This Worn-Out Mom Struggled To Put Food On The Table, Until Her Boss Acted Unexpectedly


Not Sure What To Expect


Marino was working for a company called Mr. Appliance, a franchise of the Dwyer Group, an organization that provides repair and maintenance services. In 2011 she was invited to star in a television show pilot, but she was unaware at the time of what the show actually was.



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Don’t Quit Your Day Job


The would-be TV star agreed to appear in a show entitled Don’t Quit Your Day Job. However, it turned out that the program was actually an episode of the CBS program, Undercover Boss.



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Secret Service


In this series, a top-level manager works anonymously with employees at the bottom of their company. In doing so, they learn all about their employees.

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Explaining The Situation


Marino explained the situation to the Houston Chronicle in 2013. She said, “I was told somebody would be working with me for the day. Basically, they would decide if they wanted to go back to their old career, or if they wanted to quit that and do something completely different.

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Interested


Marino originally started working as a technician after her refrigerator broke. She had called someone from Mr. Appliance, who then tried to recruit her firefighter husband, Michael. However, it was Tanna, who had been a stay-at-home mom for five years, who was interested in the job.

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Training


After applying successfully for the job, Marino began training as an appliance technician. A couple of years later, she was then filmed as an unknown woman shadowed her. The new worker had long dark hair and brown eyes and was introduced as Faith Brown.

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Kept Under Wraps


It was kept under wraps that the mystery co-worker on those days was Dina Dwyer-Owens, chief executive of Marino’s firm. Dwyer-Owens had changed her hair and eye color so that employees from her own company couldn’t recognize her.

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Definitely Not A Blue Collar Job


Marino shared her first impression of “Faith Brown” with the Houston Chronicle in 2013. She explained, “She had long fingernails, pearls on and long curly hair. My impression was that she probably came from working behind a desk, definitely not a blue-collar job.”

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A Conversation That Would Change Her Future


But the two got on well during their two days working together. Marino described “Faith” as “very polite and very friendly” and even introduced Brown to her husband and four children. It was the conversation they had on this occasion that would change her future.

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Absent Father


As a child, Dwyer-Owens’ father had been absent a lot as he developed his company, the Dwyer Group. She talked about this during the filming of Undercover Boss in 2012. She said, “Just thinking back, my father was amazing but he wasn’t home. It was rare that he was home, and we were all still awake.”

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Concerning


So the fact that Marino was considering getting a second job struck a chord with Dwyer-Owens. The undercover boss said, “One of my concerns in listening to Tanna is that her and her husband are working. Now she’s going to take on a second job.” Apparently, she couldn’t let that happen.

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Struggling To Make Ends Meet


She knew what it was like to struggle to make ends meet, and this did not sit well with her. She wanted to do something to change this woman’s life.

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Left Speechless


After filming, Marino was invited to her boss’s house for the show’s “big reveal.” It was here she learned just who had been shadowing her for days and also what the consequences of those two days would be. And the technician was left “speechless.”

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Emotional Scene


In an emotional scene, Dwyer-Owens’ voice broke as she gifted Marino a lump sum of $25,000, which she referred to “a cash reward for being you.” In addition, $10,000 was provided to set up a scholarship fund for Marino’s children.

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Admiring Her Success


In particular, Dwyer-Owens said she admired Marino’s success in a predominantly male field. She made $5,000 available to Marino to create “Women in the Trades,” a program to help women employed in or studying the trades. This fund provides eligible women with money for fees, books, travel or tuition.

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What Values Are We Living Up To?


On the show in 2012, Dwyer-Owens explained her reasons for taking part in Undercover Boss. She said, “My goal in going undercover was to figure out how we were doing. Are we really living up to the values that my father founded the company on?”

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Nothing But Praise


The executive continued with nothing but praise for the now emotional Marino before embracing her in a hug.

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Incredible Technician


“You are the epitome of what Don Dwyer would have looked for,” Dwyer-Owens said. “You’re an incredible technician; you’re an incredible mother and an incredible wife.”

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Changed Her Life In Every Possible Way


Marino told the Houston Chronicle the money has changed her life in “every possible way.” She said, “The cash that was gifted to me allowed our family to get into a bigger home. I work from home now. I have flexible hours and the opportunity to spend time with my kids.”

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Didn’t Stop There


And the changes didn’t stop there. The opportunity for Marino to showcase her skills and ideas to Dwyer-Owens paid off. She was offered a position as a franchise consultant and is now in charge of the Women in the Trades program.

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Facing Obstacles


This means Marino is actively recruiting women into the Dwyer group. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, she said, “My biggest obstacle now has been trying to spread awareness of the scholarship program. We would truly love to have more women working in all the different brands.”

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Life-Changing Experience


Although Marino finds it odd that she now gets recognized in the street, her views on the changes in her life are positive, according to her interview with the Houston Chronicle. She said, “My experience as a whole has been phenomenal. I work for a great company doing what I love.”

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What Next?


She continues to be passionate about her work, and has created an initiative for women from different backgrounds to come and train and be a part of the scholarship program. She feels strongly about giving back, and wanting women to get the opportunity she had through hard work and never giving up.