The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted January 24, 2013


Reality …
By Gall

 Reality 01

Is reality real?  Really???!  I mean all of this junk on TV … it’s all touted as reality TV, truTV, Life Unscripted, real TV … I’m just not that convinced that this Tony Romo guy could really be that inconsistent/bad … nah … that can’t be real!  It’s also pretty tough to believe that Jake made it all the way through boot camp, and is really a cook in OUR U.S. Army!!  Nope … not buying it!  Plus all that junk that they have on C-Span????  No way is THAT stuff real (I mean, spend less than you make … it’s not rocket science guys!!) … people have to be smarter than that!


… But … you wanna watch some good shi …., errr STUFF?  Check out some of dad’s regular shows:  Hotel Hell[i], Hotel Impossible[ii], and one of his personal favorites – Bar Rescue[iii] (we all agree that they might even call him in to be a special guest star consultant one of these days!).  Talk about some quality TV!  This is real life, I tell you what!  They can even get you choked up sometimes!  All three of these shows portray (mostly) employees that are just absolutely dedicated to their chosen professions (no matter how lowly some of their positions are) and some fine folks that leave their troubles at their doorsteps when they come to work because they know that they have a job to do!  They’re generally willing to go the extra mile (or three) for their employer because … well, it’s just the right thing to do!  And the owners … let me tell you, there are some dedicated folks there too (some of the managers as well)!  They generally want nothing but to provide the most optimum, bestest place ever to work (kinda like mom-D and dad do for us BC’s) for their folks since they know that this will create the greatest return to them.  Then, the experts come in and help them out with timely advice (and free glassware and linens!!) and some tips (Such as:  Clean kitchens tend to sell more, and better quality, food than do the grease infested ones!  In case you haven’t watched any of these three shows – consider this as a both a Teaser to watch them and also as a Free Tip for your personal kitchen!!).


Well .. Now wait a minute … Hey, I’m just a BC (though a certified top performing one) and I’ve only been in a couple of bars (if you don’t count dad’s shop) and I haven’t ever even been in a hotel … but, after pondering this subject for a little while … if all the employees featured on these shows were really top notch performers, and if all the owners and managers were so intelligent and employee oriented … why are they now in the shape that they are in?!  I mean, some of them don’t even succeed even after getting the expert’s advice (not to mention all of the free glassware and linens)??  This makes a girl stop and wonder, just how hard that all of these folks have been working at their tasks?  I mean … REALLY?!  I mean – in retrospect – the bars are not doing well and the hotels suck before Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Melchiorri, and Jon Taffer even come in – these guys take what’s broken and try to fix it after the fact – some of the employees (and bosses) make it through the revamp, and some don’t.


I fully understand that sometimes the owners don’t accept the changes offered by the experts … but it appears that this decision usually results in the ultimate demise of their ownership interest in their establishment (see earlier wiki footnotes).  It is also noted Reality 3that some of the managers don’t embrace the experts thoughts and ideas – this generally results in the increase in employment opportunities for them (since they generally get sent packing and looking for another job) – ditto for non-compliant employees.  A general theme that I now see, in retrospect, in all of these shows, is that the owners wake up one day and see that they are about to lose their businesses and start screaming and crying for assistance … the experts come in and try to get the owners, managers, and employees to become genuinely engaged[iv]  When all of these key members of the business become engaged – they then look at problems and see solutions (instead of looking away, which is what they were doing before and which also resulted in the experts coming to visit them in the first place … (the only benefit to this approach is the free glassware and linens!!  But I’m thinking that the risk outweighs the reward … what are you going to do with all that glassware and linen if you don’t have own a commercial bar or hotel??)).  Hmmm, I guess these three shows are really about failures … yeah, even though most of the businesses are salvaged (with totally revamped management techniques), almost all appear appreciative for the assistance (not to mention the glassware and linens), but ALL OF THEM start out as failures.  Wow – reality really sucks!


