'Undercover Boss': What Really Happened To 'Epic Employees'

Both faithful and skeptical viewers of CBS' "Undercover Boss" series might wonder what happens after workers and the CEOs appear on show. Does anything really change? Were they really glad that they appeared on the show? As it wrapped up its fourth season on Friday, CBS aired a special "Epic Employees" episode, and the answer seemed to be an unequivocal yes.

Modell's CEO Mitch Modell gave a surprise visit to one of his employees, Angel, and came bearing gifts: Brand new mattresses for her, her two daughters, her husband and the baby she is expecting. The visit, of course, was made to a house that Modell himself made possible; earlier in the season, Modell found out that Angel had been living in a homeless shelter for two years, so he gave her $250,000 so that she could move her family into a new home. (He also promoted her during her first appearance from her job as a sales associate to her new position as an assistant store manager.)

On Friday's episode, she gushed, telling him, "You have no idea the impact you've had on our lives." (Her reaction to the gifts is seen in the video above.) Her reaction was relatively mild compared to when the Modell's CEO, while clasping her hands, gave her the $250,000 check to buy the house. Then, she was so overcome with emotion that she literally keeled over.

Two rounds of help for Angel is of course wonderful for her and her family. But it does raise questions about Modell's salary structure if a full-time employee is forced to live in a homeless shelter. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an employee at Modell's is $24,248. That salary, in line with the average salary for all retail workers in America, is roughly $20,000 less than what the average American worker earns each year. At the same time, Modell's brings in an annual revenue of of $680 million, Crain's reported last year. The salary issue is all the more important when considering that retail salesperson is currently the most common job in America.

Nevertheless, many viewers apparently were moved by the episode. As one viewer tweeted,
During the special, Angel beamed about her new house. "Just to have my own keys -- I am so excited," she said. And while speaking to the New York Post, she urged American executives to appear on the CBS show. "Do it in a heartbeat," she said.

What About The Employees Who Got Fired?
The CBS reunion special also visited some of the more notorious employees who have appeared on the series. Ronnie from Boston Market and Jacqueline from Retro Fitness are the only two workers who have been fired while appearing on the show. Their bosses were simply left with no other option after they saw how poorly the workers had behaved on the job -- in front of cameras.

More: 'Undercover Boss': 5 Most Gripping Moments From Season 3

"I literally hate customers," Ronnie told the camera during his very first appearance. "I just wanted to punch some people in the face," Jacqueline had said.

Yet since last we saw them on "Undercover Boss," they've gone in opposite directions. Ronnie is still unemployed. And he still thinks of himself as a star. On the episode that cost him his job, he called himself the "Kim Kardashian of Boston Market." And in the follow-up? "I am the Shirley Temple of unemployment -- America's sweetheart," he said.

But as he was being interviewed with his family at his side during the reunion, he also displayed some introspection. "Being a diva is not what it's cracked up to be," he said.

Jacqueline, however, has thrown herself into a selfless line of work; she works as an aide in an assisted living home in New Jersey. During the special episode she said that she realizes that she was "young and stupid" during her first appearance on the show. "But I am an adult now ... you live and you learn."

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Open your eyes. That show was not about Angel or the CEO. That show was about God showing his love, helping us to remember that no matter what the situation is, nothing is to hard for him. All things are possible with God, and all things are possible to those who can believe.

September 11 2014 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great story, but I could think of a better ending. Of course, that 250K was a big deal for ONE family, but what about all the other employees still struggling to scrape by? I'd rather have seen the boss give ALL her retail employees a raise - at least a living wage. Nobody should be working full-time and have to live in a homeless shelter or get food stamps. That's not the American dream I was sold growing up. And sadly, it's a bitter reality for a LOT OF US.

June 18 2013 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wowwwwww...Jacqueline is now working in the memory care unit of an assisted living facility.  When called out by her former manager & the CEO of the company about her abusive language & behavior when the undercover CEO visited, she commented to her former manager, "...do you ever see that; do you ever see me do that?  No!  Because I don't do that!"  Apparently she does do that, just not when she knows that people in authority are watching!  

