Some reality shows are simply – unreal. All the subjects seems handsome or pretty and everything seems quite ‘staged’. Now there’s a new reality series about to premier on CBS after the Superbowl on February 7. It’s called Undercover Boss and will show the CEOs of several well-known companies leaving their ivory towers and getting down and dirty with the real people – their employees – incognito.
The show is based on a successful English version of the same name, and here in America, although you may not recognize the CEOs you will recognize their companies: Waste Management, White Castle, 7-Eleven, and Hooters.
Larry O’Donnell, President and CEO of Waste Management exchanges his suit and briefcase for a hardhat, gloves, and safety boots and spends days cleaning portable toilets, picking through recyclables by hand, picking up paper trash outdoors (he is fired for being inept at it), and learning how trash trucks pick up bins on collection day. Above all, he sees from the inside what it’s like to be an employee in his company. Exhausted at the end of the day, O’Donnell realizes he has the power to make some positive changes. Not only does he recognize some of the daily humiliations his employees face, but he also realizes he is in a position to change things, to assist them improve their educations and earn better wages. Undercover Boss seems a little less rehearsed and a lot more real than most reality shows.