Horrible bosses. Most of us have endured one or two in our careers and they can reduce a grown man to tears. I once worked as a researcher on a well-known travel show and my bosses (the producers and the so-called talent) were so despotic, I'd go home to the missus weeping, vowing never to work with "television people" ever again.
So it's little surprise that bad bosses make great fodder for screenwriters. These are the characters we love to hate and we cheer when they get their comeuppance.
It was ignorance, rather than malice, that fostered Brent's sexism, racism and insensitivity.
Here are the top 10 horrible bosses from the silver screen and TV.
Kerry Packer (Howzat!)
While it has to be said that media mogul Kerry Packer must have had some good qualities as a boss (his helicopter pilot liked the big man so much he gave him a kidney), the Packer portrayed in the Nine mini-series about the advent of World Series Cricket was an arrogant, ranting, foul-mouthed bully who regularly reduced his downtrodden PA to tears.
David Brent (The Office)
Perhaps not so much horrible, as totally and utterly socially inept. With Brent, comedian Ricky Gervias changed the way we looked at office politics forever. It was ignorance, rather than malice, that fostered Brent's sexism, racism and insensitivity. Much of the humour came from watching him try to back-pedal out of situations he created for himself.
Gordon Gekko (Wall Street)
The corporate raider who immortalised the phrase "greed is good" and convinced a generation of young aspiring men to wear braces and slicked-back hair, was worth around $8.5 billion. He made most of his dosh by insider trading, something he compelled his young protege Bud Fox to partake in. Not a nice bloke at all.
John Tuld (Margin Call)
If you want to know what sort of greedy unscrupulous scumbags dragged the world into the global financial crisis of 2008, look no further than John Tuld, the CEO of a fictional investment bank that could easily be Goldman Sachs.
Gus Fring (Breaking Bad)
He might have been a lovely boss at Los Pollos Hemanos, his fast food restaurant chain, but in his real career as the biggest methamphetamine distributor in the US south-west, Fring was the scariest boss on the planet. Sure, the pay is good, but you're liable to end up dead, along with your entire family.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Full Metal Jacket)
Imagine turning up to the office and the boss calls you a slimy (expletive) walrus-looking piece of (expletive). Then he makes you choke yourself with his hand. That's the kind of punishment US Marine Corp recruits have to put up with on a daily basis from their bellowing drill instructor. Eventually one of the recruits loses his mind and shoots Hartman dead. Nobody could say he didn't have it coming.
Dr Julia Harris (Horrible Bosses)
Some blokes might not complain about being sexually harassed by their boss if she looks like Jennifer Aniston, but dental assistant Dale Arbus has had enough. In fact his boss's sexual aggression has become so tiresome, he resolves to kill her.
Hilly Holbrook (The Help)
Everybody cheers when maid Minny feeds her boss a chocolate pie made from faeces. That's because Hilly Holbrook is an ignorant racist snob who treats her maid like a second-class citizen and fires her for using the bathroom during a raging storm.
Ari Gold (Entourage)
The Hollywood entertainment agent's quotes are so vitriolic, there's even a website dedicated to them (www.arigoldquotes.com). And with gems like, "speak or I'll cut out your tongue and feed it to my son's lizard", it's little wonder that working for Ari is like walking on egg shells. You just never know when he's gonna crack.
Montgomery Burns (The Simpsons)
Cross him, and he'll release the hounds. Monty Burns is the despotic owner of Springfield's nuclear power plant. He keeps tab on all his employees via CCTV, greets them using index cards (because he can never remember their names) and uses his considerable power and influence to blackmail and bribe the town's officials. Nobody shed a tear when Maggie shot him.
Which TV or movie bosses do you think deserve to make the list?