If the CEO of that assisted living facility has any interest in operating a safe facility where residents are treated with dignity, s/he should definitely consider going undercover in some capacity during Jacqueline's shifts.  What a perfect environment to get away with more of the same abuse; a place where the consumers don't remember much of what really took place, and whose stories would likely be dismissed as demented if they complain or report anything.   I wouldn't risk potential elder abuse no matter how much Jacqueline thinks she's matured, especially after watching her berate her own mother (who keeps a roof over her head) over a coffee cup on the "Undercover Bosses Epic Employees" episode.  

All that said, our society needs more emphasis on helping/supporting change & maturity so that people who just don't get it can be nurtured to the point that they do, and are not working with vulnerable populations in the meantime.  Imagine if she tried that at a daycare center!  Parents would be all over her, but most elderly people in Alzheimer's units do not have family members who are as involved as parents of daycare consumers.

I truly hope that Jacqueline has matured enough to be kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of status, but I'm glad my parent doesn't live in a memory care unit in New Jersey.

May 20 2013 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betecrocka's comment

Wow you're harsh.

June 11 2013 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Surely people are not still falling for this

May 14 2013 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ought to be good with the welfare too!!

May 13 2013 at 8:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I wish my manager was that sweet, she only worries about herself and making new policies that are impossible to do in a decent amount of time. I work as a groomer at PetSmart with policies like, never have your hands off your dog more than 3 seconds and do the nails before grooming doing anything else on a dog. If any of you get a pet groomed, PLEASE remember to tip them well since you have no idea the amount of crazies we have to deal with, and that includes our power hungry managers and corporate offices! My manager on the other hand doesn\'t truly care about her employees, just making her big bucks as usual. Its so hard to find a manager that truly cares about their employees anymore, and its nice to know that someone is making a real attempt. PetSmart has no idea that if they were to ease up on the amount of policies that it might actually be a fun place to work and less injuries would happen!

May 13 2013 at 8:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to KickUrAssViper's comment

Worked at PetSmart, too though I was in Pet Care. They offered me a promotion and I turned it down because I simply could not deal without a buffer between me and upper management. They give a ridiculous amount of tasks that need to be done every day with no payroll to schedule other people, no time to do it, and most importantly no way to enforce it when they insist on hiring immature 18-year-olds. The problem is that when someone screws up, something could die. So if you couldn't get your employees to do it, you had to do it yourself. This was BEFORE they did the mass layoffs of managers, not because they couldn't afford it, but because they wanted to increase their profit margin and as a result put twice as much work on half the employees. Not only that, I had to constantly combat with upper management because they would make the stupidest recommendations for animal care that could hurt the animals in the long run. They also paid crap and scheduled horrendous hours and shifts. I asked for 15-20 hours a week because I was in school and so they scheduled me 3 hour shifts 5 days a week instead of using common sense and consolidating days so the people who didn't have hours could get them. This was in addition to the 45 minutes it took to drive there and another 45 back. I had to quit when I got into a yelling match with boss who proceeded to lie his way out of the situation. I couldn't take it anymore. In reality though, PetSmart at least had better animal care policies than Petco which was another nightmare all-together.

May 13 2013 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How touching, It made me realize there are those persons who have made a great life for themselves and do give back to others. I only wish others would do the same.It is rewarding and humbling to give to someone who needs. Even if only your time, it isa beautiful gift.

May 13 2013 at 6:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The average American wage is $42.979.61, but the median wage (were 1/2 of the americans make less and 1/2 make more) is $26.695.

May 13 2013 at 6:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I am a firm believer that management and executive levels need to be more hands on in the daily operations of any business. They should be willing to help bus tables when the restaurant is busy, work next to someone on the assembly line, etc. Be there. Get to know your employees. Open the dialogue with them about what their jobs are like--what works/what could be improved. Customers notice and employees feel valued. Come out from behind your desk and truly be a part of the team.

May 13 2013 at 6:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

if workers help you earn 680 million a year what stops you from giving a provisional pay raise to everyone of say $5,000? Why not spread some of teh wealth around each year. You can't spend it all so why not make your people grateful and loyal. Bet your turn over drops to zero if every worker who does above the average on an objective scoring card get the pay raise on 12/1 of each year. Doesn't always have to be the same but tie it to what you make. you make more and they make more. you make less and they make less. Cpmpared to other CEO's you would be a saint.

May 13 2013 at 5:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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