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Struggling To Feed Her Kids, Hard-Working Mom Gets Called to See Boss

Unexpected Call

1. Working Mom Tanna Marino was a mother of four children living in Cypress, Texas. As she would modestly describe herself, Tanna was but a small town girl. However, beneath her calm demeanor, Tanna was working hard, for long hours, in order to support her family. Though she took everything in stride, Tanna had hit […]

1. Working Mom

Tanna Marino was a mother of four children living in Cypress, Texas. As she would modestly describe herself, Tanna was but a small town girl. However, beneath her calm demeanor, Tanna was working hard, for long hours, in order to support her family.

tanna mr appliance


Though she took everything in stride, Tanna had hit a standstill. Her family’s budget was tight and getting tighter. Things were spiraling out of control. But as hope faded, little did she know everything was about to change in a way she never expected.

2. Struggling

Life was increasingly difficult for Tanna and her family. The amount of time she was spending working was wearing her down. What’s more, it was preventing her from spending time with her family. Things were only getting more and more desperate.

tanna mr appliance


She was struggling to make ends meet, and the wages she was earning were not enough. Anything that could make her life better would be a welcome change. Nothing was coming her way, and she didn’t know what to do.

3. No Personal Time

Tanna wasn’t the only parent who was out of the house. Her husband was working full-time as a firefighter in the Houston area, while Tanna herself was employed as an appliance technician at a repair and maintenance company called Mr. Appliance.

tanna marino certificate appreciation mr appliance


Because they had to put food on the table and keep it coming, both parents were extremely busy. Their hectic schedules meant that they were less and less able to spend time with their four children. But all that was about to change.

4. A Surprise Offer

One day, as if life itself was throwing a fork into the wheels of her routine, Tanna received an extraordinarily random and intriguing proposal. She was approached by scouts asking if she’d like to appear on a new reality show in its TV pilot.

tanna working mr appliance

It was startling but exciting. Anything that could make her life better would be a welcome change. And as Tanna asked for more details about the series, what they told her was surprising — or, rather, what they didn’t tell her.

5. Murky Details

Even if being on a television program sounded cool, it was a strange sales pitch. The producers explained very, very little to Tanna. They had told her that it was a new potential show called “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”.

tanna driving


Though most people would have leaped immediately at the chance for fame, Tanna had to think before she accepted this rare offer. She barely had time for herself, let alone to take on a side project. Could she honestly afford to take this opportunity? Where would it lead?

6. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Tanna had weighed the risks, and decided to go ahead with it. She told the producers she was on board to participate in the TV show. At the minimum, it was a chance at being a TV star, so who knows what could come from it?

Any exposure was better than not taking the chance. But as Tanna prepared herself for what would be her television debut, little did she know that nothing was actually as it seemed. And even her own story was everything out of the ordinary.

7. An Unusual Encounter

It had all started two years before when Tanna’s family’s refrigerator broke down. She picked up the phone and called the repair company Mr. Appliance. The person who came to repair the fridge met her husband, and out of nowhere, offered to recruit him.

tanna smiling

The thing is, it was generous but not something Michael was open to. Because he was already employed as a firefighter, he graciously declined. For some reason, the recruiter hadn’t even considered Tanna as an option. But she began thinking.

8. Changing Her Course

The repairman had made a bad assumption thinking Tanna wouldn’t be a proper candidate for the job. Being a stay-at-home mom as a full-time position was getting tedious, and besides, Tanna was perfectly capable of working and her family was in dire need of additional income.

tanna kids


So after a few days of deliberating and thinking the situation over, she took action. She called the Mr. Appliance company once more, and this time, she told them she’d like to apply for a job. The guy offering surely hadn’t banked on this happening!

9. Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Now, after two years that Tanna had been working with Mr. Appliance, she was going to appear on a reality show. She was told that for the show, she would be shadowed while doing her everyday rounds on the job.

tanna mr appliance

As she was told, a woman who was a new employee with Mr. Appliance would trail her around and observe her. This was in order to learn from Tanna whether this job was a right fit for her or not. But nothing was as it seemed.

10. New Co-Worker

And so, as the camera crew followed her, Tanna was introduced to a lady called Faith Brown, a new employee with Mr. Appliance. Tanna instantly noticed her brunette co-worker’s appearance. Faith certainly didn’t look like someone who would be out in the field doing repairs.

handshake tanna faith mr appliance repair


Faith was sporting some heavy eye makeup, long fingernails, and a pearl necklace. Tanna’s first impression was that Faith looked more like someone who worked in an office, but regardless, she was in good spirits. Tanna never could have guessed the truth.

