Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

Undercover Boss Blows His Cover

Print comment Post Comments

If John Quinones has taught us anything, it’s that as a general rule of thumb all Americans, once stepping foot off their private property, should probably be prepared for the prospect of being involved in a hidden camera TV show. So when a camera crew actually shows up at your workplace and curiously wants to film you training the new employee in the suspect-looking mustache and hair piece, it’s pretty safe to assume the footage is meant to end up on broadcast television.

Forgive my cynicism, but Undercover Boss is fooling neither the grunt workers its meant to hoodwink nor (let’s hope) its audience. The CBS (CBS) hit that goes behind the scenes to give CEOs an extemporized and “unfiltered look inside their own companies” couldn’t be more scripted if it were, well, a reality show.

Take the most recent episode, in which Rick Silva, the head of Checkers & Rally's drive-in burger franchise, posed as a trainee flipping burgers at a Homestead, Florida location for a particularly abusive manager. We’re meant to believe that the manager, who knew fully well he was on camera claimed, “If I don't scream at them, they don't listen to me” and physically threatened the fry cook Todd, an aspiring chef, whose paychecks, incidentally, go to support his feeble mother.  

Silva, the benevolent boss, has heard and seen enough from this tyrant and asks to speak with him outside. The manager barks, “I'm not going to let you continue telling me I'm disrespecting my crew. Have you been in the fast food business before?”

Oh boy, what a set up! Will Silva take the bait or will he be able to hold his tongue for the purposes of the show? Cue the dramatic music. Now take a commercial break.

And when we return, Undercover Boss makes headlines. For the first time in the series’ running, the big guy breaks cover. In the jaw-dropping third act climax, Silva not only blindsides the manager by revealing his identity as the company CEO (wha...wha...what?), he takes a sensational cue from Hell’s Kitchen and shuts down the restaurant for the night.

Of course, in the end, Silva assumes full responsibility for his manager’s bad behavior and sends him off for more training. And if you wondered what happened to Todd, in the episode’s emotional denouement, underscored by a cymbal roll crescendo, Silva hands him a $15,000 check to take care of his mother and get him through culinary school.

Kind of writes itself, doesn't it?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.