Being a housekeeper is one of the most demanding jobs out there. You’ve got to clean everything from top to bottom for people who don’t have the time. Generally, those tasks you do are endless, and you’re incredibly tired at the end of the day. Still, you know it’s your lifeline and your way to earn money. Cara Simmons was a single mother in Cleveland. At 36 years old, she knew she had to do what she could to keep her job as a housekeeper. However, she never realized that a single household and job could change her life in such a big way.
Hard Working Mom of Three
Cara was a mother to three children and went out of her way to always provide and ensure that her kids had what they needed. She took up many tiring housekeeping tasks without taking a day off. Though it hurt her physical health, she never gave up, and it finally paid off.
Cara was dedicated to her mothering role and as a worker. She tended to overwork herself so much that she was hospitalized because of exhaustion. The hard work and stress gave her many health issues, such as stomach ulcers, but she kept going to care for her children and pay rent.
Great Work Ethic
This mother’s children loved her and enjoyed what little time they had with her. She worked for Maid Brite, which had tons of assignments. Cara’s employer was impressed by her willingness and effort. Though housekeeping is tough, she was strong enough to take it!
An Ordinary Day
It was a routine day for Cara when she took her next assignment, but she didn’t realize how it might change her life. She jotted down the address and prepared for a regular cleaning project. However, she didn’t know it was the home of a huge celebrity.
When Cara arrived, she met Madeline Blue, who told her what to do. Strangely, she said the house had already been cleaned, making Cara curious. The woman invited her in to explain what she needed, and Cara had no idea what to think.
Once she walked inside, Madeline explained that the owners wanted her to organize a party, and there wasn’t much time to get it done. Madeline had hired Cara to help with the preparations, which sounded fun. Her first task was to meet a famous chef named Manny Slomovits.
Cara got a fun assignment here. Her first job was to taste each meal the chef prepared. While it wasn’t a normal task, she was happy to oblige. Still, she was a little concerned because she’d never done this before.
The chef tried to make things less awkward by asking Cara what her favorite meal was. She said it was spaghetti, as her children liked it. It was clear she put her children first from that answer and her willingness to be at the house.
Though she said her favorite food was spaghetti, she wasn’t eating such a common dish. She was tasting South African Tristan Lobster with basil oil and quail egg. This meal cost about $500 and was the most expensive thing she’d ever eaten!
Though the lobster wasn’t cheap, the dessert was a serving of white truffles, complete with edible gold. It cost more than $4,000. Not only did Cara see it, but she got to taste it. She realized that this was an important party!
Her Next Task
After eating the meal, she was shocked to learn the cost. Then, she went to find Madeline for her next assignment. Madeline asked her to answer the door. When she did, she saw two men ready for the reflexology station.
The men walked in, and Madeline told them to warm their hands before the event. Cara was asked to get a massage. She couldn’t believe what was happening, but she decided to go with it; her job was to complete each assignment.
Not Her Birthday
Both men gave Cara her massage, and she joked around about it being her birthday for getting such great treatment. Overall, she couldn’t believe the tasks she was given. Instead of organizing and cleaning, she was getting treated like a princess.
Cara believed that the massage was the highlight of the day, but there was much more in store for her. Once the therapists finished, Madeline called her upstairs. They went to a bedroom, and Madeline led her to a walk-in closet. She’d said she was organizing it and had to get rid of some clothing.
Madeline surprised Cara by saying that the space had to be decluttered, and she could take what she wanted for herself. Cara just couldn’t believe it. She saw the designer jackets, accessories, and shoes and realized she was getting them all for free. She even grabbed a jade necklace and gold watch!
After her free shopping spree, Cara was instructed to answer the door. She was sure it was going to be a pleasant surprise and was right! A delivery man was holding a box and left it inside. Cara didn’t know what shocking thing she might soon find!
Things got much weirder when the box was in the house. She was instructed to open it and found her personal belongings. From there, she started to get worried; this was a stranger’s home, and now her belongings were here? Something was off, but what was it?
Cara couldn’t hide her concerns. Looking at her stuff in disbelief, she wondered why they were here. The delivery man then brought in another large box. She asked him where it came from, but he didn’t say. Was Cara safe here?
Things unraveled when the delivery man explained why he was there. He claimed the items were for Ms. Simmons, the woman living in this house. Though it was her name, it made no sense. Madeline chimed in, saying that Cara was her boss. Was this too good to be true?
