No one gets through their career without encountering a boss who seems to make your working life a bit of an ordeal. But before you start planning your escape route, perhaps you should take a moment to read through our top 5 five worst fictional bosses of all time:
5. Basil Fawlty- Fawlty Towers
Tactless, misanthropic, arrogant- these are all words you could use to accurately describe Basil Fawlty. As the owner and manager of the farcical guesthouse Fawlty Towers, Basil spends most of his time intimidating his customers, beating up his clumsy Spanish waiter, Manuel, and creeping around anyone he thinks might be of any ‘importance’. When things go wrong Basil takes out his frustration on his staff, usually armed with a frying pan.
“A satisfied customer- we should have him stuffed”- Basil Fawlty on Customer Service
4. Charles Montgomery Burns- The Simpsons
Mr Burns is the antagonist in The Simpsons and is also arguably one of television’s most villainous bosses. Owner of Springfield’s Nuclear Power Plant, he takes great pleasure in tormenting the residents of Springfield. His insatiable desire for wealth, power and fortune overlooks any regard he has for health and safety or the wellbeing of his staff. Not only does he forget the names of his employees but, like an evil puppet-master, he also takes great pleasure in monitoring them via closed circuit cameras and subjecting them to gruelling labour in inhumane conditions.
“Smithers, release the hounds…”- Mr Burns on Leadership
3. Miranda Priestly- The Devil Wears Prada
The fashion industry is notoriously ruthless and when you work for tyrannical fashion editor Miranda Priestly it’s just about as bad as it gets. When she’s not pitting her staff against each other, she’s making endless, impossible demands and generally trampling over the spirits of her young, aspiring fashion journalists. If they say you need thick skin and a strong backbone to work in the fashion industry, then to endure Ms. Priestly you’d probably have to be Godzilla.
“Is there some reason that my coffee isn’t here? Has she died or something”- Miranda Priestly on People Management
2. David Brent- The Office
When it comes to worst bosses, David Brent tops the cringe-ometer. Not only is he socially inept, but he also seems to be oblivious to how his staff really see him. Brent likes to promote himself as a comedian, musician and philosopher much to the displeasure of his staff. Arguably HR’s worst nightmare, he bears an unwittingly offensive attitude, particularly towards women and ethnic minorities and has on several occasions compared himself to a cross between Jesus and MC Hammer.
“Avoid employing unlucky people – throw half of the pile of CVs in the bin without reading them”- David Brent on Recruitment
1. Darth Vader- Star Wars
Working for an Evil Galactic Overlord is a pretty stressful job, expect long hours, non-existent holiday pay, and if you were hoping for a company Imperial Star Destroyer this year you may as well forget it. When he’s not choking his staff to death, Darth Vader is annihilating entire planets so you might want to keep the fact you lost the company’s budget reports to yourself…
“When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”- Darth Vader on Career Progression