Sunday, November 25, 2012

Undercover Boss

With a four-day, relaxing weekend, I've had the chance to catch some shows I've never seen before.  Yesterday TLC had a marathon of the show Undercover Boss.  The premise of the show is a top executive of a large corporation goes "undercover" to see what it's like on the front lines with the employees.  It's a great concept and it captivated me during the one episode I watched.

The co-owner of White Castle went undercover at various restaurant locations and even worked the line at the location that packages the frozen sliders. He met a wide variety of employees. One woman he met works because her husband is on disability and she is trying to lose weight to maintain good health. One young Hispanic man who wanted to go to culinary school but his parents weren't supportive. He was working to save money for college.  At a break, he shared his homemade salsa with the boss and the boss realized what a passion this was for the young man. Another worker had a young blind son and was the epitome of a future leader. Always had a great attitude and was top notch in customer service.  All of these people made a huge impact on the boss.

When the reveal came and they learned his true identity, they were shocked. But the reaction from them and what he did for them was amazing. The woman with the husband on disability was tasked to help start a wellness program for employees. The aspiring culinary worker was given a scholarship to further his education. And the father with the young blind son...he was tasked to write curriculum for a new training program to groom workers for leadership. Along with that, a $5000 trust was started to help his son's education.

I was so moved by this episode. But the icing on the cake was his final comment.  The boss said "I sit behind a desk making decisions based on numbers.  Now when I make those decisions, it won't be just based on numbers but on people...real people who make our business what it is today."  If every CEO had that perspective, think how much different corporate America would be.

4 comments:

Vicki Budd-Darby said...

I've enjoyed watching Undercover Boss for several years now and I am so often touched by the generosity and gratitude of many of the CEO's, CIO's, and various other positions who go under cover. I must express my disappointment in the quality of the "gratitude offerings" given by David Rife. He offered the female employees some rather vague opportunities. He said one employee's health issues prompted him to develop a Health & Wellness program. I don't believe she was even offered a position to assist in facilitating this program. Two women were given a "pep talk" about working as a team. Whoopie! The men were at least offered money, one $5,000 for college and the other, $5.000 for his disables son. This is the smallest dollar amount I have ever seen given to the "stand out" employees. Also, the fact that David did not disguise himself tells the story - his employees don't even know him without a disguise! He must not be very visible to his employees. My husband was watching too. After the reveal he said, "What a cheap skate!" and he said he probably wouldn't eat there again. Obviously Mr. Rife has never watched the show. If he had he would, no doubt, have given these employees much more.
Disappointed "One Time White Castle lover",
Vicki Budd-Darby

Vicki Budd-Darby said...

I've enjoyed watching Undercover Boss for several years now and I am so often touched by the generosity and gratitude of many of the CEO's, CIO's, and various other positions who go under cover. I must express my disappointment in the quality of the "gratitude offerings" given by David Rife. He offered the female employees some rather vague opportunities. He said one employee's health issues prompted him to develop a Health & Wellness program. I don't believe she was even offered a position to assist in facilitating this program. Two women were given a "pep talk" about working as a team. Whoopie! The men were at least offered money, one $5,000 for college and the other, $5.000 for his disables son. This is the smallest dollar amount I have ever seen given to the "stand out" employees. Also, the fact that David did not disguise himself tells the story - his employees don't even know him without a disguise! He must not be very visible to his employees. My husband was watching too. After the reveal he said, "What a cheap skate!" and he said he probably wouldn't eat there again. Obviously Mr. Rife has never watched the show. If he had he would, no doubt, have given these employees much more.
Disappointed "One Time White Castle lover",
Vicki Budd-Darby

php said...

Hes up in his"castle" saying "let them eat cake" .these jerks they could at least pass on some renumeration from the show to these employees!!!!! Im getting tired of these camera hoggers fancying themselves!!!! as heros

php said...

Mike white from direct t v. Is even worse. They just re ran his show. July 19 2015. He gave a birthday party away. What a waste of these employees time. This jerk mike made 18 million annually. And basically gave them nothing. But oh boy. Yes hes a hero. Get a clue mike!!!!!!!