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Tara Ariano

Undercover Boss

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I was just reading an insightful article on why "the customer is always right" is bad for business. The dispatcher was right to side with the driver, but his approach was totally wrong. He shouldn't have argued with the customers and definitely shouldn't have called him a liar. But, I doubt that guy has any kind of customer service training. Do dispatchers generally even talk to customers? There are ways to handle a situation like that without escalating the customer, but I doubt anyone without customer service training would do it successfully.

 

Whether it was sexual harassment or not, the limo driver in LA was totally in the weeds. He shouldn't have been bad mouthing customers to another customer, even if she asked the question. He should have just said "not really" and left it at that.

 

Swan was awesome.

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I mean all of the "Breasturaunt" type episodes (frankly this show has had too many of them, but I guess they get ratings) {snip}

Seriously! I had no idea most of these chains even existed. At this point, are there any more of these kinds of establishments that haven't been featured?

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Yeah, the whole"customer is always right " thing was crap. At one point the customer was saying " it's literally ten feet". ( then walk!) He was trying to get more than he paid for. The response should have been just telling what the add-on cost would be.

It wasn't a bad episode. One thing it has taught me, if a new person ever shows up at your work in an ill-fitting wig and/or bad facial hair, and tries to get you to talk about your life - be on your best behavior, and exaggerate every bad thing that has ever happened to you. Make sure you talk about your dreams to take your family on vacation, pay off your house, have that operation, etc etc.

In fact, I'm going to start right now . I will approach anyone I see in a bad wig, and tell them my sad story. You never know.

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Seriously! I had no idea most of these chains even existed. At this point, are there any more of these kinds of establishments that haven't been featured?

 

If there is, I'm sure they will buy advertising space, I mean be featured, in the near future. 

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There is zero doubt that the dispatcher was trained to not let customers get away with extra stops.  We were given a yooge clue when Fredo, the dispatcher who got no respect but was smarter than that, explained that he had understandings with the drivers and it was clear to him that the customer was out of bounds.  In that business, the customer is always right?  What about the porno customers, David?!   Yeah, Fredo should never have called the client a "liar."  That was really bad.  But, unless and until David trains his managers to simply let the customers not pay for extras, he can STFU.

 

Then, dude gets all bent out of shape in anything goes L.A. when the driver was clearly pleasing his client by regaling her with stories.  He was ridiculously uptight in Vegas and he remained so in L.A.  I'm betting a big part of this was playing to the cameras.  If he drove for decades in the Tri-State, he had seen it all and then some.  To use another Godfather metaphor - it's the business he has chosen.   Anyway, if he is actually going to issue prim and proper decorum edicts for clients, he will not long last in Hollyweird - or any other big city.

 

The limo biz is cutthroat.  If he doesn't keep his drivers happy, ain't nobody happy.  What makes drivers happy?  Fat cat clients who will tip.  How do they get them to tip?  By going with what they want.  Also, backing drivers when they get asshole customers is yooge.  In other words, the true customers in David's world?  The drivers.

 

Didja notice nothing was done about Mr. Woo?  

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Add me to the group partially siding with the dispatcher. First of all, there's no such thing as a stop that's just going to take a few seconds. Allowing the customer to have an extra stop for free could have screwed up the schedule for the rest of the day, in addition to allowing the customer to get something for nothing.

The customer is rarely right. Unfortunately, they all have been told over the years that BS mantra about being right, which has made them prey on employees who are just doing their jobs.

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Add me to the group partially siding with the dispatcher. First of all, there's no such thing as a stop that's just going to take a few seconds. Allowing the customer to have an extra stop for free could have screwed up the schedule for the rest of the day, in addition to allowing the customer to get something for nothing.

 

It made me wonder if the actual CUSTOMER was the person who was paying for the ride, while the person being driven was trying to get an extra stop paid for by his employer, or whoever was footing the bill. If the driver HAD stopped, would the next thing be that there was an additional passenger?  Would the driver be blamed if the passenger ended up missing a meeting or connection?  The dispatcher needed to trust the driver's instincts and insist that the plan not be changed. 

