A kind store clerk helps a customer with a disability carry his groceries, and he gets fired. He gets a new job the next day that pays five times as much.
Johnny Kelly was happy with his job. He worked at a food store and liked getting to know the customers. Most of the customers already knew his name, and they all liked him because he was helpful and nice.
His boss, Mr. Tyrell, wasn’t as pleased, though. He was a mean, hard man, and money was the only thing that mattered to him. One day, Johnny’s kindness made him angry, and Mr. Tyrell responded…
It all started when a new customer came in on a Wednesday afternoon. The man was walking with crutches, and the leg of his trousers that was pinned up showed that he was missing a limb.
Johnny saw that the man was having trouble with his crutches, his shopping cart, and getting what he wanted off the shelves. He rang up the groceries for the other customer and watched out for the crippled man.
Twenty minutes later, the man was in line at Johnny’s cash register. “Hi!” Johnny smiled and told the man. “How are things?”
Money isn’t as important as being kind.
The man said, “I’m fine.”
Johnny looked at the man’s crutches and asked, “Are you a veteran?”
“Yes,” said the man. “The Middle East… I have an artificial leg, but my stump is infected, so I need to use these crutches for a few months.”
“Man!” John grimaced. “That’s not easy!”
“Listen,” the guy said. “I’m better off than a lot of the other men I served with. I’m not making a fuss!”
Johnny put the man’s groceries in two bags and watched as he tried to hold both bags and his crutches. He yelled, “Hold on!” Johnny looked at the other people in the shop. “Could you please wait a few minutes?”
Johnny grabbed the man’s shopping bags and followed him to the parking lot. There, Johnny put the man’s shopping in his trunk and said his goodbyes.
When he walked back into the shop, Mr. Tyrell was standing by Johnny’s cash register with his arms crossed and a very angry look on his face. He asked angrily, “Where were you?” “The customers are still waiting!”
“Sorry, Mr. Tyrell,” Johnny said. “This man had only one leg, so he couldn’t carry his groceries…” Before Mr Tyrell could answer, a customer in queue cut in.
He said, “This young man was very kind.” “I didn’t mind waiting!” The other customers agreed, and Mr. Tyrell smiled, but his eyes were as cold as the Arctic.
At the end of the day, he called Johnny into his office and gave him a cheque and a pink slip. “I don’t care what these other people say. “You’re here to work, not to help other people,” he told them. “Every minute you’re not working costs me money.
“Making money is the point of life, do you get it? I can’t take any more of your nonsense. Your job is over!”
When Johnny saw how angry Mr. Tyrell was, he knew there was no point in fighting. He took his bill and left the restaurant. He had to start looking for a job as soon as possible. His mom needed him to do well.
The next morning at 7:00, Johny was at the bus stop waiting to go into town to look for work. He heard a friendly voice when a car pulled up. “What’s up? Do you want to go to the store?”
It was the same man from yesterday! “Hi,” Johnny said. “I don’t want to go to the store. I’m no longer working there.”
The man seemed to be shocked. He said, “Why not?”
Johnny blushed and said, “Mr. Tyrell said I was too long away from the cash register.” I was fired.”
The man seemed sad. “That was my fault!” he yelled. “Sit in the car. I’ll get you wherever you want to go.”
Johnny said, “I’m going downtown to look for a job.”
The man asked, “Are you?” “What else can you do besides work in a grocery store?”
Johnny seemed ashamed. “My mom says that playing video games is about the only thing I’m good at,” he admitted.
The man said, “Really!” He seemed to be interested. “What games do you play, and how do you do?”
Johnny was surprised to find that the man knew a lot about video games and seemed to like what Johnny had to say about gaming.
The man said, “Would you like to work for me?”
“For you?” Johnny asked. “What’s that?”
The man said, “I want you to tell my games developer some of the ideas you gave me.” “I’m the owner of a business that makes games. I think you’ll do fine!”
A week later, Johnny went to work for the man, and he loved it. Johnny didn’t mind that his boss told him to go back to school and take night classes at the local college.
His friend with only one leg was a great boss, but he was also a great teacher. Even though it was hard at first, he helped Johny get better and better until he was the best worker in the company.
He was making five times as much as he had at the grocery store, doing something he loved, and making plans for the future. It all started with a kind act.
From this story, what can we learn?
Money isn’t as important as being kind. Mr. Tyrell thought that money was the most important thing, but Johnny didn’t agree. His act of kindness got him fired, but it also gave him a future.
Everyone has a skill that can get them to the top. Johnny was happy working in a grocery store, and he was lucky to meet someone who saw his ability and gave him a chance.
Tell your friends this story. It might make their day and give them ideas.
If you liked this story, you might like this one about a young delivery boy whose mother is out of work and who gets fired from the restaurant where he works for making and bringing food to a disabled woman after closing time.