Endearing. That is how I have described the CBS TV Show The Undercover Boss. Although it appears a little less than “reality” I appreciated the good intentions of the show. I like a responsible business owner getting out of the Ivory Tower and into the trenches to attempt to experience what working for his/her company is really like. After all, how will you really know what is going on if you are not humble enough to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and be prepared to listen. Really listen. Not just hear what you want to hear, but to learn what the employees really think. What barriers do they face daily to accomplish the goals of their job? What hardships? Some of these hardships extend beyond the daily grind to their family or home life circumstances.
This is what I have found endearing: nearly every episode of Undercover Boss ends with the compassionate CEO extending love and generosity to the employees who have demonstrated their commitment to the company. Often the generosity is directed to a charity the employee cares about or to help pay for family medical expenses or college debt. It is touching to watch the overwhelmed and delighted individuals process the shock of the large gifts bestowed.
However, on Sunday, December 26, 2014 CBS took a drastic turn in Undercover Boss. A contrast of day and night. The show went from an inspiring family show to a dark, sexist, downer of a show. I am not sure that I can bring myself to watch the show again after this choice.
I can only speculate that CBS was going for ratings and that they assume their audience likes sex, drinks, and misogyny. The show featured a Texas bar owner, Doug Guller, who makes his money on exploiting women’s breasts. In his own words he terms his businesses, “Breastaurants”.
Guller’s first ‘undercover’ assignment is with Jessica, the bartender dressed with a T-shirt, rather than the required bikini top. Guller is clearly angered and says so on camera after their encounter. He does not offer any pass for the fact that Jessica explained that she normally wears the bikini at work, but because of the camera chose to wear a shirt. Seriously, can you blame her? She is beautiful and seems to have a great head on her shoulders. Smart move, Jessica, you definitely come out on top in my book. And by the looks of the Social Media – many people are applauding you for taking a stand for yourself.
In the most bizarre move – at the closing of the show when the Undercover Boss usually ends with an offer of generosity in the forms of helping employee’s improve their situations both at work and at home – Guller fires Jessica for not baring her breasts on camera that day! In fairness, she had also over served a patron, and to me that is a training issue that Guller should take responsibility for, but he never bothered to ask her about her training. He explains that he just doesn’t think her heart is into this job and she would be better of somewhere else. You think?? You go, Jessica, I have no doubts that you WILL be better of somewhere else and I hope many offers have already come that do not involve you having to show more skin than you are comfortable with to make a living.
The next unbelievable move comes in the form of Guller giving a bonus in the form of a Boob job. Yes, that is right, he offers a young and enthusiastic, less than stellar employee, a breast augmentation with the condition that she be a “Rock Star” at work over the next six months.
Enough said. Makes me sick to think that CBS believes that this is desirable programming. I truly hope that I live in a country where people will stand up for others, even when they don’t know they need to be protected – like this precious girl who was so excited about getting larger breasts. Does she really know that it has nothing to do with Guller’s true concern for her?
They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. Ephesians 4:19 NLT