April 04, 2010 08:38 PM by Nancy Floyd
Tonight’s episode ofÂ Undercover Boss onÂ CBS follows Rick L. Arquilla, president and COO of Roto-Rooter, as he goes undercover in his own company. Pulling hair out of drains and crawling in sewage are just a few of the dirty tasks required of Rick. Keep reading for more of the messy details…
Undercover Boss is all-new tonightÂ onÂ CBS as Rick Arquilla, president and COO of Roto-Rooter, rolls up his sleeves and gets his hands dirty going undercover in his own company. As always, the show opens with clips of Rick living the American Dream with his picture-perfect family in his picture-perfect house. Rick had a rough upbringing with an alcoholic father but went to college and worked his way up to success. Now, he’s returning to his blue-collar roots as theÂ Undercover Boss.
Rick’s first stop as theÂ Undercover Boss is in New Orleans at one of the newest and fastest growing Roto-Rooter branches. Rick calls one of the local regional managers to help him in hisÂ Undercover Boss journey. Rick’s first job will be a simple residential plumbing gig with Darrell, a general technician. Today they’ll be working on a nasty, clogged-up tub for a guy that looks like Lenny Kravitz in an airbrushed lion t-shirt. Rick and Darrell rip apart the tub and discover a disgusting wad of hair and an old towel that got lodged in the drain. Pardon me while I vomit. They spend the rest of the day pulling hairballs out of sinks, tubs, and any other plumbing device you can imagine. Glamourous job. In the van, Darrell and Rick have an opportunity to talk which means it’s time for the requiredÂ Undercover Boss heart-to-heart. Darrell almost had a heart attack, needed heart surgery, went on disability, and is poor as a result.
The next job Rick takes on as theÂ Undercover Boss is at a call center in Chicago. Rick will be working with Candace on the phones using the dispatch system he helped design. It turns out the system is super complicated, especially since everything is color-coded and Rick is colorblind. Candace looks like she’s about to have an aneurism as she struggles to explain the system to Rick who clearly has some issues hearing and understanding. Time for a break which means the secondÂ Undercover Boss heart-to-heart of the night. Candace has an autistic child and is struggling to pay her mortgage. After the break, Rick wants to try to handle his own call but Candace doesn’t think he’s ready. Candace is right. When Rick finally gets on the phone, he sounds like a pushy idiot. Does this guy have any customer service skills? Or just plain old social skills for that matter?
Rick’s nextÂ Undercover Boss job is back in New Orleans doing sewer maintenance with Chris. First stop: a nursing home with a parking lot full of crap. Literally. Rick can’t even figure out how to put his hard hat on. How did this moron ever land a job running the company? He also can’t figure out how to get his hose in the pipe. (That’s what she said.)
After dealing with the sewage issues, Rick and Chris take a break which leads to an unprecedented THIRD heart-to-heart of the evening. It turns out Chris is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. This story tugs at Rick’s heart and keeps him up at night with tearful thoughts of his own alcoholic father.
Rick’s final job in New Orleans is doing emergency plumbing with a drain technician named Henry, allegedly one of the best in the biz. After climbing under a house, Rick is responsible for pushing a camera through a long pipe to discover why it’s leaking. They discover roots in the pipe, a $1200 job, but when Henry discovers that the homeowner can’t afford it, he takes a cut in his own pay to offer her a serious discount. After work, Henry invites Rick to accompany him to basketball practice where he coaches inner-city kids. This leads to a mini heart-to-heart session with Henry’s wife who tells Rick about Henry’s dedicated commitment to the basketball game and his love for children. Back in his hotel room, Rick calls his wife to share his experiences and his memories of his dad. She gives him a motivating pep talk which brings him to tears.
Rick’s last day as theÂ Undercover Boss is at a manufacturing plant in Iowa, where the plumbing machinery is made. Rick will be working with Dan, a master welder. This task requires Rick to wear an American flag bandana. Awesome. Dan attempts to teach Rick how to weld and (surprise) it doesn’t go too well. Dan struggles to keep from laughing at Rick’s pathetic welding attempts. On their break, Dan shares his concerns about the poor economic conditions and how that could affect the future of Roto-Rooter and his own job. This brings Rick to more tears. Man, this guy is a big softie.
Now it’s time for Rick to reveal his true identity to the employees he’s worked with during his stint as theÂ Undercover Boss. Naturally everyone’s a bit surprised to learn that Rick, their incompetent sidekick for the week, is actually the guy running the company. Darrell (the heart surgery patient) will be receiving reimbursement for his medical bills and disability due to an error in paperwork. He’s also receiving free gym equipment and paid groceries at a local health food store. Master Welder Dan is reaffirmed that his job is safe. He’s also given an auto garage for he and his Roto-Rooter buddies to work on cars together. Candace (the single mom) will receive a paid enrollment in Chicago’s autism program for her son, as well as $5,000 to put towards her mortgage. More tears. Henry, the amazing drain technician, will be provided with a 15-passenger van to cart the basketball team to and from practice. He’s also promoted to Field Supervisor and receives a raise. Chris, the recovering addict, brings Rick to tears for the 85th time this episode. Rick wants Chris to travel around the country to speak about his addiction problem.
Next it’s time for the company-wide event where Rick shares the invaluable lessons he learned as theÂ Undercover Boss. The audience cheers, the highlight reel rolls, and Rick cries….yet again.
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