One of my favorite TV shows of 2013 is a program called “Undercover Boss.”
Much like it’s name, the premise of the show is simple: The head of a company dons a disguise and poses as an everyday worker to find out what is really going on in the company.
The way the show typically plays out, the undercover boss learns how the company really works compared to how it is supposed to work on paper, how cost-cutting moves don’t appear so great when they impact real people, and discovers how hard employees really work for their meager pay.
At the end of the show, the boss makes the needed changes and usually offers cash gifts or promotions to the weary employees who go above and beyond yet struggle to make ends meet or to live their dreams.
The show is popular, at least for me, because it shows the boss doesn’t have a clue about what is going on, is oblivious to how decisions that look good on paper have unforeseen negative consequences, and workers work really hard for little compensation and even less praise.
In my experience, these factors are universally true.
But there is one episode of the show I really long to see, and one I believe would be highly entertaining.
Why not get the ultimate boss to go undercover?
Yes, I’m talking about our own commander-in-chief, President Barack H. Obama.
It would be great to see just how out of touch the president really is (“We tell them they can keep their insurance, but they really can’t” says the knowing low-level employee at health.gov) and great to see Obama fume at incompetence he presides over and once railed against.
Imagine the ratings spike to see Obama as an undercover boss? I have that fantasy every time I visit a post office.
And to show I’m not just picking on postal workers, I came across an item in the paper that would make a perfect undercover boss episode. It seems an Obama family gift — the first family’s personal photo album — meant for a family friend in Olympia Fields ended up in the mailbox of a woman in Wadsworth.
Imagine Obama wearing a fake beard and mustache, dressed in a letter carrier’s uniform following around the Cliff Claven character that delivered this one?
But that’s not all.
How about Obama in disguise at the NSA accidently coming across your email to Aunt Millie and flagging you for more surveillance?
Obama could go undercover as a CIA agent and watch what happens when one of our embassies is attacked and calls for help go unanswered by the government.
Here’s a good one: Obama works at the IRS and decides which organizations get denied for tax-exempt status.
OK he doesn’t have to go undercover for that one, but you get the idea.