Tonight’s episode was for Boston Market. The Chief Brand Officer (?!?) goes undercover in customer service at one of their stores. She spends some time with a supervisor, who turns out to be the poster child of problem employees. He hates the company and despises customers.
“I hate customers more than anything else in the entire world.”
“They’re all bitches. Just bitches.”
“With customers, it’s all about THEM.”
After awhile, the Undercover Boss has had enough. She breaks character, drags the supervisor out to the parking lot, tells him who she is, and promptly sends him home. She calls in the store manager and informs him that the supervisor is fired.
I’ve never seen anything like this happen on Undercover Boss. Whenever we encounter a bad employee like this, that person is brought to company headquarters at the end of the show, and given Management/Customer Service/Sensitivity Training and a stern lecture.
This time, they actually followed the playbook of Real Life. They fired his ass.
He had to have signed a consent form before filming. The cameras would have been self-evident. And he said* that* while the cameras were rolling???
After he was let go on camera he was still clueless, even complaining to the cameras in an interview. Just how clueless can Ronnie, the self described diva from Duluth, GA, be with his face and name now known in the community?
I kind of feel sorry for the guy. I think he was hamming it up for the cameras and the out-of-towner; he as much as admitted it when she asked him what percent of what he was saying was genuine (he said about 75%). It didn’t seem like he was actually saying these things in front of customers, although they sure tried to give that impression through editing. True, that sort of behavior can bring down a whole crew’s morale, and it should be stopped, but it’s not really a stop the presses kind of thing. A call to the manager the next day would have sufficed. I sort of feel like his dramarama was contagious and she caught it.
Shit…we’ve seen *illegal *and physically dangerous behavior on Undercover Boss before and they didn’t (always) break their disguise for it. This kid just needs an attitude adjustment. He seems like a Doper, snarky and direct and far too enamored of his own opinions - his problem is that he’s also YOUNG, and doesn’t get that there are things you just don’t say and do on the record if you’d like a long and prosperous career.
But if anyone here has ever worked corporate food/retail and hasn’t heard or said worse in a private moment between coworkers, I think your pants are on fire.
It’s one thing to say “that last customer was an asshole” when that customer was an asshole. It’s quite another to say the same thing the second you get sight of them. The former happens all the time; the latter are the words of someone who should not be working with the public. From what I saw, his attitude was poisonous (it could influence the rest of the crew) and it makes far more sense to hire someone who doesn’t show that sort of contempt.
Oh, absolutely! I don’t have a problem with uh, encouraging him to find an elsewhere to be employed. I’m just a little :rolleyes: at the story the editors created over it. “This week…on Undercover Boss…THE MOST SHOCKING TERRIBLE HORRIBLE EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOR…Will it BREAK A BOSS!!!” That’s a paraphrase, but they really did pimp it as the worst thing I’ve ever seen on Undercover Boss.
When, in reality, I don’t think it came close to touching that creep from the sportsbar, the uncaring bitch from the callcenter, or some of the frank OSHA violations in the warehouses.
But there wasn’t a great swelling violin heart tugging story to be had this week, and there wasn’t anything gross or dangerous, and the boss wasn’t even particularly incompetent for lulz, so they had to work with what they got.
Also, a lot of times that sort of opinion will bleed through to the customers. You may never say anything overt, but I can guarantee that people have noticed his pissy attitude toward them and can tell that he hates working with the public. At least in this capacity.
Actually, the bosses get fired pretty regularly. It’s generally played for laughs, but I often find it annoying. “We’ll, he’s had four minutes of training, but he’s not performing as well as this employee who’s been here for twenty years. He’s really slowing us all down.”
See, that’s kinda my point in the OP. Those people should have/would have been fired for those behaviors. But that never happens on Undercover Boss.
It was actually refreshing to see a boss recognize a lost cause and deal with it realistically. Anyone who’s worked in a service-oriented industry knows that for every toxic Ronnie you have on your payroll, there are thirty people out there who would love to have that job.
There are some situations where it becomes perfectly clear to a manager that “more training” is not going to solve the problem. This was one of them.
