It’s not easy taking care of your home, and it’s even more difficult when you have to care for another person’s home while fending for three kids of your own. But this was precisely what Cara Simmons, a 36-year-old single mother, did for a living.
Despite the difficulty, though, this hard-working mother ignored the physical toll of her duties and did whatever was necessary to care for her family. Fortunately for her, it finally paid off, and it paid off big.
Staying a dedicated mother while handling a job as exhausting as housekeeping is not the most comfortable way to live. Still, Cara put in all hours and braved a few exhaustion-linked hospitalizations to come through for her children.
Exhaustion, however, was the least of her health issues as stomach ulcers made their presence felt in her life. Despite all this, she persevered because her the importance of her kids’ future and well-being preceded her comfort. Like many others in her position, she knew the odds, but stopping striving wasn’t an option.
The name of the housekeeping services company that hired this hardworking mother was Maid Brite, and they did their part to keep their employees busy by providing them with as many assignments as possible. For Cara, this meant spending less time with the children she worked to provide for.
Yet, when Cara came home, her children would love her back and appreciate her efforts. It says a lot about her character that her employees also only had good things to say about her work ethic and commitment.
Like every other day for the last couple of years, Cara got up this morning and set about her housekeeping job and duties with the same verve and vigor she cared for her children. However, little did she know that this assignment would change her life forever.
She picked up the address of one of the day’s clients and made her way, without knowledge, to the house of a major celebrity. If only she had more time to follow the tabloids, maybe she’d have prettied herself up or maybe not; that’s how little time she had for herself.
It made little difference on the state of Cara, though, as her client for the day had plans that had already been set in motion. Cara learned that the person meant to direct her, Madeline Blue, had already had the house cleaned upon arrival. It was baffling as she then wondered why her services had been solicited for.
It turns out Madeline had another kind of work for Cara, and without knowing what laid in store for her, Cara decided that would change her life forever. Despite the uncertainty of what she was needed for, Cara stepped into Madeline’s house.
It appeared that Madeline was indeed in need of some help, but it wasn’t the kind of help that Cara was usually employed to provide. The actual owners of the house had hired Madeline to throw a party on short notice, and she was running out of time.
She, therefore, needed Cara to assist her with the preparation and other things that needed setting up. This was a fun change from what Cara usually did, and she didn’t mind at all. First things first, though, she had to be introduced to Manny Slomovits, a famous chef in charge of whipping up a six-course meal for guests.
Fun developments just kept rolling in to spice up Cara’s day, and one of the same tasks she was required to carry out was taste and rate the meals that the chef was cooking up. Cara found it all very exciting, and tasting food certainly sounded much more straightforward than cleaning houses.
She understood just how odd her day was going as she was no fool, but Cara decided to accept all this as a reward for the struggle of cleaning houses every other day. She went along with the flow of things and tried to help /chef Slomovits decide what dishes should be served.
As expected of a person who finds themselves in an unfamiliar situation, Cara was very quiet. In an attempt to break the awkward silence, the chef inquired what her favorite food was. Cara replied with spaghetti, but in truth, this was more of her kids’ favorite food.
She didn’t give much thought to what her favorite food was because what her children wanted was more important from her point of view, and she almost always put their needs and preferences first.
Spaghetti was her favorite meal or, at least, the favorite meal of her kids. But what Cara was currently eating was very unlikely to appear on any pasta menu or any menu she might have ever seen. She had to taste a South African Tristan Lobster dish with quail eggs and basil oil.
The dish, though, didn’t just taste differently from anything she had ever ate, it was also significantly more expensive. The lobster by itself started with a price of $500, and this amount could have easily fed her family for weeks.
If Cara felt that the lobster was expensive, she wouldn’t have ever believed the cost of what came next. A side serving of white truffles and edible gold followed the lobster, and Cara could barely comprehend how people felt about being served gold on a plate.
Well, now she could have a little bit of perspective on the issue while even having the pleasure of enjoying the experience. At this point, Cara had realized from the cost of the dessert menu alone that she was helping plan a significant event.
The price of the meal had stunned Cara, but she couldn’t deny the exquisiteness of what her taste buds had just experienced. Once the tasting exercise was done, though, she headed to Madeline to accept a new assignment.
At that point, though, the doorbell suddenly rang, and Madeline immediately instructed Cara to welcome the new arrivals. Two men were there to man the party’s reflexology station at the door, but Cara, ignorant of their duty, allowed them in.
The two men seemed ordinary to Cara and, even after they came in. What they were here for wasn’t obvious. It wasn’t until Madeline offered Cara a chance to be massaged by the men to warm up their hands that Cara realized their occupation.
She felt hesitant to accept the message, but it was even more challenging to risk displeasing a client. Doing such could cost Cara her job at Maid Brite, so she went along with the flow and accepted the massage offer.
Cara couldn’t help but think this was the best day of her life. Not even on her birthdays had she been subjected to such queenly treatment, and to believe that she was on duty even made the whole situation more amusing.