11. On The Job

Having those long fancy fingernails was going to potentially be a problem when getting into the nitty-gritty of repairs. But with or without them, Faith went to accompany Tanna as she made her rounds, visiting people’s homes and fixing their appliances.

faith mr appliance tanna


It quickly became very clear to Tanna that Faith wasn’t particularly experienced in their field. She was lucky to have Tanna with her, because she was patient and helped her learn. All the while, Faith was taking mental notes on her co-worker.

12. Getting To Know You

For several days, the two repairwomen Tanna and Faith went around the area working together, all with the camera crew from the reality television program in tow documenting their every move. In a happy turn of events, they ended up getting along famously.

oven fixing mr appliance tanna faith undercover boss


Even if Faith wasn’t the most skilled at what she was doing, she was paying great attention. Moreover, she was very courteous and friendly, and Tanna felt at ease with her. She was so comfortable that she introduced Faith to something quite private.

13. Home Visit

With the camera crews watching, Tanna did something she didn’t have to do as part of the program. She took Faith to her family home. There, Faith had the chance to meet Tanna’s husband Michael and their four young children.

michael tanna faith mr appliance


Faith talked with the children, and was enchanted. She was smitten with how adorable they were, and what loving, hardworking parents they had. But all the while, something Tanna had said to Faith really took her aback. It changed everything about the situation.

14. A Difficult Conversation

As they had made their rounds, before meeting the family, Tanna had mentioned to Faith that despite the fact that both she and her husband had jobs, it simply wasn’t enough money to sustain their family. She had a confession for her new co-worker.

tanna faith undercover boss mr appliance


As if the strains of her current lifestyle weren’t demanding enough, Tanna told Faith quite frankly that she had been strongly considering getting a second job just to make ends meet. And though Faith kept her cool, off-camera, her heart was breaking.

15. Parallel Worlds

Hearing this sad news from Tanna instantly brought up deep memories for Faith. When she had been a child, Faith’s father had founded his own company, and as a result of his hard work, more often than not, he was away from home.

faith tanna marino kids undercover boss


For Faith, even if she knew how dedicated her father was to his family, she strongly remembered not seeing much of him, as he would only come home when the children were asleep. She couldn’t bear seeing the same patterns repeat.

16. Too Close To Home

There were just too many similarities between Faith’s childhood and the situation that Tanna and her family were going through in the present. Because Tanna had spoken honestly with her co-worker, Faith had learned the hard truth behind the scenes.

faith undercover boss


Tanna had merely mentioned the remark in passing while the two women were in the Mr. Appliance company van on their rounds. She had no idea how far her words would go. Faith was determined that she couldn’t let the situation continue — not on her watch.

17. Wrap Time

The filming of the show “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” came to a wrap. The portion where the new co-worker trailed the veteran employee was now over. But there was one more scene yet to be filmed, the most important one of all.

faith undercover boss tanna

For the end of the show, the tables were turned. Now, it was Tanna’s turn to be hosted by Faith. She got into the car the film crew had provided, and as she was taken to Faith’s home, she had no idea what was in store.

18. A Changed Woman

Tanna arrived at the house, and there before her sat a woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. It wasn’t Faith. Instead, the woman introduced herself as Dina Dwyer-Owens — and she said she had gone undercover. The cat was out of the bag.

dina dwyer owens ceo mr appliance dwyer group tanna faith surprise

Tanna was informed that the entire series had been a ruse, and the woman who had been working alongside her for the whole show was a total fraud. It was a huge shock. Just who was this mystery woman and why had she disguised herself?

19. Hidden Millionaire

The whole crew, and the viewing audience, knew something huge that Tanna hadn’t an inkling about. Faith was none of what she had said she was. In fact, she was Dina Dwyer-Owens, the CEO of the Dwyer Group, the business responsible for all of Mr. Appliance.

dina dwyer owens millionaire ceo dwyer group mr appliance tanna marino

Not only was Dina far from an everyday office worker, but she was in charge of an $800 million franchise. As Faith, she had needed to don a wig and contact lenses to conceal her identity. And she had some absolutely jaw-dropping news for Tanna.

20. The Shocking Truth

Faith’s hidden identity was not the only thing that had been kept from Tanna. In reality, there was no such show called “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”. All along, it was actually an episode of the CBS series Undercover Boss.

dina dwyer owens faith disguise undercover boss

The premise of this popular series is that a boss or someone high up in a company’s management comes to observe an everyday employee, to listen and learn from them. And there was a big, special reason to be interested in Tanna.

