Plumbing repair and drain cleaning service provider Roto-Rooter was featured on the April 4 episode of the hit CBS reality television show “Undercover Boss.” Each week, the show follows a different senior executive as they leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies.
While working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering the unsung heroes who make their companies run.
Roto-Rooter Services Co. President and COO Rick Arquilla experienced a week undercover in his own company using the alias of Hank Denman, a rookie Roto-Rooter service technician assigned some of the dirtiest jobs in the company. 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.
Scenes for the show were taped at Roto-Rooter’s corporate headquarters in Cincinnati as well as Roto-Rooter locations in New Orleans, Chicago and the Roto-Rooter manufacturing plant and world headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa.
While on the job and undercover, Arquilla got filthy, stinky and exhausted working shoulder-to-shoulder with his employees, who had no idea he was their boss. He cleaned sewers and drains with three different service technicians in New Orleans and even lay in sewage while working beneath a house.
He tried his hand at building the company’s namesake Roto-Rooter machines at the Roto-Rooter factory in Des Moines and in Chicago he dispatched plumbers from a 24-hour company call center late at night.
The 57-year-old Arquilla, who is a native of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, came away from the experience with a newfound respect for all of his employees and the hard work they do to keep America’s plumbing working and sewer pipes draining.