Trading Places

Trading Places
Do you think the grass is greener somewhere else?

Dr. Phil Works at Costco

Dr. Phil spends the day working at the customer complaints counter at Costco. His first customers want to return a VCR they'd had for five months, because it was ejecting nearly half the tapes that were inserted.

"Maybe you just didn't put the tape in it right?" Dr. Phil asks, suggesting they should get half their money back since it worked about half the time.

The next customer is returning little statues that his wife insisted on getting. "I couldn't talk her into not getting them," he explains. Dr. Phil has a suggestion for him. Since he wouldn't stand up to his wife, Dr. Phil offers to trade his book, Relationship Rescue, for the statues he wanted to return! Then, Dr. Phil gets involved by telling his wife, "He says you need to learn how to listen."
One man is returning a mop he'd already used. Costco's policy is to accommodate the customer, but Dr. Phil wants to have a little fun. "Are you doing it right?" Dr. Phil asks. "Are you left-handed? How many times did you use it? Did it clean the floor? ... What's the problem if it cleans the floor?" Ultimately, Dr. Phil gives the man his money back.

Then, Dr. Phil's staff plays a little joke on him, sending in a customer to return one of his books.

"What's wrong with it?" Dr. Phil asks.

"My husband doesn't like it and I don't like it," she says.

"You don't like it? I've heard that it's absolutely fabulous!" Dr. Phil tells her. "They tell me he's brilliant."

"Can I just have my money?" she asks, getting impatient.

When Dr. Phil reveals himself, they both have a laugh.

Because all of the customers were such good sports, Dr. Phil arranges for them to get a $100 gift certificate.

The Blue Angels


Dr. Phil wanted a glimpse of what it was like for the fighting men and women of our country to be in the cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet. So he heads to the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, Calif. to meet the flight demonstration team for the United States Navy, known as The Blue Angels.

They get Dr. Phil ready for an incredibly demanding flight.

"I think that when Dr. Phil trades places with me, the first thing he'll see are the physical demands with this kind of flying," says Lt. Craig Olsen, explaining that they will be flying at one and a half times the speed of sound. "We're going to experience centrifugal force, which equates to Gs," he explains, "and today, we'll pull up to seven and a half Gs."

Dr. Phil is shown how to breathe so he doesn't pass out, and he's shown where the "party bags" are in case he get sick.

Then, Dr. Phil is ready for flight. "We're going to basically stand the jet on its tail and climb to an altitude of about 6,000 feet," Lt. Olsen explains, though they actually end up at about 10,000 feet. "We'll do an Aileron Roll, where we'll basically just roll the plane on its longitudinal axis."

Then they get ready to turn the jet upside down. "Basically he's going to be hanging up in the straps and we'll see how he likes that," Lt. Olsen says. When they have about 10 minutes left, Dr. Phil says, "That's enough ... We can head on back."

Afterward, Dr. Phil says, "These guys do this twice a day. I couldn't do this twice a year... I'm sweating like the pig who knows he's dinner!"

Lt. Olsen tried taking on Dr. Phil's duties too, and finds that it's not as easy as it looks!

Overweight For a Day

"I have a very hard time empathizing with overweight people," says Molly. "It makes me mad when I have to sit next to someone who is overweight in a movie theater or other public areas ... I see it as irresponsible, unhealthy, lazy, and arrogant. I don't think society should bend its rules or accommodate severely overweight individuals."

She turns to Dr. Phil for help changing her attitude, and then agrees to find out what life feels like as an overweight person.
She wears a "fat suit" that makes her look about 300 pounds, gets prosthetics put on her face, and goes out in the world.

"Oh my God," she says when she looks in the mirror. "I don't even recognize myself."

"I can't even get my own socks on," says Molly. "This is harder than I thought."

Going to the gym, she realizes, is a challenge both physically and emotionally. "I feel like people are staring at me," she says, as she gasps for air while exercising. "I feel very self-conscious ... I don't think I would want to come here and have people stare at me like this."

When she tries to fit into a bathroom stall, she's also in for a surprise. "Tight squeeze in here," she says. "I can't even fit through the door. I had to turn sideways just to get out of there."

She also has a hard time fitting into a seat at a movie theater, and can only imagine what it would be like to sit there for two hours.

"People are staring at me everywhere I go," she says. "I feel like I want to just hide."

