If you've never seen Undercover Boss, it's a reality show on which a CEO in a big corporation that you've probably heard of goes out in disguise and pretends to be a newly hired employee working one of the many menial jobs his company creates. Although occasionally he finds somebody, usually one of his managers, doing a poor job, mostly he finds people who have an unnatural enthusiasm for slopping icing on buns or attaching cheese to burgers, people who find repetitive, unpleasant work for low wages inspiring and meaningful. They are not cynical or resentful about clinging on to the lowest rung on the economic ladder. In other words, they are not normal.
The Undercover Boss reveals himself to these chosen underlings at the end of the show where, amid tears, he gives each of them a car or a scholarship or a much-needed prosthetic limb.
The Undercover Boss on last week's show was the big cheese at the Tilted Kilt, a restaurant chain which dresses its scorchingly attractive young waitresses in tiny plaid skirts, knee socks and the kind of flimsy, barely-there bras that make a man want to do some serious ocular spelunking. It's the kind of place where you wish you had a tiny cave hat with built-in flashlight to perch on each eyeball. My Significant Other calls the Kilt "the Catholic schoolgirl bar."
The place is definitely not all about what's on the menu, if you can follow that.
No matter what the waitress says to her customers at the Kilt, here are a couple examples of what the man hears:
What kind of greasy appetizer would you like as much as my saucy young breasts?
What sort of massive, artery-killing burger would you like to bite mindlessly into as you fantasize about running your sweaty palm over my flat, tanned abdomen?
Well, the Kilt's Undercover Boss went to its one of its San Diego locations, which is near where I happen to live and was promptly scandalized when one of his waitresses told a dirty joke.
This caused the Kilt Boss a minute or so of agonized soul-searching. It was a dagger in his heart, that one of his eighteen-year-old Kilt girls, after he dressed her barely-legal body in an outfit designed to attract pedophile johns, set her loose in an atmosphere of boozy jocularity and encouraged her to flirt for tips, stooped to repeating a ribald witticism?
The earth stood still for the guy. You wondered if he was going to question his entire business model. You thought that maybe he'd realize that the cold brew-hot chick-rowdy guys formula the Kilt uses to vacuum up cash was actually not the moral equivalent of funding a research lab to cure cancer or scrubbing out sores at a leper colony.
In the end, the Kilt Boss decided sorrowfully that the instance of teen-told off-color humor still reverberating within the shocked walls of his restaurant wasn't his fault. It was just that the girl hadn't been trained properly. It was his manager's fault.
I got disgusted at that point, went upstairs to the computer, found some videos on YouTube of a young Miley Cyrus prancing in tiny shorts and contemplated the question of which is ethically preferable—dressing a thirteen-year-old girl like a barmaid or dressing a barmaid like a thirteen-year-old girl?
Either way, there's money in it.