'Undercover Boss': Family Dollar Stores COO Mike Bloom Gets Fired By Worker For Incompetence

Bloom couldn't hack it as a forklift operator

Workplace failures usually end with a boss firing a worker, and not the other way around. But this past Friday, Mike Bloom, the COO and president of the discount retail chain Family Dollar Stores, found himself on the ejector seat care of one of his employees. The worker, Rosali, a forklift operator at a Family Dollar distribution center in Fort Royal, Va., was the one who canned Bloom, as can be seen in the video above.

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Rosali thought Bloom was in fact "Mark," an aspiring business owner appearing on a second chances reality show in the hope of opening a rock-and-roll themed bar. Of course, he was in fact the c-suite executive of a company that brings in $10 billion a year in revenue. And the two met during Bloom's swing through "Undercover Boss," the hit CBS series now well into its fifth season.

"Shaky" performance
During his time on the show, Bloom proved to be an ineffectual on-the-ground worker. And it was his lackluster performance that drew the ire of Rosali; Bloom simply couldn't keep up with the vital stop signals and warning beeps that control forklift traffic in a bustling warehouse. And so the poor performance left Rosali wary enough he felt it was unwise for "Mark" to be invited to work in the warehouse. He was just "too shaky," Rosali said. And so he let him go to his face, as can be seen in the video above.

Rosali's fears were also grounded in "Mark's" general discomfort with the environment of the distribution center. Given the volume of merchandise needed to keep the Family Dollar Store operation and its 7,800 stores humming, the forklift reached as high as 35 feet into the air. But Bloom broadcast an obvious fear of heights, which of course is no personal fault, but is probably a disqualifying attribute in such an environment. "I am nervous about him using this equipment," Rosali put it bluntly.

Bloom, for his part, took the dismissal like a good sport. As can be seen in the video above, the executive saw the big picture and felt his worker made the right choice. "I am glad to see he takes safety so seriously," he said. And in the reveal, Bloom even rewarded Rosali. He told him he'd pay off two thirds of an 18,000 debt he's currently dealing with. And then he notified his worker he'd be promoted to a salaried managerial position, which would lead to a 40 percent pay increase.

Getting fired
Most of the times on the show when someone is fired it's a worker, not the boss, who suffers. Such a dynamic has played out a handful of times during the series. Earlier this season, Aaron, a delivery worker for Donatos pizza, got caught smoking marijuana while completing his delivery route. But after Aaron demonstrated himself to be a hustler, Jane Grote Abell, the owner and chairman of the board of the Ohio-based pizza chain, decided to allow him to try and return after a 30 day-period, provided he passes a drug test.

And last season, Jacqueline, a Retro Fitness gym worker in New Jersey was fired after she explained her choice to play on her smart-phone during working hours by saying, "I am not a f------ slave!" Ronnie, who also appeared last season as a worker from Boston Market, was canned after he openly bragged how he "hates the customers." He also introduced himself as the "the Kim Kardashian of Boston Market."

The undoing of a Family Dollar stores executive is in keeping with the current view many commentators hold of the discount chain. During his appearance, Bloom announced his plans to double the number of Family Dollar stores over the next few years. But sales at Family Dollar have "failed to inspire" over the last quarter, as was reported by Motley Fool, the financial news site; the report said Family Dollar is losing to competitors like Dollar General and Dollar Tree. Indeed, same-store sales are flat year-on-year, even though management said they hoped to see a 2 percent increase.

Bloom, I Presume
Investors, however, would be unwise to count out Bloom. The jovial executive, and lackluster factory worker, is just 20 months into his time at Family Dollar. He previously spent his career at CVS Caremark. But before any of his corporate success he had to stay close to home growing up after his father lost his job. And so he was only able to attend community college.

You don't hear that everyday from market leaders. And on his swing through his company, Bloom came across Chanel, a training store manager in Clifton, N.J., who after growing up as a foster kid had also attended community college. She had a spirited disposition, saying her job was her "passion." And so Bloom rewarded her an $80,000 package, which included a pay-raise and a year's worth of rent, as she's had to live with the family of the father of her child in order to get by.

