was a cokehead, at least you could just let him get high all day and hang out in strip clubs while you do your job. But Dave Harken will just ruin you. He doesn’t care about you, and he’ll get you to do absurd things and work yourself to death all by dangling a carrot at the end of a rope that he never intends on actually letting you eat. Instead, he’ll just eat it himself, take all the rewards, openly treat you like garbage – and then he’ll do it all over again. And you have to take it because he’s the boss.
Say what you will about the other bosses on this list, but at least they never purposefully destroyed their best employee’s life just to win a $1 bet. It’s just a good thing there aren’t any real bosses like this in the world, rigging the stock market, pissing away people’s savings, destroying the economy for their own good… oh. Oh, I see. But hey, after your life is ruined, at least you’ll get to meet a nice hooker with fantastic boobs, which in the 21st century is about the best retirement plan any of us can hope for. And it’s all thanks to horrible bosses like these.