When Mr. Garrison witnessed his teenage son disrespect a poor youngster whose grandmother happened to be a janitor, he made the decision to give him a very hard lesson. Was the lesson learnt, though?

One of the block’s oldest shoe businesses belonged to Mr. Garrison, who never lost sight of his duty to serve customers. He made enough money to support his wife and son, invest in the market, and purchase a home.

Not a single box had a coating of dust, the store had never opened late in thirty years, and everyone who stepped in was served a cool glass of orange juice.

Maybe this explains why the competition that was emerging a short distance from the store didn’t scare Mr. Garrison. Peter, his son, however, interpreted it as a warning.

“Look at that store, Dad! The crew is youthful and wears stylish uniforms, and they only carry the largest shoe brands. They also have the greatest lighting. For the millionth time, Peter sought to draw his father’s attention to the business.

“And hey, even the patrons seem to be doing well.” They truly have the money to treat themselves; they are not “just looking” folks. Peter noticed his father shaking his head, which infuriated him.

“Look at this child over here, like. He appears to be destitute. He doesn’t feel embarrassed entering our store, but he won’t have any chance entering the other one. You perceive?” Peter spoke as he walked gently up to the youngster.

A company is only as powerful as its management.

“Hi there, you! Who gave you the permission to handle the shoes?” The young child was scared as he shouted.

“I apologize. I didn’t—”

“Boy, are you attempting to steal? I believe I ought to phone the police. Peter feigned to use his phone to contact 911. He was starting to like the child’s terrified expression.

“No, this is not where I came to steal. It’s where I came to buy shoes. All of my are tired. And see, I was able to purchase them with all of my grandmother’s janitorial funds.” The young man forced a bold expression and held up his palm to show a few crumpled dollar dollars.

Peter, though, was not interested in examining them. “Habitor? Do you really believe you can afford the shoes we offer here while your granny works as a janitor?

“But if you count the money, sir—” As he attempted to explain, the boy’s voice broke with emotion.

“Who is it that wants your money? However, now that you’re here,” Peter said, catching the staff members’ attention. “I need your help. Will you please take the lessons your grandma taught you and clean my shoes? Think of it as a discount off the shoes you wish to purchase, huh?” He gave the child a sly smirk.

The youngster started crying as he saw everyone in the store gazing at him.

“Boy, did you not hear me? Make my sneakers clean!”

“That’s ENOUGH!” A more mature voice screamed over the quiet of the shop, startling everyone in its path.
Peter was unaware that his father was also there in the business.

“Peter, you have embarrassed me! You won’t use such language when speaking with my customer or any other person.” Mr. Garrison let out a cry.

“So what happens next? Are you going to force me to shake hands and apologize to this nobody?” Peter remarked casually. However, the adolescent had also lost sight of the fierce, authoritarian aspect of his father that still frightened him.

No need to apologize, I see. The dad turned to face his team and said, “You, my dear son, will learn it the hard way.”

Gentlemen, our normal janitor will be replaced by a very remarkable young man tomorrow. “My intelligent son, Peter,” he said, giving his son an overly firm back pat. “He will take on the responsibility of cleaning the store and the inventory thrice throughout the day.”

“And Peter,” he said, giving the young man a direct look. 12,342 shoe boxes make up this dilapidated shop. When I check tomorrow, I better not find even the slightest bit of dust on any of them!”

This was the Peter that was afraid of his father. With the rage in his eyes, he realized there was no use in disputing.

After turning back, Mr. Garrison went outside in search of the young child who had disappeared silently from the store.

Peter had to get up early the next day in order to go to the business and begin cleaning. He forced himself to sweep the floor and clean the toilets with his rage, but in less than an hour, that fury subsided.

Mr. Garrison made sure Peter didn’t spend any time being idle. Peter had to dust every shoe box on every shelf before he could go on to cleaning the restrooms.

He realized for the first time what it took to keep up and operate a profitable shoe business. He saw that the attendants and staff put in exactly as much overtime as he did.

He listened to them talk with such reverence and affection for his father. He saw them using their small conversation and sales techniques to make clients feel valued and at ease.

Peter’s thoughts opened up at the end of the day when the shutters went down. Weary and crying, he shuffled to his father.

“I apologize, Dad. I understand now that I was being impolite and naïve all along. Our crew is the most compassionate, which is something our competition will never have. And I feel so bad about what I said to that poor guy yesterday.

It was evident to Mr. Garrison that his son was speaking from the heart. However, he didn’t reply to him since he had to apologize to someone else first.

“Come in, little boy!” Mr. Garrison spoke the words. Peter saw the old woman come in with the youngster he had treated badly the day before. The boy’s eyes were still filled with terror.

“Hey, kid!” Peter hurried over to give the youngster a hug. “I sincerely apologize for my remarks from yesterday. I was very cruel! Peter turned to face the elder woman and wiped away his tears. “And ma’am, you must be his grandmother,” he added.

“I just tried to do what you do for a living for the whole day. And now that I know, ma’am, it takes a lot of talent and effort. I apologize for demeaning you and your work.

He grasped her hands and apologized, but the old woman remained aloof. However, the young youngster gave him a forgiving embrace.

“Now please have a seat. Peter responded, “I have something in store for you.” Peter said something to his father in a whisper, and when Mr. Garrison nodded, Peter hurried to the rear of the shop and produced a package that had been carefully wrapped.

“Open it!” A wide-eyed Peter poked the youngster.

The youngster gave his granny a quick glance before gingerly opening the box. His expression of terror changed to one of delight right away. It was the precise shoe pair he had been hoping for!

What does the narrative teach us?

Respect is deserved for every work. It took Peter a whole day of work as a janitor to realize that the job was not something to be taken lightly or treated as play.
A company is only as powerful as its management. The unsuspecting adolescent discovered that every employee at his father’s store made a valuable contribution to the business’ success.