I have a horrible confession to make. I secretly like to watch Undercover Boss.
I know, it's reality TV, the scourge of our time, but there's kind of a comforting sameness to it.
For those of you who have better things to do, which I hope is most of you, let me explain.
A CEO of a big corporation dons a really bad disguise and goes out into the working masses, doing glamorous tasks such as cleaning toilets, wiring a home for an alarm system, or serving cookies or cinnamon rolls or whatever the company sells.
They usually work in three or four jobs in the company, and they always say something along the lines of "Wow, these employees work really hard."
Well, duh. Folks working minimum wage have to work hard, or they know they'll be fired.
Then at the end, the CEO removes the lousy disguise, dons a suit, and meets with the employees, who act surprised, as if they didn't know they were on Undercover Boss.
Then it's time for my favorite aspect of the show - goodies! The CEO becomes a modern-day Santa Claus. He or she passes out vacations, helps with medical bills, or pays off student loans. Once in awhile, an exceptional employee gets enough money for a car, or occasionally a house.
The CEOs rarely announce large-scale raises or increases in employee benefits. They wouldn't want to go overboard, of course.
What annoys me about this show is how much people break down and cry.
The employees cry. The CEO cries.
It's difficult to watch.
I know life is hard. Losing a loved one is painful. Cancer sucks. Hustling at your job and trying to cover all your bills is a challenge.
Do I have to watch you cry about this on national TV?
This extends beyond this show, of course. The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner, was famous for breaking down and crying at the drop of a hat.
I hear people crying more and more on stories on National Public Radio.
Whatever happened to keeping a stiff upper lip?
My kids have a couple of rules. Be polite, try your hardest, and no crying allowed, unless a bone is broken or a dog dies.
I know, some folks out there are saying, "Oh, you should express your emotions."
Yeah, whatever. I express my emotions when I laugh or when I curse out a crashed computer.
Carole doesn't want me crying at work, and frankly, I don't want her to, either.
So I think it's time to buck up, folks.
There are some exceptions, of course. Watching "Old Yeller?" Yep, you can cry. Or when Dumbledore dies in the Harry Potter series.
But other than that, frankly, I don't want to hear it or see it.
This election is almost over - perhaps after this we should all have a good collective cry that our mainstream presidential candidates were so awful.
Then we'll carry on.
Thanks for reading.