Does every boss on CBS’ Undercover Boss end up crying, or is Steve Joyce, the president and CEO of Choice Hotels International, just particularly emotional? Not that you could blame him, really. A woman shared her life story as she showed him how to do everything in the hotel during her solo overnight shift: She had her first child at 16, her parents kicked her out and told her she’d never be good at anything, and now she, her kids, and her fiancé, who’s been laid off, live with his father. Joyce was so impressed by this woman’s resiliency that he’s going to get her on-track to become a front office manager. He’s also sending her and her family on that week’s vacation to San Antonio she’s been saving for and will pay her rent for six months so they can get a place of their own. What’s wonderful: Just hearing what an inspiration she was from Joyce would’ve been totally enough for this woman. Just like a maintenance man who’s worked two jobs, seven days a week, for seven years to put his son through med school would’ve been happy just to get the golf cart Joyce promised him so he could get around the property more efficiently. But Joyce is also setting up a scholarship program and making that man’s son the first recipient. Eyes wet again.
I know I’m being manipulated, but I now get why people watch this show: Today, people are either out of work or working themselves to death — in all professions. It can often feel as though no one has the time to offer you a hand because they’re struggling to handle their own lives. Seeing people recognized for their effort with rewards that will change their lives dramatically for years to come is a reminder that even though your life may suck, there’s still goodness out there. And that hope, in some viewers eyes, is worth feeling like a tissue-grabbing ass for an hour.
Watch the clips below. Ten to one you cry.