The dudes in Horrible Bosses have it easy. Just how bad are passive-aggressive mind games at the office and sexual harassment from a Smart Water model when weighed next to all the other heinous occupations we've seen in the collective cinematic classifieds? You could argue that it's not fair to compare a sitcom to such fantastical genre fare, but then you'd have to tell me how it's not a fantasy when none of the guys are turning in their pink slips instead of planning round robin homicide. With that out of the way, go ahead and punch your time card in for a look at some of the most heinous jobs you'll find from secluded Seahaven to the planet Vulcan, and from Garbage Dump: Earth to the "Saturn" of the after life.
5. A Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class in WALL-E
We might have all been too busy going “Awwwwww” to step back and realize that WALL-E’s got an awful, awful job. It’s not enough that he’s got an entire planet’s worth of garbage to clean up, there’s also the added indignity of being forgotten by whomever set him on the task in the first place. Anybody who’s ever read Asimov knows all too well that robots have a tragic tendency to perform a certain, useless task, ad infinitum, until somebody comes and reprograms them to do otherwise. I suppose it only just deepens the love story to realize that EVE actually frees dogged little WALL-E from his Sisyphian loop.
4. A Cutter in The Final Cut
Most likely, you haven’t heard of this movie. It’s something like the two-year-later epilogue of the “dark trilogy” of flicks Robin Williams starred in throughout ’02. Basically, when you die in the future, your family might hire an editor to pull out all the sounds and sights in your sensory memory like video files in a hard drive. Then, he’ll edit them all together into a “rememory;” a sentimental reel that plays on your tombstone in perpetuity. He sees all your dirty little secrets--everything--and it’s his job to cut the less pleasant stuff our so as to present a more flattering image of your life to posterity. It’s a job that entails having to see the worst side of humanity from a helpless, yet deeply intimate, perspective and Williams' character’s comparison of his job duties to that of a shamanistic Sin Eater really isn’t that great of a stretch. At worst, what a cutter sees on the job will make him sick to his stomach. At best, it'll make him envious a life he never lived.
3. A Starfleet Security Officers in Star Trek
A potential employer’s generally supposed to inform you of any inherent risks in a job you’re interviewing for. Seeing as how security detail on the Enterprise comes with something like a 99% fatality rate, I have a feeling that the Starfleet staff doesn’t let prospective "red shirts" know quite all the details of what they’re getting into. Indeed, if matters ever got “meta,” I’m sure most of these dudes would desert after realizing that their job’s the butt end of a thousand Trekkies' in-jokes.
2. A Round-the-Clock Actress in the Truman Show
Even the worst job’s going to offer at least some relief in its off-hours. Imagine having to be on the ball for every hour of every day, and every day of every year, then. You shill products in the kitchen, you shill products in the driveway, and all of it’s while you’re acting like you love some dude whom you just can’t stand. I guess there’s an urbane late nite rimshot to be had somewhere about that not being any different than a real marriage, but at least that comes without the added indignity of getting taped and broadcast all over the world on even your worst "fat days."
1. A Bio-Exorcist in Beetlejuice
More accurately, this isn’t the most worst job to have. Getting paid to spook hapless yuppies out of a house? If the ghost-est with the most-est heard somebody call it heinous, he'd correct them by calling it a part of the lifestyles of the rich and heinous. Or something like that. Beetlejuice likes to mix up showpiz cliches by swapping in morbid puns. Anyway, being a bio-exorcist is like getting paid to prank anonymously, and receiving an infinite box of props to work with. If you happen to be on the other end of this stick, though? Hoo boy, then it’s a job you wish never existed. This isn’t just a regular poltergeist whose ectoplasmic manifestations and bumps in the night will keep you up at all hours, either. This is a ghoul whose qualifications include diplomas from Julliard and Harvard business school, gleeful survival of the Black Plague and over 167 viewings of the Exorcist. This is an imp whose prompt appearance is only ever a few name-drops away.