Everyone has bad days now and then, but when you think about it, it’s often the same person who’s the root cause of the upset. For many people in a job, it’s their boss. While it may seem to be a bit of a cliché to complain about your boss, it’s funny how often it’s them who add stress and misery to your day rather than one of your co-workers.
Of course, in a way, that’s part of their job. They have to get the best performance out of the people they manage (the boss has their own boss to keep happy), and some people just aren’t that great at people-management. So, instead of working with you in a co-operative way, they take the high-handed approach, ordering people to deliver what they need rather than asking them nicely. They may not win many friends this way, but if they meet their targets, do they really care?
There are lots of good bosses out there, too, but it’s the characteristics of the bad ones that people have known during their careers that make good material for movies about life at work.
Bgo, the online gaming site, has taken this theme and created its own casino boss for the website. The ‘boss’ is played perfectly by Verne Troyer, the actor who played Mini-me in the Austin Powers movies. Players are challenged to ‘beat the boss’ and you’re given the impression that if the boss is beaten, he’ll take it personally! The site’s blog has recently featured a list of movies that show the hard-done-by employees getting one over their mean bosses. It’s worth a look if you want inspiration for an uplifting movie to watch after a hard day at work.
The bgo list includes movies that may not have been a big box office hit when they were released, but they’ve risen to cult movie status as so many people can identify with the characters’ difficult times that they go through at work. A prime example is Office Space (1999) which is all about the mundanity of working life. Peter Gibbons, the hero of the film, decides he’s so sick of working at big firm Initech that he’ll do all that he can to get fired. However, his insubordination has the opposite effect to what he was hoping and he ends up getting promoted. He decides to turn this unexpected development to his advantage, though, and uses his new power to make his former manager, Bill Lumbergh, suffer.
Not on the bgo list, but another film that certainly shows how much pressure a manager can put on someone is Anger Management, the 2003 comedy hit starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. Sandler plays the part of Dave Buznik, who has anger management issues thanks to being de-bagged as a kid, when he was about to give a girl his first kiss. Everyone makes Dave angry, but especially his abusive boss Frank, who always takes the credit for the hard work that Dave does.
The film is a great one to watch for anyone who ever flashes to anger. Dave spends his days getting mad over nothing, so his girlfriend decides to take extreme actions to get him to deal with his anger issues with the help of anger management consultant, Buddy Rydell, expertly played by Nicholson. During his treatment, Dave finally gets to tell his boss what he thinks of him and smashes up his office with a golf club at the same time.
It is the kind of fantasy that anyone with a domineering boss or manager might have, but never actually carry out in reality. Watching a fictionalized version of what you would like to do, though, can still cheer you up!