Undercover Boss…

So, I’ve seen a few episodes of the show Undercover Boss

The general gist of the show is that the CEO goes “undercover” to see what’s going on inside their company.  They pose as some kind of “trainee” — and do the hard work the low-level employees do to make the company run.  Nobody is supposed to know that they’re the CEO, and they usually have some half-assed disguise to conceal their true identity (like most low level workers could pick their CEO out of a line up!).

Generally, when the CEO goes undercover, they stay at cheap motels and live like the little people for a week.  They are followed by cameras and their general ineptitude at doing the basic tasks that make their companies run is the stuff of the first 45 minutes of the show.

For the most part the CEO finds folks who are hardworking, dependable and good at their jobs.  Sometimes folks do stupid stuff and get busted — but that’s not the norm.  The CEO then goes back to the office with lessons learned from the field.

It’s at this point that the show gets kind of weird — the trainers are summoned to the head office on some pretense and it’s revealed to them that the bumbling trainee they have dismissed as a bad hire is really their company’s CEO… shock and surprise abound.  Except… it’s not exactly the norm to have the woman who cleans the toilets in Wichita come to the corporate headquarters for lunch… and now that the show is fairly well known, these folks have got to know something was up… but, they generally fake surprise as well as they fake being happy with their craptastic job, so it’s good TV.

The real fun comes when the CEO gets to the “I’m going to do something in response to what I’ve learned” stage… You see, while they work the supposed trainee quizzes their trainers on their life challenges, financial status and job satisfaction — usually the trainers reveal significant family challenges, lack of money and about 35 reasons their jobs suck – but they do them anyway.

A good CEO will take their knowledge of their trainers and generalize to the rest of their workforce — and institute some changes that make the jobs of their employees less craptastic.

A CEO who wants to put a little money toward a “solution” will give the trainers trips with their families or establish some kind of memorial college scholarship…. or some such crap.

A quasi-cheap CEO will promote a few of the trainers to positions of more authority — and maybe even start a program to identify management talent from within the company.

A  super cheap-ass CEO will form some kind of “working group” to call attention to some problem in the workplace or some good cause — but, not do anything to change the actual conditions of anybody.

In the end of the show, the CEO gives a heartwarming speech at headquarters about their experience in the land of the little people, permit a reel of their bloopers on the job to be shown — and publicly recognize the talents and wisdom of their trainers…

…. then they go back to their $10,000 suits, 3 martini lunches and the overall exploitation of the working class to plump up their stock options.



One Response

  1. yeah patty if some of the CEOs dont get the job right well go figure for some of those jobs need liscen’s if stan gatek CEO sun country airlines tried jons job he couldnt do it because jons job needs a dispatchers licsene

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