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EmpireCLS is yet another UB company I will never use in my life, but this was a pretty good episode. I thought the CEO's backstory was interesting. That's really cool he could pull himself up by his bootstraps and work his way up from being a suicidal addict to a CEO.

 

The CEO didn't seem to get any training prior to being a chauffeur and appeared to be driving too fast at times, especially over bumps. I can't believe they would just throw him out there without giving him some tips, training or, at least, putting him through that obstacle course that Mr. Woo failed. I guess his segment with Jackie was on-the-job training. I can certainly understand him not being responsive to customers driving in an unfamiliar city with lots of traffic. You would have to know the city well before being comfortable enough to have a conversation while driving IMO. It definitely was a role reversal when Jackie advised him about needing to move on from his ex. I briefly forgot who the CEO was and who the employee was. Usually it's only the employee who tells the sob story.

 

I thought Swan was a dude at first. I can't believe Mr. Woo was allowed to keep his job after his abysmal performance on the obstacle course. That's really paying lip service to safety. I did love Mr. Woo though and would've loved to have seen a meeting with him and the CEO along with an update.

 

As far as Anthony goes, I can always understand the "bad" employee's side. He probably gets paid peanuts and feels under-appreciated. He thought he was destined for better things, but was passed over 10 times for other jobs. He was upset that he didn't breaks, but how did he have time to go to the Pizza Stop with the CEO then? Isn't that downtime considered a break? He also likely sneaks out for smokes whenever he can. Anyway, Anthony had a lot of built-up resentment towards the company and that showed in his conversations with the customer and the CEO. I was thinking that it was unfortunate if UB had just caught him on a bad day, but I'm fairly certain Anthony behaved that way on a daily basis. I suppose he could have been less argumentative with the customer and kudos to the CEO for not firing him a la Doug Guller. That "customer is always right" belief is hogwash and good on Anthony for having his driver's back. I'm sure in the CEO's mind though that you would just go ahead and accommodate the customer so they don't go with Uber or Lyft for their next ride. I'm sure they lost business due to that altercation, and I'm sure in the future that Anthony will follow his CEO's wishes much to the chagrin of his drivers.

 

I knew that they'd have a recovering addict as one of the employees since the CEO is a recovering addict himself. Frank seemed like an excellent chauffeur, and I don't think he crossed the line telling the customer that a porno was shot in one of his cars. I mean, it's L.A. Weird stuff like that happens there. I know that in the CEO's mind that they offer a high-end chauffeur service so that kind of talk is deemed inappropriate. But I felt it was more like a glorified taxi service, and I'm sure their pay reflects that. Taxi drivers usually do have some stories to tell, and I don't think in any way, shape, or form, what Frank said was sexual harassment. He was simply being candid and engaging just like the CEO with his thoughts on not getting married. But, at least, Frank is getting $10 K for his low rider and is able to help his mom out. It's worth it to go through sexual harassment training for that. I'm not so sure that the CEO was right in either Anthony or Frank's case, but he's the boss and the employees are expected to follow his policies blindly.

Edited by jmonkey

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Just now getting around to watching it.  Swan is amazingly stoic.  She should play Gary Cooper in the movie of his life.  "Yup." "Nope." "That's amazing."  All in the same monotone.  I love her.

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http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/bill-mayors-undercover-boss-promise-riles-pittsburgh-28436732

 

 

 

Mayor Bill Peduto appeared on the CBS show last month and pledged $155,000 to help four needy city workers. Peduto has stressed that tax revenue wouldn't be used and that corporate and institutional donors — including VisitPittsburgh — had pledged to pay for it.

But Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said VisitPittsburgh gets most of its $11 million budget from county tax money.

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Are there seriously no more real companies for this show to feature? 

 

The guy was nice, at least, but the show really doesn't work all that well when it's just a tiny franchise operation. 

