Waiter Hears Teens Mock Someone in Restroom, Finds Elderly Man on Floor There — Story of the Day

David heard a commotion coming from the bathroom of the diner he worked at, so he went to investigate and found two teen boys mocking an old man on the floor. He helped the older adult, but the teens ran off. David decided they shouldn’t be able to get out of that mess so quickly.

“Sir, excuse me. There’s some laughing and yelling from back there. It’s a little distracting,” an old woman told David after he brought her order. She frequented the diner where he worked as a waiter, so he took her concern seriously. David had been distracted taking orders, but he heard the noise then.


“Thank you for telling me, Mrs. Geller. I’ll check what it is,” he assured her and rushed to the bathroom. The commotion was coming from the men’s restroom, so he entered, only to be shocked by the scene before him.

Two teenagers were laughing hysterically and jeering—one even held a camera—while an old man was trying to stand from the floor, which was wet and slippery. David rushed to the man, helped him up, and stared daggers at the teenagers.

What kind of sick universal coincidence is this?

“What do you idiots think you’re doing? Is mocking an old man funny to you?” he scolded them.

“Calm down, dude. It was just so funny,” one of the young boys said, and they were trying to contain more laughter.

“It’s not funny! I’m going to call your mothers!” David threatened.

The boys looked at each other in alarm. “Jim, let’s go!” the kid with the phone urged, and they ran off quickly. David tried to call them back, but he had to hold the older man steady, or he might fall again.

“It’s OK, son. Kids these days have no respect for anyone. Always on their phones, recording and mocking people,” the old man griped.

“I apologize, sir,” David sighed, finally getting him steady and escorting him outside to one of the booths.

“Thank you, young man. I’m Charlie,” the older man said once he sat down.

“I’m David. Please review the menu and let me know what you need. I’ll be back in a second,” the waiter replied and left to the back. He talked to his manager about the issue, and they agreed to give Charlie whatever he wanted free of charge for today.

However, David felt like it wasn’t enough. Those kids would keep being brats if someone didn’t teach them a lesson. All he knew was one kid’s name was Jim. On the other hand, there was only one school in their district. He might be able to find them and come up with a suitable punishment or, at least, something to teach them a lesson.

After searching through social media, David discovered Jim’s account and saw that he had a class with Mr. Perkins, who had also taught David years ago when he was still in high school. This could work, David thought, looking up his old teacher’s phone number.

“OK, guys. Settle down,” Mr. Perkins told the class, and Jim reluctantly focused on him. “We have a new project this semester. You’ll shadow a local hero after school for a month.”

Everyone in the class groaned, including Jim. No one wanted to do that. Everyone had stuff to do after school, lives to live, and friends to see.

“I don’t care how much you gripe about this. It’s happening. You’ll make a report at the end of that month and a presentation in front of the class. This counts for 50% of your grade, guys. So, it’s not something you can pass easily,” Mr. Perkins continued, handing out some papers indicating the project’s specifications and what “hero” each would follow.

“Who did you get, Jim?” his friend, Austin, asked.

“Charlie T. A local firefighter. He’s now retired,” Jim read absentmindedly. “Are firefighters really heroes anyway?”

“Maybe. They save people, right?” Austin commented.

“Whatever,” Jim scoffed.

Mr. Perkins gave more instructions about the project, including how they had to visit this person for at least one hour on weekdays for the entire month. If they didn’t, it would be reported back to Mr. Perkins, and their grades would be lowered.

“I guess we have to do it,” Jim said under his breath. “My dad will kill me if I don’t pass this class.”

“Yeah,” Austin agreed. “It won’t be so bad.”


Jim arrived at Charlie’s house and knocked on the door while setting up an alarm on his phone for precisely one hour. He wouldn’t waste any more time at the old man’s house. However, his fingers froze on the screen when he saw who had opened the door.

“What?” Jim asked, shocked. “I’m not…wait, you brought a rope with you?”

“Oh, it’s one of the mockers! Come in, kid,” the former firefighter said more enthusiastically than Jim expected. Jim’s mind started racing. What kind of sick universal coincidence is this? How am I in this mess? AAAAH!

“Come in, boy. Lots to do!” the old man urged, and Jim followed suit. “I was warned you would be coming over. I admit I didn’t think much of this project, but it is a good idea.”

“You remember me?”

