'Undercover Boss': ADT Technician Receives Life-Changing Gift
Most service workers struggle to get by in the U.S. Jesus, a service technician for the home security firm, ADT LLC, was no exception, working nonstop but still often taking out cash advance loans just to pay the rent. But when a top executive at ADT was featured on this past week's episode of "Undercover Boss," Jesus found his life -- and fortunes -- changed overnight.
Jesus was told that he was training "James," a man who was supposedly appearing on a "second chances" reality show and was hoping to open his own security business. But James was actually Tony Wells, the chief marketing officer of ADT, the latest subject on the hit CBS show, now in its fourth season.
In the episode, Wells sees quickly that Jesus is a stellar employee. Taking Wells with him on a site visit in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Jesus tells his apprentice: "This is somebody else's house and you've got to respect their home." Jesus even rejects an installation job that Wells completed because Wells had cut corners and left out a few screws in the keypad. During the course of the job, Wells learns that Jesus works such long hours, even on weekends, that he rarely gets to see his 18-month-old daughter and fiancee. He was impressed and moved.
So in the show's reveal, as shown in the video above, he gives James the gift of a lifetime.
ADT has 16,000 employees and is the largest home security company in the country. While Jesus' salary wasn't revealed, the salary website Glassdoor says that ADT employees' average salary is $44,527, slightly higher than the national average of $41,000.
Not all bosses on "Undercover Boss" come across such capable and dedicated employees. Earlier this season, Boston Market CEO Sara Bittorf came across one worker, named Ronnie, who spent his entire appearance on the show slamming his employer. Ronnie put it plainly -- he "hates the customers" and treats them like he's "Kim Kardashian." Bittorf fired him on the spot.
And then there was the experience of Ron Lynch, the CEO of the Tilted Kilt restaurant chain. Lynch was the first to say that his company wants its waitresses to use their sex appeal during serving. But even he has his limits. One waitress, Kaliane went over the line when she made a sexual display out of a pile of straws and whipped cream. He decided to keep the high school student on staff, but he told her that she needed to work with a mentor.
Wells, for his part, had his own work troubles -- at least on "Undercover Boss." Having joined the company only eight months ago, he learned that he's much more adept at working in the office than in the field. For his first site he teamed up with Matt, a sales manager in Union City, N.J.
Matt took "James" into local businesses to help him pitch ADP security systems. First, Matt was unimpressed with Wells' appearance and told him "you want to shirt-and-tie it." Then Matt criticized Wells' sales pitch as too stiff.
Wells is shown talking with a bar owner, and he came off awkward. After lots of uncomfortable pauses, he chatted about the sports logos plastered throughout the bar. "They've got a good pipeline of kids," Wells said of the Notre Dame team. "Monotone" is how Matt sized up Wells' performance.
And Wells had no luck even when given a perfect sales opportunity. When told by the owner of an armed robbery that had taken place at the bar. All "James" could do was stumble over the words, "bar," "business" and "wow."
"He was like a timid little kid," Matt said. "This guy basically told us that someone put a gun to his cousin's head and he didn't seal the deal."
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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.
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