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This episode really appealed to my sweet tooth. I'm a recovering sugar addict and definitely wanted to try some of those weird specialty pops and have some nostalgia with candy from when I was a kid. I no longer drink pop or eat candy, but there was definitely a time in my life when I would've done some damage in a Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop. I wonder if they have Cherry Clans. That's a candy from my youth that I haven't seen for sale in years.

 

Robert Powells is a nice guy, but this is the second week in a row that we've had a CEO cry in front of an employee during the training segments. I guess that does make them relatable.

 

I do wonder how a soda pop and candy shop is able to stay profitable considering that both are bad for you, but so are tobacco and alcohol and those industries do pretty well. I'm sure what helps them the most is the novelty aspect. It seems like they have certain items that you can't get elsewhere. It sounds like Rocket Fizz is expanding, but this is the first I've heard of it and there isn't one in my state yet (but there is a similar store at the local mall).

 

I'm glad they got that archaic point-of-sale system replaced. There's really no reason not to have a scan system today. It certainly beats the heck out of individually pricing candies with a gun and putting in the price for each item at the cash register. I always wonder why it takes UB for these CEOs to discover that their process is inefficient. This should've occurred to this CEO years ago. Is he really that out of touch?

 

I've noticed that there are subthemes in every episode now that connect the CEO to the employee. In this episode, the subtheme was death. In the Maaco episode, the subtheme was the American dream. Last week, in the Empire CLS episode, it was drug addiction. In the Bikini's episode, it was boobies. This CEO lost a girlfriend to suicide and 3 out of 4 of the employees mentioned the death of a relative in their backstory. That was cool that the CEO honored Marianne's deceased brother and Daniel's wife with bottles of pop with their pictures on them and that the sales will be going to charity of Marianne's choosing and to help cover Daniel's wife's medical bills. I just wonder why Ben's brother, Sergio, wasn't honored with bottles of pop available for purchase too. I'm hoping that people go out and buy Marianne's brother's and Daniel's wife's pop, but I don't think enough people watch UB anymore that they will generate much revenue.

 

Again, I wonder how Robert is going to pay for all the lavish gifts he gave his employees. Rocket Fizz only made $35 million last year, and the gifts that were paid out to these 4 employees would be substantial enough to negatively impact the company's bottom line. I guess he's single, so it's possible that it could come out of his pocket. I'm inclined to believe that CBS is helping foot the bill, but then again, I just read that the Pittsburgh mayor from the episode 2 is struggling to get his UB obligations paid. So maybe not. Maybe the CEO is thinking that the business they drum up by being on UB will make up for the gifts they dole out and that it will all even out considering that UB is basically an hour-long advertisement for the company featured every week.

Edited by jmonkey
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jmonkey-  A quick search indicates your favorite candy changed its name to Cherryheads in the 1970s and is still available

 

http://www.oldtimecandy.com/walk-the-candy-aisle/cherryheads/

 

This episode didn't hold my interest- The series needs to use companies we know!

Thanks for the link! It's interesting to read that the name changed in the 70s because I remember eating Cherry Clans in the late 80s and early 90s and I've never heard of Cherryheads. I'm glad to hear they're still a quarter. Even though I don't eat candy anymore, I'll have to pick up a box for old time's sake. I'm sure they have them at the candy store in the mall. I bet they won't be the same as they used to be.

 

I agree that UB would get better ratings if they started using companies we know, or, at least, a company that is larger. Of course larger companies probably are more scared to do this because they can't gain much and have a lot more to lose. I don't know why though since the situations on UB are contrived and the employees who get helped or disciplined are handpicked. The CEOs of certain companies must be extremely afraid of manual labor, looking like idiots on national TV, and working side-by-side with their employees.

Edited by jmonkey
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I thought this episode stunk. Maybe because I've never been rewarded for all the dead people in my life. Plus, I've never called my boss "Bro." Much less call him "Bro" every few seconds. Don't think he'd take it well.. Actually, I've never called either one of my brothers bro either, so maybe it's just me.

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The words "bro" and "Rocket Fizz" are etched into my brain.  Probably for eternity.  It was like a contest, who could say it the most times?