She couldn’t help but joke with her therapists about how she was getting paid for receiving a massage and tasting food. She was enjoying treatments that her annual salary couldn’t afford while getting paid. This was the most satisfaction she had ever earned from her job.
The massage came and went too quickly for Cara, but the fun was starting. If she thought she had seen too much comfort for one day, she was wrong. After the massage, Madeline called her upstairs for her next assignment.
Next up was helping the house owner clean up a closet. This was, however, a walk-in closet. It was larger than Cara’s bathroom at home, and she was in awe. Madeline informed her that they had to organize the cabinet as well and get rid of certain items.
Not wanting to discard clothing items that cost a lot, to Cara’s surprise, Madeline informed her that she could keep whatever things met her fancy. Cara was being offered her pick of clothes, which she couldn’t afford on her own.
What a day this was turning out to be for Cara. She ended up getting herself a gold watch and jade necklace to go with designer jackets, heels, and other accessories. She had no idea where she’d ever wear them, but even having them felt nice.
At this point in her day, Cara felt very little could surprise her anymore. She could tell that more big things were coming her way and was ready to experience the full pleasantness that a day with Madeline was turning out to be.
However, she couldn’t have anticipated what came next. The doorbell needed answering again, and when Cara got there, a delivery man with a big box was waiting to be relieved of his package. Cara let him in, and he set the box down inside the house.
The box was big, and Cara was eager to see what the next day was going to throw at her. She was told to open the box, and when she saw their contents, she couldn’t help but feel confused – she was staring at her personal belongings.
It was time to feel more than a little apprehensive at how things were progressing. Here she was in a stranger’s house, being offered expensive hand-me-downs, food, and massages. Now her personal belongings had arrived. This wasn’t as random as she thought, but she still didn’t get what was happening.
Cara needed answers, and she was going to get them. She turned to ask the delivery man for an explanation, and to her surprise, he was bringing in an even bigger box. She was still coming to terms with what had happened up until this point, but the surprises were not slowing at all.
She tried to get the delivery man to reveal details about his task and where he was coming from, but he ignored her and continued his work. She was getting scared, and Madeline was nowhere to be found.
The delivery man finally decided to provide her with some information, and Cara was lost when he claimed that the items, he had delivered belonged to a Mrs. Simmons who lived in the house. She was Mrs. Simmons, and she most definitely didn’t live here.
When Madeline came in and confirmed to the delivery man that her boss was indeed Mrs. Simmons, Cara was shell-shocked. Was she in an impossible dream, or had she become significantly richer without her being aware of the fact?
A confused and worried Cara was lost in how she had managed to become the owner of a house she was hired to clean when she had no money to afford a single item in the house. At this moment, though, the crew decided to put her out of her misery.
It was all a prank by the crew of a web series called Prank It Fwd. They produced a series involving surprising people with similar treatments as they had given Cara while filming their expressions and experience. For Cara, though, the prank wasn’t the end.
This prank, however, wasn’t the sort that simply ended with a few small laughs and nothing else. The house was revealed to be a present for Cara and her family. Cara was struggling to understand how a place she was required to clean was hers suddenly.
In tears, Cara thanked the crew members for changing her life and that of her family. She could barely suppress her emotions as she told them how life-changing this would be for her family. However, she wasn’t the only single mother whose life had been changed for the better by this team.
Cara wasn’t the only mother whose life had been changed in this way. There was also the case of Tanna Marino from Cypress, Texas. Tanna was a mother of four, and, just like Cara, her life centered around her family and how best she could care for them.
Her husband was a firefighter, and he wasn’t always at home. This meant that the burden of caring for her children mainly rested with her, and thanks to her small-town mentality, she took this duty very seriously.
Despite the seriousness with which Tanna handled her kid’s wellbeing, she could spend as much time with them due to her long working hours. She worked as an appliance technician for a company called Mr. Appliance.
Her job was okay, and the income wasn’t bad as well, but Tanna struggled with her finances as the size of her family took its toll. To her credit, though, she persevered and one day, she receives a life-changing call that completely transformed her life.
When Tanna picked up the call, she had no idea what life had set in motion for her. On the other end of the call was a person claiming to be a television scout. This was quite odd as she had no business whatsoever that could involve a television scout.
To her surprise, she was offered a role to appear in a reality television show pilot. She felt this had to be a prank, but she played along for the sake of politeness. She shelved her surprise and asked for the details.
The scout claimed they had been instructed to reveal only a few details and that Tanna would have to come over in person if she needed more information. She was, however, told that the show was called “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.”
It looked real, and after spending time weighing her options, Tanna felt that there was little downside to accepting this opportunity. The fact that such a possibility could result in money being made also factored into her decision-making.
Tanna agreed to appear in the show but didn’t know what to expect. The first day she arrived on the show set, she was introduced to the camera crew following her around and doing the recording.
On the show, Tanna was tasked with training an employee by the name of Faith Brown. She welcomed Faith and went through her tasks as she was told. She felt at ease on camera, and everything came naturally to her, but she felt Faith looked out of place.
Faith was meant to be an ordinary office worker, but rather than look like one, and she had on plenty of makeup and jewelry to boot. She didn’t seem to fit the character she was being asked to play, and Tanna felt odd as nobody commented on it.
