We’ve been watching a new show, Undercover Boss and we’re hooked.
The premise: a CEO or COO or BMM (Big Muckety Muck) hangs up his pinstripes and puts on coveralls. He works at various entry level jobs in his corporation and comes away with a new appreciation for the people on the “frontlines.”
There’s a formula.
(So far), it’s always a male exec. Cameras follow him around and the people he works with are told he’s the subject of a documentary about working entry level jobs.
He works with one person whose attitude is exemplary, then finds out they have a health issue.
He discovers some company policies are being over enforced (people docked 2 minutes for each minute they clock in late, waitresses subjected to demeaning “team building” games, etc.).
He shares a meal with an employee. Usually they invite him home, but sometimes a family member brings the meal to the workplace. This way he gets to see the person behind the uniform.
Finally, the people he’s worked with are called to corporate headquarters where he reveals his true identity.
The hard workers are recognized and appreciated. Some are given vacations, or promotions.
The bad guys are dressed down on national television, but usually in a way that lets them salvage their dignity. Frankly, I wonder how many of them were simply showing off for the cameras, particularly the slimy Hooters manager.
It’s great to see the BMMs as it dawns on them that it’s JimmyJoeBob cleaning the portable johns who makes it possible for BMM to have his house in the ‘burbs with a putting green in the backyard.
The folks on the front lines are the public face of their company and it’s great to see that recognized and rewarded.
We’ve already set our DVR to record it, so I don’t even know when it’s on.
It’s well worth an hour a week.