Does Someone Have to Go: Big Brother is Watching at DFX

DFX of Anaheim, California made its money with the patented Dynaflex Gyro fitness system. Tom started the company out of his garage back in the seventies, built it up to a successful business, and then sold the business to his daughter Farren so he could retire.

One problem. He didn't retire. He stayed on overseeing and undermining his every one of his daughter's decisions. To make matters worse, he installed surveillance cameras in every room of their large office and distribution center so he could monitor every employee from his command center.

Like many companies, DFX is a family affair. Farren's brother Logan, her husband Rodney and her mom Rise all work at the company. But unlike last week, the employees of DFX don't mind working with the rest of the family – but they desperately want Daddy Tom gone.

Trickling down from the top is a general feeling of negativity and unhappiness among the employees. Owner Ferran says the workplace is completely dysfunctional and it's starting to affect the bottom line. To solve the problem before it gets worse, she takes the drastic step of letting in Fox's cameras in to tape two episodes of Does Someone Have to Go?

In a press release Ferran said that the entire process was hard but beneficial.

“At so many offices, people are afraid to speak out. But during “Does Someone Have to Go?” there were no restrictions – and people were, in many cases, letting years of frustration just pour out. It was an emotional, sometimes painful process that brought out the best and worst in our employees. Ultimately, though, the show left us in a better position to serve our loyal customers.”

Painful doesn't begin to cut it.

Sales manager Tiffany found out that people think she's unreasonably tough and that she intentionally sabotages employees so they fail.

Bryan, the sales rep, is a man out of control. He didn't realize that his co-workers thought his demeanor was crass and unprofessional. To the camera he says his job is so easy, a monkey could do it. Maybe that's because he's not doing it right?

 

The biggest problems come from the lowest ranks – the two admin assistants Paige and Rose Merry. In spite of her young age, Paige is a know-it-all but she's not into sharing. She'd rather tell the people she assists to figure it out for themselves. Not like that's her job to help them. . .?

Rose Merry follows Paige's lead but to everyone else, she's cold and robotic. She says that's how a professional person is supposed to act around the office.

No. Not really.

The one voice of reason in the company is Rise. She's well-liked and has the respect of the staff. When Tom goes ballistic over the crazy experiment, she tells him it might be for the best. In other words, she's hoping he gets ousted, too.  

After sitting through the painful and embarrassing candid interview portion, everyone's salary is revealed. Usually this involves pointing out the boss' over-paid favorites but not this time.

Sales manager Tiffany rubs people the wrong way with her no-nonsense policy but the employees feel differently about her when they see that after 8 years she's only earning $32,000. For Orange County, that's extremely low.

Mom Rise who has been with the company since it started 30 years ago, only earns $33,000. There's no nepotism going on here that's for sure.

Sales Rep Cameron only makes $15,000. That's close to the poverty level.

Tom draws $75,000, which is high compared to everyone else but it was his company, so it's hard to begrudge him a large cut of the revenue.

After the salary reveal, it's time for the employees to ruminate on which three deserve to go on the chopping block.  

Tom tries to get his few supporters to nominate the two assistants and Cameron (who didn't do anything wrong) in order to save himself. Sadly, he doesn't deserve to be saved.

When the assistants and two others take a stand against the surveillance cameras Tom gets into a confrontation with Rose Merry that gets physical. Though he keeps his voice level, he grabs her by the arm to keep her from calling Ferran. He's a big man, she's a small girl and there was no way his behavior could be seen as anything but threatening.

That kind of behavior in the workplace should never be tolerated. Former owner or not, Tom is an HR nightmare.

At the end of the episode, the employees of DFX gather to choose the bottom three. They choose obnoxious Bryan, know-it-all assistant Paige and Tom. Not a surprise in the bunch.

Next week, the three employees on the chopping block will have to fight to keep their position at the company. Then it will be up to the other employees to answer the question, Does Someone Have to Go?

What Do You Think?

How would you handle a worker who gets physical with another member of the staff? Would the fact that he's the company founder make a difference? Let us know in the comment section. It's a tough one and we'd really appreciate your answer.

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CR: Chris Tomko/FOX

2 Comments

  1. 2 mike 13 Jun

    First off, Tom's salary would be better spent by dividing it up equally to give the other employee's a raise. Then see how the morale improves. Rise's experience would be as valuable as Tom's ever was. Even if Farren makes a bad decision at least the decision would be hers to make and learn from. Unless we are to believe that Tom never made a mistake in 30 years, and he could guarantee that no mistakes would occur following his advise. That alone might be worth the salary he gives himself. How many people get to sell their business, stay on, set his own salary, as well as everyone else's, and still be in a position to intimidate the employees as he probably did when he owned the business. Farren needs to be confident to make her own decisions with the support of her husband and her mom. I think the other  employees with redefined job descriptions and expectations from Farren would give them a fair chance to show their talents to their best effect. Then if they don't measure up, they can't use Tom as an excuse for their short comings.

     

  2. 1 Justin 07 Jun

    Tom is indeed an HR nightmare.  In fact, the whole company is.  Getting physical - zero tolerance.  It also appeared that they are not only video capturing but audio capturing - that raises some questions as well.  The significant variances in pay - also raises questions about internal equity.  Disclosing pay - I happen to know that none of the employees knew that that was going to happen.  I would think that might be some sort of violation as well.

    Could you imagine the hostile nature of working in this company after this show?  Tom stays and metes out his revenge until all of his detractors are gone.  I think that an opportunistic lawyer ought to be waiting in the parking lot at closing time. The employees had to sign a release with the production company, but not with the employer.

    And lastly, who would continue to buy anything from this company after seeing this?  Did Farren think this was some cool publicity stunt?  I'm disgusted.

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