Last night's Undercover Boss was 7-11 CEO Joe DePinto. He "worked" with some really sweet, friendly-faced employees that any company would be more than thrilled to have. Question is: where the hell did they find these people?
Is 7-11 really known for the glowing smiles and positive attitudes plastered on their employee's faces? When you walk in to buy a donut and a carton of Pall Malls, is an enthusiastic, bright-eyed clerk waiting for you on the other side? The answer to that is HELL NO. You're lucky to even get a grunt of recognition, and if they even make eye contact, you're most likely catching them on a really good day. Even with the show's best intentions to leave the viewer with warm hearted, feelgood emotions, these employees are happy despite working at 7-11.
Igor, the Russian delivery truck driver, had the accent of a Bond villain, but a heart of pure gold. Content with just living in America, he is happy with a steady job and health insurance. DePinto's reaction to Igor's positive outlook on life looks as if DePinto thinks being 7-11's CEO makes him a maker of dreams. This is not true. Igor's almost alarmingly positive attitude is a reflection of America's awesomeness, not 7-11's.
A more accurate depiction of a 7-11 employee would be Waqat; a smart, motivated kid from Pakistan who has been working the dreaded night shift for four years without a single promotion. This is one of the most honest moments from last night's show:
So how is a guy like Waqat ever going to be promoted at 7-11? Well normally he would be stuck at that job until the day he quit because he literally couldn't take it anymore, but because he was one of the lucky few to be featured on this show, whaddya know—he was promoted! Hugs and high-fives all around! Way to buck the system, Waqat!
Too bad that with Waqat's promotion, thousands of other 7-11 employees are still stuck working the night shift for nine dollars an hour until they find another job, quit, or retire. And that is why this show is sad; because it's nice to see Igor's and Waqat's big smiles plastered across the TV as they are handed the 'American Dream', but all you can think of is the harsh reality of all the other dedicated employees that will never receive an opportunity like this. Cynicism abounds.