Jillian Gile is a guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on the subject of vocational schools for the Guide to Career Education.
We've all played the "I have the worst boss" game. For some of us it takes the shape of a drinking game, for others it's more of daily chorus we greet friends and family with. Somewhere along the line, TV producers got the ideas that all these "worst boss" stories floating around would make for great TV shows. Here are the top five worst TV bosses who were surely designed to make you sure your boss isn't the worst in the entire world.
1. Michael Scott, Dunder-Mifflin (The Office)
How could Michael Scott of The Office not come in first on the TV's worst bosses list? He is racist, sexist, and just plain annoying. The story behind his rise to regional manager is fuzzy, but viewers have to assume it was some sort of gaffe on the part of corporate. Even though he routinely embarrasses himself, wastes time, and remains stuck in the past, he has kept his post because his office's sales records are the best. Rumor has it that Steve Carell, who plays Michael Scott, is set to leave the show at the end of this season, and we all hope this just a terrible rumor to make us appreciate this horrible boss more.
2. Mr. Burns, Springfield Nuclear Power Plant (The Simpsons)
Mr. Burns is not your average evil business owner. He flaunts his money, ignores environmental complaints (mostly from the town's tiniest activist, Lisa Simpson), and values profit over people. He takes the evil to a new level, of course, by exploiting his workers in order to extend his seemingly immortal lifespan or, of course, make a buck. On top of that, even though he's made millions, it obviously wasn't through great leadership, as most episodes have Homer goofing off at work, playing hooky, or making huge mistakes that always go overlooked.
3. George Bluth Sr., Bluth Company (Arrested Development)
This sitcom hasn't been on TV for a few years now, but the abysmal leadership of patriarch George Bluth puts him at number three on this list. In the very first episode, George Bluth was sent to prison for defrauding investors and other unnamed charges. And though he spends most of the series in the orange prison jumpsuit, he continues to undermine his employees (most notably his son, the new CEO) and make shady business deals from behind bars. While his dealings never did bring the company to its knees, perhaps if we'd more than three seasons of this great show, we could have seen how terrible George Sr. really was.
4. Gordon Ramsay (Hell's Kitchen)
Hell's Kitchen is marketed as a reality show, but we can only hope that Gordon Ramsay's character is played up for the TV characters. He screams at the cooks competing in his kitchen, and we can only imagine what made these chefs want to work for him in the first place. He has been known to throw things, get literally spitting angry, and otherwise be a terrible boss. He needs both anger management lessons and a crash course in how to be an effective leader (hint: it does not involve 80 decibels and throbbing veins in your temple).
5. Louie DePalma, Sunshine Cab Company (Taxi)
An oldie but a goody, no list of terrible bosses could be complete without this boss from the 1970's TV show. Louie was possibly the sleaziest boss to ever be shown on television (played to the hilt by Danny DeVito). He sexually harasses his female drivers, patently doesn't care about the safety of his drivers or cabs, and hurls insults from the safety of a dispatch cage. He was the boss everyone loved to hate.