Molly says her day was an "eye-opening" experience. "Anything I ate, anything I did, any movement I made, just walking in a room made me feel that everyone's eyes were on me," she says. "I think I learned that I need to have more patience with overweight people."

But Dr. Phil points out that she really didn't become significantly more empathetic.

"Yeah, just a little bit more, not a whole lot," Molly says.

"But you felt miserable, and you felt conspicuous, you felt stared at, and embarrassed, and most of your life, you're the person who's staring at them. You know how it makes them feel, so why are you so judgmental?" asks Dr. Phil.

"I think after walking in the shoes of an overweight person, it made me realize that life is so hard, why would you continue to be overweight? ... I don't understand why people don't just lose the weight." Molly confirms that she still thinks people who are overweight are lazy, irresponsible, unhealthy, selfish and arrogant.

"You just decide all of that based on their size?" asks Dr. Phil.

"Do you think anybody would purposely choose to be that size and suffer?" Dr. Phil asks. "Is it possible that it's reflective of any number of things from a medical disorder to an emotional problem that they may have, a life situation or circumstance that got them into that ... but you have no compassion for that whatsoever?"

"I don't know why someone would suffer purposely if they know it's unhealthy, and they're taking up room, and it's costly to eat like that," Molly justifies. "It's an excuse, I think, if they're using an emotional disorder or something that happened in their life as an excuse to be that overweight."

Dr. Phil pushes further: "What if they're the most loving, caring, giving, dedicated, devoted, altruistic person in the world? You'd miss that if you looked just at their size."

When Molly says she's not impeding on their space, Dr. Phil disagrees, saying, "I think you're impeding on their spiritual space in a major, major way."

Stay-at-Home Mom as a Trash Collector

Dear Dr. Phil,
I'm a stay-at-home mom and my life is soooo boring.

Who would I like to trade places with? ANYBODY! I feel that anyone I meet has a more glamorous life than I do. I even envy the garbage collector!!

If I could do anything else for a day, maybe it would make me realize that my life isn't as dull as I think it is. I doubt it, but maybe.

So, Dr. Phil, give me anything!


"Careful what you ask for," jokes Dr. Phil, who sets Melissa up with a job at the sanitation department. Her day starts at 4:45 a.m., and even at that hour she's excited to break out of her usual stay-at-home mom routine.

After a short time, Melissa starts to wonder about her daughters. "I wonder what my girls are doing now while their Mommy is taking out the trash," she says.

Hardly taller than the trash cans she struggles to maneuver, one falls on top of her and knocked her to the curb. "Are these heavier today than they usually are?" she asks. "This one smells really bad," she says about the trash can she actually has to climb into.

"This sucks," she says a few hours into her day. "If I was at home right now, I'd be watching TV. I used to think that was boring, but it sounds pretty good about now ... I could never do this every day ... Where's my sofa when I need it?"

The second part of her day is sorting through trash for recylables. "This is disgusting," she says as she rummages through trash. "How in the world do people do this day after day after day?"

After a day seeing how hard trash collectors work, Melissa concludes, "I guess being a stay-at-home mom isn't such a bad job afterall."

When she comes on the show, Dr. Phil asks, "So, what do you think?"

"Well, my life is still monotonous," she says. "Having a job is better than sitting around the house all day long every day ... but that was hard work, I think that's a little extreme."

Dr. Phil has a theory: "I think that bored people are boring," he says. "You got out there and threw yourself into it, and did it with enthusiasm ... Can't you do that within the framework of your own life with something?"

"I do, but there's still the monotony of just sitting around," says Melissa, who wants to be home with her kids but doesn't necessarily enjoy it.

Part of maturity, Dr. Phil explains, is realizing that we don't always get to have fun. "Sometimes you do the things you really want to do, and sometimes you do the things you have to do," he says. "And hopefully you do those things so you then have access to the really fun things."

"You haven't quit being you just to be a mom, right?" asks Dr. Phil, suggesting that she needs to pursue her own interests while raising her kids. "The more you do that, the better mom you'll be," he says.

"I know that, but it's hard to be a person and be a mom," Melissa explains.

"What I'm saying is don't be boring. Don't just say, 'I'm trapped. I've got these kids that are going to be here for another 14, 15 years, so I'm going to sit here and wait for them to grow,'" says Dr. Phil, telling her to find balance and do other activities for herself.

Since Melissa had to handle raw meat and landed knee deep in garbage, the show arranges for her to spend a day at a salon in her hometown.