HR Strange But True!
July 26, 2007

Worker's responses to a survey question about the TV boss who most reminds them of their own supervisor have left us scratching our heads. conducted a survey among more than 5,700 workers to find out which TV bosses remind workers of their own bosses.

The survey found that Sam Malone from the TV show Cheers was among the most cited TV bosses. Really? Sam Malone? Were workers recalling Malone's good qualities or his bad ones? And, if workers were going all the way back to the 1980s for a TV boss, why not take Tony Danza's character from Who's the Boss? Well, maybe they thought that Angela was the boss on that show.

Other common responses to the survey included:

  • Charlie from Charlie's Angels
  • Judge Judy from Judge Judy
  • Donald Trump from The Apprentice
  • Simon Cowell from American Idol
  • Mr. Burns from The Simpsons
  • Miranda Bailey from Grey's Anatomy
  • Michael Scott from The Office
  • Tyra Banks from America's Next Top Model
  • Jack from Lost.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at, had some ideas about the traits in the TV characters that may have reminded workers of their own boss:

  • Sam Malone--amicable, fun
  • Charlie--absentee
  • Judge Judy--no nonsense
  • Donald Trump--demanding, powerful
  • Simon Cowell--judgmental, insulting
  • Mr. Burns--sinister
  • Miranda Bailey--tough, but fair
  • Michael Scott--idiotic
  • Tyra Banks--constantly challenging, quick to point out flaws
  • Jack--smart, looks out for the team

We'd tell you about the striking similarities between our boss and a certain one on TV, but our boss reads this column and we want to keep our jobs. Plus, we fear that our boss thinks we are the Dwight (from The Office) or the Homer Simpson of our company. However, if you want to discuss the similarities between your boss and Boss Hog from the Dukes of Hazzard (or some other TV boss), go to the HR Forum, where we've started a thread on the subject.


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