'Undercover Boss': 5 Most Gripping Moments From Season 3

Undercover Boss Season 3For many workers, it's the most feared, dreaded moment -- the showdown with the boss. Which probably explains why such confrontations are usually the high point in the popular reality show "Undercover Boss." Viewers get to see that moment when an employee speaks truth to power -- or the boss realizes that he or she doesn't have a clue.

AOL Jobs has followed "Undercover Boss" for the entire third season, and while the critics sometimes slam the show for being contrived, AOL Jobs has found that there was much to learn from the best moments. Whether it was a CEO realizing that he had forgotten his franchisees telling him of their financial struggles, or an exec finding out about workers' struggles to get vacation time approved, the moments showed the bosses face-to-face with their own fallibility. And thanks to the drama, the chasm between the corner office and the on-the-ground worker is bridged -- at least for an episode. So what were the best moments in Season 3? Here are our top five picks:


1. Philly Pretzel CEO Dan DiZio
CEO Tears Up on 'Undercover Boss'

DiZio, posing as "Michael Downs," a data entry processor appearing on a job-switch reality show, was understandably nervous when he visited his first job site. He vaguely recalled having met franchise owners Bill and his wife Donna two years earlier. But, as it becomes clear in this clip, he completely forgot what they had actually told him -- and so is forced to confront his own insensitivity as the boss.
2. TaylorMade CEO Sam Taylor
'Undercover Bosses': TaylorMade CEO on CBS

As the head of the country's top golf brand, Taylor is an unusual CEO. He's extremely blunt and even said during his appearance, "It's a challenge to get shrinking numbers to spend more money on a toy they don't need." And so when an employee, Teresa, tells the man she thinks is named "Al Bauer," about her bucket list and dream of visiting Australia, Taylor does something few other bosses on the show do and comes clean on who he is.
3. Yankee Candle CEO Harlan Kent
An Undercover Boss' Cover Nearly Blown

While most bosses are clueless when in the field, Kent is at ease working in his candle company's wax stations. A little too much at ease. So all the ingredients are in place when working with employee Blaze, who already showed himself to be a wiseacre when he told the man he thought was named Dan Johnson, an out-of-work chef appearing on a second chances reality show, that he sometimes felt like "punching" the 8-year olds at the store.
4. Popeyes Chief Talent Officer Lynne Zapone


While posing as "Pam Hawkins," the subject of a "job swap" reality show, Zappone learns the disturbing news from Josh that many employees feel abandoned by the company, post-Hurricane Katrina. But she is relieved to find out that Josh's coworkers accept the fact that he is gay, even while his family abandoned him. But the company at large does little more for him, we learn, as he decides where to eat his lunch.
5. Checkers CEO Rick Silva


On a site visit to a branch in Homestead, Fla., Silva had no choice but to take dramatic action. Posing as "Alex Garcia," he discovers that the speaker system at the drive-through is broken, buttons are mislabeled and branch manager Stevens is "barking orders." So he steps in and delivers some big news.



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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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mammamia16969

Harlen Kent of Yankee Candle va va va voom hes a hottie. Id make his candle burn..................Seriously Yankee Candle Rocks. Stop raisening your prices. I remember when Jars were like 15.00 and 9.00 dollars. And tarts were 3.28 for three of them. Harlen to continue Yankee return to the old ways and days. I know personally how it was then as I worked for the company many years.

April 09 2013 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ana Carolina Manzano

Undercover boos is my favorite show, I can watch it for hours and I do when they have marathons, I admire all the CEO's that are looking to improve their companies and their employees quality of life.

January 21 2013 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lesterbmr49

These boss's in their ivory towers really do know what is going on within their own companies. Most choose to ignore whats happening because thats not good for the companies bottom line. Some boss's think that caring about people will cost them money. I am sure there are a lot more intense situations than they show on tv.

May 22 2012 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ejljr

I don't believe any of the shows. It's all scripted. They know exactly which employees to use the shows. CEO's are well versed on the people they are dealing with. TV will do anything for a buck and ratings.

May 22 2012 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DAVID

They should change the name of the show to Under Cover Boobs

May 21 2012 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adore

Shyt Popeyes is worried about the empoyees discount, what about high prices period. Not much of a fast food eater but 1 biscuit is .90 and 6 wings is $7.99 it;s time for me to go back and give chicken up again.

May 21 2012 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rineyd

the idea of those in ivory towers not required to have an understanding what goes on in the trenches
is sadly stupid. The cocoon that develops around those in the top, leads to wild ass guessing and conning
of each other and when chaos ensues those at the bottom of the pile are first to be out on the street.
The missed oppportunities by IBM's are legion - Amdal, DOS Microsoft of Gates' mommy to Opal
contract, Prodigy, PC, .......... Cosy relationships to benefit our ME friend whose people are gainfully
employed and mucho gravy flowing thru a plethora of true blue American cos.. Who knows what
really goes when its all kept within those cocoons.

May 21 2012 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erica

I am SO tired of this idiocy trend you call reality television.

May 21 2012 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SCOTT

Stupid Undercover Costumes if you can’t tell it is someone undercover you are an Idiot!
Stupid f#@#ing show!
Get some makeup artist you’re your payroll…do you need some help

May 21 2012 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vimala Nowlis

The idea that a CEO should know how to do the menial jobs at the corporation is ridiculous! That's the kind of small thinking that keeps those who work at menial jobs where they are.
Many people can fry chicken and many have a tasty fried chicken shop where they employ family members. But it took a business genius to take over Col. Sander's shops and made it into KFC and an international multi-billion dollars industry provide jobs for hundreds of thousands of people.
Same goes for MacDonalds. The brothers MacDonld have a nice small burger stand. So what? It took Ray Crock to turn it into the success it is. He does not have to know how to flip burgers, he can hire anyone to do that at minimum wage.

May 21 2012 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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