by David Christopher Bell
Forget Weyland-Yutani or Initech; statistically speaking they are fine places to work. Hell, you think Cyberdyne didn’t have a stellar employee benefits package, or at least decent break rooms? Sure – everyone dies, but day-to-day it’s not that terrible.
In the movie world, there are far worse jobs out there.
These are places that – from one day to the next – level out as the worst possible places to be employed.
10. Wayne Enterprises in The Dark Knight Trilogy
Three words – zero job security. Wayne Enterprises fluctuates from “golden vision of the future” to “oh my god our CEO just vanished” to “everybody is a prisoner because we decided to build a giant bomb.”
While the big boys upstairs stay relatively intact (despite becoming hostages in the third film), most employees have to watch as their company slowly dies under the helm of a rich playboy who drunkenly burnt down his house.
9. Ingen in Jurassic Park
When you take into account that in the first film most of the company has left the island before everything goes to hell, Ingen isn’t the worst company to deal with statistically. On a corporate level it’s probably fine, and the only people who tend to get hurt are the ones hired specifically to capture the dinos in the second film.
But what makes this place a pain in the ass to deal with is that, no matter if you’re a scientist or a janitor, every commute is an ordeal. It’s either that, or you have to live on a dinosaur island. No matter how safe the island might have proven to be – the nightmares would probably be constant no matter what.
8. Pretty Much Everywhere in the Star Wars Universe
It’s one thing working on the Death Star where the chance of explosion is high, and your boss dresses like Samurai Batman and likes to choke people with his mind. But the thing that makes the Star Wars universe hell for everyone is the fact that there’s no effort to put any safety measures in the architecture.
Just look at the scene in The Phantom Menace where Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon fight Darth Maul in the hangar on Naboo. That’s a place completely unrelated to the Death Star – right? And it’s still a potpourri of railing-less bottomless pits and randomly actuating force fields of death. Because that’s just how things apparently work in a fucking hangar from long, long before OSHA.
7. The IMF in Mission Impossible
Being a secret spy sounds pretty nifty, but the IMF manages to suck any and all fun out of the experience. For one, half their employees are apparently disgruntled – as they play the roles of villains for several of the films. But looking at the bosses, it’s not hard to see why.
Ethan Hunt has saved the world like three times, and yet in every film he gets disavowed or even arrested by his own people. And that’s just how they treat someone who is doing a good job. Imagine working in the mailroom at a place that will punish their best agent by strapping them down like Hannibal Lecter.
6. Zevo Toys in Toys
For starters, this is the worst place to go into work hungover.
The issue is two-fold: either your boss is a silly-billy maniac freak who forces you to sing while doing factory work and sends you away in slow-moving ice cream truck ambulances if you get hurt, or you’re teaching children war games while the walls around you are literally closing in. Neither is pleasant, and absolutely nothing is practical.
For the sake of Christ, it’s just a toy factory! And yet, there’s a very good chance you’ll completely lose your mind working there and end up blowing your brains out in their purgatory field behind the laughing elephant grave.
5. MIB Headquarters in Men In Black
So you’ve completely given up your friends, family, and identity. Great! Now sit at this desk for eight hours. After all – one thing you might notice about Men In Black is that every big world-changing mission is handled by just two guys while the rest presumably sit around.
Or worse – maybe while J and K are out saving the world from that tentacle chick, there are literally 100 other world-threatening situations that the other agents are also attending to. I’m not sure what’s worse.
4. Merrick Biotech in The Island
A good rule of thumb: if you have to tunnel into a secret underground lair every day, your job is probably not great. While statistically, most henchmen actually have it not too terrible when you account for how many there must be day-to-day, the problem with working at Merrick Biotech is that you’re either going to be a sociopath or on the brink of suicide.
It’s like working at a slaughterhouse if the animals were innocent people. And there’s no job that doesn’t in some way interact with them – either before or after the harvest.
3. Wonka Industries in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
This would be such a heartbreaking place to work. For one, your boss is an insane shut-in who dresses like a fancy clown every day. Secondly, if you work here you’re probably an orange slave gnome with no rights. You get to spend your days practicing dance routines and fishing dead kids out of the chocolate river drain filter.
And what’s worse, when you think about it, candy fumes are probably terrible for your lungs. Sugar-lung, they call it, and it’s probably the reason everyone in that town is miserable.
2. The Umbrella Corporation in Resident Evil
Let’s take the zombie virus out of the equation for just a moment and focus on the day-to-day aspect of this job. You live in Raccoon City, or if your budget doesn’t allow, some god-forsaken berg outside of Raccoon City. You commute into work every day at like seven in the morning, somehow finding breakfast and parking – possibly taking a commuter rail. And then you have to take the long trip underground into work where it’s so dismal that they simulate sunlight? Fuck that.
If anything, the zombie outbreak was a nice change in scenery for most of these people. Not to mention that I.T. is a scary little girl – so every time email goes down you feel like you’re in The Shining.
1. The Afterlife in Beetlejuice
The wonderful thing about every job I’ve listed above is that – at the very least – you know that someday it will end by death’s sweet design. But imagine that you’re so cooped up in office hell that death’s design isn’t quick enough, and you decide to just pull the cord yourself. Sweet relief!
Nope! Now you have to work in a dimly lit horror office… for eternity. If there is a crueler idea than having to punch in after death, I’d like to hear it.