Have you ever had a really bad day at work because your boss demanded you stay late without pay — just so he can go off and party on his yacht with his twenty mistresses? Has he unjustly reprimanded you because of a mistake that was very clearly not your fault? Has he ever insulted you right to your face, knowing full well that you can’t do anything about it for fear of getting canned in these tumultuous times of economic uncertainty? Why am I asking — of course the answer is yes! You may think that no one could be worse than your boss, but the following ten examples prove that it could be worse. Here is an unpleasant set of supervisors who, quite possibly, have been spewed from the tenth level of Hell.
10. The Boss (Clerks)
A terrible boss is the kind who fobs off his duties onto his underlings, and the faceless owner of Quick Stop Groceries and RST Video has this duplicitous activity down to a science. If you happen to work at the block of stores, your life will no longer belong to you. Any plans you have outside the store are insignificant. When the boss calls you he will have your man-marbles in a mason jar. He’ll tell you to come in on your day off. He will dupe you into accepting by assuring you that he will relieve you after a few hours so you can go do what you need to do. Then he will bolt to some far-gone location without telling anyone, and leave you to the wolves of consumerism. Fortunately, thanks to Randal Graves, justice is served when the store burns down.
9. Captain Murphy (SeaLab 2021)
You would think that a government-funded trillion-dollar underwater marine research facility would at least be run by someone who displays signs of total competence. Well, not only does Captain Murphy lack the proper characteristics which his position so desperately requires, but there is sufficient evidence to prove that Captain Murphy may be legally insane! Captain Murphy has led the crew of SeaLab down many a dire path, many of which have resulted in SeaLab getting blown up on multiple occasions. In the two and a half years he has been in command of SeaLab, he has led communist uprisings. He has become an accessory to murder to pay off his bulbous credit card debt. He critically injures his science officer (amongst others) as a birthday prank. He has even removed essential components of SeaLab’s life support to enhance his feng shui. So, be warned: if he’s your captain, switch to SpaceLab.
8. Dr. Clayton Forrester and Pearl Forrester (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
It doesn’t seem like a bad gig on paper: work with a man of science by assisting him with his experiments. Agreeing means going into space and doing nothing more than watching movies. Well, if the scientist in question is Dr. Clayton Forrester, then you might want to read the contract because what he isn’t telling you is that you will be a lab rat who will be marooned in space indefinitely, and those movies you’ll get to watch are some of the worst movies ever made. You will forced by Dr. Forrester to watch these films so he can see which of them will drive you off the deep end. It’s bad enough with Dr. Forrester, but when his mother Pearl takes over the experiment, things take a turn for the worse. You see, Pearl is a bona fide sadist. Bad movies aside, she will perform grotesque experiments on you just for sake of seeing you twitch. Then again, if you’ve worked at Blockbuster for more than a year, being forced to watch bad movies will be a breeze.
7. Sarge (Red vs. Blue)
There is nothing worse than being stationed in one of the most boring outposts in the galaxy in a bland canyon and being caught in the middle of a battle that no one really knows why they’re fighting in to begin with… all the while being bossed around by a tough-as-nails, guns-n-glory commanding officer like Sarge. Sarge is clearly overcompensating for something but, ironically, not the sort of things you expect a war monger like him would be compensating for. He demands the best weaponry, and the best hardware, just to have them for when the time comes that every Blue comes to Blood Gulch to eradicate every Red in sight. Unfortunately, no one really cares about Blood Gulch, and the poor schmucks on the Red side are stuck taking ridiculous orders from a militaristic numbskull who seems to have an inexplicable bloodlust towards Grif.
6. Les Grossman (Tropic Thunder)
Producing big movies with A-list stars is a cutthroat business, and Les Grossman has absolutely no problem getting some mileage out of his knife collection. Grossman is a egomaniacal demigod in the Hollywood establishment who has lost any trace of humanity that could potentially be found. He feels that constant abuse, both verbal and physical, is all you need to get results in the movie business. But his gruesome tactics don’t end there; his negotiating skills with terrorist leaders bear a strong resemblance to his handling of inept directors and over-eager talent agents — specifically, assaulting the victim with a slew of obscenities that range from the bizarre to the confounding. Grossman also can be exceptionally ruthless when it comes to crisis situations. If an actor in one of his films is in mortal danger, Grossman will only opt to save him or her based on their current box office draw. They say that if you want to succeed in Hollywood you’ve gotta play the game. Well, all Les Grossman can do is play the game, and no one would dare challenge him.
