An arrogant boss brings his older employee to tears by refusing to compensate her for her overtime and threatening to fire her. When her ex-marine husband finds out, he decides to take the matter into his own hands.
61-year-old Olivia had always lived a rather simple but happy life. She had worked as an accountant all her life and was married to the man of her dreams.
Jeff, a lovely 60-year-old retired marine veteran, shared two children with his beloved wife: an adopted son who was attending university and a daughter who had married and moved to another city with her spouse.
Everything was going swimmingly for the older couple, and they were content with their small world until Olivia’s life suddenly collapsed. The company where she had worked as an accountant her entire life went bankrupt, and she was laid off.
“Well, Jeff, what are we going to do now? With the skyrocketing prices and this inflation… it’s going to be hard for us,” Olivia sighed as she told her husband she’d been fired. “Not that I wasn’t expecting it, but they couldn’t even give the severance pay to some employees. And it won’t be long before our savings run out.”
Jeff gently placed his hand over Olivia’s. “Don’t worry, darling,” he said. “We always find a way out, don’t we?”
Karma is like a boomerang; it returns to whoever throws it.
“I don’t know…” said Olivia sadly. “We’ve got bills to pay. Things are getting more expensive, and we can’t keep going this way, Jeff. Don’t forget it’s not just about us.”
“We’ll survive on my pension, darling,” Jeff added, wrapping his arms around his wife and consoling her. “We’ll make do with what we have. You remember we’re heading to Florida to celebrate our anniversary, right? Everything will be alright. Let’s take our minds off problems and come back stronger, OK?”
But Olivia’s mind was not at ease. She was even more worried when she checked their mailbox two days later and discovered their son’s college tuition was outstanding.
Olivia knew she needed to find a new job because Jeff’s pension, though there, was small. They could pay for their electricity, water, and other utility bills with that, but not anything more. Not even their son Max’s tuition fees.
Worried about her family, Olivia began applying for jobs. Things have changed so much! she thought as she filled out the necessary information on her son’s old laptop. She struggled for two days to create a modern resume and then sought the assistance of a neighbor’s kid to create a profile that certain employers wanted.
Olivia did land a few interviews, but the world had changed dramatically in the last few years. Things were not so complicated when she applied for the accountant position in the 90s. Back then, she didn’t need to know about modern computer programs or the advanced skills her potential employers now wanted.
“Mrs. Lowery, I’m afraid your skill set won’t be beneficial to our organization,” one of the interviewers told her. “In fact, at your age, learning on the job will be, you know… it’s not easy. I’m sorry, but we can’t offer you this position.”
Not even one company where Olivia was invited for an interview hired her. Dejected and heartbroken, the older woman cried every time she received a rejection letter until she saw a job advertisement in the newspaper one day.
A small company on the outskirts of town needed an accountant. The money wasn’t great, but it was better than Olivia’s previous company. She reasoned that something was better than nothing and decided to give it a shot.
Olivia drove to the company the next day for an on-site interview, and due to her experience, she was hired right off the bat. Mr. Rutledge, her 40-year-old boss, told her they were actively looking for people who could start on the job sooner, and Olivia was overjoyed.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, Mrs. Lowery,” he added cheerfully. “It would be fantastic if you could start tomorrow,” he continued.
“Oh, thank you so much, sir,” Olivia said gratefully. “Yes, yes, I’ll be here on time! I’m just so grateful!”
Olivia was over the moon as she drove home and told Jeff the excellent news. “I got the job, Jeff,” she cried. “I’m so happy! Oh, everything is going to be OK now. And we can relax and enjoy our anniversary in Florida! My boss seems kind, and if I perform well, I can take some time off for our trip!”
Poor Olivia. She had no idea what she was in for when she started her new job.
Her colleagues greeted her warmly the next day, and her first day went well. But as time passed, things became more complex, prolonged, and exhausting.
Olivia’s pay was deducted if she came even a minute late for her shift, and she was forced to work overtime due to the workload. Olivia couldn’t quit the job. She needed to pay for her son’s tuition, and that left her with no choice but to continue working despite how exhausting the position had gotten over time.
When it was finally time for the long-awaited Florida trip, Olivia couldn’t go. She was so overworked that she didn’t have the strength to even think about going anywhere. And not just that, but she also ended up missing her first grandson’s birth because Mr. Rutledge refused to approve her leave.
Months passed, and Olivia’s new job was so unpleasant and exhausting that she would have quit long ago if it hadn’t been for Max.
One evening, Olivia returned home in tears. Jeff was concerned because she began crying as soon as she got in. “What’s the matter, honey?” he asked, his voice trembling. “Why are you crying?”
“He—He didn’t pay for the overtime and threatened to fire me, Jeff,” Olivia said as she broke down into tears. “My boss… he’s so young, Jeff, and he told me to get out in front of everyone! Young people these days are so disrespectful!”
“What?” Jeff was shocked and angered. “Gimme his address! I’ll go talk to him!”
“He’s not going to listen to you…” Olivia said in tears. “He’s not a good man, Jeff.”
“We’ll see that,” Jeff said aggressively. “I’ll handle it!”
Finally, Jeff got Mr. Rutledge’s address from Olivia and decided to pay him a visit. When the rude employer saw a 60-year-old man trudging into his office with a cane, he was taken aback. “Yes?” he asked. “Who are you?”
