She sat in awe. All she wanted was a little extra cash to help support her family. Now, all eyes were on her. Her face burned. Was this a joke? She was told that it was just a little extra work—all she had to do was show the new girl around, but she never signed up for this. Then, the unimaginable happened.
She sat in awe. All she wanted was a little extra cash to help support her family. Now, all eyes were on her. Her face burned. Was this a joke? She
was told that it was just a little extra work—all she had to do was show the new girl around, but she never signed up for this. Then, the unimaginable happened.
Tanna Marino wanted the American dream. And when her husband proposed, she thought she had gotten it. They moved into their new home on the outskirts of Cypress, Texas, and began to focus
on their future together. She was an Appliance Technician at Mr. Appliance and Michael was a store manager. They knew they wanted children, but they never thought their dream would become a nightmare.
Tanna’s family began to expand quicker than she expected. As soon as their first baby began to crawl, she discovered that she was expecting again. She had just returned to work after
her first maternity leave. How were they going to react to her big news now? Little did she know, her second pregnancy would be the least of her worries in years to come.
Tanna’s second maternity leave led to a third, and eventually, to a fourth. Thankfully, the management of Mr. Appliance were understanding. Of course, she needed time off. After all, she already had
three young children at home to take care of! She thought her maternity leave would be as relaxed as the ones before. But she never expected her husband to react like this.
When Tanna came home from her last shift at Mr. Appliance, she found her husband sitting at their kitchen table with a bottle of beer in his hand. His brow was furrowed and his heart was heavy. They
had a plan—Tanna would return to work after maternity leave, then hand in her notice at the end of the year. They were already spending a fortune on nannies! But then, he said something that made her heart stop.
As Tanna welcomed her fourth child into the world, her husband lost his job. They were surviving on savings, and the plan they once had seemed impossible. As the years went by, Tanna continued to work and support her family while her husband got as much work as he
could find. In the mornings, he would bring the kids to school while Tanna was at work. In the evenings, Tanna would collect them and get them ready for bed while he attended training to become a firefighter. They were exhausted. Then one day, she received a phone call.
Tanna and Michael were missing out on their children’s childhood. What was the point in having a family when they only got see each other a few hours a day? So, when Tanna got a call from a television scout asking if
she’d be interested starring in a reality TV pilot, she was intrigued. It was a paid gig and it wouldn’t cut into her family-time. Michael encouraged her to take the opportunity. Neither of them expected it to have such an impact on their lives.
The crew of “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” agreed to meet Tanna outside Mr. Appliance. Her manager had already approved their presence. She was told to go about her normal routine for
the day—not very exciting for a reality show. Nonetheless, Tanna did as they said. However, they did approach her with one new task—to train the new employee, Faith. But she wasn’t what Tanna expected.
Tanna worked 5 days a week minimum. Every chance she got, she did overtime. She needed to save every penny. Understandably, she didn’t ever have time to make sure her makeup and hair were perfect. Faith was the opposite. She was plastered in
a thick layer of makeup, long brown locks fell down her back, jewels sparkled around her neck and across every finger, and long pink acrylic claws clutched her designer purse. Tanna didn’t know they were hiring new staff. But someone was keeping a secret.
Tanna was kind, patience, and understanding. When Faith didn’t understand a process, Tanna would explain it again. Faith never felt more welcomed in her life! Tanna could tell she didn’t have much experience, so she made sure to go through everything slowly. She never thought Faith would eventually change her life.
Over the next few days, Tanna and Faith were joined by the hip. They went on house calls together, ate lunch together, went on breaks together. Tanna even invited Faith home to meet her family. It felt as though they had known each other for years. So, Tanna decided to let Faith in on a secret.
Tanna shared their harsh reality. Although she and Michael were lucky enough to have jobs, they were struggling financially. As the kids grew, they needed new shoes, new clothes, school equipment, sports gear, and
although she already spend the majority of her time away from her children, she was currently hunting for a second job. Faith’s heart broke. But Tanna never expected their week to end like this.
Faith was no stranger to family affairs. Her father struggled to support their family constantly during her childhood. She knew what hunger was. So, as the last day of filming approached, the crew informed
Tanna that she would be visiting Faith’s home for the final segment. But when Tanna showed up Friday afternoon to be greeted by a now short-haired Faith, she was puzzled. What was going on?
Faith couldn’t hide the truth any longer. “I am Dina Dwyer-Owens, the CEO of the corporation that owns Mr. Appliance,” she said as she shook Tanna’s hand. Tanna’s jaw dropped. Turns out, Dina had disguised herself
for the week in order to see what it was like working at the front lines of the business. The show was actually called “Undercover Boss.” Tanna had seen it before! Was she about to be fired?
Dina was so impressed by Tanna’s work. Never in her career had she met someone so kind and hard-working. She praised Tanna’s work ethic and labelled her as a critical member of the team. But then, she did the unthinkable. She presented Tanna with a $5,000 grant to start a program for “Women in Trades.” And there was more.
Dina also set up $10,000 scholarship for their children’s college education. As parents, their biggest fear was not providing enough for their kids. With four mouths to feed, bills to pay, and a house to keep,
Tanna feared they would never get to a point where they could start putting money away for their tuition. Understandable, she was in tears. How could a stranger be so kind? But the story didn’t end there.
Tanna couldn’t believe her luck! She was only treating Dina as she would have any other new employee. She never thought the experience would escalate to this! She felt light-headed. Was she
dreaming? Was this a prank? Against all Tanna’s better instincts, she was wide awake. Dina told her the money was a personal gift. But why had Dina done so much for an employee?
Dina didn’t know what to expect when she signed up for “Undercover Boss.” She had seen the show. Most of the time, bosses met entitled, rude, lazy employees. Tanna was special.
She was everything Dina looked for an in employee. She knew how hard it was to support a large family, even with a full-time job. She wanted to give back.
Dina went back to her job as CEO, and Tanna went home to her family. When Michael opened the front door, he thought she had seen a ghost. But when she informed him of what happened, he burst into tears. Finally, after years of struggling, they had caught a break. What were they going to spend the money on?
As usual, Tanna thought of his children first. She treated them all to a new pair of shoes she had promised months ago. Then, she took them out for a family meal of desserts only. Her children
gave her strength. But when she couldn’t give them everything they wanted, she thought she was failing as a mother. Thankfully, Dina was there to help a mother in need. But how long could Tanna resist splurging for?