Monday, February 1, 2010

Undercover Boss: the Truth About the Frontline

Your boss has no idea how hard you work, how much you're undervalued, and how little you're paid in relation to how much you are required and expected to do.

It's what you've always thought, but now it's being proven true by a new show on CBS called Undercover Boss. The show was featured on today's Oprah show, and the premise is that the person at the top of a company goes and does the jobs at the very, very, very bottom of the company. So, the COO of Waste Management went and picked up trash and cleaned up port-a-potties. The president of 7-Eleven worked as a cashier and truck driver.

Each of these big wigs hands down said that they had no idea how underpaid, undervalued, and unsupported their frontline employees really are. There are people - and we all know them - that work in awful jobs for decades, and despite the fact that they do their jobs impeccably and know the business better than the boss are never moved ahead.

And, of course, these heads of companies meet wonderful people that do these terrible things with a smile on their face and reward them with bonuses or pay increases or their own 7-Eleven franchises, but these four or five people are but a drop in the bucket compared with the enormity of employees that are in the same boat. I suppose the only thing I'm saying here is that I hope more bosses - at all levels - take a really hard look at frontline employees in all types of business. They're underpaid, undervalued, and unsupported by higher ups.

The modern mentality seems to generally be that these frontline employees are expendable and undeserving of benefits. It is nearly impossible to move upwards in most companies, unless you consent to moving your family across the country to a store that will take you. I had to swallow a big dose of humility this past year when I gave up my badge and had to work at a coffee shop and then as a server.

When you're an officer, people treat you much better. Yes, it's out of fear or undeserved respect, but it is a different treatment. I didn't have to put up with the grief and god awful comments as an officer that we feel we can say to our waiters and waitresses. Someone wouldn't dare say some of the things to me with my badge on as they would when I was serving them coffee. People treat frontline employees like - pardon the language -
SHIT!
Check your local listings and tune in for at least one or two shows. I think this will get a lot of people talking in the same line as that short series by ABC called 'What Would You Do?' 

Send me your thoughts! IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com 

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

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