 

Having said that, I was curious enough about Rocket Fizz to look it up.  There's only one in my state, but it's in a town I go to a couple times a year, so I'll stop by.  I'm a recovering candy addict, and I limit myself to one piece a day, but I may just have to make an exception for that visit.

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I have not seen this episode yet, but we do have a Rocket Fizz down the street from us, wonder if he went to that one on the show, it is in Surprise, AZ.  I've been in there; not too impressed. It is right next to a movie theatre & bowling alley though so may get a lot of kids in.

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There was a string of Undercover Boss on one of the channels today.  I watched 2 of them, one was MasTec & the other was Oriental Trading Company.  These people have to know who these people are. On the MasTec show, he was working with a woman out in the fields installing those wind turbines. She right away started crying to him about how she has fibromyalgia and due to the medication, is losing her teeth.  Of course, he buys her new teeth.  A girl who sorts items at Oriental Trading Company tells the CEO that her sister is in prison for 5 years so she is raising her niece, he gives her $20,000.00 to help her out.  Who in the world tells a complete stranger things like this. 

 

Who really pays out all of this money to these people, the company or the network?

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I would not be at all surprised to learn that this company paid TPTB to be featured.  It is soooo not ready for prime time expansion!  

 

Back in the day, my buddies and I would take day trips to Chicago every few months.  One of the things we were always sure to do was stop at a really small soda pop bottling company which had unusual, and really tasty, and reeeeeeally sugary, products.  I believe they only sold quart-size bottles of their products.  One had to leave a pretty significant deposit for their bottles, and this was not for any government mandate, like we see in most places today.   It was for the actual costs to the company.  we were always careful to return the empties for credit!!

 

I went to the corporate web site for Rocket Fizz and was astonished to see how tightly run it is.  Almost all inquiries had to go to the president or the CEO!  This is easily the most immature company UB has featured.  I noticed they were locate in some high cost rent/lease locations, too.  How can such a place demand high-end pricing/margins?  For candy?  

 

One thing I really did want to see addressed was "shrinkage."  This is the term used by retailers for shoplifting/stealing.  A piece here, a bite there, and it adds up super quick for a specialty candy store.   My guess is that alone could kill nascent franchisees.  I always dislike going into shops like this because the employees have to be hardasses about charging for samples.  They are also taught to have eyes like hawks, with attitude to match, as well.  I understand it, but I doesn't has ta likes it.  

It's the opposite of the ethos we heard last week:  The customer's always right.  Not in candy stores, s/he is not.

 

On the surface, the offer for the paid franchise which was made to the young lady seems like the greatest thing evah.   All I see is another drastically undercapitalized and ignorant franchisee being set up for failure.  Who is going to teach her the realities of the costs and accounting?  How will she survive the first 12 months unless the store miraculously manages to make an operating profit from the jump?

 

I hope the chain and their franchisees are a success.  I'll be shocked if they are, though.

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I live close to a Rocket Fizz in a high rent area and any time I am at this shopping center, the place is hopping.  They probably don't have large sales but $10 here and there adds up.  There is a movie theater and it's a very family oriented place so I imagine there are tons of impulse buys, parents buying for kids and kids with allowance money/teens with paychecks that spend. 

 

I did like Rob, the owner/president/CEO, whatever.  He seems like a nice guy who is interested in his employees and how his stores run.  I do second the poster above who mentioned the "bro" from one of the employees every other word.  Drove me crazy.

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I'm glad they got that archaic point-of-sale system replaced. There's really no reason not to have a scan system today. It certainly beats the heck out of individually pricing candies with a gun and putting in the price for each item at the cash register. I always wonder why it takes UB for these CEOs to discover that their process is inefficient. This should've occurred to this CEO years ago. Is he really that out of touch?

 

This drove me nuts.  The company was started in 2007, decades after barcoding technology was standard.  Hell, I'm old enough to remember when the local Pathmark got scanners and everyone was freaking out about it.  Sure, maybe his first store wouldn't have had scanners, but once you start franchising a business, it's big enough to invest in a proper point of sale system.

