Undercover Boss USA

There’s a new Wednesday night line-up from 8pm tonight on TV ONE. See below for what it consists of, including a new series of TV ONE’s much-loved local series, This Town. I recommend tuning in to all programmes in the line-up.

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8:30pm Tuesday, March 29 on TV One

Undercover Boss is the hit reality series that follows high level corporate executives as they take the extraordinary step of going undercover in their own companies.

Tonight, Henrik Slipsager, the President and CEO of ABM, America’s number one provider of building maintenance and facility services, goes undercover posing as a Dutch immigrant seeking a new career in the land of opportunity.

Slipsager rebelled as a teenager; leaving his home in Denmark at 17-years-old he worked his way up to a CEO position by the age of 33. The most difficult time of his career was going through the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Centre, where ABM had over 850 full-time employees.

In his first job, Henrik goes to Tampa, Florida to go undercover as an airport shuttle driver with Kenny. Henrik isn’t used to working at 4am, and finds all of the instructions from Kenny too much to remember. Kenny gives Henrik the reigns of the shuttle bus and is shocked when Henrik speeds, isn’t quick enough helping the customers out with their bags, and then swears over the shuttle PA system.

In his second job, Henrik goes undercover working with Peter as a commercial window washer in Chicago, Illinois. He’s concerned about how dangerous it is and has a fear of heights. Henrik is soon overcome by fear, and asks to be brought down to the ground.

His third job is in New York where Henrik visits 7 World Trade Center, one of the buildings that was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks, but rebuilt and newly opened two years ago. Henrik goes undercover with Maria, a janitorial worker. who lost her nephew in the attacks and Henrik is reminded of the 17 employees who lost their lives.

For his final stop, Henrik asks to visit an employee that was working at the World Trade Center when 9/11 happened, in order to hear his perspective on how ABM handled the situation. He meets Larry, a freight elevator operator who tells him what he went through and how he was treated by ABM.

Missed an episode of UnderCover Boss USA? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button

8:30pm Tuesday, January 18 on TV One

Undercover Boss USA is the hit reality series that follows high level corporate executives as they take the extraordinary step of going undercover in their own companies.

In the new season, bosses from AMB, Choice Hotels, Nascar, and DirecTV slip anonymously into the lowest level jobs to find out what their employees really think of them and their company.

They discover what needs fixing, who deserves praising and who needs a wake up call. It’s an experience that transforms the bosses and the people who work for them.

8:30pm Tuesday, August 24 on TV One

In tonight’s episode of Undercover Boss USA (tonight on TV ONE at 8.30pm), Rick Arquilla, President and COO of Roto-Rooter, the largest plumbing and drain-cleaning business in North America, goes undercover in his own company. He’s not just hoping to learn about what’s happening on the front lines, he wants to know how his employees are holding up during the economic downturn and to see if Roto-Rooter can go from a good company to a great company.

Arquilla explains how his life has changed and what motivated him to take on this challenge: “life’s been pretty good to me. I’ve got great wife, great kids, I got lucky. I’m living the American dream. But I didn’t always have it so easy. I was raised in a blue-collared town in a working class family.”

In order to go undercover Arquilla has had to come up with a cover story, he explains, “my employees will be told that they’re being filmed training new recruits as part of a show celebrating Roto-Rooters’ 75th anniversary.”

During the course of his experience Arquilla realises he is unable to use some of his own machinery, “It’s somewhat humorous that a colour blind guy would develop a dispatch model which is primarily based on a colour-coded system, but, I guess I never intended to be doing it myself!”

He also meets one of his workers, a recovering alcohol addict called Chris who inspires him to face some of his own demons. “I’ve really had trouble sleeping. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Chris. He brought back a lot of childhood memories for me and thoughts started racing through my head that I’ve frankly hadn’t experienced since I was a little kid. My dad drank and he drank too much. He was an alcoholic. And it caused a lot of heartache in our family. And unfortunately, he went to his grave without he and I bringing closure to that issue.”

After he reveals his true self to staff, he has a special thank-you for Chris, “I want you to know that it’s a real honour having met you. And something else I didn’t tell you is my dad was an alcoholic. It ruined his life. Made it hard on me, and we never reconciled. But I did reconcile. I reconciled this week with him. You’re the guy that allowed me to do that.”

Arquilla summarises,”I can’t remember a stretch of time, personally or professionally, that was more difficult than this and more gratifying than this.”

8:30pm Tuesday, July 6 on TV One

Undercover Boss USA is the reality series that follows high-level corporate executives as they take the extraordinary step of going undercover in their own companies.

Bosses slip anonymously into the lowest-level jobs to find out what their employees really think of them and their company. They discover what needs fixing, who deserves praising and who needs a wake up call. It’s an experience that transforms the bosses and the people who work for them.

In the first episode, Larry O’Donnell, CEO and president of Waste Management, the largest trash company in North America, goes undercover into his own company to find out how his cost-saving initiatives are affecting his front-line workers.

O’Donnell admits he enjoys being in a privileged position in his career but says it’s not always easy being the boss, “I’ve had a lot of nice opportunities come my way that have allowed me to progress in my career, certainly the pay cheque helps, I’m not going to complain, I’ve been very fortunate. At the same time, it’s a lot of responsibility.”

Explaining why safety-testing is a key focus for him in his undercover mission, he talks about his daughter Lindley, “during a routine test, she threw up and aspirated and that caused a lot of brain damage. It was really the result of a doctor not following proper procedure. As a result of what happened to Lindley, I never want to work at a company that I’m responsible for where people don’t know how to follow the proper procedures. I think that’s probably one of the reasons that I take safety so seriously.”

O’Donnell is also motivated to see how his boardroom policies take affect in the workplace, “I’m sending out targets and cost cutting goals from my office. I want to see if the targets are realistic on the ground. If I’m able to pull this off, I may be able to revolutionise some of our processes. It could make us more efficient, which can mean saving jobs.”

He explains how he plans to go undercover in his own company, “I’ll be posing as Randy Lawrence, a construction worker who’s being followed by a TV crew. People will think I’m shooting a small television show about trying out entry-level jobs at Waste Management.”

But soon O’ Donnell begins to feel the pressure of his new role undercover, “I felt miserable. Knowing I was not getting the job done. Walter is the only person that’s ever fired me in my whole career. I’m going to approach the whole way I do my job differently.”

Seeing first-hand the affect of some of his policies on time-management he resolves to make some changes, “I don’t want to be doing things that are going to cause disruption or frustration. I’ve got to change the way I go about my own job.”

In Undercover Boss O’ Donnell goes undercover in a recycling facility where he has trouble keeping up with the fast pace of the recycling conveyor belts; heads to a landfill where he must pick up litter that has blown onto the hills nearby; and cleans portable toilets in Houston with an employee who’s attitude is inspiring.

Missed an episode of Undercover Boss USA – full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.