Going Undercover

A CBS reality television series features a Roto-Rooter executive getting an inside look at day-to-day operations in the company
Going Undercover

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Roto-Rooter Services Company president and chief operating officer Rick Arquilla experienced a week undercover in his own company, using the alias of Hank Denman, a rookie service technician assigned to some of the dirtiest jobs.

It was an adventure and an emotional journey for Arquilla, who learned a lot about himself, the company policies he put in place, and the men and women who have made his company so successful by taking part in an episode of the CBS TV series, “Undercover Boss.” The segment aired April 4.

Each week, the program follows a senior executive who leaves the comfort of his or her corner office to examine the inner workings of the company. Working alongside employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, see where problems lie within their organizations, and get an up-close look at the good and the bad while discovering the unsung heroes who make their companies run.

Scenes for the show were taped at Roto-Rooter corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, at company service locations in New Orleans and Chicago, and at the manufacturing plant and world headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa.

While undercover, Arquilla got filthy and exhausted working shoulder to shoulder with employees who had no idea he was the boss. He cleaned sewers and drains with three service technicians in New Orleans and even lay in sewage while working beneath a house. He tried his hand at building the company’s cable machines at the factory, and in Chicago he dispatched plumbers from a 24-hour company call center late at night.

Arquilla, 57, came away with a newfound respect for his employees and the hard work they do to keep America’s plumbing working and sewer pipes draining, according to a company news release. “Undercover Boss” has featured senior executives from highly successful companies including Waste Management, White Castle and 7-Eleven.


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