Posted by Sophie Knox on 12 September 2014
When bad bosses happen to good people, what can you do?
Apart from speaking up, recording your interactions and adapting to their behavioural style, there’s not a lot more apart from toughing it out until one of you moves on. But at least you don’t work for one of these terrible TV bosses.
Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock
Alec Baldwin plays 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy, VP of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming. Jack wields his capitalist sword around the NBC offices with a sharpness that brings employees to tears. His worst offences include having an affair with his wife Avery’s mother while Avery was being held captive in North Korea, drugging Tracy Jordan to stop him from appearing on TGS and forcing an employee to impersonate him when his domineering mother came to town.
Montgomery Burns, The Simpsons
As the villainous owner of Springfield’s Nuclear Power Plant (and Homer’s boss), Mr Burns represents a stereotype of corporate America – greedy, heartless, completely removed from reality and served by his sycophantic sidekick, Waylon Smithers. Mr Burns places the lives of his employees in constant danger and turns a blind eye to the fact that three-eyed fish are found swimming in Springfield Lake. His plotting and conniving accompany his finger-twiddling habit and whispering “excellent” at barely audible levels. He employs all kinds of sinister tactics to get what he wants.
David Brent, The Office
David Brent is the kind of boss who’d push any employee to the point of resignation. As general manager of a paper company, his self-confidence is matched only by his self-belief in his (abysmal) talents as a musician, comedian and philosopher. He’s the master of unfunny jokes, talks before he thinks, patronises all around him and comes across as snide and vindictive. A joy to have as a boss, don’t you think?
Selina Meyer, Veep
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s fictional Vice President of the United States is a doozy of a boss on Veep, HBO’s political satire. Following an unsuccessful run for President, Selina takes on the role of VP with almost no regard from fellow senators and stumbles her way around the office by throwing tantrums and foul-mouthed orders at her staff, themselves a bunch of misfits. Her ego demands that her own daughter make appointments to see her and that her right-hand man reapplies coral lipstick and hand sanitiser when necessary. She is not only vain and self-centred, but also deeply inept and constantly requiring damage control, jumping from one public gaffe to another.
Amanda Woodward, Melrose Place
Despite its reputation for cheesy one-liners and bad acting, this ’90s Aaron Spelling soapie went for seven series and earned several Golden Globe nominations. One of its main characters, Amanda Woodward (played by Heather Locklear), was nominated for four Golden Globes. Her character was so bad that she regularly crops up in TV’s “worst of all time” lists. Amanda played an advertising executive, making life hell for her protégé Allison Parker (played by Courtney Thorne-Smith) and bringing down anyone who stood in her way with merciless tactics and backstabbing behaviour.
If your boss is anything like this gruesome bunch, check out some strategies for surviving the curse of the bad boss.