I’ve watched this show occasionally, because sometimes it’s interesting and/or funny the way the bosses can’t get a handle on the menial tasks they’re assigned. But I’ve always been ambivalent about the happy endings that are provided – there have to be so many people working the line in these organizations that deserve some encouragement or support, and the utter randomness of singling out one or two for a generous windfall always seemed unfair to me.
But the biggest problem I had with the show was that there were so many people who deserved some form of discipline (if not outright firing), and the bosses are so hesitant to address those issues for fear of breaking the ruse. The TV show is more important than your organization’s ideals and standards? So it’s refreshing when the boss occasionally does break character to address something on site. As for this kid, well, I don’t know if he was playing to the cameras or not, but it was obvious he hated the job, so meh.
Exactly, but at least the boss did something, unlike the idiot who stood by and watched one of his managers subject his waitresses to a – what was it, a bean-eating contest? – at Hooters, of all places. Although that guy also couldn’t believe the public didn’t think of his place as a “family business.”
I think Hooters was the bean eating thing (no hands, face in the plate) and Tilted Kilt was the douchenozzle who was shocked - SHOCKED! - that a place with these uniforms wasn’t thought of as a “family place.” (No offense at all to the girls, they’re lovely. Female empowerment, you go girl. But I am not taking my 8 year old there. She’ll grow up thinking women wear sporrans on their hips! Amirite?)
And I’m right there with ya on the “happy ending” ambivalence. I’m always thinking, “Gee, I bet that the single mother down the factory line who had to call in sick because her autistic child had pneumonia is kicking herself that she wasn’t there today!”
I’ve watched a couple of undercover boss and undercover millionaire shows…and I can’t believe that they are authentic.
There’s a cameraman covering every move of both the undercover guy AND the regular employees of that shift. The cameraman is so close ,(inside the cashier’s booth at the drive-thru window, standing dangerously close to the conveyor belt, etc)…that it must slow down the work of the regular employees. Yet everybody acts normal, as if it’s a perfectly routine day.
Most people don’t act “normal” when a camera is turned on them; -they feel awkward and self-conscious. (especially people with simple, manual-labor jobs who are not used to speaking in public). They either giggle, or look down at their feet, or speak with hems and haws, or suddenly start to straighten up their clothes and hair, etc.
And in minimum wage jobs, most people are scared of their boss, and scared that they could get fired any time if they screw up… the don’t want a camera focused on them, from fear of accidently getting caught doing something wrong… Yet on the TV show, these employees all face the cameras as confidently as an experienced actor, and speak confidently, directly to the lens in accentless, grammatically correct English, taking no time to collect their thoughts , etc.
It seems too smooth to be truly authentic. I have a feeling that the participants know more than is being shown on the screen.
I feel like whoever they “profile” must be predetermined. Otherwise, they wouldn’t constantly end up with the most outstanding employees overall. And do any of these people watch later after the show airs and wonder if they should’ve sold their own bad luck story harder? We’re behind on episodes, so just saw the one with the KoA guy. Out of everybody, the poor janitor with four kids only got $5 grand. Compared to the cute young girl who just wanted to go to college, he handed over $50 K for school and another $10 for her entire family to come to the camp for a week. I bet he feels shafted.
I don’t think I watched the Tilted Kilt episode but the Hooters boss definitely expressed surprise that some people objected to his restaurant, when he went out with two waitresses to hand out food samples and talk up the restaurant. One woman said, “I think it exploits women” while another said, “I think it’s just degrading to women.” The boss said, “Apparently there’s still that stigma out there.” He admitted that he was aware of this, but said this was the first time he’d heard it firsthand. Anyhow, the entire episode is up on Youtube, so here is a link to that bit.
BTW, I think when the show started, there was a mixture of industrial companies and restaurant/retail-type companies. But now they seem to concentrate on the latter type. And I stopped watching the show when I got tired of how much every episode was the same.
I’ve seen a boss break character for some takeout joint, I think Checkers/Rally’s, and sent the supervisor home because he was incompetent. I think that supervisor was suspended until he could be properly trained, though.