Bosses beware: For disgruntled employees, penning a memoir of time spent working under a tyrant may be the best and most profitable way to get back at the boss who made life miserable.
Several former employees have turned authors in just that way, taking their experiences working for top publications or companies straight to the best-seller list.
In the 2003 novel "The Devil Wears Prada," author Lauren Weisberger wrote — fictionally, she claimed — about an assistant's life at a popular fashion magazine.
But Weisberger, who had once interned for Vogue magazine, was quickly treated to a spot at the top of the "New York Times" best-seller list after readers began to assume the main villain in the book was based on the magazine's editor-in-chief, the notoriously tough Anna Wintour.
And the 2002 book "The Nanny Diaries" chronicled the lives of two women who worked as babysitters on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. An obsessive mother and an overly flirtatious father were the duo's eccentric bosses.
Both books quickly became major film projects, released in theaters in 2006 and 2007.
Later this year, yet another film about the inner workings of an office will hit the big screen — this time based on Toby Young's book "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People." The film of the same name chronicles Young's time working for Vanity Fair's editor-in-chief Clayton Harding … which most assume to be a not -so-subtle take on the the magazine's real-life editor, Graydon Carter.
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Aside from the intrigue surrounding their high-profile antagonists, industry experts say these stories of workplace nightmares are so easy to identify with that readers and movie-goers just can't keep their eyes off them.
"Pretty much everyone has had a job or has a job with a nightmare boss or in a nightmare workplace situation," said Paul Dergarabedian, the president of box office analysis firm Media By Numbers. "It's just something very relatable and can definitely be made funny.
"Just like any other very specific movie with a specific topic of a relatable sense of circumstances, people like them," said Dergarabedian.
"As a society we seem to get some visceral joy in tearing down our institutes," said Howard Bragman, public relations guru who handles celebrity clients and the author of "Where's My 15 Minutes." "And the times when someone actually does speak up are rare."
"And face it, they're juicy," added Bragman, who did question the accuracy of some of these tell-all books, saying that he thought the authors probably tend to remember the bad experiences more vividly than the good.
"The highs and lows of the celebrity connections and the outrageous moments are what really make these [movies] compelling for people," said Bragman. "They make great movies."
And great books, industry experts say. The popularity of these books while they're still on the shelves has a lot to do with the studios' interest in turning them into feature films.
"The more people you have that love the book the greater potential there is for a bigger audience," said Media By Numbers' Dergarabedian. "But the movie has to look appealing enough to draw you back into that situation."
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Jeffery Fox, author of "How to Become a Great Boss" and a boss himself of more than hundreds, said bosses get a bad rap — and these books and films aren't helping the cause.
"A lot of people don't understand how hard it is [to be a boss]," said Fox. "Bad bosses are out there, but they're rare."
If a former employee of his were to write a tell-all book, Fox said he'd be angry, but wouldn't fight back.
"I'd take it as an enormous insult," said Fox. "But often the best strategy is stay mum, otherwise all you are doing is raising your profile."
For employees, revenge may be too sweet to pass up, and the same goes for those indulging in these stories, according to Jeff Bock, box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations.
"You always have the revenge factor, which is something that most people can't necessarily do. But it's nice to see it played out in front of them — they can imagine themselves doing it to the boss themselves. That's a key factor," said Bock.
"[They're] doing what you can't do, and that's what movies are all about."