Oh … That’s right … Bubba just reminded me of dad’s most favoritest show (actually, there are kinda two shows under one corporate umbrella) – Undercover Boss and Undercover Boss Abroad[v]!  Dad (and Bubba) really like it, and it is almost guaranteed to choke them up!  Really!  These shows feature owners, managers and employees that seem to have it somewhat together.  No experts come in to rescue the business (alas, they get no free glassware or linens – well, that one about KOA did get free linens!).  The bosses look at their business practices and the impacts on the employees.  You know what though … after thinking about those other shows for a while … kinda have to wonder now how much “reality” there is in UC Boss?  Essentially, the premise is that bosses in these mega businesses (who are still successful) go undercover in their own businesses and work in entry level positions.  Since these are big businesses, the front line employees often don’t even know who the “top dogs” are, but the bosses still wear goofy disguises (some are actually an improvement over how they look in real life) and they learn what life is like for their employees, get honest assessments of the company and management policies, and get to know a few employees (who they would otherwise never know) on a personal level.  Dad and Bubba think that it is cool to see the bosses get GENUINELY ENGAGED[vi] with the lowly line workers while failing at the tasks that their “underlings” do every day!  The best part is that the bosses (while undercover anyway) appreciate and connect with these employees that are many levels below them (in the organizational chart) – it’s even cooler when the bosses learn of some personal sacrifices that the employees make to deliver the service or product to their bosses customers - and then when the bosses publicly praise and reward these dedicated employees!  That is so cool too!


Ah, heck, yeah I guess these two shows aren’t reality either … since they have scenarios and situations which I reckon won’t generally happen to regular employees in regular jobs; so they must be some of those dang ol’ dramatic tricks of television.  Also, I ‘spect that real life CEOs don’t generally go out of their way to provide gifts and and all those other extra benefits to their underlings at the expense of their bottom line (or their corporate bonuses).  Plus,Reality 2 like Annie says, “What about all the other hard working underlings that are doing the same, if not more, than the small handful of folks that got to appear on TV and reaped in all the treats!  It just ain’t fair!!”  But, all that being said, I guess that the lesson that we all ought to take away from UC Boss is that owners and management ought to make every effort to genuinely engage employees, remain on a vigilant watch for their high output performers, and remember to reward those employees as often and as publicly as possible.  And along that note, the low output performers should also be compensated accordingly, as well.  I would imagine that following this policy will keep the “experts” away (but, unfortunately, will also keep the free glassware and linens away too)!





Now, Lizard Lick Towing[vii] … THERE’S A REAL SHOW!!!






Here are some deep thoughts (though not very random (like brother Bubba’s), but they tend to trend with my article – just to whet your taste!):


A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.

HSM Burns Quotes



I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do.

Harry S Truman



Think enthusiastically about everything; but especially about your job. If you do, you'll put a touch of glory in your life. If you love your job with enthusiasm, you'll shake it to pieces. You'll love it into greatness.

Norman Vincent Peale



The only lifelong, reliable motivations are those that come from within, and one of the strongest of those is the joy and pride that grow from knowing that you've just done something as well as you can do it.

Lloyd Dobyns and Clare Crawford-Mason



Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

Kahlil Gibran





[iv] But we aren’t talking about giving lip-service to engagement, nor are we talking about having an engagement program, a director of engagement, or doing an annual engagement survey. We are talking about something much deeper that goes to the heart of leadership. This is self-awareness of ones values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding engagement and how the leader’s self is manifested in subtle but powerful behaviors that communicate volumes to an organization about the extent to which a leader truly supports increased engagement. Make no mistake about it, genuine employee engagement shifts power away from leaders and many leaders find this shift unsettling.  READ MORE AT


[vi] A seminal report by the Conference Board summarized findings from a number of research studies on employee engagement. They define employee engagement as "a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager, or co-workers that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work."


The report also found that the most powerful driver of employee engagement is the employee/manager relationship - specifically, managers who care about their employees' wellbeing, foster trust, and lead with integrity.  READ MORE AT








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