April 19, 2010; Sydney Morning Herald | One of the biggest hits on American television this year has been a “reality” show in which corporate CEOs leave their corner offices, shed their expensive suits and ties, and pass themselves off as ordinary workers to see how their companies treat the rank and file. While that might make for good entertainment, it has nothing on a charity event in Australia, in which corporate chieftans really give up their perks and comforts and agree to spend the night sleeping outside for one night to raise money for homeless programs.
Last year, some 213 business heads took part in the sleep out, raising more than $600,000 (Australian dollars). The event, which began in Sydney in 2006 goes national this year, and organizers are hoping they will raise $1 million. Those taking part on June 17 will be given pieces of cardboard, bread rolls and soup, but are also permitted to bring their own sleeping bag and mobile phones.
Based on comments from one of last year’s participants, New South Wales Community Services Minister, Linda Burney, earplugs might also be in order. Said Burney, “It was a great event last year [but] I didn’t realise how many people snored once they put their head down.” Sleep well, dear captains of industry.—Bruce Trachtenberg