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Rick Forman, Founder and CEO of Forman Mills, goes undercover at his discount apparel stores and warehouse.


Like a lot of CEOs and founders, Rick seemed pretty out of touch, almost clueless.  Like the Rocket Fizz guy, how could he not know how inefficient the POS system he had in his stores were?  Or the price check procedure?

Newbie operating a forklift always good for a few laughs.  I'm waiting for an injury accident to occur when the UB is learning how to operate some of the machinery, though. 

Nice that he instituted the profit-sharing to benefit all the employees, not just the ones who were on the show.

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This company may have the thinnest profit margins of any ever featured on UB.  Not a lot can be done in such a business.  This guy knew full well he was running everything on the cheap.  What might have woke his butt up was the coupon approval process and the payment capture cluster.  How many of their customers use plastic?  A distinct minority.  Point of Sale terminals (machine where you slide your card) do not come cheap - nor does the software required to run them.  Also,  a place like that would never encourage using plastic as the fees costs them upwards of 4-5% in revenue.   There is zero doubt that the plastic payment capture system was created to discourage usage and minimize cost.  The problem is that the lost labor productivity and heightened customer frustration levels will often far outweigh any other savings. 

 

So, too, the price check methodology was intentionally laborious.  If it were quick and easy, more customers would be more willing to insist on fighting for that dollar.  I am "that guy" at WalMart who will absolutely hold up the line insisting that the shelf price be honored.  Most customers behind me stare bullets at me, or even speak their disgust for me.  I'm more invested on making the store managers' life miserable so that they might, just might, place a larger priority on pricing integrity.  Anyway, I have read enough articles about retail to know that many companies absolutely count on folks not wanting to fight for what is right.  It is built into their profit analyses.  It would be stunning if Forman Mills had not done a similar analysis and drawn similar conclusions.

 

Parenthetically, the Walmart store manager did at one point authorize his cashiers to just give the customers the benefit of the doubt for discrepancies which resulted in less than $1 variance.  That went away when the next manager took over some months later.  He was said to have done this at the express order of corporate offices.  Also, I love what California law says:  If the price is wrong, the item is free up to $3.00.  If the item is more than $3, the customer is given $3 off the price.  Boy, how the stores haaaaaaaate that law.  Ya notice it isn't that way in many states?  I wonder why.  :)

 

Speaking of WalMart...this is probably the first time I have ever heard/seen on TV any mention of that place as a preferred employer which offers better pay and a better workplace.  Wow.

 

My favorite moment of this ep was when cray cray CEO was getting all frustrated whilst cleaning out a toilet stall and he bit into his gloved hand.  Said glove had been God knows where and had to have had an unholy amount of disgusting bacteria all over it.  How did he not come down with a severe illness?  

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This episode was okay. This is the second week in a row where the company has had an inefficient POS system. I call shenanigans on Rick Forman not knowing about the crappy POS system. He absolutely knew about it and just didn't want to invest money into a better system because of the costs associated with it. He was smart enough to act ignorant (instead of apathetic) on UB and was able to save face by agreeing to improve the POS system, which is something that should have been done years ago if he really cared about his employees and customers.

 

I think it would be interesting to see how the companies that made comprehensive company-wide changes, i.e. profit sharing, new POS systems, or wage reinstatement, have fared since appearing on UB. I know the CEO of Buffets, Inc. pledged to make a $3 million dollar investment on the POS system after UB and the CEO of Frontier Airlines promised to increase everyone's wages to where they were before the pay cuts. I wonder how those businesses are doing now. I know when my company lost a 27 million dollar lawsuit filed by the employees that they cut almost all of their employees pay (some by as much as $9 an hour). It's great that Forman wants to invest in a new POS system and offer his employees profit sharing, but all that likely means is that costs are going to have to increase or cuts are going to have to be made elsewhere to stay afloat. 

