Supposed a guy walks in your office one day and talks to you. He looks like a total bum. Someone you’d just see in the street and would barely notice. He tells you to train him for a day what’s it like to do what you do. He said he just wants to learn and plans to start a business like the company you are working in.
IF you did take him in, what would you show him? What kind of employee would you be? Would you be that grumpy employee who grumbles while doing his or her job? Would you be the employee whom everyone hates and would like to be fired or sent elsewhere? Or would you be the employee that any employer would be really sorry to see leave the company?
The guy tries his best but being a bum, he doesn’t do it the way it should be done. He doesn’t complain but he doesn’t do well either. How would you react? Would you patiently tutor him even though you’re already too tied up with work? Or would you just shoo him away or give him a hard time for wasting your time and making your work harder than it already is?
What if to your surprise, a week later, you are called over to head office and given the biggest shock of your life. The bum was actually the owner or the CEO of your company. The question for him now is would he reward you for your actions? Or axe you for your folly?
That is basically the plot of the Undercover Boss. I’ve been watching and crying over it ever since I’ve discovered it last year. It doesn’t necessarily want to make fun of the employees, rather, the show wants the boss, to see what it’s like in the front lines. Whether it’s a company that cleans trash or a huge fast food chain, the boss gets to adopt an alias and a disguise in order to see what the people at the bottom do and what they need to improve their business. At the end of the show, the boss, calls out all the employees he has personally encountered and gives them the reward (and in some cases, punishment) they deserve. Most gets free paid vacations with pocket money. Others get a house. Still others get a raise or a promotion. It all depends on what the boss found out.
Funny all the things you could get from the black magic box called a television.
It’s not actually unique if you think about it. The concept was not really original. An undercover boss really happened long ago in reality and not in a reality show.
More than 2000 years ago, there was once a great Emperor’s son who decided to come and live among his subjects. He took on the perfect disguise that many did not really realize that he was a prince. He suffered along side people. He allowed himself to take a lowly worker’s job. He lived a life of poverty and inspired many of his subjects. Some even followed him when he wandered from city to city. He was taunted by city officials because they did not know who he was. He was just known as a tramp living among the drunkards and harlots of the city. In the end, the high officials of the kingdom decided to kill him because they feared that he might incite rebellion against them and their rule. They decided to do this without informing the emperor.
The prince died the death of a criminal. Many sided with him. The high officials didn’t know that they committed the biggest mistake of their lives. They didn’t know that they killed the undercover boss. They killed Jesus Christ.
The question now, would the real Undercover Boss reward you with a lifetime vacation in His palace? Or will He “fire” you for your actions?