August 24, 2008 8:55 PM
Viewers of Bravo’s “Flipping Out” know that its star, stressed-out perfectionist Jeff Lewis, who buys, fixes up and resells houses for a living, is not an easy boss—in fact, the entire series is pretty much built around how outrageously trying he can be. During the season just ended, in a misguided attempt to express gratitude, he gave his long-suffering housekeeper, Zoila Chavez, a rather harshly rendered portrait of herself in a maid’s uniform—apparently the last thing in the world she wanted (and who can blame her?). But annoying though he may be, Mr. Lewis’ heart turns out to be in the right place: As the season ended, he decided to make it up to Ms. Chavez by having the network auction off the painting, promising her whatever sum it fetched. Unbelievably, the monstrosity last week pulled in a winning bid of more than $10,000 on Bravo.com—a handsome bonus for Ms. Chavez and a masterful bit of situation flipping for Mr. Lewis.