Glenn Harris, a custodian at the Acadia Athletics Complex employed by Sodexo, was featured on Undercover Boss Canada Oct. 10. As part of his prize for participating, he and his wife received flight vouchers to visit their daughter and grandchildren in Ontario and the entire family was sent to visit the Toronto Zoo. - Submitted
A Berwick man made his television debut Oct. 10 on the hit reality show Undercover Boss Canada.
Glenn Harris has worked in the Acadia Athletics complex as a custodian for 25 years. He is employed by Sodexo, the company contracted to take care of tasks like driving the Zamboni, laundry and pool maintenance.
“My bosses came in and told us they were doing a documentary about life on campus,” said Harris. “They interviewed a bunch of different people, they told us it was because they didn’t know where they wanted to shoot on campus. They came back and said they wanted to do the sports complex, because that’s where they could do the most stuff.”
On the day the film crew was arrived last spring, Harris was introduced to Mike, an unemployed ski instructor who had a ski accident and was looking for a new career. In the series, Canadian CEOs disguise themselves and infiltrate their own unsuspecting workforce. The man was actually Dean Johnson, who is president of Sodexo Canada.
Harris, who had injured his own foot in a car accident, bonded with “Mike” over their similar injuries. Over the course of seven hours, Harris had Johnson do tasks like maintenance of the pool, sweeping the gym floor and working at the hockey rink.
“They were here for the last girls’ game, and all the filming had made me late,” Harris said. “(Johnson) got on the Zamboni with me, and then I got him to put the nets on the ice. One of the hockey players came down and told him, ‘We need those nets!’ I hope they get that part.”
Although that scene didn’t make the final cut on Oct. 10, they did show some of Harris’ usual tasks. They also showed some of the problems Johnson had using a mopping system that Harris pushes through the rough hallways of the arena.
“They have seven hours of footage for about seven minutes on TV,” he said.
“They say, ‘be yourself,’ then they told me to give the guy a hard time, and that’s just not me. I’m not quite sure what it’s going to be like when it’s on TV.”
Harris, who has watched Undercover Boss Canada before, says he began to suspect that they weren’t filming a documentary that day. At one point, he said, they asked him if he would be able to come to Toronto at a later date.
“They said it would be cheaper for them to fly me up to Toronto than to bring all of them back down, in case there were any hiccups,” he said. “I figured that’s the lead up to the second half.”
Sure enough, a week later, they called. When Harris went to Toronto, he was introduced to his boss.
Participants in the show are typically rewarded for their efforts by the boss, and Harris was no different. During the show, he talked to Johnson about his daughter and grandchildren, who were living in Petawawa, Ontario.
“It was funny – during the pre-interview, they asked what I’d want to do with money. My daughter is in Petawawa, and I have grandchildren there, and I’m missing out on a lot,” he said.
“The night before, she called me and said she wanted to take the kids to the Toronto Zoo. I said that sounded like fun, and she said, ‘You and Mom should come’.”
Prohibitive costs didn’t make that seem likely – but thanks to Undercover Boss Canada, he was able to make the trip with his wife this summer. Johnson promised to send the entire family to the zoo and gave Harris and his wife flight vouchers. He was also given a new ride-on mopping system.