If the all is to be believed, you’re supposed to hate your job. You get up, you go to work, you do something you never wanted to do for a living, you come home, you begin to hate 40 hours (or more) out of your week a little more each day. Rinse, repeat. I am not one of those people. I thoroughly enjoy what I do for a living, and the people I work with. Mostly, I’m thankful that I don’t work at these places from the movies.
The Quick Stop, Clerks (1994)
This is how bad it was to work at the Quick Stop. Danté risked losing his job at various points in the day to attend a funeral, play hockey on the roof, and prepare for a date that was bound to leave him dejected. He also had customers throwing cigarettes at him, two stoners harassing everyone out front, and a steady stream of oddball customers on a crusade for the perfect jug of milk. No wonder the best way to while away the day was with obscure Star Wars references. Speaking of which…
The Death Star, The Star Wars trilogy
As Danté and Randall correctly pointed out in Clerks, the Death Star was a horrible place to work. Employees were at constant risk of death through no fault of their own, despite the ominous name of their place of employment. As if that wasn’t bad enough, their boss was a complete asshole with mommy issues who choked anyone who looked at him the wrong way. The benefits probably sucked, too.
The Iron Mines, North Country (2005)
Northern Minnesota may be “God’s country”, as the locals are fond of saying, but the iron range most certainly is not. Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate the value of an honest, hard day’s work. But given a choice, I’d rather not spend my day hundreds of feet below the surface digging for iron. It’s a million times worse if you’re a woman because of the way Charlize Theron’s male co-workers treated her.
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation, Alien (1979)
Weyland-Yutani believes that a dangerous, murderous alien is more important than their own employees. You may have heard of the dangers of Alaskan king crab fishing. Now imagine that the king crabs are 10 feet tall and can plant their children in your stomach to be born later at your own peril. The company that asks you to do this should at least have your back a little bit.
Initech, Office Space (1999)
There’s no better example of corporate bureaucracy run amok than the world of Initech. The company bombards employees with meaningless performance reviews, TPS reports, and zombie-like managers like Bill Lumbergh. It’s bound to drive an employee to clutch tightly to his or her Swingline stapler and beg for their own piece of cake.
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Let’s start with the workplace discrimination. If you’re over five feet tall, Willy Wonka isn’t going to hire you. Throughout the day, you must handle seemingly delicious materials that are actually hazardous. The cherry on the crappy job sundae is that you have to sing ridiculous songs intermittently several times a day for your boss, who belongs in a straitjacket.
Mordor, The Lord of the Rings trilogy
It’s hard enough to deal with backstabbing co-workers. But knowing that those co-workers would literally stab you in the back, and then eat your corpse, is all too much to handle. That’s to say nothing of the fact that there are no female co-workers and you have to work around fire all day. OSHA would have a field day with Mordor.
Shenanigan’s restaurant, Waiting… (2005)
Waiting… took a bit of a beating with critics, but it rings true in at least one regard. Working in the chain restaurant industry is one of the most soul-sucking jobs on earth.
Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Simpsons (2007)
Notable safety violations that have been seen include luminous rats in the bowels of the building, pipes and drums leaking radioactive waste, the disposal of waste in a children’s playground, plutonium used as a paperweight, cracked cooling towers (fixed in one episode using a piece of chewing gum), skeletons in the basement, dangerously high Geiger counter readings around the perimeter of the plant, flashing red alert signs being ignored by employees, the creation of a mutant subspecies of three-eyed fish and a horrific giant spider. The Emergency Exits are simply painted on. Enough said?
Runway Magazine, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Demanding boss? Check. Asked to dress expensively and lose weight? Check. Being told your stupid 100 times a day? Double check. I don’t think there is anyplace worse to work than Runway magazine. While we all think our bosses are demanding, nothing compares to Miranda Priestly.