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Here's why the 'Undercover Boss' didn't fire Jimbo

If you watched "Undercover Boss" on CBS on Sunday, you'd think for sure that Jimbo was toast.


In the second episode of the series, "Undercover Boss" had the President and CEO of Hooter's working entry level jobs to see what his company looks like from the bottom.


At one Hooter's restaurant in the Dallas area, Jimbo the manager required the servers who wanted to go home early and avoid the dead afternoon period to eat a plate of beans without using their hands.

Earlier, he made the servers line up for inspection, then made sarcastic remarks about their nails or, in one case, their tattoos.


Jimbo seemed like the kind of guy who would make sexually inappropriate comments or even sexually harass the servers. However, if he did so, it either wasn't captured on camera or it was cut from the show.


No matter. His behavior on camera was so outlandish that you were sure that Jimbo was going to join the ranks of the unemployed.


But, as viewers found out at the end, Jimbo kept his job. He apologized and mended his ways, or so we're told, and continued to manage the restaurant.


How did that happen?
Last month, Stephen Lambert, the executive producer of the show, explained it to an audience of TV critics from around the nation and Canada:


"There will, in the course of the series, be a number of situations where there are...serious course corrections required...but the intention is not for the boss to single out individuals. It’s more about trying to recognize that there are often policies or communications that are coming from headquarters that aren’t being implemented correctly."


So no one will get fired, asked one critic. "No one is getting fired," replied Lambert. Not even Jimbo.


That may not make sense to anyone who watched the show and the obnoxious Jimbo, but it does makes sense if you're the executive producer.


Lambert, in order to keep making new episodes of "Undercover Boss," has to go to other big companies and ask for their cooperation and participation. If you are the CEO of a large corporation, you would not play along with Lambert if you believed there is even a small risk your company will come away with a black eye.

Firing an employee is an admission that the organization failed to hire wisely. It would be far better to present this as a misunderstanding that was corrected by a compassionate executive.


In addition, unless the show blurred Jimbo's face, it needed his permission to show his image on TV. It's doubtful that Jimbo would sign a release for a show that let the nation see him get the heave-ho.

In fact, he may have been promised he could keep his job in exchange for his signing on the dotted line.


It's important to understand that reality shows are to reality what hot dogs are to dogs. While "Undercover Boss" may entertain some, it will never depict any truly controversial or potentially illegal activity. To do so would remove any chance that a company would agree to participate.
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Top Opinion

  • kdkdk 2010/03/22 01:22:34
    kdkdk
    +3
    Jimbo was fired I live in Arlington and that screw up was gone next day after the show finished filming!!! He was a disgrace

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  • john.jingleheimerschmidt.1447 2012/08/19 06:50:50 (edited)
    john.jingleheimerschmidt.1447
    +2
    What a WEAK CEO. He's the polar opposite of Jack Welch. If he had any balls, he would have stopped the show, identified himself, and fired Jimbo on the spot. He also would have initiated a full investigation into that franchise. Confidence vote for Hooters? ZERO. I wouldn't invest in that company if someone held a gun to my head. No wonder he's divorced. His wife probably thought she was married to a gay man.
  • kdkdk 2010/03/22 01:22:34
    kdkdk
    +3
    Jimbo was fired I live in Arlington and that screw up was gone next day after the show finished filming!!! He was a disgrace
  • Vernon Justice 2010/02/19 14:43:45
    Vernon Justice
    Reality shows suck. Thereis no two ways about it.
  • Michelle_80015 2010/02/19 12:54:59
    Michelle_80015
    +1
    I am a former Hooters employee of 5 years. It has been brought to my attention by some Arlington friends that the whole "Jimbo" scene on CBS's Undercover Boss HOOTERS was 100% scripted by CBS. That it was filmed before the store opened and that he was acting the entire time. They all knew it was Coby, they were compensated to play along. There is no "Undercover" at all in this un-reality show. Word is that Jimbo was one of the best managers that Hooters had in Texas. He was w/ Hooters for over 10 years.

