You’re Fired, Old Man,’ Manager Tells Janitor, Unaware He’ll Become Her Boss Tomorrow

A hardworking woman turns into an aggressive and impatient boss after her most recent promotion at a store. She gets away with it until she insults and fires an old janitor.

Nia had recently been promoted to general manager of a major fashion retail outlet. Just a week into her new role, she was already implementing major changes, guided by a binder of ideas she had accumulated over the years.

One morning, Nia addressed her staff.

“Alright, guys. Is everyone clear on the new protocols we’re going to follow?” she asked.

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The team responded with nods and gentle affirmations.

“I don’t want anyone deviating from my guidelines, so here’s what we are going to do,” she continued. “Anybody who fails to follow the new rules — whether it is about uniform, customer greetings, display arrangements, punctuality — will lose their incentive for that month,” Nia declared, her face beaming with pride.

The staff exchanged worried glances. Nia’s drastic measures made them fear for their livelihoods, as even minor mistakes could cost them dearly.

But despite her recent changes, the team respected Nia. They knew her journey from an intern to the top position and admired her dedication to the fashion industry.

However, with time, Nia’s approach became increasingly problematic. She set unrealistic goals and responded harshly to small errors. Her decisions, like extending shifts and imposing strict rules, were met with silent frustration from the staff. Their only respite, weekends, was now occupied with work. But that wasn’t all.

Nia’s strategies, like reducing loading costs by involving sales staff and limiting employee breaks, pushed the team to their limits. She even banned sitting during shifts and restricted sick leaves, all in the name of creating a good impression for customers.

“We’ll have to show them we are never tired of serving them. And always serve them with a smile. Am I clear?” Nia instructed sternly. She was overly pleased with the way she was conducting things.

Raised by a single mother, Nia had faced numerous rejections before landing an internship at the fashion outlet. Her dedication to her job and hard work quickly led to her promotion.

From her office, she looked out at the street where she once sought opportunities, determined never to return to those hard days. Under her leadership, the store buzzed with activity, though the staff struggled with the overwhelming workload and strict deadlines she set. Nia was happy until… the work really started taking its toll on the employees.

Over time, her strict management led to a drastic drop in sales, contradicting her ambitious plans. Furious, she confronted her exhausted staff. “Our ratings are dipping. We’ll be ruined at this rate,” she yelled. “Extend your shifts, cut down on breaks… do whatever it takes! We have to boost sales!”

Nia couldn’t understand the sudden decline and increased the workload even more. One day, after a tense client meeting, she found Maya, a saleswoman, asleep on the counter.

“How dare you sleep during work??” Nia yelled.

Maya, startled and panicked, apologized, but Nia was unforgiving. “Meet me in my office,” she demanded. Gathering the staff, Nia, already upset about the sales, decided to demonstrate her authority.

She fired Maya on the spot, tossing her paycheck at her. The team was shocked but remained silent. They knew Maya was exhausted from overworking, but who would dare to go against Nia? They wanted to keep their jobs.

But as Maya was leaving, Victor, a 68-year-old janitor, spoke up. “Nia, child, I’ve got something to say,” he said calmly, despite Nia’s obvious irritation.

“We’re all happy to help with your vision, Nia,” Victor began, trying to reason with her. “But maybe we could let go of the small mistakes…”

Nia, angered by his audacity to speak up, cut him off. “That’s enough, Victor! Do you think I haven’t noticed your tardiness and long lunch breaks?” she retorted. “And let’s not forget how you arrive late daily!”

“Nia, there’s a reason why I’ve been coming later than the others…”

Nia couldn’t believe that the older man had interrupted her again. Looking at the other employees stare at her, anticipating her reaction, she decided to put her foot down and set an example once and for all.

“I don’t care about the reason! Let this be an example, folks,” Nia said. “Anyone who makes excuses on my watch will be fired. Hey, you’re fired, old man! Now you can accompany Maya and get lost!”

Maya and Victor left quietly while the rest of the staff watched in dismay, tears in their eyes. Nia’s ruthlessness had reached a new level, leaving everyone in shock.

Though it was the end of Victor’s job at the store, an unexpected turn of events awaited him the next day.

Mr. Gordon, the owner of the multi-million-dollar store chain, unexpectedly visited his store to address the sudden revenue decline.

“Good morning, everyone! How are things going?” Mr. Gordon asked all the employees.

“It could’ve been much better,” a worker replied, with others nodding.

“What’s up? Aren’t you guys excited for the Christmas holidays?” Mr. Gordon inquired.

“Some of us wanted an extended Christmas break, but Miss Ferguson only allowed two days off,” another employee explained.

