Fastsigns International CEO, Catherine Monson, Rocks It Out
If you can imagine Martha Stewart looking like Cher, this is a lot like the transformation blonde, elegant Catherine Monson, CEO of Fastsigns International, went through when she donned a long, dark wig and dressed all in black. Fastsigns International is the world's largest sign company with franchises and 4000 employees. Catherine wanted to go undercover and learn about the different aspects of her company and that she did!
Sign, Sign Everywhere a Sign
Catherine, dressed in her all-black outfit and hair to match, becomes Louise and starts out working in production with Sheldon. Louise is all thumbs at trying to make signs and follow Sheldon's instructions and yeah, this is not the kind of thing you can learn in a few hours. These are mainly sticky decal signs made from vinyl which looks tricky to handle.
Catherine-as-Louise, finds out that Sheldon's been with Fastsigns International for 13 years and was a single dad until recently. He met a wonderful woman named Michelle that he wants to marry, but she has cancer and they have a lot of medical bills.This has gotta be tough.
Here Kitty Kitty
Next up, "Louise" goes on customer calls with Jen, a by-the-book gal who is trying to be patient with Louise. Louise sure gives Jen a run for her money by commenting that the client's building just needs paint, not a sign, and then by being distracted from taking measurements by a cat who wanders up to them.
Jen tells Louise that she likes working for Fastsigns, but that the marketing materials are low-quality. To the camera later, Catherine says that she'll need to look into this. Jen is all serious at work, but she loves to let loose by bowling and she invites Louise along.
Someone Count the Oh Ohs
Now Catherine as Louise must work with Gary and use a tiny sharp knife to cut out the letters from the oh-so-shiny vinyl. Gary doesn't help lessen the pressure when he gives Louise a 40-sign order and tells her not to make mistakes as there's no time to redo anything. Um, come on, Gare, she's been at this for only a few minutes.
Sure enough, all we hear from Louise is like a million "oh oh" sounds as she tries her best. So, Gary shows her how to apply the decals to business cars and trucks instead. Now Catherine-as-Louise has the problem of how to smooth out those damned air bubbles! I would not want this job. Later, Gary confides in Louise that his home life is hard right now and actually he lost his house today! Wow, is that all?
Give Me a Lift
Catherine summons up her bravery for her next task on Undercover Boss. She's going to ride in a lift with Fastsigns International franchise owner, Scott, to drill holes on the side of a building to get it ready for signage. Scott is surprised to see Louise the rocker chick in head-to-toe black from a cap to rock girl boots to work on signs. Catherine-as-Louise does amazingly well with the drill though, especially considering that the little cherry-picker compartment that they're standing in high up by the roof keeps moving.
Scott confides to Louise that his wife, Julie, has MS and they've recently adopted a daughter. Hearing Scott's family stories, Catherine gets a little emotional as she chose not to have kids. She's quick to add that she doesn't regret it, but if she were younger maybe she'd rethink it. Mainly though, after her stint undercover as Louise, Catherine says she experienced personal growth and learned a lot.
Catherine gives Sheldon and his fiance, Michelle, $10K so they can have a nice honeymoon. She also throws in another $50K so that the couple can catch up on their many medical bills. Sheldon is so grateful for all of this and he hugs Catherine saying she's awesome. I agree!
Jen is told by Catherine that Fastsigns International will now have a new look to its advertising. Catherine gives Jen $10K to spend on romantic vacations with her husband since one of Jen's complaints was that she works so much she doesn't spend enough time with her hubby. Jen is ready to thank Catherine, but wait there is more the CEO tells her. Jen is floored when Catherine gives her another $20K for whatever she wants to use it for. "Bowling?" Jen quips and I smile at that.
For family man, Scott, Catherine gives him $15K so he can be with his wife, Julie, and adopted daughter, Maya, more. Scott cries when Catherine says she's starting a college fund for Maya. Since Scott had to train himself, Catherine is implementing new training programs for Fastsigns International franchisees.
Last, but not least, Gary receives $15K to help his church pay its bills so people can keep being helped. Catherine also has a new car in for Gary as his current vehicle isn't reliable enough for his two and a half hour commute. Gary is sobbing in gratitude, but really loses it when Catherine says she has 50K for him so that he won't be evicted from his house. Way to go CEO!
Did you enjoy this episode of Undercover Boss?