Bad bosses. We’ve all had them, we all know how they excel at making our lives needlessly uncomfortable, and we all know what we’d like to do to them given a baseball bat and 10 minutes in a soundproof room. But just be glad you don’t have one of the following as your boss, it could be a lot worse… and even downright deadly.
Miranda Priestly – The Devil Wears Prada
With a management style that borders on emotional and psychological abuse, Miranda Priestly epitomizes the ice-queen media/fashion boss. Priestly is arrogant and pushy and surrounded with fawning underlings who constantly reinforce her inflated opinion of herself. And although she is more sympathetically portrayed in the film compared to the book (we even glimpse a fleeting moment of vulnerability when she opens up about her distress over her failing marriage), she still comes off as a total b****. The film ends with the familiar story of the employee walking away from the oppressive boss, but such an ending is far from a vindication of her brutal management style.
Ari Gold – Entourage
Entourage’s Ari Gold is delightful to watch – he’s arrogant, obnoxious, and uncouth, seemingly spending most of his time storming around the office abusing his gay, Asian personal assistant, Lloyd. Among his classic quotes are: “This is what we call a bitch slap. A slap for a bitch,” ‘Just so you know, your girlfriend, when she was in the mailroom, she offered to blow me. True story,’ and (to an Asian driver who cuts him up) ‘Is that the way they drive in Tiananmen Square, b****?’ But although he might be a delight to watch, working for him might not be quite such a laugh. His staff regularly suffer racist, sexist and sexuality abuse, and he’s not averse to firing them for the slightest of misdemeanors – although his assistant Lloyd bears the brunt of Ari’s sarcastic comments, violent tantrums and ethnic and homophobic slurs, no one at the Miller-Gold agency is safe from Ari’s caustic behavior.
Alonzo Harris – Training Day
Alonzo Harris, an LAPD narcotics officer, counts among his exploits using a Chinese takeaway menu as a police warrant, murdering an informant in order to steal the proceeds of his criminal career, forcing his partner to smoke PCP, and running a ring of corrupt policeman under the flimsy excuse of ‘doing crime to stop crime’ – not really your ideal boss, then. Working for Harris would severely damage your mental and probably physical well-being, but like all evil bosses, he’ll have you right where he wants you – with PCP in your system, you’ll have to partake in all his naughty antics, or forget about being a cop.
Gordon Gekko – Wall Street
A man famous for such gems as ‘greed is good’ and ‘lunch is for wimps’, the star of 1987s Wall Street has come to epitomize the 80’s ‘loadsamoney’ culture that pervaded Wall Street and financial centers of cities around the world. And money he certainly did make – Forbes named him as one of the fifteen richest fictional characters in 2008, and the extent of his evil was only underlined when, whilst visiting the UN General Assembly, Michael Douglas (who played Gekko in Wall Street) was asked whether he ‘bore any of the responsibility for the culture of banking greed that had brought the world to its knees.’ With his slicked back hair, braces, and wicked grin, Gekko is the master of pithy ruthlessness, and although you might get seriously rich working for him, levels of fatigue and stress usually seen only in soldiers returning from combat would probably induce a massive cardiac arrest before you could enjoy it.
Michael Corleone – The Godfather
Michael does indeed possess a flair for business, but ‘business’ isn’t really the name for it when he slaughters his own brother, Fredo. As one keen blogger pointed out, it’s pretty clear that he’s becoming an ‘overzealous micro-manager’. Ask yourself, is a man who is too brutal even for the mafia, too brutal to be your boss? Well… probably, yes. He was, after all, voted 11th Most Iconic Villain of all time by the American Film Institute. Avoid at all cost.