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TMFFlushDraw (93.45)

Is Undercover Boss Enlightening or Scary?



January 17, 2011 – Comments (7)

Another random rant... 

I watched Under Boss about Belfor last night. It's probably my favorite show on TV these days but it brings up some interesting questions about corporate America and the companies we invest in. 

Are CEOs really that out of touch?

How can you be the CEO of a company that does construction and not be able to put a screw into sheetrock? There should be a shareholder mandate that every CEO/executive has to spend one week every year in the field with his/her employees. Not on some sales vacation but in with the nitty gritty employees doing the real WORK.

And I'm sick of seeing a CEO cry when they hear people's heartwarming stories. Did you not realize that lives were turned upside down during the recession because of layoffs? Did that not enter your mind when making those decisions? What planet are you from? How can you "come from nothing" and forget everything you learned there? 

Are we learning anything?

I wonder if CEOs around the country are watching and learning anything. Do they realize the hard work and dedication people put into their jobs every day? I doubt it but a show like this gives me at least a little bit of hope. 

I can't decide whether I think Undercover Boss is an enlightening show or a peak inside how out of touch executives are these days. Probably a little bit of both.


***In a measure of full disclosure I make these comments while sitting in my home office researching stocks and making the same kind of judgements CEOs make every day. Hypocritical? Probably. But I would like to think I could do a better job than 96.2% of them if I had the chance. 

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 17, 2011 at 8:01 PM, YoungFool37 (< 20) wrote:

Imagine that: television giving the picture of a greedy, capitalistic CEO being redeemed through the hard work of the average American. Exactly what the public wants to see after the executive excesses the media has fed us while we strain to pay mortgages. Strange that such an exhibition is coincidentally profitable for both the newly redeemed CEO and the network.

I would be careful about how much reality television you consider, ya know, "reality".

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#2) On January 17, 2011 at 8:05 PM, truleuneek (< 20) wrote:

I can't believe that the people they CEOs work with are randomly chosen.  Perhaps they aren't told who the CEO is, but the people setting up the trip, or the network, pick certain people who have a hearwarming story.

That, and the fact that the CEOs lately seem like a bunch of crybabies causes me to turn off this show whenever it pops up.

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#3) On January 17, 2011 at 8:13 PM, kdakota630 (29.02) wrote:

I remember watching the first episode of that show, and while I enjoyed it I thought that like most "reality shows" it had to be at least part set-up, or edited to get the desired effect.

But then they showed the preview for the second episode where the CEO of Hooters went to one of his restaurants where he witnessed the waitresses being mistreated in such ridiculous ways that I decided this was entirely set up and couldn't bring myself to watch another episode.

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#4) On January 17, 2011 at 8:19 PM, russiangambit (28.71) wrote:

I don't watch TV but now I am tempted. It sounds like "The Prince and The Pauper" story.

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#5) On January 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM, CMFStan8331 (96.97) wrote:

My trust of all reality television is equal to my faith in a $3 bill.  In this case, since the TV network and the companies of the participating CEO's both stand to benefit from certain types of storylines and there are no laws or strictly enforced industry standards in place to prevent extensive staging, the generally heartwarming nature of the shows shouldn't be terribly shocking.  

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#6) On January 17, 2011 at 9:23 PM, Seano67 (24.39) wrote:

Yeah. To me that show is just silly and has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. I used to find it semi-enjoyable, and I did watch the WalMart episode as well as the Hooters and Waste Management and 7-11 ones, but as others have noted, the show just seems manipulated and staged and phony as hell, so I'm all set with it anymore. And I've noticed lately the companies they're profiling are getting smaller and smaller, so this thing might already be running out of steam.

I cannot wait until the sorry trend of 'reality TV' passes into the dustbin of history in which it so rightfully belongs. Talk about the dumbing down of America and the world, wow.

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#7) On January 18, 2011 at 3:56 PM, Melaschasm (70.17) wrote:

Most reality TV shows are scripted, so I have always assumed this one was also.

From my limited experience, founder CEO's and those who spent 30 years working up the corporate ladder tend to know how their business works much better than outside executives.


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