Undercover Boss
by JIM “PAPPY” MOORE
Oct 10, 2012 | 1384 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There is a show on CBS by the name "Undercover Boss." The top officer of a major company goes undercover at one of his operations, pretending to be a new employee whose early work at a new job is being filmed by a documentary crew. Each time, the CEO learns things about his operation he never knew. He talks to lower level employees and gets their input.

The CEO typically sees both good and bad managers at work. He sees the good, the bad and the ugly of his operation, and he sees it from the eyes of someone with no power in the organization.

The show really demonstrates how difficult a bad manager can make life for lower level workers, and how inefficient that can be. Even things such as the speaker in the drive through which does not work well are explored and exposed.

The CEO always finds employees who are truly wonderful, dedicated workers. It is inspiring to see the complete commitment of such employees, and the loyalty they bring to their job. Anyone who believes the American worker in mundane jobs does not care about his or her work should take a gander at this show. There are many, many such workers going to work every day, working for modest wages, just trying to bring home the bacon for their families.

Fast food restaurants are a favorite of the show, as are regular restaurants. The burger joint Checkers is checked out and was highlighted on a recent show. Some time ago, Hooters was covered. Not surprisingly, the latter had one location whose manager was totally unacceptable and demeaning to the women who worked for him. But another manager of the same chain was the complete opposite. She brought such professionalism to the job.

The CEO has a chance to see good and bad employees up close, without their knowing he is their big boss in the whole company. It is a joy to see some of these employees take on their jobs with such a strong personal attitude about doing the job right. You cannot buy that for the wages these people draw. Their dedication has to come from something inside them.

Each episode ends with the CEO taking actions mandated by his undercover work. Typically, he replaces managers who are falling short, or he sends them for more training. He rewards some of those lower level employees with some pretty special gifts, such as an all expense trip for the employee and their family. He implements changes to better manage employees, to better train them, and to do a better job of rewarding their loyalty and dedication.

This is an inspiring show. It will make you feel good about those people who work to make our burgers, our fries, our tacos, our milkshakes, and all the other things we take for granted as we drive through and grab a meal.

It is also a lesson for bosses and business owners. Walk a mile in the shoes of those who work for you, and you may see things better from their perspective.

© 2012, Jim “Pappy” Moore,

All Rights Reserved.

Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. oaktreefm58@juno.com 

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