Cara was understandably confused now. She was hired to clean and now was treated like the owner. The crew couldn’t stop themselves; they told her what was happening. They were part of Prank It Fwd, a web series. It focused on helping people improve their lives while having fun.
Her New Home
The whole scenario wasn’t a joke. The house was a present for Cara’s family, making that cleaning job a turning point for her. She never expected to own a home. She thanked the team profusely and learned that she wasn’t the only one struggling to provide for her family.
A Similar Situation
Another case to think about is from Tanna Marino. She lived in Cypress, Texas, and had four children. Her firefighter husband was often gone, so she took care of the kids because they were more important than anything.
Mother of Four
Tanna couldn’t spend tons of time with her kids because she worked long hours as an appliance tech. Mr. Appliance often gave her extra hours. Though her income and job were stable, she struggled financially. However, one day, she got a call that completely changed her life!
When she picked up her phone, she didn’t realize that she was getting a life-changing opportunity. The voice said they were a television scout and wanted her to appear in a reality TV show pilot. Tanna couldn’t believe it and was a little skeptical.
Don’t Quit the Day Job
The scout said they couldn’t reveal a lot about the show but said that it was titled “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.” Tanna couldn’t decide at first but went along with it. She figured it might help her family.
Agreed to Do It
Tanna quickly agreed to do the show. She met the camera crew the first day, and they followed her around. Her job was to train Faith Brown, so she followed the tasks and didn’t even care she was on TV.
Faith was like a regular office worker, though she was overdressed for the part. Tanna found her to be an odd character for a show. Still, Faith seemed ready, so Tanna played along with the role.
Tanna realized that Faith wasn’t experienced, though she tried training her. She walked Faith through the routine while the camera crew followed them around. Now, Tanna realized that this was completely odd.
The training continued for a few days. These women worked together, with Tanna keeping her patience throughout it. Everyone saw that the ladies got along well and started bonding when Tanna invited Faith to her home.
When Faith went to her home, she met her four kids and husband, Michael. They all seemed happy, even with their financial struggles. With that, they all welcomed her, making the women get close enough for Tanna to admit a personal thing.
When the kids fell asleep, the women had a personal conversation. Tanna admitted that money was tight, even though the couple each had a job. It takes a lot to feed six people! She wondered if she might need another job, spending even less time with her kids.
Sharing the Struggle
Faith was touched by the confession and shared her own story. Financial issues were part of Faith’s life early on, with her father being gone a lot. After hearing Faith’s story, Tanna felt like they connected more. However, she didn’t know what to expect when Faith revealed what that reality show was all about.
The Last Task
After the show’s shooting was complete, Tanna was asked to go to Faith’s home for the last segment. She was happy to go. However, when she got to the property, Faith looked different. She had a new hairstyle and blond hair. It was odd, but Tanna wasn’t prepared for the surprise!
Her Real Name
Faith introduced herself now as Dina Dwyer-Owens. She was Mr. Appliance’s CEO. After the shock she saw on Tanna’s face, Dina explained. Her goal was to spend time with Tanna to learn more about her and what it was like to work at Mr. Appliance.
The television crew said that there was no reality show. They were actually there on behalf of Undercover Boss. The goal was for bosses to wear disguises and spend time with the employees to learn more about them.
The Generous Reward
Dina was clearly impressed by Tanna’s personality and work ethic and was touched by her financial struggles. The CEO chose to give Tanna $5,000 to support Women in the Trades. It was there to help women learn a trade to get financial aid.
Tanna was moved by the generosity and couldn’t hold back tears. Then, Dina set up a scholarship fund of $10,000 for the couple’s children’s education. Though she was shocked, the big surprise hadn’t even happened.
The CEO finally presented Tanna with a check of $25,000, which the family could use however they wanted. Dina said it was a personal gift. Tanna was overwhelmed and almost fainted. She couldn’t find words to explain how much it meant to her.
Dina didn’t even know she’d give so much money away. She only wanted to learn about her employees and appear like one. However, when she met Tanna, she had to reward her!
A Valuable Experience
This Undercover Boss episode was unique to both women. Dina learned more about the employee’s life, and Tanna received gifts that changed her life forever. The financial help was what that family needed!