"Most people have the firsthand experience of an obnoxious, mean-spirited boss and that’s why bad bosses have been a popular subject in movies for a long time.”
The following 8 characters stand as the worst, most odious employers in movie history
- Miranda Priestly ('The Devil Wears Prada'):
Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) is more of a fearsome boss than a bad one in this movie. Her character spends much of The Devil Wears Prada humiliating and terrorizing most of her
- Bill Lumbergh (Office Space):
What’s worse than having to work for a bad boss? Having to work on weekends for a bad boss. And such a boss is personified by suspender-wearing, micromanaging Bill Lumberg (Gary Cole) in Office Space. Bill Lumbergh is the smug, obnoxious cinematic boss, who himself doesn’t do any real work, but piles on all the tasks on his subordinates who have no choice than to suffer.
- Buddy Ackerman ('Swimming with Sharks'):
Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey) is undeniably the most abusive boss in the history of cinema, as he is depicted dominating his meek assistant and constantly abusing him. There is a dialogue where Buddy slowly tells his assistant Rex, “You. Have. No. Brain.” The antagonistic dynamics between Buddy and Rex worsens and ends up with Rex kidnapping his boss and torturing his obnoxious supervisor both physically and emotionally.
- Gordon Gekko ('Wall Street'):
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is depicted as a hard-core investor who lives by the line "greed is good". He does bad things and makes it look like so much fun. But, it isn’t as fun working for this cut-throat businessman, who would expect you to sell your soul while you work under him. And if you fail to obey his rules, you don't just get fired.
While these bosses on the big screen are annoying and awful, there are plenty of supervisors in the real world who are horrible in their own right. And dealing with them makes for a unique story for every suffering professional out there.
- Darth Vader ('Star Wars'):
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Darth Vader is seen participating in several shockingly evil actions, such as the complete destruction of Princess Leia’s home planet Alderaan. Darth Vader is depicted as an impatient and merciless boss, who goes on to exterminate any underlings that fail to meet his meticulous standards. He himself doesn’t touch his miserable employees physically, but rather and uses the Force to cut off their air supply and throttling them.
- Katharine Parker ('Working Girl'):
One of the unforgivable sins of a bad boss is when they steal your good ideas, only to pass them off as their own. And this is exactly what Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) does to her secretary, Tess. What follows is the hilarious tale of how Tess seizes an opportunity to get her revenge and her boss’ job.
- Wilhelmina Slater ('Ugly Betty'):
Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) is one of the bosses who has no qualms about sabotaging, seducing and scheming her way up the corporate ladder. Be it forcing an employee to serve as a surrogate with her dead fiancé's stolen sperm or just humiliating the odd fashion choices of another subordinate, Willie is the mean boss no one deserves.
- Franklin Hart Jr. ('9 to 5'):
It’s hard to blame the trio of secretaries Judy, Violet and Doralee, as they kidnap and hold their sexist boss Franklin Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman) hostage in his own home. Hart’s absence in the office allows the three women to run the office efficiently and get what's theirs, including job-sharing benefits and flex time, which is just the perfect way to avenge an incompetent boss.
While these bosses on the big screen are annoying and awful, there are plenty of supervisors in the real world who are annoying in their own right. And dealing with them makes for a unique story for every suffering professional out there. Do any of these characters remind you of people from your work?
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