Under Cover Boss – UniFirst Company

Posted on: January 10, 2011

Why do I watch this show? Same old same old theme each week. A clueless CEO and President goes undercover to see how his employees are doing with the company and to find out how he can improve things. Why don’t they just have employee meetings or suggestions boxes instead of wasting time with this type of show?

At least I’m learning about different companies and how they work. Maybe that’s a plus. Last night’s episode featured UniFirst, a company that provides work wear and uniforms for other companies’ employees. Mr. Ronald Croatti is the President and CEO of this $1 billion company with 10,000 employees. So he puts on a long white hair wig and a white mustache and goes undercover. The only thing he didn’t take off was his very expensive ring he wore on his hand. So maybe this guy really isn’t an unemployed guy looking for a job. Just hock the ring and you’ll be set for a while.

Mr. Croatti’s family founded the company over 75 years ago and he inherited the company. The only big fans of Mr. Croatti seemed to be his wife and his sister, who just so happens to be V.P. of Human Resources. Of course, his son is in the business too and starting at the bottom as a Sales Rep?? What a way to learn the business, right?

Once again, he stumbles and bumbles his way through the company to learn bagging clothes, sewing and heat sealing ID tags, and washing and drying rags and shirts. He was freaked out about the large dryer he had to work on because as he tells the story about his grandfather who was working on a dryer and fell into it and died. I guess the dryers haven’t changed in seventy-five years so I guess I would be freaked out as well. May I suggest that he replace those dryers with a safer type of dryer? For that suggestion can I also get $5,000 from you?

That’s what he did for the employees he worked with. He was handing out $5,000 to about every employee, providing a trip to the Super Bowl, paying day care, rent and utilities and school tuition. Yes, he did make some administrative changes but nothing that is profit making for the company.

But wait- we aren’t done yet, next week we have a CEO from Home Restoration running the gambit of staged situations. This guy looks like a weeper; get your hankies out folks.

Until next time,



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