Thursday, September 9, 2010

Undercover Brother

So as the 2010 season grinds down to the last few painful moments, the Ricketts are busy doing reality TV.  That seems about right.

Adam, Julie and I joked on our last podcast about how the Cubs managerial search should be a reality show.  It would involve a rose ceremony where one candidate is ousted per week, challenges for the contestants like teaching Koyie Hill to hit a baseball, and maybe even a public voting component where the Cubs could get a portion of the $1.99 per call or text.  We agreed that it is a winning idea and plan on suing anybody who goes forward without cutting us in on the profits.

But the Cubs were already one step ahead of us in getting in on the reality show trend.  It turns out that Todd Ricketts, youngest brother of Tom, disguised himself to participate in the show, Undercover Boss.  According to Paul Sullivan:

Ricketts grew facial hair and donned glasses during the nine-game homestand, where he was followed by film crews while working on the grounds crew, as a vendor, in the Captain Morgan Club and even emptying trash outside the ballpark.

That is a pretty good disguise since there are tons of bearded white guys who work at the ballpark that get followed around by camera crews.  I'm sure he blended right in.

I guess something like this could end up improving customer service, but didn't they hire a Director of Fan Experience for just that purpose?  Why does Todd have to skulk around looking like Joaquin Phoenix to find out what the team is doing wrong?

In the end, I'll watch out of morbid curiosity and the Cubs will end up succeeding in distracting everyone from the product on the field as Todd will almost assuredly learn valuable, poignant, and well-edited lessons about working in the trenches at Wrigley.

Meanwhile, Adam, Julie and I are available to take meetings on the production of "Who Wants to Be the Cubs' Manager?"


wpbc said...

wow, these guys really are more clueless than even i imagined. this is the kind of shit they are doing. LMAO.

Adam said...

I still can't decide if this bothers me or not. I mean, I don't think I had a negative opinion of any previous CEOs who have done this (maybe if I had watched, I would have, but the notion of it doesn't bother me.) I mean, it's one thing to go undercover to spy on your workers; as you said, they've professed to trying to pay more attention to them anyway.

But I think part of the premise of the show is to get a sense of how the employees and customers view management or the company as a whole. That's worthwhile to me as a fan and I think to the organization as a whole. If this winds up being a bunch of lower-on-the-food-chain Cubs employees griping about how bad the team is and how stupid the owners are, I'd be pretty interested to see the response from any Ricketts.

Besides, I don't know that Todd is purported to be the brains of the operation anyway. And, to be fair, he's also participating in the ride from Wrigley to Miller Park to raise $ for Cubs Charities and World Bicycle Relief.

Aisle 424 said...

It doesn't "bother" me so much as it does amuse me, AK. It all seems to be a part of the smoke and mirrors that is meant to distract from the current incarnation and show the world how the Ricketts family really listens to their employees (and/or fans) and is dedicated to change business as usual - all while going about business as usual.

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