Nia, once a diligent worker, had transformed into an aggressive and overbearing boss following her recent promotion at the shop. Her behavior went unchecked until she crossed a line by insulting and firing the former watchman.

It had only been a week since Nia’s promotion, and she was still in disbelief. Now the general manager of a fashion brand shop, she found herself in a position she had long dreamed of. Years prior to her promotion, Nia had meticulously compiled ideas on how to improve the shop, storing them in a binder. That morning, the binder lay on her desk as she addressed the staff shortly before the end of the workday.

“Alright, is everyone clear on the new protocols we’ll be implementing?” she inquired.

The staff responded with nods, accompanied by warm smiles and a few murmured affirmations.

“I won’t tolerate any negligence or deviation from my new rules,” Nia declared sternly. “To ensure compliance, here’s what we’ll do: anyone who fails to adhere to the new rules – whether it’s regarding uniforms, customer greetings, or operating the counter – will forfeit a month’s worth of bonus.”

As Nia observed the employees’ faces adopt a serious demeanor, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride in her decisive approach.

However, the staff was utterly shocked by Nia’s radical decision. The prospect of losing a significant portion of their income due to even the slightest mistake, whether intentional or not, left them unsettled and anxious. They exchanged incredulous glances, silently questioning whether they should attempt to reason with Nia.

Despite her recent transformation, everyone in the store was genuinely happy for Nia. They had witnessed her relentless dedication over the past three years, starting as an intern on the shop floor and eventually rising to the top. However, her newfound assertiveness proved to be more detrimental than beneficial to the store and its employees.

From her first day in the new role, Nia had implemented sweeping changes, setting unrealistic expectations for the hardworking staff and responding to even minor mistakes with anger and dissatisfaction.

But despite the concerns brewing among the staff, no one dared to confront Nia about her suitability for the managerial role she had long dreamed of.

Unexpectedly, it was Victor, the 68-year-old shopkeeper, who mustered the courage to speak up.

“Nia, my child, I have something to say,” Victor began, his hand trembling slightly as he offered a reassuring smile.

Reluctantly, Nia turned to him, her mood less than receptive to comments or suggestions from the seasoned employee.

“Firstly, let me say that we are all thrilled to help bring your vision for the store to life, Nia,” Victor started, eliciting a smile from Nia.

“But I fear that this new penalty system will instill fear in us all. None of us wishes to lose our motivation, and perhaps there’s a way we can overlook minor mistakes…”

However, Nia swiftly dismissed Victor’s suggestions, imagining the disapproving thoughts of her other team members as they nodded along to the elderly man’s words.

“I can’t allow Victor to address me as if we’re equals. Nor do I want to entertain such talk from other employees,” Nia thought resolutely.

“That’s enough, Victor!” she exclaimed, startling everyone present.

“How about focusing on rectifying your own shortcomings before offering suggestions, Victor? Do you think I haven’t noticed your habitual tardiness and extended lunch breaks? Perhaps in the past, such leniency was tolerated, but those days are over. According to my rules, you must…”

“Nia, there’s a reason why I’ve been…”

Nia couldn’t believe that Victor had dared to interrupt her once again. As she observed the other employees’ expectant gazes, she resolved to set an example once and for all.

“I don’t care about your reasons! And you didn’t have permission to interrupt me, did you?” she retorted sharply.

Victor stood frozen in disbelief, unaccustomed to facing the anger or insults of this woman.

“Take note, everyone,” Nia continued, her tone commanding. “Anyone who offers excuses to me will face consequences. Just like Victor, who will soon be parting ways with us,” she declared with finality.

Victor’s complexion paled, and he was on the verge of pleading for his job.

“That’s right. You’re fired, old man! Thank you for your years of service, but it’s clear you’re no longer suitable for this workplace. Please leave!” Nia’s tone almost seemed pleased with her treatment of the elderly man.

With the realization sinking in that Nia’s decision was final, Victor quietly exited the store, leaving the staff stunned and tearful.

Perhaps it marked the end of Victor’s tenure as a storekeeper. However, little did he know that the next day held an even more astonishing turn of events.

Mr. Gordon, the owner of a multimillion-dollar chain of shops, was visibly displeased when he learned of Victor’s termination, even refusing a cup of coffee upon hearing the news.

“She did WHAT?” Mr. Gordon exclaimed incredulously, unable to fathom why Nia had been so harsh with the watchman.

Unbeknownst to Nia, Victor held a pivotal role in the company’s history, being the first person appointed to the company and an integral part of its success across the city.

For Mr. Gordon, allowing anyone to disrespect a man who was akin to a godfather to the company was unthinkable.

“Fetch him,” Mr. Gordon instructed, discovering that Victor was patiently waiting outside, hoping to share his side of the story. “And convene a quick board meeting! NOW!”

An hour later, as Nia admonished another seasoned employee, a voice interrupted her.

“Nia? I’ve heard about your decision regarding Victor. Well, if you have a moment, I’d like to introduce you to the new regional manager you’ll be reporting to.”

Nia anticipated a sophisticated young individual to enter through the glass doors.

“It can’t be… it’s… Victor?” she gasped in disbelief.

As Victor, the same elderly man whom she had callously dismissed the day before, stood before her as her new boss, Nia felt a pang of remorse, exacerbated by Mr. Gordon’s knowing smile.

“Victor has been with this company since its inception, long before it evolved into a chain store, even before my wife and I could afford a proper sign outside,” Mr. Gordon explained, his tone filled with admiration. “I’m confident that his wealth of experience will serve him well in his new leadership role.”

“Of course, he may continue to arrive later than the rest of you,” Mr. Gordon continued, “as his wife Marta is still battling her chronic illness, and Victor is her sole caregiver…”

This revelation struck Nia with a wave of regret as she glanced at Victor, who listened with a stoic expression. The old caretaker, who had never worn a suit in his life, now stood before them in a three-piece ensemble, exuding confidence as he assumed his new position.

“The first order of business for Victor will be to address any unprofessional conduct that has occurred in recent days,” Mr. Gordon declared, his gaze fixed on Nia.

Feeling as though the ground had been swept from beneath her, Nia realized that Victor now had every reason to terminate her from the job she had once coveted.

“Victor, I am truly sorry for how I treated you yesterday. Please, I beg you, do not terminate my employment. I promise it won’t happen again. I cannot afford to lose this job, Victor. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” she implored, her voice tinged with desperation.

Victor was taken aback as Nia dissolved into tears before him. He had no intention of terminating her employment. He was still grappling with his promotion and the unwavering support he received from his boss.

“Nia, my dear, why would I even consider firing you? We all recognize the dedication you bring to this job. Yes, perhaps you let a bit of success go to your head, but that’s a mistake any of us could make,” Victor reassured her, his tone gentle.

“I harbor no ill feelings towards you, and there’s no need for me to terminate your employment,” he continued. Turning to the rest of the staff, he addressed them in a cheerful tone, urging them to return to their duties.

“Let’s get back to work, shall we? It’s a peculiar sensation to be giving orders to both the old and the young. Let’s ensure we carry out our tasks diligently!” Victor encouraged.

Turning back to Nia, Victor cleared his throat and adjusted his glasses. “Shall we review your binder? You’ve compiled some fantastic ideas,” he suggested warmly.

Thus began a new chapter in the lives of Nia, Victor, and the shop. With Victor at the helm and Nia as his trusted ally, the duo fostered an incredibly successful working dynamic, propelling the shop to unprecedented heights within the chain’s history.