 

It really seemed like this CEO was acting more so than the other UBs. I can't believe he is as unfocused as he appeared to be on the show. All the employees hated him. He definitely couldn't handle any of those jobs, so it's good that he has business acumen and is able to be his own boss and live a life of luxury. That fork lift scene was hilarious, though clearly staged like most of UB.

 

I had never heard of Forman Mills before this episode, but I can see the niche it fills in the community. It provides jobs in innercity neighborhoods where other stores won't set up shop and it allows customers to buy name-brand clothes at low prices that they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. Having large warehouses full of chaos and clothes thrown everywhere seems to fit the urban landscape and the personality of the CEO quite well.

Edited by jmonkey
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I was confused by the description of the chain.  He seemed to describe it like the stores had good merchandise, and it was the shtick to make them look like trashy dollar stores.  But then, in reality, they really seemed like trashy dollar stores.  People peeing on the bathroom walls doesn't seem to fit the "store carefully dressed up to look like something else" script -- i.e., Mel's Diner or Cracker Barrel.

 

Even though the first franchise he visited was in Chicago, I'd never heard of Forman Mills.  Which is surprising, because I live in a neighborhood that's generally described as gritty.  We have a lot of dollar stores (and a restaurant with two Michelin stars. It's a confusing neighborhood).

 

The guy who cleaned the bathrooms and worked at a shelter in his off time, he made me cry.  I hate when I know I'm going to cry, I feel manipulated, but this guy really got to me, and I was so very happy for him when his life got changed by the CEO.  Sometimes really good things happen to really good people.

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I've heard of Foreman Mills, and seen their super annoying commercials, but the one that's around here is in one of the worst areas of Cleveland and lets just say I'm not their target demographic. Plus I've never been looking to get murdered or carjacked to shop there. It's known to be way less lower quality than TJ Maxx or Marshall's or even a local similar chain, Gabriel Brother's. It's nice they offer a much more urban look at lower prices, but there's got to be a way to do it without selling nothing but crap that falls apart at the seams when you touch it. But given the CEO and his antics, and his crappy POS system, obviously quality control isn't high on his list of priorities. 

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Felt really bad for this owner re his girlfriend that committed suicide.  It's so obvious he's never taken the time to truly grieve her death.  That being said, he really didn't seem like a great businessman.  Penny wise and pound foolish.  I imagine investing in one of those little price sticker guns was a lot cheaper at first, but it's really costing him in the long run.  And the inventory system, cash register.  At first I thought it would be such a fun place to work, but, God, everything would just take so long and be so tedious.

 

Totally off topic, but cool to see there's others here who have a sugar addiction they're in recovery from.  That stuff is like crack cocaine for me.

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The ceo was embarrassing. He said in the beginning they don't train. They just throw employees out to work and learn on their own. Then he is all surprised when he learns the employees aren't trained? Whatever. And the store colors, yellow and red,ugh I hate those 2 colors together. And walmart pays better? Whoo boy, this place must not pay much at all!!

Edited by Frootloop Dingus
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Never been to FOR-MAN MILLS, but like someone mentioned above, that's mainly because I don't want to risk getting carjacked. Or worse.

 

I literally gagged when the Boss stuck his gloved finger in his mouth right after touching the floor he'd just described as being soaked with urine.

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Jessica Herrin, CEO and Founder of Stella & Dot, a leading global direct sales company with its own boutique-style jewelry and accessories line, goes on an undercover journey to discover the real gems working within her company.

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Had anyone even heard of this company? I know plenty of women who host every at home party under the sun, and yet I've never heard of this one. This one seemed over the top fake and set up, way more than usual. And seriously, WTF was going on with her disguise? The wig and outfits were atrocious. She looked like a Stepford Wife. 

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Just watch an UB Canada rerun with the clothing store Mexx. Considering the just announced they are pulling out of Canada effective immediately I hope the people cashed in their whole 'winnings'. One update said the woman did the Halloween Disney thing so I would think it was filmed last Spring?

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I'm pretty sure this is the company that's a frequent participant in Good Morning America's Deals & Steals feature where products are highly discounted. I guess they're trying to get their name out there however they can. 