    Should he have gone along with it? Well when you are in a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation, what do you do? Pressured by the CEO to do it, or go along and hope for the best... Either way - he lost. Because of the backlash of the show - he resigned. ... See More

    Hooters has had a VERY protective policy against any kind of harassment in place for at least 2 decades. I was there for 5 years and if ANY manager crossed any line, the girls put a stop to it by either contacting their regional managers, the franchise owner, or the toll free corporate hotline number that all employees are given. I don’t know one Hooter’s Girl who would put up with the antics that they had Jimbo pull in the show for even one shift.

    There are several inconsistencies in the filming of...

    I am a former Hooters employee of 5 years. It has been brought to my attention by some Arlington friends that the whole "Jimbo" scene on CBS's Undercover Boss HOOTERS was 100% scripted by CBS. That it was filmed before the store opened and that he was acting the entire time. They all knew it was Coby, they were compensated to play along. There is no "Undercover" at all in this un-reality show. Word is that Jimbo was one of the best managers that Hooters had in Texas. He was w/ Hooters for over 10 years.

    Should he have gone along with it? Well when you are in a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation, what do you do? Pressured by the CEO to do it, or go along and hope for the best... Either way - he lost. Because of the backlash of the show - he resigned. ... See More

    Hooters has had a VERY protective policy against any kind of harassment in place for at least 2 decades. I was there for 5 years and if ANY manager crossed any line, the girls put a stop to it by either contacting their regional managers, the franchise owner, or the toll free corporate hotline number that all employees are given. I don’t know one Hooter’s Girl who would put up with the antics that they had Jimbo pull in the show for even one shift.

    There are several inconsistencies in the filming of the show as well. Anyone who works at Hooters could spot them a mile away.

    Coby should be ashamed for trying to pull off this scam and CBS cannot be trusted with reality just like Kanye can’t be trusted to be on LIVE tv.
    (more)
  • Bend2000 Michell... 2010/04/13 00:42:13
    Bend2000
    +2
    I'm sorry, but you are a fraud. You have posted this exact same message on every single board on the Internet. Who are you, Jimbo himself? Or family member?
  • john.ji... Michell... 2012/08/19 07:03:27 (edited)
    john.jingleheimerschmidt.1447
    +3
    Why would a highly regarded veteran with Hooters of 10 years be pressured into basically destroying his career on national TV? That makes NO SENSE.
  • santa6642 2010/02/17 15:55:03
    santa6642
    No reason to.
  • MILLERTIME 2010/02/16 23:36:42
    MILLERTIME
    GUYS AN ASS I WOULD HAVE FIRED HIM FOR SURE.
  • Cordingly 2010/02/16 22:49:40
    Cordingly
    It's a TV show people. What are the odds that the owner of a company would be sent down to an entry level position, and end up working at a restaurant run by an ill-to-do manager?
  • 409 2010/02/16 22:41:41
    409
    I hope he saw what an ass he made of himself on national TV and learned from it.
  • FilmBoy 2010/02/16 19:59:02
    FilmBoy
    Well said Barry--but to be honest, though I could see the guys potential to be an HR nightmare--he was a hard-working guy who had a very profitable store. I've worked in circumstances where direct sexual harrassment was present and the guy was fired over it. What this guy did, again while bad and potentially damaging, was no where near as bad as it could have been. To confront him, re-train him and put him back in the place was the best possible solution for a guy who does do a good job other wise.
  • Spider20 2010/02/16 18:59:06
    Spider20
    Yep, that's no doubt why the guy still has a job......
  • GOODBYE SODAHEAD 2010/02/16 17:26:21
    GOODBYE SODAHEAD
    Jimbo was lucky that he was on TV. You can bet your last buffalo wing that Jimbo is being watched!
  • C-Dog 2010/02/16 16:25:14 (edited)
    C-Dog
    +1
    jimbo was so mene. jimbo mene
  • belle 2010/02/16 15:56:47
    belle
    jimbo knew the business, he needed to change his ways toward the help. By changing his ways he became the manager all bosses want in their business. besides Jimbo wasn't dumb, he wanted to keep his job, besides it should have been embarrassing to him to see his actions on TV.
  • Autumn 2010/02/16 15:00:37
    Autumn
    I think if he would not have apologized they would have fired him.

About Me

Barry Garron

Barry Garron

CA, US

2009/10/24 00:30:47

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