21. Breaking Barriers

After explaining who she really was, Dina told Tanna one of the qualities that made her a unique employee. She said that seeing women in the male-dominated repairs field, especially one with such a go-getter attitude, was exactly what Dina had always wished would happen with her company.

dina dwyer owens garden undercover boss faith

As excited as she was to tell her star employee the other news she had in store for her, Dina had a hard time not breaking down. Tanna’s personal story had really resonated deep within her. That was her own father who had been away from home so often.

22. Shattering The Glass Ceiling

First off the bat, Dina told Tanna she was going to grant her $5,000 in order that Tanna could start and spearhead a “Women in the Trades” program to help ladies who are working in or learning a trade like hers.

tanna marino disbelief dina dwyer owens undercover boss

The program would cover these skilled women’s tuition and fees as they explored and sharpened their talents. Together, they would ensure a space for women in the repairs field. But that was just the beginning. Dina had barely begun to reveal her surprise.

23. Thinking Ahead

Through all of their work and their struggles, Tanna and her husband Michael always had their hearts focused on their children, but that didn’t just mean providing for the present. Above everything, Tanna had an overarching goal for the long term.

tanna emotional undercover boss dina dwyer owens


Working at Mr. Appliance was primarily to cover living expenses, but beyond that, Tanna had wanted to somehow save up, so that her children could go to college one day. Dina knew that. And what she would say would make her eyes well up with tears.

24. Providing An Education

Dina had been personally touched by the experience of meeting Tanna’s kids. Her eyes misting over, she told the trembling woman she had set up a $10,000 scholarship fund in order to set aside money for those kids to go to college one day.

dina dwyer owens tanna marino undercover boss


Tanna was flooded with gratitude for her CEO, hearing her dreams for her family come true in real time. It was as if a sun had dawned on a bright future for everyone. But the biggest surprise was yet to come.

25. The Final Gift

In the sunny garden where the two women sat as equals, CEO and everyday worker, surprise after surprise was unfolding on camera after what had seemed like an ordinary couple of days for a TV pilot. But Tanna Marino’s life was about to forever be changed.

dina offer tanna


Choking back tears, Dina informed Tanna quietly that there was another gift in store that she wanted to grant her. She said that she was going to give Tanna yet another check — for the sum of a staggering $25,000! What was her reason?

26. The Simplicity of Compassion

Tanna had already received a check for a women’s advancement program, and another one for her children’s college scholarship fund. Now she had one last check presented to her, and it was massive. She could barely believe her eyes and ears.

tanna marino dina dwyer owens mr appliance undercover boss

The reason for this massive check that Dina was granting Tanna was simple yet powerful. Dina put it quite plainly: the check was for Tanna, simply for being who she is. But Tanna was overwhelmed. She hesitated. How could she accept this generous gift?

27. Speechless

After all of this unbelievable news that was going to shift everything about her world, Tanna understandably didn’t know what to say. Unable to comprehend everything that was happening to her, she humbly told Dina that she was just a country girl.

tanna tears dina dwyer owens


Tanna couldn’t believe she would be deserving of all this love and generosity. She was barely able to speak, let alone find the words that could express her flood of thoughts. But Dina knew exactly what she wanted to say to her in return.

28. Dina’s Response

Dina told Tanna that she may have been a country girl, but she was an exceptional one. Her voice, filled with sincerity and compassion, relayed to her bewildered employee the words she needed to hear, “You’re an amazing technician. You’re also an incredible wife and mother.”

embrace hug dina tanna undercover boss


Tears streaming down their faces, the two women stood up and embraced. It was a moment of true humanity, where boss and employee both showed the true shape of their hearts. And believe it or not, Dina had one more surprise up her sleeve.

29. Deep Motives

Dina had agreed to appear on Undercover Boss in the first place because she wanted to explore who her enterprise was as a company, and if her work was upholding the values her late father would have looked for when he’d founded it.

tanna marino dina dwyer owens mr appliance work


To her great joy, through her time on the show, she had found precisely what she’d been searching for. Tanna exemplified all of those qualities for her — and she wasn’t about to let her go. There was no way she’d have to get a second job.

30. Treasured Worker

Dina couldn’t bear the thought of Tanna having to find a second job. Instead, she wanted to further her journey within the company. On top of the unbelievably generous checks, she offered Tanna the opportunity to be a franchise consultant.

tanna professional mr appliance


It was a day filled with love that changed Tanna’s life forever — and it was all thanks to Faith. She’s still working with Mr. Appliance, loving what she does. And it just so happens she has a company that loves her right back.

Sources: Social GazetteCBS

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