February 22, 2010 01:19 AM by Nancy Floyd
Tonightâ€™s episode ofÂ Undercover Boss onÂ CBS follows Joe DePinto, the CEO of 7-Eleven as he goes undercover in his own company. Among Joeâ€™s responsibilities this week: working the night shift, making donuts, and driving a delivery truck. How will the guy who manages a 13-billion dollar company handle the day-to-day responsibilities that face his store employees everyday? Keep reading to find outâ€¦
Joe DePinto is a West Point grad with a military background who worked his way up to success. On tonightâ€™s episode ofÂ Undercover Boss, the CEO of 7-Eleven is checking out operations in his own company by going undercover. After the requisite shots of him enjoying the high life with his family (complete with a casual game of football in the backyard of his McMansion and a few shots of the family golfing on their very own putting green), Joe sits down with his executive board to explain his plan. They act shocked as though they had no idea their CEO has been planning this for months.
Joeâ€™s first stop as theÂ Undercover Boss is in Shirley, NY where heâ€™ll be working the morning shift at the â€œepicenter for coffee at 7-Eleven.â€ This store alone sells 2,500 cups of coffee a day and Joe wants to know how they do it. It doesnâ€™t take him long to discover their secret weapon: Delores. An employee of 7-Eleven for 18 years, Delores is like your crazy, loud-mouthed aunt thatâ€™s endearing and slightly embarrassing all at the same time. She knows all of the customers by name, greets them affectionately, and teases them mercilessly. Whenâ€™s the last time your Starbucks barista greeted you with a hug while simultaneously calling you names? While Joe struggles to keep up with the fast-paced environment, he has a few opportunities to interact with the customers and learns some things about Delores, most notably that sheâ€™s on dialysis and is in need of a kidney transplant. I sense a feel-good moment coming up later in the show on that point. When the day is through and Joe has managed to accidentally mix two flavors of coffee together and overflow another pot, Delores resolves that she would never actually hire him for a job. The guy can oversee a company that has 36,000 stores worldwide but when it comes to making coffee, he just canâ€™t hack it.
Day two ofÂ Undercover Boss finds Joe working at 7-Elevenâ€™s largest bakery in Baltimore, Maryland. On a personal note, this is by far my favorite segment of the show because it involves donuts. Joe is working alongside Phil on the line as they make donuts and fritters. Joeâ€™s only job is to put the fritter dough on the conveyer belt in rows of five. This is too difficult for the man in charge and as soon as Phil steps away, all hell breaks loose. Itâ€™s basically an episode of I Love Lucy waiting to happen as Joe struggles to keep up with the quick moving conveyer belt. Back in the break room, we learn that Phil is an aspiring artist as evidenced by his sketching pad filled with drawings ofâ€¦you guessed itâ€¦donuts! Thatâ€™s my kind of art, Phil. Keep up the good work.
The next day, Joe goes undercover to work the night shift at a store in Medford, New York. His boss for the night is a young Pakistani guy named Waqas. Waqas has been an employee of 7-Eleven for four years while he works on getting his Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. Joe is disappointed when he discovers that the night staff is throwing away trays of donuts every evening instead of donating them to charity. I shed a small tear during this portion of the show as well. Not so much because Iâ€™m concerned about the homeless and hungry, but because it pains my soul to witness all of those beautiful donuts go to waste. Who would commit such a travesty?
During a break, Joe asks Waqas about his career plans and discovers that Waqas doesnâ€™t consider his job at 7-Eleven to be a â€œcareer.â€ Shocking. Who works at a 24-hr convenience store and thinks of it as a lifelong career path? Not intentionally anyways. Waqas explains that he views it as a dead end job because there are no opportunities for him to move up in the company. Basically, Waqas just wants the chance to become Slurpie Supervisor like any other self-respecting, college graduate would.
The next day,Â Undercover Boss sends Joe to Long Island, New York to one of the highest grossing stores in the franchise. This day of work is relatively uneventful so I wonâ€™t drag it out. Joe washes windows and discovers that there are lights out in the store. Maintenance wonâ€™t come fix them for a month so Joe pulls out the CEO card and puts a call in to the COO of the company and gets this fiasco taken care of immediately. I know youâ€™ll sleep better tonight knowing that those fluorescent lights will be shining brightly again.
The last day ofÂ Undercover Boss finds Joe working with Igor on a delivery truck. What can I say about Igor? Basically, heâ€™s my new favorite person on the planet. First, he tells Joe that heâ€™s from Kazakhstan like Borat. Amazing. Secondly, he calls his truck his baby and says if his arms were longer heâ€™d hug it. Fantastic. A healthy dose of truck love never hurt anyone. Thirdly, he has found the secret to marital bliss. He works nights and his wife works days so they only see each other two days a week. Brilliant. Igor is a friendly, upbeat guy who manages to make driving a delivery truck seem like the best job in the world. Iâ€™m strongly considering becoming a delivery truck driver after witnessing his enthusiasm.
After meeting with the executive board to discuss all that he learned while onÂ Undercover Boss and simultaneously terrifying them by discussing all the huge changes he wants to make to the company, Joe is about to reveal his true identity. His big reveal is slightly anticlimactic, however, when he walks into the office and Delores and Waqas donâ€™t even recognize him. Itâ€™s only been a few days! How could they possibly already forget who he was? Hey guys, remember that dude that was followed around by a TV camera crew the entire time he worked with you? This is him.
Joeâ€™s meeting with Waqas is first. Joe was impressed with his hard work but saddened by his view that working at 7-Eleven is a dead end job. As a result, Joe would like to personally mentor Waqas and help him move up in the company if heâ€™s interested. Slurpie Supervisor position, here he comes!
Next up is Phil. Joe was as impressed as I was by Philâ€™s donut artwork and wants to give him the opportunity to do some freelance artwork for the marketing department. Phil is moved to tears and I am too when I spot the glorious rattail that Phil is sporting. Why on earth did he keep that thing hidden while working on the bakery line?
Itâ€™s time for Joe to meet with Igor. Joe enjoyed his time with Igor and wants to reward his hard work by sending Igor and his wife on an all-expenses paid vacation to spend some quality time together. Apparently Joe missed Igorâ€™s speech about the secret to a healthy marriage. A whole week together with his wife? Thereâ€™s a good chance that Igor might end up divorced.
Lastly, Joe meets with Delores and informs her that he will be starting a donor awareness program in all of their stores in her honor. More tears. For both Delores and myself.
After a company-wide event where Joe shows a highlight reel of his time on the road and says a bunch of fluff about how heâ€™s been changed for the better, we get to see a where-are-they-now update on each of the employees featured in tonightâ€™s episode. Waqas has become a field consultant and is now responsible for overseeing ten stores. Phil continues to work at the bakery but is also doing freelance art for the marketing department. The donor awareness program is fully underway. And in the greatest news ever, Igor has been presented his own franchise and is now his own boss! Three cheers for Igor.Â This feel-good moment was brought to you by 7-Eleven.
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Photo Courtesy of CBS