With 007 storming the box office at the weekend, we, the youth of today, are bound to be subjected to the usual shtick about how men want to be him and women want to be with him, repeated ad nauseum. While being James Bond would be fantastic in his universe of fast cars, spectacular explosions and clumsy wordplay, not many of the talents he displays are actually transferable to the real world.
So I’ve decided to reveal why being a psychologically damaged, misogynist alcoholic only works in the movies, with some of the nifty career hints behind why being James Bond would get you sacked from every job you ever had.
1. He has massive problems with authority
The way Bond talks to M is not conducive to a healthy employer-employee relationship. In fact, if any of my bosses from any of my jobs were ever confronted with the withering sarcasm and obstinate disobedience which is James’ lingua franca when addressing superiors, I would have been swabbing every deck with my tongue (on the metaphorical pirate ship aboard which I apparently work every summer.) While you have to admire Bond’s nerve, it is only his box-office returns that have prevented generations of authors and screenwriters from having M sack him or order his violent murder. Unfortunately, those of us in real workplace situations can’t rely on selling movie tickets to cover a bad attitude.
2. Misuse of company property
As well as all the guns he keeps losing, Bond has managed to destroy at least a dozen expensive cars, a handful of boats and even a couple of planes costing his employers (not to mention the taxpayer) tens of millions of pounds. James Bond laughs off the loss of a state-of-the-art reconnaissance vehicle; I get the small earmuff from my phone headset deducted from my wages… In real life, it’s probably better to treat company property like your first born child – that is to say, don’t try and throw it off a rickety ramp over the Bayou or into a melting ice-palace – if you want to succeed professionally.
3. Alcohol/substance abuse
You might think that being a Secret Agent, he would want to keep his mind sharp, but James Bond is seen to drink on an average of five occasions per film and once every seven pages of his novels, which, if translated into real time, makes him absolutely smashed throughout most of his career. In the real world it is definitely advisable to turn up to work sober, as boozing convinces people that they are doing things brilliantly, when in fact they are making an embarrassing mess of themselves. Having seen Bond’s drinking habits, I am starting to wonder if his adventures are not actually hallucinations induced by severe alcohol poisoning.
4. Sexual harassment
If this was the real secret service then Miss Moneypenny would have sued James for every penny he had. Successfully. Work places are finally coming to terms with the fact that women are better than men at most things meaning that any man who treats female acquaintances the way Bond does will be advancing up the career ladder about as quickly as Andrew Mitchell’s bicycle. While I’m giving advice, the same also goes for girls and male co-workers but, somewhere on the endless list of things women are better that than men, ‘not sexually harassing co-workers’ is sitting snugly between ‘not crashing expensive cars’ and ‘being a spy’.
5. He is an awful team player
Perhaps worse than his blatant sexism in a real working environment is Bond’s scant disregard for his friends, colleagues and everyone else who attempts to prevent him from doing just exactly whatever he wants all the time. Not one but two loyal companions have, thanks in no small part to 007’s self-involvement, been murdered and then painted with a natural resource. And spare a thought for the poor quartermaster (Q); so frustrated does he get by Bond’s antics that he actually replaces himself every few films to get away from him (other characters’ spontaneous regenerations and sex changes notwithstanding.) In the real world it is better to make friends with the people you work with and if not then at the very least be courteous and considerate… And don’t get them killed.
6. His chat around the water cooler is rank
The sad fact of the matter is that even if Bond did want to make friends, his sense of humour is about as cutting edge as Harry Hill’s forehead and he chooses the most inappropriate times to crack his terrible puns. In small doses the people around him seem to enjoy his Grandpa-on-Christmas-day banter, but imagine having to spend every day with a guy who comes out with gems such as “he just got the point” seconds after shooting a man with a speargun: brutal. We’re not all born entertainers and those who just accept that fact, using an alien concept to Mr Bond called self-awareness, are the people who have the most prosperous relationships with their peers.
7. His gambling addiction affects his performance
Skiving is something that impresses everyone at school, a handful of sad people at university and nobody in a real workplace. The people who engage in these practices are held in even lower regard by their co-workers if they go for Bond’s very specific brand of skiving; trying to pass of mucking about as doing actual work. The fact that he happens across a number of bad guys having slinked off to the casino to gamble and drink is nothing less than a miraculous stroke of luck. This naff attitude would drive any colleagues absolutely crazy but none of James Bond’s mind, because these are movies… And most of his colleagues are dead.
8. He seems to be a kleptomaniac
My eyes were only opened to the fact that James Bond steals indiscriminately from everyone he encounters after a scene in Quantum of Solace in which he commiserates a friend’s death… By swatching his wallet. Bond’s lack of respect for other people’s boundaries and property is probably the reason so many distressed wallet, jacket and moon buggy owners want to kill him before he has even started spying.
So there we go. If you want lessons on how to deal with people, property or professional commitments then James Bond’s example should remain firmly in the fictional realm in which it has been so comfortable of the past half-century, while those of us in the real world should just be glad we don’t have to work with anyone like that. Stick to the guns, explosions and car chases, James.