 

The perky-bordering-on-hyper 'stylist' was beyond annoying, and the extra-long thank you hugs from the warehouse guy who declared her 'hot' when she was still undercover were creepy-funny.

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Stella & Dot is yet another UB company I've never heard of. I also have no interest in jewelry, so this was a tough watch for me. I usually have some connection to every episode. Even if I've never heard of the business, i.e. Rocket Fizz, Bikini's, and Forman Mills, I usually like the product or concept even if the company itself is being totally mismanaged. I didn't think I'd have a connection to this episode at all, but the CEO came to Des Moines where I live and visited a cafe I've been to before where she got her undercover blown by Grace. So that was cool seeing Des Moines on TV.

 

Jessica Herrin, the CEO, seemed nice and genuinely touched by all of her employee's stories. It looked like she was going to break down and cry many times during this episode. However, I get the feeling via her interaction with Grace that her interest in her employees was virtually non-existent away from the cameras. Grace mentioned to the CEO that she had never expressed an interest in her before. That must have been tough for Grace to say to the CEO since she knew it was the CEO. Grace seemed completely thrown by talking to the CEO as if she was scared to say the wrong thing. Most of the employees express their candor not knowing they're talking to the CEO (or so we're led to believe), and I got the impression that the CEO had hurt Grace prior to UB, which made communication difficult. So that scene was eye-opening for me.

 

What I gleaned from this episode is that while the CEO wants to do UB so they don't get the cook's tour of their company, it's also typically true that the CEO presents their very best self to their employees for the show. I'd imagine most of the CEOs wouldn't give their employees the time of day during normal circumstances and are more focused on the bottom line. However, if you put a camera on them and air it nationwide, all of a sudden they're interested in making their employee's lives better. That's why UB is so disingenuous. It's a quick fix for a select few that ignores the bigger problem of apathy that most of these CEOs have for their employees. I'm fairly certain the CEOs go back to treating their employees the exact same way they did prior to UB. They just go on UB to make themselves look like they care by giving lavish rewards to deserving employees. And if it takes UB for these CEOs to make comprehensive changes, such as implementing an efficient POS system, that's a sad commentary on that CEO's leadership.

 

I liked all the employees on this episode, but Matt was my favorite. What a great guy! But, yes, he was definitely enjoying hugging the CEO a little too much.

Edited by jmonkey
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I thought the CEO was a flake when she went undercover.  The jewelry was ugly and cheap looking.  I can't believe celebrities wear that stuff.  Do they?  The lady who was doing the designing (or that department) was patient because Jessica was a flake.  You have someone training you and you don't seem to take it seriously but whatever.  When it came to the rewards the employees got did Jessica get a donation $10,000, a spa day and crappy chain from Jessica?  Did she get anything else?  I wondered because others got promotions, $24000 rent, school, money, etc.  Considering what the others got, Grace got shafted, I think.  Was that because she told the truth that the executives didn't care about them? This was the first time I saw something like this.  Maybe I missed something.

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If you missed it I did as well because after Jessica got her donation, spa day and chain, I said out loud "That's it?" Maybe Jessica's real "reward" was supposed to be that her CEO finally gave her the time of day -- as least as long as the cameras were rolling.

Edited by designing1
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Egads!  That disguise was awful!

 

I didn't think I'd have a connection to this episode at all, but the CEO came to Des Moines where I live and visited a cafe I've been to before where she got her undercover blown by Grace. So that was cool seeing Des Moines on TV.

 

I didn't get a chance to watch this, but now I will have to look for a rerun.  Des Moines has been on a lot of shows, recently.

 

The jewelry was ugly and cheap looking.  

 

Crucial, I recently purchased some things from a friend's S&D party and was pleasantly surprised with the quality.  

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My dh looked and me and said "Is that all Grace gets ?"  I thought it was because Grace didn't really ask for anything (say that she needed anything) He thought it was stupid to have Jessica meet with someone who would know  right away who she was .  Yep.

 

Damn! A lot of people sure open up and tell their life stories to complete strangers.

