MOREHEAD Not every teenager is capable of holding down three jobs, attend college and participate in clinicals as well.
Last year, Morehead State University student Bailey Richardson pulled that off with a smile on her face. When Richardson set off on her way to work last July she had no idea how big that day would be in her life. It was her third summer working at Kentucky’s fun capital, Kentucky Kingdom. Richardson’s job was overseeing and serving customers at 14 Dippin’ Dots locations inside the sprawling Louisville amusement park.
That day Richardson, now 20, was teaching new trainee Brad on serving Dippin’ Dots’ delicious, one-of-a-kind ice cream, yogurt and sherbet. The nursing student didn’t realize the intently observant new employee was actually the normally dapperly dressed Scott Fischer, CEO of Dippin’ Dots, not recognizable sporting a Gregg Allman vibe with a thick beard, with his wig in a ponytail, while wearing shorts and a Kentucky Kingdom T-shirt on the hot summer day.
“The cameras were there to film a documentary is what I was told,” Richardson said. Richardson didn’t know the filming was to be part of the hit CBS show “Undercover Boss.”
“I had never watched the show before, but I ended up binge-watching all seasons,” she said.
“He was easy to train, caught on quick,” she said. “People skills were a little off just because I don’t think he’s had to interact with the type of people we serve before. Training Scott was super fun. He has an easygoing personality, was easy to open up to, and he really wanted to learn and figure out how the company runs.”
Filming in Louisville lasted two days and there were some funny moments. There was also a serious time when Fischer and Richardson talked about Richardson’s life. She told Fischer that her big brother, Devan Webb, was only 22 when he died from heart failure while sleeping two years ago. Richardson and her brother grew up on the south side of Louisville and attended Pleasure Ridge Park High School. At PRP, Devan dressed in the red and black of the Panthers and kept busy on football Friday nights as a lineman on offense and defense, and also played on special teams.
“I was shocked when I realized I was on the show,” Richardson said. “I didn’t think it would have led to everything that it has. It has been a life-changing experience.”
That realization happened while Richardson was at Dippin’ Dots corporate office in Paducah. CBS keeps secret the dates of all filming, but Richardson was told the meeting in Paducah was to discuss how Fischer did while training.
Richardson’s jaw dropped when Fischer said, “My real name is Scott Fischer, I’m the CEO of Dippin’ Dots, all 50 states and 14 countries, and you’re on ‘Undercover Boss.’”
“Oh my God, I’m trying to keep it together. I’m sorry,” Richardson replied. A big shock came later when Fischer said, “Over the next two years I want to cover $20,000 of your living expenses as you continue in nursing school.”
The stunned college junior said, “Are you serious? Thank you so much. Can I give you a hug?”
Fischer told Richardson he heard a lot of complaints from customers about pricing while he was undercover. He wants her to go with Dippin’ Dots executives to talk to the CEO of Kentucky Kingdom. “Talk with him about it and present it to him, and that way the ideas you have can be used to help the brand,” Fischer said.
More treats were in store as Fischer said that Richardson’s family would be flying on his personal jet to have a vacation at Universal Studios in Hollywood.
“My mom, she’s been through a lot. She’s going to appreciate it for sure,” Richardson said, after composing herself from the latest surprise.
Nine people will go on the five-star vacation, including Richardson’s parents, grandparents, siblings and boyfriend.
Fischer had one more stunner to mention.
“I wanted to do something for your brother, in the memory of his name, so I created the Devan Webb Foundation, and I’m going to pledge $20,000 to it,” he said.
He also made Richardson the face of the foundation that will be campaigning and fundraising for one year, to raise money to fight against heart disease in the name of her brother.
“The same way your brother was an inspiration to you, you’re an inspiration to me,” Fischer said.
Richardson no longer works three jobs, unless you include the non-paying clinicals she participates in at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.
“Cracker Barrel and the school library, and I do still work both, but not very much, more like 20 hours a week,” Richardson said.
There’s a new celebrity in Morehead.
“I have had many friends congratulating me, many random people messaging me and even coming up to me at work saying that they saw me on the TV show and that my story was inspiring,” she said.
“Going undercover I saw and heard things that were tough to hear. To me that knowledge and wisdom is invaluable and having that information gives me what I need to drive the company forward,” Fischer said on “Undercover Boss” of training under four different employees in various cities.
He told The Daily Independent, “Working alongside Bailey at Kentucky Kingdom was extremely rewarding to me, as I was able to witness the hard work and dedication of someone on the ground helping to get our product into the hands of customers. Her perseverance for her own goals in her life is inspiring which is why we decided to start the foundation in honor of her late brother.”
Richardson has paid off all of her college debt.
“I’ve been blessed, my whole outlook has changed, and it’s been so much fun being at MSU ever since, just with my mentality changing. We are working on a promotion in February for the foundation,” Richardson said.