Jon Toy had better be on his best behavior.
He helped put his CEO on "Undercover Boss."
The CBS reality show puts company heads incognito so they can see how their business really works, sometimes with hilarious results as a CEO takes off the business suit to work behind a fast food counter or as a dock worker for a company.
Toy, the manager of the Fast Signs franchise in York, serves on a national Fast Signs board that oversees the marketing budget. The board was approached by CBS last year to have the company featured on a reality show.
But, because of the secretive nature of "Undercover Boss," the board members weren't allowed to know which show, just that some money would be needed to pay for prizes.
"We weren't dummies, we could figure it out," Toy joked, although they still had to keep quiet. "I wasn't even allowed to tell my wife!"
The board gave approval, and
now his boss, Catherine Monson, will be featured in the season finale at 8 p.m. May 4 on CBS. Fast Signs produces banners, signs and other promotional material, and helps businesses with marketing strategies.
Trying to figure out the secret: The York franchise, located on East Market Street near Sam's Club in Springettsbury Township, isn't featured in the show, but other Fast Signs locations around the country will be on it.
Monson will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the visual communications company operates. Toy and his staff are excited to see how she handles it, he said, as it also gives him a reminder of how he could use a different perspective.
"What if it was my store? If I was working here (as an employee), what would I need to change and evaluate?" Toy said.
That, and his staff wants to see "what did she screw up doing their job," he joked.
After his store found out Fast Signs would be on the show, his staff also seemed a little dubious about new hires, wondering if it was Monson in disguise, he added with a laugh.
Although there's always the possibility of embarrassment from exposing the company to reality show cameras, Toy said the Fast Signs board thought about it from a different angle.
"It's basically an hour-long special about our company. To get that kind of advertising in front of millions and millions of people" would be exorbitant, he said.
-- Reach Andrew Shaw at 505-5431 or email@example.com, or on Twitter @ydblogwork