 

Jessica did indeed look like a big Barbie doll.

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Crucial, I recently purchased some things from a friend's S&D party and was pleasantly surprised with the quality.  

 

Maybe it's something you need to see in person :(  I'm glad you liked and saw the quality of the items. I have to say that I'm not a big fan of this type of stuff because it reminds me of Candlelite and I have had horrid problems with them.

 

I'm glad I wasn't the only one designing1.  Poor Grace I'm sure the next time they come across one another she will be ignored.  Grace has drive, too bad she couldn't go to another field/business and use her talents.  I don't think Jessica appreciates her at all or will.  Again, that's just me.

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I thought this was the best disguise they've ever done on UB!  Just shows how bad the wigs usually are.

I'm not into the home show/party thing any more.  Been there done that, never need to do it again.  So many of these kinds of companies say they care for their sales force, the people who set up and present the goods at the party, it mostly seems like lip service to me, and that's what I think we saw between Jessica and Grace.

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That chick in Des Moines was the phoniest phony I have seen on this show.  She recognized the boss in her Barbie disguise and, as soon as it was confirmed, turned on the waterworks about her father who died when she was 16.  A terrible tragedy, without question but IMO, as soon as she realized she was on the show, she had to come up with a hook and quick.                                                               Bet she was surprised that all she got was a $10 necklace and a spa day.

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I loved that CEO was called out for being cold.  We got the standard, "I can have it all" narrative, and then we saw it just ain't so.  CEO simply has to spend gobs of time and energy on the biz and then she has to be a mom.  How on earth would she have the energy to be all emotive with all her reports (folks she manages)?  

 

Seeing the phony-baloney friendships at the trunk show for what they really were was fun.  Yes.  Come to my party, but be sure to understand the expectation is that you will buy accessories.  It's the exact same lie that we see within the corporation:  We caaaaare about YOU.  You, dear employee, are FAMILY.  Riiiiiiight.  And if an employee doesn't put on the faux lovey-dovey facade, they are deemed to be bad.  But again, the CEO can be as stone cold as she likes.  Demands are for thee, not for me!

 

Of course, Miss CEO figured out that to make real money, they have to broaden their offerings.  Now, they will become Avon-lite.  Never mind the "feel" of the company was all about baubles, which has a measure of "class."  Now, it becomes a traveling Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  How much product will their sales folks have to schlep and set up as they expand?   

 

One thing they got very right was the high-tech inventory management system in the warehouse and fulfillment center.  I liked the very low-tech picking process.  Just three shelves and everyone just walks around the aisles to get stuff.  They have some serious sunk costs.  I wonder how high their debt levels are.  They are definitely in a great biz for high margins for their products, though.  

 

Now for the question I can't answer:  How can the operator with 2 young kids now "comfortably" take care of them on an extra $4k/year (after taxes), at most?  Do they pay those folks $30K or more?  At a call center?  The only way this is true is if she lives at home, or with a new significant other.  Of course, we are to think she is doing it all on her own - she can do it all!  Just like the CEO.

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
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Mr. Forman Mills is staring in a new commercial. I've seen it at least 3 times now, everything in the store will be 50% off today. I've seen their commercials for years and he's never been in one before. 

Edited by Fostersmom

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Armando Montelongo, CEO of Armando Montelongo Companies, works undercover at his real estate company that specializes in educational seminars that teach wealth creation and financial independence.

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What happened to Veronica?  Did she wise up and leave him? 

 

Armando's even fatter and he has long fluffy hair.   His girlfriend, a low rent bottle blonde stripper looking chick. travels with him along with 3 other bleached blondes and a former Navy Seal as security.  He's still a douche.

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This guy is such an asshole! I remember him from Flip This House on A&E. His "introduction" at the start had me laughing my ass off when he got to his seminar director I think she was, his "assistant", his girlfriend and the Navy Seal bodyguard. I guess he doesn't own any shirts that button up to the top. He got in trouble with the state of Texas over his "seminars" which came off as a pyramid scheme from how he described them tonight.

Edited by Jaded
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