Tired Mom Of 4 Needs 2 Jobs When Boss Changes Paycheck

A Joke?

She opened the letter and looked down at the number that was in front of her. She felt her hands start to shake.

Could this really have been true? Surely it was a mistake? But when she looked at her boss's face, she could tell they were dead serious. Life was already tough, this just piled on.

Long Day

Tanna Marino blinked her tired eyes and looked at the endless numbers whizzing on her work monitor. She was feeling the fatigue set in.

She had down three cups of coffee and a fourth was on its way. She was tired from the very start of her day and knew it wouldn't be over anytime soon. Then her boss came to check in on her.

Showing The Ropes

Her boss had one request and it seemed relatively straightforward.

She was happy to oblige but she'd soon find that there was more to training this new coworker than she initially thought. She felt terrible and somewhat upset when she learned the truth - she had asked for promotion more times than she could count but they have her the same bland answer every time.

A Replacement?

But they gave her the same speech every time - not enough resources and limited budgets, etc. She was sick of the same answer.

Now a coworker was standing right behind her boss with a cheery smile. And she was looking to fill the exact same role that Tanna had at the company. Were they a cheaper alternative? She couldn't believe the disloyalty.

Head Down, Be Good

Tanna already knew that her job was dominated by men.

But she didn't claim to know everything and didn't want to jump to conclusions and wouldn't treat this coworker badly for no good reason. She greeted her and had her sit in her cubicle to shadow her. Then they got to talking about their lives.

Getting To Know Each Other

The woman furrowed her brow, "How many did you say!?"

Tanna looked at her and said "two". She was working two jobs to put food on her dinner table. She tilted her head and asked “So, your husband stays at home and takes care of them?” Tann looked at her and simply said "No".

Just Not Enough

The father of her children was also working full time to make sure that they could afford the childcare for their four children, it was a really difficult situation for them to be in.

Life was just very costly with four children. Their salaries could never keep up with the childcare, the schooling, the food. They were in a difficult situation, to say the least.

Nothing Out Of The Ordinary

The day still continued as normal

Tanna did her job and continued to answer any questions. The woman, however, still had a troubled look on her face. Had she scared the new employee into second guessing her new position? Tanna might have wanted to keep her job, but not in an underhanded way. The shocking answer would come the very next morning.

Familiar Face

Tanna bit her nails as she waited in a lobby she had never stepped in before.

It was much higher up in the hierarchy. The office before her didn’t belong to her boss. It was at least three steps up in the ladder. When she walked in and saw a familiar woman sitting in one of the seats, and a very serious boss on the other side of the desk, she felt like throwing up.

Pay Change

“Let’s get straight to it,” he said, pulling out a plain, white envelope. “I know things are hard for everyone right now, but we need to change your salary.”

Tanna took a deep breath and clutched the paper. This was bad. The woman beside her didn’t give any hint of emotion. 


She peeled back the lip of the envelope and pulled out the paper.

The new number punched her right in the face. Her eyes went wide, and all the air left her lungs. “I ... I don’t understand” she stammered. She had got a raise ... and big one! But that wasn’t all.

Better Hours

The rest of the note gave her more good news.

Not only was she getting more money, but she was also going to be allowed to work from home with far more flexible hours. “Why?” she asked, trying to hold back the tears. It was the woman beside her that held the answer.

Undercover Boss

It turned out the woman was the big boss of the entire company.

She had gone undercover in a disguise to see what working conditions were like for her employees. Tanna’s story had moved her in more than one way – one that would affect so many people in the entire corporation.

Treated Better

Tanna was right – life had just got so expensive, and salaries didn’t match.

The owner was going to increase salaries across the board as well as implementing more flexible work hours for everyone. She wanted her workforce to be able to concentrate on their productivity instead of worrying if they had enough food to put on the table. It was a win-win for everyone.

Better For Everyone

Tanna’s tears finally came in full.

It was like an enormous weight had been lifted from her shoulders. It was even better knowing that others would have an easier time as well. She wished more bosses would do this. Imagine the amazing changes that would happen! But that wasn’t all.

More Changes

The CEO of the company, Dina Dwyer-Owens, was the first female CEO of the home services franchise company that her father had founded. Meeting Tanna had strengthened her resolve to hire more female employees as technicians and franchise owners. 

The story was featured on an episode of Undercover Boss, and the positive outpouring the CEO and the company received was completely unexpected.


“The response that I got from women who watched the show was great. And many have told me that I had inspired them, which is a bit humbling,” Dina said. “I also heard the same thing from a lot of men, which did surprise me some.” 

The opportunity to go undercover had given her some valuable insights into how working parents were struggling to juggle their jobs and take care of their kids in today’s economy. 

Insights Into The Modern Family

“I wanted to do this because I knew it would give me a firsthand look at how our franchises operate and what employees think and feel,” she said. 

“This show does offer a very unique opportunity for a CEO like me.” And the insights she was learning were really driven home when Tanna has explained her predicament. 

Making Ends Meet

Tanna’s job was to make service calls for a Mr. Appliance franchise, just outside Houston. Tanna told the undercover CEO that her husband was a firefighter, but she had needed to take a second job to support her four children. 

Dina was stunned. That’s when she decided to give Tanna the fairytale ending she deserved.


“I was totally blown away by this woman and her dedication to her family and to her job,” Dina said. 

“She represented to me everything that our company stands for and supports. I knew that we needed more people like her working for us.” But, after all the positive changes, how is Tanna doing now?

It Keeps Getting Better

Just one year after Tanna’s work situation changed for the better, she’s gone from strength to strength - going from an appliance technician to a corporate consultant!

In her new position, she has more time than ever - precious time that she uses to spend with her family and encourage other women to get into more male-doninated fields with the “Women in the Trades” program.

The “Women in the Trades” Program

Tanna had made such a huge impression on Dina that she thought she would be perfect as the woman to light the way for other women to pursue technical positions. 

In addition to the raise and hour changes, she gifted Tanna $5,000 to start a “Women in the Trades” program for other women like her.


“My life has changed in every possible way,” said Tanna. “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.”

“My biggest obstacle now has been trying to spread awareness of the scholarship program,” she said. “We would truly love to have more women working in all the different brands. This is a good way to get the required training. 

Encouraging Women

As a part of her new position, Tanna recruits female workers into the Dwyer Group and into positions that are usually filled by men. 

She wants more women to internalize the fact that they are just as capable as men in technical fields. She could never have imagined that all this would happen as she was struggling along and working two jobs!

A “Phenomenal” Experience

After the episode of Undercover Boss aired, Tanna became a bit of a celebrity. People on the street started to recognize her face from the TV show. While becoming a celebrity overnight can be a little overwhelming, Tanna’s life keeps getting better and better.  

“My experience as a whole has been phenomenal. I work for a great company doing what I love,” she told the Houston Chronicle. And, when it comes down to it, that’s all she’s ever really wanted.