5. Dr. Bob Kelso (Scrubs)
If this man ever smiles you know that it doesn’t mean anything good is in store for you. Usually it means that you screwed up on your rounds, or he is about to tell you that he won’t spare the funds necessary for top of the line equipment. Then again, Kelso might just be smiling at your misfortunes in general. Dr. Kelso is the Chief of Sacred Heart Hospital and, though the hospital functions pretty well, it still doesn’t change the fact that he is a penny-pinching, livelihood-crushing sadist who thrives on the fear he breeds in his underlings. Don’t even try to ask him for a new MRI scanner when he isn’t in a good mood. Odds are he will lay you out, and I’m not talking about in JD’s wacky imagination. I mean that literally. If you’re starting out at Sacred Heart as an intern you better study up the night before, because Kelso will be quick to point out your shortcomings as a doctor, putting them on display for everyone to heckle.
4. Darth Vader (Star Wars)
If ever you need someone to enforce the whole “keeping religious jargon out of the office” principle out of the workplace, Vader is your man. No one likes having their beliefs be described as “sorceror’s ways.” It tends to show a lack of respect, especially if it’s the beliefs of the dark lord of the Sith. Know this, piss Vader off, and he will close your windpipe from across the room. Then again, you really can’t have much sympathy. Any moron who is willing to antagonize a 6-foot-7 goliath like Vader deserves a stern reprimanding. Of course, threatening to kill him may be a bit excessive. Then again, Vader has never been known for his restraint. When Vader walks into the office he’d better not catch you playing paper football, or using his isolation chamber to stamp Vader helmets on menial droids to create battle bots. You see, his disciplinary measures are extremely strict. They are of the “Don’t screw up or I’ll F&^%ing kill you” variety. Yeesh, I’d hate to see what the Empire’s retirement package is like.
3. Charles Montgomery Burns (The Simpsons)
Of those who have the monopoly on the “Rich, Evil, Old White Guy” set, there is no one who has more hotels on Park Place than nuclear power plant owner C. Montgomery Burns. Burns is one of a dying breed — ironically, a breed that has a hard time dying. He is a bitter old fart who runs a nuclear power plant with a sort of archaic mentality that tells him that the old principles of the upper class are still acceptable sorts of behavior. He will cut corners on nuclear safety measures. He will devise moneymaking schemes which, seventy years ago, would have been deemed “patriotic.” People have made many attempts to set him straight, but this usually results in the timely drop down a trap door, or a traditional releasing of the hounds. As a boss, Mr. Burns is totally devoid of any savvy in the realm of employee/supervisor relations. He fails to realize that employee respect is not gained when you call them derogatory names which lower them to the level of ants.
2. Bill Lumbergh (Office Space)
Lumbergh has been described by his employees as “All that is soulless and wrong.” What’s frightening is that the statement is not an overexaggeration! If ever there were a boss that enjoyed his position a bit too much, it would be Bill Lumbergh. He thrives on the power he has over his subordinates — the ability to get his employees to come in to work on their day off, and do so simply because he can. Lumbergh gains power through his ability to keep his employees pounded into submission, gained through subtle intimidation and a seemingly deliberate knack to never listen to his employee’s troubles. Beneath that calm demeanor and monotone voice is a true minion of the devil who thrives in bringing little bits of Hell to Earth through the workplace.
1. John Milton (The Devil’s Advocate)
Speaking of Hell on Earth, who better to cap off our list of bosses from Hell than a boss who actually IS from Hell? John Milton is the head of a powerful law firm. If you show considerable aptitude as an attorney, he will seduce you with the promise of money, fame, and power. He will appeal to base desires: a stable income, a penthouse in the city, and the ability to make decisions that make peoples lives or destroy them. Milton knows that the best way to lure people into service is to appeal to the most dangerous sin of all… Vanity. Once you succumb to that, you will realize far too late that you are practically in the pocket of the Devil himself. Milton knows and understands how to manipulate the dark side of human nature, and he will use his skills to achieve his own monstrous goals.