Jeff shut the office door and sat across from the cranky young boss. “I feel we need to have a man-to-man talk, sir,” he said. “I’m sure you’re familiar with my wife, Olivia Lowery, who worked at your company until yesterday. Instead of settling the matter professionally, you mistreated her and threatened to dismiss her!”
Mr. Rutledge chuckled. “Oh, she can quit the job if she can’t take it,” he replied in his defense. “I hire people who have the talent and can work. If she doesn’t like the job, she’s always free to walk out.”
“Do you have a wife, sir?” Jeff asked.
“What? What do you mean?”
“Do you or do you not?”
“What does it have to do with you, old man?” the boss snarled.
“Well, because you can’t understand a husband’s role if you’re not a husband,” Jeff explained. “You offended my wife, and because she’s the most precious thing in my life, besides my children, I can go to great lengths for her. The only thing holding me back is that you’re her boss.”
“Are you trying to scare me, Mr. Caring husband? You think I fear your words?”
“No, you certainly don’t,” Jeff replied. “Coz if you did, you would’ve said you’ll apologize to my wife and give her the respect she deserves. Do you realize how much she’s missed out on due to the overtime and work she’s done for you? She has neglected her family because you didn’t sanction her leave, which she very much deserved! And yet, you didn’t compensate her for her work! You should fear God, sir.”
“Times change, things change. Take it from me… if you do wrong, you won’t get away with it,” he added, rising to his feet. “And for your information, sir, I might be old, but I was once in the marine forces. Don’t mistake me for a weak man because I walk with a cane. If I see my wife in tears again because of you, I might forget you’re her boss. I hope that’s clear?”
“Oh dear, Mr. Rutledge!” she gasped. “What brings you here?”
“Yeah, whatever,” Mr. Rutledge sneered. “I’ll pay her goddamn salary and whatever she owes my company! Now get out!”
Jeff returned home convinced Mr. Rutledge wouldn’t back out on his words and that Olivia would return to her job respectfully. However, Mr. Rutledge had something else on his mind.
When the boss came to his company two days later, he noticed that all of the employees were sitting on the floor just outside his office door, holding banners.
“PAY OLIVIA FOR HER OVERTIME, OR WE WILL NOT RETURN TO WORK!”
“WE SAW YOU PUTTING THE CASH IN YOUR BAG!”
“YOU STOLE OLIVIA’S SALARY AND FORCED HER TO QUIT!”
“OLIVIA HAS NOT RETURNED TO WORK BECAUSE OF YOU!”
Olivia’s coworkers knew she was a dedicated woman who was still working at her age to pay for her son’s schooling. Thus, in solidarity with her, her coworkers refused to return to work until Mr. Rutledge paid her for her overtime.
The boss realized he had no choice this time because his company would begin losing money if the employees did not return to work.
“I will pay her, alright?” he said, annoyed. “Now, everyone, get back to work!”
“We won’t until you do it and she gets back to work!” a woman said. “I saw you leaving the office yesterday evening with all the cash from your locker! We also know Olivia’s husband came to see you, and we know what happened!”
“Have you been snooping on me? Isn’t that illegal?” he grumbled.
“Well,” the woman retorted. “With all due respect, Mr. Rutledge, what you did to Olivia was illegal too! That poor lady… you didn’t compensate her for her hard work!”
“Yes! Yes!” others cried in unison.
“You’ve got to pay off her debts if you want us back!” a man exclaimed.
Mr. Rutledge had no choice but to give in to his employees’ demands. Initially, he had no intention of compensating Olivia, and he instead intended to fire her. But he didn’t have a choice now.
A few days later, Olivia heard a knock on her door. When she answered the door, she was surprised to find her obnoxious boss in her doorway.
“Oh dear, Mr. Rutledge!” she gasped. “What brings you here?”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Lowery,” he said, extending her an envelope. “This is for the extra hours you worked. And because I’m no longer your supervisor, you’ll report to a new manager. The CEO, well, found out what I’d done, and I was fired…”
“Oh, I’m sorry about that…” she said. “And thank—thank you for this…”
Olivia accepted the envelope and was shocked to find more money than she owed the company. “I’m afraid you’re paying me extra,” she said, pulling out a couple of bills. “That’s the extra money you don’t owe me. There you have it.”
Mr. Rutledge smiled. “I was an idiot,” he said. “I can’t believe I’ve mistreated an honest woman like you, Mrs. Lowery. When your husband came to see me, he said many things, and that money… just keep it. You deserve it. I’m not paying you anything extra. And good luck.”
Mr. Rutledge simply walked away, and Olivia felt a pang of sympathy for the young man. When she arrived at work the next day, she couldn’t hold back her tears after learning her employees had stood up for her.
Olivia couldn’t have asked God for more. She returned to work peacefully and worked for the company for three more years until retirement, remaining on good terms with her coworkers.
Not to mention, she could finally pay off her son’s tuition fees, get gifts for her newborn grandson and visit him, and the following year on their anniversary, she and Jeff finally traveled to Florida.
What can we learn from this story?
Karma is like a boomerang; it returns to whoever throws it. While Olivia was working for Mr. Rutledge, he made her life a living hell. He faced karma when his boss fired him.
True love never fades and only grows stronger with time. Jeff was furious when he learned how Mr. Rutledge had treated Olivia, and he took the matter into his own hands by standing up for his beloved wife.
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