Mr. Gordon partially understood what was happening and called Nia to his office.

“Miss Ferguson, our revenue has dropped drastically. What happened? Do you need help?” he asked while they sat across from each other.

Nia blamed the staff, claiming they were lazy and needed close monitoring.

“I see…We had the same ‘lazy’ staff with us the last month, didn’t we? But everything was much better. We didn’t hire anyone recently, so I don’t understand why they are suddenly acting lazy.”

Mr. Gordon gave Nia a month to improve the situation. As he was leaving, he asked about Victor, the custodian.

“Where’s Victor? I didn’t see him today,” he said.

“He was fired for being late and too old to work,” Nia hesitantly revealed.

Mr. Gordon was shocked. “WHAT? Do you know you fired the co-owner of this store?”

Nia was stunned. “The co-owner? But he’s just a janitor!”

Mr. Gordon shared a story from his childhood. “I still don’t remember what happened that day…but my father told me I ran after an ice cream van and almost got hit by a car. Victor had seen me while emptying the trash and rushed to my rescue. He pushed me away and saved my life, but he ended up in intensive care after being hit by the car.

“My father, the original owner of this store, offered him a share in the business. Do you know what Victor said when my dad wanted to reward him? ‘I just did what any normal human was supposed to do.’ Victor accepted the offer to become a co-owner because my father kept persuading him, but on one condition. That he would work as a janitor.”

He continued, “Victor lost his wife and child during childbirth and considered the staff here his family.”

Mr. Gordon then dropped a bombshell. “You must apologize to Victor. He’s taking over this unit tomorrow. I’ll come again, and it’s up to Victor to decide whether or not I should fire you.”

Panicked and fearing for her job, Nia drove to meet Victor, worried about facing him and the challenges ahead. “How will I boost sales in a month? How will I face Victor? It’s his fault, too. Why did he just walk away without telling me who he was? Now, everything is against me. What will I do?” she fretted.

Nia arrived at Victor’s modest home, surprised by its simplicity despite his co-ownership of a lucrative business. She knocked, and Victor greeted her warmly, inviting her in for apple pie.

“Mr. Gordon told me you’d come. Please, make yourself comfortable,” Victor said, unaffected by her previous actions.

Nia felt awkward in the humble setting. Victor, sensing her unease, began to talk about Mr. Gordon’s father’s business philosophy.

“Unlike others, he valued his staff first. He provided nap rooms, bonuses, corporate events, and weekends off and ensured customers didn’t mistreat them. He treated employees like family,” Victor explained.

Nia shyly nodded, partially realizing what had gone wrong. “But how does that help with the growth of the business? If employees get such perks, how will they work without distractions? Won’t they take it for granted?” she said.

Victor smiled. “When employees love their work, they provide top-notch service, satisfying customers and growing the business. A smart boss finds ways to make employees devoted. He doesn’t fire them.”

As Victor hungrily devoured his pie, he requested Nia to call Maya back to work. “You may never know how fate works for others, Nia. You joined as an intern, but you became the general manager. You may never know what potential a simple salesgirl like Maya can have. Never underestimate and judge others by their appearance or job!”

Nia grinned, and just as she was about to leave, Victor stopped her. “Don’t worry, Nia. I will not fire you. But we will decide later together with all the employees and Mr. Gordon by a vote, alright?”

Assured she still had a second chance, Nia returned to the store and gathered all the employees in her office. They were afraid about what more rules she was going to impose on them. But none of them had expected to see what was about to happen next.

“Good day, everyone!” Nia began with a smile. Everyone thought it was unusual because she had never greeted them with a smile since day one of her promotion.

“I would like to tell everyone that Victor, the company’s co-owner, will be heading us from tomorrow!”

The employees were shocked at the revelation. Some of them didn’t have a clue that the custodian of their store was their boss.

“Don’t be shocked, guys! I am young and new to this trade, and I made mistakes. I hope you’ll all forgive me for what happened in the last few days. Maya and Victor will be back tomorrow, and we will work as a team. Is that clear?”

From the next day onward, Nia followed Victor’s advice and implemented Mr. Gordon’s dad’s principles. She treated her employees respectfully and did not show authority over them. She thought more about them and made sure each and every employee loved their job.

As days passed, Nia’s efforts worked in her favor. The employees started giving their best, and as Nia had wanted, the sales for the next quarter surged with impeccable results.

Mr. Gordon was impressed with Nia’s efforts, and with Victor, he decided not to fire her. Five years later, Nia was promoted to the position of CEO of all the outlets.

As for Victor, he chose to keep working as a janitor because he loved his job.

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