“Of course I do. You’re the kid and his friend who mocked me while I couldn’t stand up from the floor. I guess… karma works in mysterious ways, huh?” Charlie laughed, and the sound felt like a smash to his face.


The teen was red and humiliated. “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t…think,” Jim stuttered.

“Apology accepted. Now, I need you to help with some repairs, and I understand you should hear about my time as a firefighter,” Charlie continued and waved at Jim.

The teen followed him to the bathroom and listened as the older man started working on fixing a sink pipe while telling him stories about his life. Jim only had to pass a few tools but got sucked into the storytelling.

Charlie had lived an exciting life and saved many people from fires, including a young boy who had been stuck under a dresser after their kitchen exploded.

“You can get a lot of satisfaction from saving people. But after so many years and dealing with injuries like burns and bruises, your body starts betraying you,” Charlie sighed. “I can’t move like I once did. My knee is not the best. That’s why I couldn’t stand up from the slippery floor.”

Jim looked down his cheek reddening. “I’m sorry.”

Charlie continued as if he hadn’t heard Jim’s second apology. “I have scars all over my body. My back aches by 5 p.m., and I get colder than I ever did before. Getting old is crazy, but we’re heading there.”

Jim listened intently. A few minutes later, his phone alarm went off.

“I guess you have to leave,” Charlie commented. “I was going to order a pizza.”

The teen’s eyes widened. “I can stay,” he said quietly.

“Good,” Charlie smiled, and while they ate pizza, Jim felt like he had been forgiven. He could finally laugh with the older man and asked him for more stories.

When he got home that night, he even told his family all about Charlie and the project, which was so uncommon that his parents gave each other a satisfied look. His father, Julius, was tough as nails on his kids and didn’t approve of anything Jim did until that day.

“I’m proud of you, son, for taking this assignment so seriously. You’re starting to grow up. Time to get away from those kids you’ve been hanging out with and start thinking about a future. Who knows? You might become a firefighter, too. Awesome profession. I almost trained for that myself,” Julius commented.

Jim’s father was not the kind of man who shared stories often; this was the first time he had been proud of his child.

“Really? Why didn’t you?” Jim asked.

“I’m not good with heights. I even fainted once,” Julius revealed, grinning, and his family laughed.

Jim marveled at their beautiful moment and how he was bonding with his father. This project might be the best thing that ever happened to him.


Over the next two weeks, Jim went to Charlie’s house at the same time. Sometimes, he left earlier, and sometimes, he stayed way past dinner. But it was always fun and interesting. He saw how Charlie struggled to fix his house, which had peeled wallpaper and old furniture, and almost every sink needed repairs.

“I don’t have the budget to fix things correctly, so I patch things up. I think I do a good job,” the old man and Jim started wondering if he could do something for that man. He could ask his father for old materials.

“Kid, how about we go for a walk in the park? ” I think I need some fresh air today,” the firefighter suggested, grabbing his coat next to the front door.


“Sure,” Jim replied, and they walked to the local park, which was always full of families, people exercising, and kids running around. Suddenly, they saw some kind of commotion near a tree.

“Let’s check that out,” Charlie suggested and walked closer.

“What’s going on?” Jim asked, and a woman turned to them.

“There’s a cat stuck on the tree. I called the fire department, but they’re apparently all busy with an incident downtown. They said we might have to wait a long time before someone could come,” the woman explained. “But the poor thing has been meowing nonstop for a long time.”

“And I’ve learned more about myself in this experience than I have all my life…”
“We’ll help!” Charlie volunteered.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, sir. You might’ve been a firefighter, but you can barely move now,” Jim said as the old man walked up to the tree.

“I’m not doing it. You are,” Charlie revealed, pulling a rope from his coat pocket.

“What?” Jim asked, shocked. “I’m not…wait, you brought a rope with you?”

“Yes. I always do. Anyway, you need to listen to me, and you’ll get that cat easily. Come on,” the former firefighter continued. “What? Are you going to chicken out?”

Jim looked at the older man, realizing he was mocking the teen. Oh, the tables have turned, he thought, shaking his head. “Fine. Let’s do it,” the teenager said, rolling his eyes.

He followed everything Charlie said to the letter, including how to tie knots correctly and climb the tree safely. It wasn’t the tallest tree in the park, but it was bigger than Jim had ever climbed. He just hoped he wouldn’t faint as his father did once.

