Undercover Boss: President and COO of Roto-Rooter: Where are They Now?
Rick Arquilla, the president and COO of Roto-Rooter, comes to terms with his own struggles while meeting his inspiring workforce on Undercover Boss.
Company Name: Roto-Rooter
Undercover Boss: Rick Arquilla
Are They Still There?: No
Roto-Rooter, America’s largest provider of plumbing services, sent their president and COO Rick Arquilla, undercover to learn about what the frontline workers do to make the company tick. Filmed during a big economic downtown, Arquilla looked at this as an opportunity to distill what exactly the company stands for, and to find opportunities to grow the business, which has been operating since 1935.
In order to effectively work the frontlines and go unnoticed, he confides in a local regional manager in New Orleans, Greg, to set him up with an entry-level position. His identity will be Hank Denman, a rookie plumbing worker looking for a new position at Roto-Rooter.
Job #1: Pulling Hair and Towels Out of Drains
For his first job, he is set up with Darrell, a General Technician, to perform some day-to-day tasks at Roto-Rooter. The first call of the day has Rick Arquilla trying to fix a clogged up tub, which involves a LOT of elbow grease to remedy. However, Darrell proves to be a great instructor, and talks him through each step of the process.
Rick is a little taken aback by pulling a gobs of hair, and a towel, from the tub, which was keeping it from draining properly.
It is towards the end of the day that Rick learns about Darrell’s heart issues. Darrell is experiencing some blockage, and could have experienced a devastating heart attack if the doctors did not catch the issue. However, Darrell was out of work for 4 months due to this, putting him and his family in financial hardship.
Job #2: Chicago Call Center
Rick is then paired up with Candace, a dispatch operator in the Chicago call center. Rick Arguilla is particularly interested in this position because he helped design the dispatch software that helps the company keep track of their drivers and their various service calls. Candace, who is an absolute master of this system, speedily talks Rick through the various color codes, and what they mean on a map system. It is here that we find out that Rick is having a very hard time following along because he is COLOR BLIND!
During a quick break, Candace shares that she has an autistic son, and she relies on her parents to watch her child since she cannot afford daycare.
Job #3: Sewer Maintenance in New Orleans
Rick is flown back to New Orleans to work on a jet blast, which is one of their marquee services. He is paired up with Chris and is sent to retirement home to address a blocked up sewage line, which oddly looks like oatmeal. After a long battle with the hose, Rick and Chris are able to open up the pipe, but Chris is disappointed with Rick’s overall work ethic.
After the job is done, Chris shares with Rick that he is a recovering alcoholic. This is especially triggering for Rick, as he shares that his own father was an alcoholic.
Job #4: Drain Technician Job in New Orleans
Arquilla is rushed to a job with drain technician Henry, to address an issue with an older client’s home. Henry sends Rick under her home to inspect and send a camera down the drain, and they discover that roots have broken into the pipe, which is causing a major backup in the sewage drain. This is a big job for Roto-Rooter, and will cost this poor old lady $1200. She shares that she simply cannot afford the service, and Henry does his best to find a solution that will work for her.
At first, Rick was very taken aback by how much Henry discounted the cost of service, but then he realizes that Henry works on commission, so he was giving up his own cut of the profits to help out this poor old woman.
After the job, he follows Henry to his kids’ basketball practice, getting a personal look into this Dad’s nonstop day.
Job #5: Manufacturing Plant in Des Moines
Rick’s last day undercover has him flying out to a manufacturing plant in Des Moines, Iowa. This is where all the equipment that the technicians use are made, and he is paired up with Dan to try his hand at welding. This is probably the most dangerous job from his experience, proven by the fact that one of the sparks lands inside Rick’s work boot!
In the break room, Dan shares that he loves motorcycles and muscle cars. He also shares that the town overall seems to be suffering during the economic downturn, and is afraid that the factory will be shut down. This really pulls on the heartstrings, and Rick Arquilla cannot help but get emotional.
The Big Reveal
Rick Arquilla summons all of his employees he met out in the field back to the corporate offices in Ohio to tell them he is NOT Hank Denman, but the president and COO of Roto-Rooter.
Rick praises Darrell for the value he brings to the company. In order to keep Darrell with the company and in good health, Rick provides him with gym equipment so he could keep up an exercise regimen. In addition, he sets him up with a local health food store so he could continue to eat right.
Rick assures Dan that his job is not going anywhere, and they will not be outsourcing work outside of the U.S.A. After learning how much Dan loves cars, Rick also sets up the factory workers with a car shop so they can work on their hobby of fixing up muscle cars and motorcycles.
Rick sets up Candace with an autism program to provide her with therapy and counseling. In addition, the company is giving her $5,000 so she can catch up on her mortgage payments.
Rick provides Henry with a 15-passenger van so they could shuttle the basketball team around. In addition, Rick gives Henry a raise and a promotion to a field supervisor.
Rick cannot hold back his tears as opens up his heart and lets Chris know about how his own father struggled with alcoholism. He commends Chris’ bravery in being open about his addiction, and wants him to share his inspiring story across the national system.
Where is Rick Arquilla, President and COO of Roto-Rooter, now?
According to Roto-Rooter’s official website, Rick Arquilla is no longer with the company. In fetch, he recently retired at the end of 2020, being replaced by Robert Goldschmidt. Per the press release from the company, Rick Arquilla has left behind a lasting legacy at the company, and can credit his tenure with an annual sales growth from $280 million to $700 million while operating profit grew from $38 million to $150 million during his 21 year tenure.
Watch more Undercover Boss on Dabl! Check our Dabl TV schedule and find out where to watch Dabl TV.