"The struggle is over," she said.

Filed under: Undercover Boss
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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Ron Bizzle

I am currently employed with Family Dollar... I believe it is time to contact OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) in response to unsafe work conditions. I went to work on 12-9-2013 even though I was sick....my job is a "spotter" when a truck brings in a delivery....that means when these U-boats being loaded in the delivery area are full of merchandise.. it is expected of me to unload said merchandise where it goes out in the shopping area....mainly involving washing/cleaning (cases of bleach products included) and paper products like toilet paper and paper towels....That said.. the amount of cases/weight they are loading onto those U-boats exceeds the ability of anyone to really keep up without putting one's self at risk of injury.. and it is very stressful....I worked only 3 1/2 hours this morning.. I felt as if I was going to puke after handling all that weight... I'm having pains in my back now as well.

December 11 2013 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ron Bizzle's comment
Ron Bizzle

As for as the Undercover Boss episode with Family Dollar CEO Mike Bloom....that was a joke.. brought about no changes in our unsafe/over stocked/over worked work environment. I would also like to mention.. that during that episode Mike Bloom said he had to get a job to help out when his father became unemployed.... has that fact had any effect on the 100's of 1000's of dollars worth of GOOD FOOD being thrown into dumpsters.. that COULD be donated to people in NEED.... NO it has not.

December 11 2013 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gail

Penny you can email me about workers comp I have been on it since 2006 I was unloading a 1500 piece truck by myelf because I could not keep help at 6.50 an hour they would unload there first truck and leave and go work for McDonalds for 10.00 an hour flipping burgers. I have seen heard and been through every thing workers comp. My email is gadown7@aol.com.

November 26 2013 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deborah

I work for a competitor chain and we face the same challenges. I thankful that Mike Bloom took the time to look at just some of our problems. I would love to work for a company that upper management at least took the time to look into some of the problems and challenges that we face as managers. Thank you.

November 20 2013 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Penny

I would love to get a call from Mike Bloom on working at Family dollar I have been a manager for over twenty years and have i thought been a very good and hard working employee but we also need to take a look at hr and workers comp. I have been off 5 months and no one knows what to do, or lead me in the right direction.I just want my surgery and to get back to my job,even my dm or my rvp cant seem to get anywhere. youve been there 20 mo me 20 plus years ??? what is wrong with this picture

November 15 2013 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
barbbie111

The problem with Family dollar is the managers hire their friends and family and fire whatever good workers they have. It happens all the time. No help from the administrative offices. They also have a history of discrimination (lawsuits) of the elderly for which they were found guilty and routinely fire them even today. This leaves only the younger thieves who are friends of the managers. Until it changes, FD will continue to do poorly.

November 14 2013 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
avdltd

First we outsource jobs to China, then we import illegals to undercut the legal US residents to take whatever jobs remain. Until employers in the US start to pay a living wage, and people are willing to pay for what goods and services are really worth, the unemployment will just increase. Extreme greed, along with a government obsessed with a grotesquely oversized military, has hollowed out the country to the extent that it is now no more than an empty shell.

November 14 2013 at 9:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Big Sexy

People at these store make very low pay. Managers might make 9 to 10 bucks and hour and work 60 hours a week sometimes.

November 14 2013 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
briandalopez

http://ThepaidWork.com/?id=briaaanda

November 14 2013 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Angry White Guy

Rosali doesn't know it yet, but he's SO SCREWED.

Most of these companies use salaried positions to get around the laws in place that require a worker to get time-and-a-half overtime. Now he'll see his hours increase, but the equivalent hourly pay will drop dramatically, since he gets nothing in addition for his work effort. Want to bet that his actual job responsibilities don't change as well?

November 13 2013 at 8:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bkoster2

Like most big corp executives....they really don't have a clue....yet they are in a position to hire and fire others.
This dweeb can't run a forklift but he can sure give someone $80 large for perks if he feels like it...at the expense of every other employee on the payroll. Yeah...that's fair..uh huh.

November 12 2013 at 4:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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