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Working hard at not killing someone

health-and-fitness Updated: Jul 17, 2011 00:09 IST
Sanchita Sharma
Sanchita Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

You could argue that Uma Thurman in canary-yellow spandex and bloodwork contributed substantially to Kill Bill grossing $70 million in the box-office, but the only reason for the Hari Sadu ad to have became such a big hit was the fact that most people love to hate their boss.

While Kill Bill was about a elite assassin out to annihilate her boss Bill who attempted to get her killed on her wedding day, the Hari Sadu ad for a online placement company showed an employee with a job offer spelling out his bosses name as “H for Hitler, A for arrogant, R for rascal, I for idiot, S for shameless...”. It’s juvenile humour at best, but if truth be told, most people would happily spell out their bosses names using more colourful words and metaphors.

Bad bosses are like bad teachers. Just as everyone’s who's been to school has had a bad teacher, everyone who’s ever had a job has had a despicable boss. Though it rarely makes it on resignation letters, several studies confirm that it is the horrible boss syndrome — and not career advancement or better salaries — is the leading reason why people quit jobs for another.

There are few studies for India, but international online show that most employees worldwide think they can do better boss-wise. A 2010 survey by Spherion Staffing Services and Monsters.com showed that more than one in three people hate their bosses. Another study by Florida State University showed that supervisors were hated because 39% bosses didn’t keep promises, 31% ignored them and 27% cribbed about them behind their backs. It’s no wonder that Bosses’ Day on October 16 is the most forgettable date on most people’s calendars.

Now director Michael Markowitz has decided to take the hate to another level by making a film on people justifying killing their bosses.

In this Dostoevyskian take on modern lives, Markowitz borrows from real-life boss murders to make Horrible Bosses, which explores what tips sane employees over to kill their boss with things as mundane as a yoga stick, which was actually used to clobber New York real estate bigwig Linda Stein to death by her assistant.

The resentful employee syndrome may not be an occupational hazard yet, but it is emerging as a bigger cause of emotional stress than personal relationships, more so because most of us spend more time at work than with your family and friends. Experts say that while most employees do little more than sulk, jokes about killing the boss dominate most smoking and coffee breaks. Which, apparently, is not a bad thing because it helps you ventilate and prevents you from actually hatching an elaborate plot to push your boss off the office terrace and make it look like suicide. Of course, on the flip side, bosses have it tougher every day.

Ever-tightening company budgets have led to underskilled cretins masquerading as employees, making them as little useful as school-dropout office errand boy. But both groups should remember that spending a say at work is a bit like swimming with the sharks, like the 1994 film with the same name about an office assistant (Frank Whaley) who breaks into his boss’s home (Kevin Spacey) and cuts him up to get his big break.

Since the end, in real-life is almost always Tihar, currently home to many former worthies, I suggest ventilating, even it’s over addictive caffeine or nicotine.