Undercover Boss Canada, episode 3: all aboard the promo train
Considering the high drama of Toronto’s current transit spat, we were pumped for this week’s episode of Undercover Boss Canada featuring TTC chair Karen Stintz. Would she have to throw riders off an overcrowded streetcar? Start laying the rails for the Eglinton LRT herself? Things start out promising, with Stintz explaining she would use her week as a working stiff to weigh the impact of potential cuts and to improve customer service (sounds logical to us). Plus, the dark wig with bangs that she dons for her transformation actually look pretty good. Transit chic! So, did Stintz ride the train all the way to everyday hero status? Find out after the jump.
Sadly, the rest of the episode contains too much PR and too few LOLs (though Stintz’s day reupholstering streetcar seats does yield the line, “The chair of the TTC is going undercover to recover chairs on the TTC.” Top notch!). As Stintz learns to drive a subway train, clean stations and refuel buses, we were told the public is to blame for all our TTC headaches. Rude transit employees? Riders should learn to appreciate how hard they work. Stations and trains are dirty? Riders should learn not to litter. Angry over fare hikes? If those damn riders didn’t vandalize seats, the commission would sail in under budget. There’s some truth in that (and several riders learned their lesson), but we thought Undercover Boss was about ridiculous disguises and inept bigwigs! Here’s hoping that next week’s show brings the bumbling hijinks.
Wherein we note where the CEOs embrace life as a plebe (everyday heroes, represented by Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope), and where they out themselves as fat-cat fakes (everyday zeroes, represented by Ricky Gervais’s David Brent)
She brings her own lunch in a Tupperware container. We couldn’t tell if it was PB and J, but, regardless, that’s legit.
She drives a car to get to her subway conductor training day. Really? Nobody thought that might look bad?
She accidentally uses the subway’s emergency brakes. Twice. Come on, Karen, you already showed us you know how to drive.
She seems unconcerned by the dust and grime as she pulls the fabric off old streetcar seats. We don’t even like to sit on the dirtiest seats.
She’s the first boss to recognize that going undercover could also be construed as lying to employees. Of night employee Carmen, Stintz says, “I feel a little uncomfortable that she’s sharing with me so openly, and yet I’m holding back from her. “
Tough to call. Stintz seemed to genuinely connect with her employees, but the episode reeked of TTC propaganda.
Fired. Her conducting skills aren’t up to snuff, and we wouldn’t want to risk a runaway subway situation.