Undercover Boss is a grotesque television show—imported from Britain!—in which high-level executives mingle with the peons, learn some utterly dismissible life lessons, and dispense pats on the head to workers who have been sufficiently abject and grateful for their lot.
I shared this tidbit, from an article about the 7-11 episode, with Steve:
DePinto reports to work at 5:30 a.m. and meets the secret to their success—Dolores. This coffee queen has been working at 7-Eleven for 18 years, and she knows many of the customers by name. Outside of work, Dolores is raising five kids and dealing with serious health problems. She only has one working kidney and must have dialysis twice a week. "To have a person like Dolores in there, that's why we're selling 2,500 cups of coffee," he said. "Not because we have great coffee, but because we have Dolores."
After revealing his true identity, DePinto rewarded Dolores' hard work by giving her a special surprise—two season tickets to the New York Yankees, her favorite team.
No doubt the Yankees tickets come with a free pension and live-in nurse, as well as a rental dialysis machine. Another entry-level employee, Igor, gets his very own franchise, because he displays just the right mix of ambition and knowing his place:
"I'm living the American dream now. America is the best country in the world. You guys just do not really know how blessed you are," he said. "I am so motivated because I am so thankful for this country, which allowed me to survive and be happy."
DePinto said Igor's energy, enthusiasm and positivity are inspiring, and he's the type of man 7-Eleven wants to invest in.
I like you, shoeshine boy. You are humble and lovable.
"I'm going to pretend you're making this show up," Steve said. "Ha ha! It could appear right after Apartment Animal! So zany! In the next episode, the CEO of Wal-Mart goes undercover and a stocker kicks him in the balls."
"You wish," I said.
"I do wish."
"The CEO fell to the floor. Several other employees joined in the ball-stomping."
"'Ball-Kicked CEO,' next on ABC."
"With 'Yakety Sax'. Then they took his wallet. Sad trombone."
Amazingly (?) this show is based on a Channel 4 production. I wouldn't expect anyone involved with this to be able to walk around the UK without undergoing a hearty dose of ball kicking and wallet taking, but maybe I talk to too many Scots.