The process took longer than expected, but Charlie told him there was no rush. He finally reached the branch, and the scared cat let him pick it up. He brought it down safely, and the crowd erupted in cheers. The woman who had called the fire department took the cat with her, but everyone else congratulated him on being so brave.

Just then, a few firefighters showed up. They knew Charlie, who told them all about Jim’s bravery. He was glowing, and his cheeks were aflame from all the praise he had received that day.

Jim had never been an outstanding kid. He never excelled at anything and didn’t receive accolades for anything. However, the teen had been a hero today. He was flying and exhilarated. The firefighters told him to consider training at the academy after high school, and Jim honestly thought that might be his path.

But in the meantime, he and Charlie walked. The older man praised him again, and they returned to his house. That night, Jim told his family all about the car, and his father once again looked at him with pride shining in his eyes. It was the best day of his life, so he talked with Julius about helping Charlie out.

“Fixing any home requires money, kid. If he doesn’t have the budget, I’m afraid it’ll be hard to do anything worthwhile,” Julius told him, patting his back.

“I could get a job,” Jim shrugged.

“You would do that? To help an old man?” Julius asked, unsure.

“Yeah. I think I know where to find some work,” the teen nodded, and his father smiled.

The next day, he got a job at the diner thanks to David, who knew about the cat story and how different the kid had become in just a few weeks of hanging with Charlie. He worked hard, even on the weekend, so they could start buying things for Charlie’s house immediately.

Julius helped him pick up things and decided to accompany him to the old’s man house one Friday to start fixing the man’s house. To everyone’s shock, Julius recognized Charlie immediately.

“Firefighter Torrence!” Jim’s father exclaimed. Charlie squinted and shook his head, but Julius turned to Jim and told him a shocking story. “The kitchen exploded when I was a kid, and I got trapped under this huge dresser. He saved me!”

“You’re the dresser kid! Of course!” Charlie said and hugged Julius.

“That kid was you? Charlie told me all about that story weeks ago. I had no idea,” Jim added, smiling as the grown men separated from their hug.

“What a coincidence! Can I call you Charlie, too?” Julius asked, happier than Jim had ever seen him.

“Of course, you can call me Charlie. Come in. Come in,” the older man said.

“We brought some things. It’s time to fix up this house!” Jim added enthusiastically and went back to the car to start unloading. Charlie was eternally grateful to them, and in one day, his house looked better than ever.

“So, kid. You have your presentation on Monday, right?” Charlie asked as they picked things up and finished for the day.

“Yeah, I have to write an essay. I’m nervous about that,” Jim said sheepishly.

“I was never good with words either. But you just have to write from the heart. Don’t put down what you think your teacher wants to hear,” Charlie suggested, and the teenager nodded. A while later, they left Charlie’s house, promising to return soon to fix more stuff.

Monday arrived, and Jim sweated as he stood before the class. Some parents were there, but not Jim’s folks because they had work. Instead, he saw David, the waiter, who nodded at him to start reading.

His essay was about learning from your past mistakes, doing better, and how respecting your elders and finding inspiration in their stories is essential.

“And I’ve learned more about myself in this experience than I have all my life. I know now that I’m braver than I thought. I can work hard. I can be a good person, and I can help others. I think I’ll be a firefighter in the future, just like Charlie. Not just because I think it’ll be exciting and people will praise me but because I think I can make a difference in the world. Thank you,” he finished.

The classroom erupted in applause and cheers. He saw David clapping fiercely, as well as Mr. Perkins. Some mothers even wiped a few tears, which made Jim’s eyes water.

Jim relished the attention and love he received. But in this mind, he thought of ways to help Charlie more and how his family would have to invite him for Thanksgiving.

Therefore, he kept his job at the diner, continued buying things for the older man, and worked hard until his house was fully repaired.

“You’re my hero, Jim,” Charlie said afterward, and Jim knew he had to do more for other people.

Once Charlie didn’t need him much, the teen used his money to help other communities. He volunteered with the fire department some days and planned to enter the academy after graduating.

In one month, his life had changed completely thanks to a retired firefighter. Charlie would always be his hero, too.

What can we learn from this story?

Some teenagers need a change of pace or scenery to change. A child’s behavior might be due to the people he hangs out with or his environment. Sometimes, changing that or meeting someone new can inspire them forever.
You can be a hero in many ways. Charlie had been a hero to many people, including Jim’s father, but Jim became a hero to the older man, too, and a silly cat in a tree before he even became a firefighter.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.


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