Despite all of this oddity, Tanna took to her task of showing Faith around like a fish to water. She played her role well and introduced Faith like a new trainee while the camera crew recorded every move.
From the get-go, Tanna felt that Faith looked wrong, and after showing her around for a while, she concluded that she also didn’t have the experience to do this. However, just like she would have done for any trainee, Tanna patiently took Faith through the procedures and routines.
Throughout the whole training, the camera crew was right behind Tanna and Faith. She realized after a while that the show was all about training new employees with no idea as to what they were to be doing in their new role.
The training continued for a couple more days, and the camera crew was around all through. By this time, Faith was following Tanna on house calls, and despite Faith’s relative lack of experience, Tanna patiently took her through all that she needed to know.
The training was going well enough for Tanna and Faith to develop a more personal relationship, and she soon invited Faith to meet her family. Faith was happy to accept the invitation and Tanna’s family were equally curious to meet the trainee.
When Faith arrived on the visit, she was introduced to all four children and Tanna’s husband. Despite their financial difficulties, they came across as a happy family that got along well and stayed happy through their problems.
Faith was also pleasantly surprised by their attitude to her arrival. They all seemed quite happy to see her, and they warmed up to her quickly. She had grown quite close to Tanna the past few days, and Tanna opened up on some personal issues as a result.
After dinner, the kids vacated the table and made their way to bed. Once tucked in, Tanna and Faith were alone at the table, having a private conversation when Tanna opened up on just how tight their family finances were despite her and her husband having jobs.
She opened up to Faith that she might need to get an extra job to deal with this problem. She recognized that this would mean having even less time for her children, but to Tanna, it was justified as she also needed to take care of their needs.
The facts shared by Tanna struck a chord within Faith, and she revealed that she once had similar struggles as well. Faith told Tanna that her dad was often away during her childhood, which led to several issues while she was growing up.
The discussion they had that night strengthened the connection between the two women, but Tanna could not imagine what was to come next. It wasn’t long before Faith decided that it was time to reveal to Tanna precisely what the reality show was all about.
The show had finally run its course, and Tanna’s part was revealed to be almost over. However, she had one task left; she visited Faith’s home for the final segment. Tanna decided to help the crew pack their materials before they headed to the new location.
Upon arriving at Faith’s home, Tanna met a completely different woman from her trained one. Faith was now blonde, and her hair was made up in a completely different style. Tanna was taken aback a little, but the surprises were starting.
At this point, Faith revealed to Tanna that her real name wasn’t Faith and that she was Dina Dwyer-Owens, the CEO of the corporation that owned Mr. Appliance. Tanna realized that she had been training her boss, and the shock on her face prompted Dina to explain what the show was about.
She explained that the whole aim of the show was to help her spend a few days with an employee- Tanna, in this case- and experience firsthand what it meant to work as an employee of her company.
The television crew decided to chip in at this point, revealing to the still-surprised Tanna that the show “Don’t Quit Your Job” doesn’t exist and that they were filming for a different television show entirely. The name of this show was “The Undercover Boss.”
The goal of the show was to help bosses learn more about their employees while in disguise. This way, where they experience how much effort goes into the job while also building relationships with employees. Tanna was the target of this particular episode.
During the show’s filming, Dina revealed that she had been impressed by Tanna’s commitment to her work and the character she brought to her duties. She also shared that she was touched by what Tanna and her family were going through financially.
To help with the financial situation of Tanna’s family, Dina decided to grant her $5,000 from a program called “Women in Trade.” She expressed that the program offered financial aid to women learning a trade to support their progress.
While Tanna was still in tears from the grant that she had just received and the words of encouragement shared by Dina, Dina informed her that she would also be helping Tanna and her husband set up a scholarship fund to support her kids through college.
All of this seemed unbelievable to Tanna, and she could scarcely understand all that was unfolding but little did she know that more surprises were on the way. The scholarship fund and grant were just the tip of what Dina had planned.
Dina informed Tanna that she would also give her $25,000 before the show ended. She emphasized that this was a personal gift from her as a reward for her work ethic and to help Tanna with her financial problems.
According to Dina, Tanna’s story was touching, and she was impressed by how well she managed to stay grounded and perform despite her struggles. Tanna couldn’t contain her surprise and generally struggled to express her thanks to Dina coherently.
Before the show began, Dina had no idea that she would be giving out this much money. The show was to help her get closer to her employees, understand them, and understand the business from their perspective.
However, after meeting Tanna and learning about her struggles, she couldn’t help but reward her for her effort and hard work. According to her, Tanna embodied every quality she expected to find in her employees, and, for that reason, she deserved the reward she had received.
Not all episodes of the Undercover Boss turn out this way, and this was a unique experience for both women involved. Dina got her to wish and gained the experience and insight she was looking to attain.
On the other hand, Tanna received life-changing help practically out of the blue. She went from considering a second job and risking losing more time with her children to being given a financial lifeline. The episode of Undercover Boss changed this woman’s life and helped protect the family she cares for.