Truth is nicer than fiction
A horrible film is generating a lame debate
HORRIBLE bosses come in many flavours.
There are psychopaths, bullies and prats.
Incompetent bosses are irksome,too.
The bosses at New Line Cinema are not incompetent, in that their films make money, but they are still villains.
For “Horrible Bosses”, their latest offering, is a crime against art and common sense.
The viewer is expected to believe that being propositioned by Jennifer Aniston is so traumatic that it would drive a man to plot her murder.
Kevin Spacey plays a more convincing psychoboss. But his talents are wasted on a lame script.
To make matters worse, the film has inspired a torrent of management drivel.
OfficeTeam, a recruiter, warns of “Horrible Boss Syndrome”, which “can have serious implications” for morale.
An American survey finds that 46% of employees have worked for an unreasonable boss at some point.
Nell Minow, a critic, says the film reflects “the bitterness of the post-meltdown era”.
All this fuss suggests, not that bosses are growing more horrible, but that employees expect them to be more agreeable.
Laws ban discrimination, the internet allows people to air their complaints and the prevailing management culture emphasises sensitivity.
The monsters of the past knew no such checks.
John Henry Patterson, who founded the National Cash Register Company in 1884, would set the desks of inept employees on fire.
To find similarly forceful bosses today, one must look East.
When Zhang Ruimin took over Haier, a Chinese white-goods company, in 1984, he smashed one of the company’s products to pieces with a sledgehammer to show what he thought of its quality.
Hollywood could use a few bosses like Mr Zhang.
After a long debate, the house of commons approved the bill.
He got drunk and made a complete prat of himself.
She always speaks irksome complaints.
The company cleaned out the incompetent workers.
He was acquitted of the crime.