Susan Ricker | December 4, 2014
Television has a way of taking our minds off of our daily lives while still tying in to real-life concerns we have. Dramas, comedies, mockumentaries—these are all TV show styles that can convey stories so real we could swear we’re part of the plot.
But if the nasty ogre in your favorite fantasy-themed show reminds you of upper management, or the kind grandmother on the family sitcom is a perfect depiction of your boss, there are some lessons you can take away from the TV show while still enjoying a break from reality.
Take our quiz now to see which TV boss your own manager is most like, and learn how to handle their character flaws and developments to ensure you’re a cast regular and not a temporary role.
1. When you come to your boss with a new idea or suggestion, how do they typically react?
A. Dismissive—it’s clear that there’s a reason things are the done the way they are.
B. Disarmingly kind—at first. But it seems like there’s always an excuse for why we can’t change things.
C. Reasonably—if I can make a good case for it, it’s likely to gain traction.
D. Energetically—our workplace is chaos and new ideas are always being tried out.
2. Which scandal is most likely to happen at your work?
A. Mismanagement of resources, falsifying documents, corrupt leadership.
B. False opportunities to advance, misleading job descriptions, unfair compensation.
C. Office romances, broken marriages, holiday party escapades, awkward encounters with clients.
D. Arson or accidental fire damage, building infestation, underqualified employees.
3. What’s one of your boss’s best qualities?
A. A no-excuses attitude that demands excellence.
B. Persuasion that can fix any situation.
C. A charming personality that wins clients and new business.
D. Sincerity and loyalty that can make work feel like family.
4. What’s your boss’s worst habit when leading a team meeting?
A. Being too brisk when explaining new ideas and leaving no time for questions.
B. Acting defensively when co-workers have questions or changing plans abruptly if he or she is unhappy.
C. Self-importance—if he or she doesn’t like it, it must mean the idea’s not good and that’s the end of it.
D. Frustration and getting distracted. It’s easy for co-workers to hijack a meeting agenda or get off-topic.
5. What does your boss say often enough that it could be their catchphrase?
A. “Not my problem!”
B. “Who do you think you are?”
C. “I improvised.”
D. “How did that happen?!”
Mostly A’s: Executive assistant to the warden Natalie Figueroa from “Orange is the New Black”
Litchfield, New York is the location of this prison dramedy that focuses on inmate Piper Chapman’s struggles with incarceration. But warden assistant Natalie Figueroa, or “Fig,” as she’s known to her co-workers, may steal the spotlight as the most ruthless character on the show. If your boss reminds you of this top dog, your best advice is to follow the rules carefully, make well-researched proposals over spontaneous decisions and keep an eye on your project numbers—it may be up to you to watch the ethics of the organization’s business dealings.
Mostly B’s: Show-runner Elsa Mars from “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Even if your boss doesn’t remind you of someone who’s prime was prior to 1950, the parallels between you and this circus show-runner are plentiful. She has an eye for talent and what will be making headlines tomorrow, but her ruthlessness can make working together tough. If your manager could be the next leader of Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities, and if she treats her workers more like cash cows than actual human beings, your best advice is to work on your autonomy in the organization and establish yourself as a most valuable player. Standing up for your identity is key with a boss like Elsa.
Mostly C’s: Ad agency partner Don Draper from “Mad Men”
Impossibly suave and always charming, a boss like the on-again off-again creative director of advertising Don Draper is a master of creative work and can win over any crowd or business. A manager like this knows his excellence, too, and won’t be impressed by any less. Your work will need to be stellar, your ideas original and your passion for the job will need to be undeniable. But if you can meet his expectations, there’s a bright future with this talented mentor.
Mostly D’s: Restaurant owner Bob Belcher from “Bob’s Burgers”
If a day at work feels like you’re spending time with Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene and Louise Belcher and flipping patties at Bob’s Burgers, then you’ve already proven yourself to be a dynamic, agile worker who can roll with the changes and thrive in chaos. While the show centers on the wild hijinks the family gets into at their family burger restaurant, patriarch of the family and boss of the restaurant Bob leads blindly through the turbulent workday. To survive, and even thrive, be the employee with the solution to every problem and prove that you can keep the day’s train on its tracks.