Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs is a man renowned for holding a multitude of occupations during his life. Having dipped his toes into so many different pools, it’s only natural some of them weren’t the best fit and he’d have to be let go. This was true with QVC and it is a story you definitely want to hear.
Speaking to Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle, Rowe discussed numerous topics, but a particularly interesting one was his story of QVC firing him. Rowe began by saying a training program didn’t exist. Upon being hired, QVC put you on probation while you acquainted yourself with the inventory. They put Rowe on double probation and he revealed technically being fired for “inappropriate contact with a nun doll.”
“A doll was brought to me,” Rowe began. “If you wound her up she would sing Climb Every Mountain I thought that was hysterical. The camera was off of me, I couldn’t find the winder, it wasn’t in the small of her back or the top of her shoulder. It was in her ass basically.”
“I’m off camera, I can’t get any torque on it. I turn her upside down. Pretty soon the nun’s head is in my crotch, and her habit is pushed down. People around me are either mute with horror or in hysterics. It’s 7 o’clock in the evening on a Sunday. The TV comes back to me on a medium shot. It looked like I was sodomizing a nun.”
There’s more though. They were also selling a book titled When Kids Ask Tough Questions and Rowe said Santa Claus didn’t exist. Additionally, he broke an indoor/outdoor unbreakable dinnerwear set, as well as read his boss’s memos on the air.
Some jobs simply aren’t a good fit, it seems.
Mike Rowe Says ‘TV Blows,’ Which Led to ‘Dirty Jobs’ Succeeding
In the same interview, Mike Rowe answered questions about Dirty Jobs and some of the occupations he’s tried. While discussing the show, he commented how “TV blows” and that realization led to the show succeeding.
Rowe loved Dirty Jobs’ premise but noted he didn’t care for how television treated people. “TV blows,” he bluntly stated. “We turn regular people into heroes or punch lines. That’s what we do. Once it became clear that Dirty Jobs was going to work, to me that became the challenge. How do we keep that from happening?”
That’s when Rowe had his realization. If anyone is going to be made a fool of, it should be him, not the guests. “And then it became clear. It has to be me. I have to fail. I’m paid to try, and I’m rewarded for failing. It’s the ultimate management of expectations.”