A young man cuts in line during a huge clothing sale, telling others that he owns the mall. But he regrets it immediately when his father finds out.
Gavin grew up with tons of privilege because his father, James Goodwin, owned several malls around the country. James’ childhood had been pretty average, and he was proud of his success. He also wanted to give his son everything in the world.
However, it seemed that Mr. Goodwin and his wife had spoiled Gavin too much. There were several instances where Gavin even bullied his friends to get away with things, but James brushed them off as teenager antics. He should have paid more attention.
One day, one of the best stores in his biggest mall announced a big sale of some of their best items. Mr. Goodwin knew it would be crazy with so many customers, but it would be fantastic for other businesses.
“Dad, tomorrow’s going to be that sale, right?” Gavin asked him during dinner.
“Yes, Gavin. Do you want to buy some things? I can have my assistant get whatever you want so you don’t stand in line. It’s going to be pandemonium,” he told his son.
“No worries. I’m going with some friends. It’s going to be fun,” his son answered. Mr. Goodwin smiled, but the truth is that Gavin was not going to stand in line with the rest of the riff-raff.
Everyone at his private school knew that Gavin’s father was one of the wealthiest people in town, and he reveled in the status that gave him. He had learned how to control everyone, and even teachers couldn’t say anything.
The following day arrived, and Gavin hopped in his car to pick up his buddies. They drove down to the mall together.
“Do you think we should have left earlier, Gavin? Isn’t there a huge line?” one of his friends asked.
“No way, man. We’re not standing in line. My dad owns everything, remember?” Gavin said and laughed. The rest of the gang smirked, excited to get the VIP treatment that day.
But everyone had been right. The line to the store was huge, and people had been waiting for hours to get their items. Regardless, Gavin and his friends walked up to the front without looking at anyone.
“Hey, young men!” an older lady said. “I’ve been in line for hours, and so have hundreds of people. You can’t just walk in like you own the place.”
Gavin laughed evilly, and his friends followed suit. “Of course I can, you old bat. My father owns the malls. Do you know him? James Goodwin? I’m his son, Gavin.”
“That doesn’t matter. We are paying customers,” the lady continued.
“Crazy lady, why do you even need clothes from this store? Are you wearing them to your friends’ funerals? Please,” Gavin added and moved along.
The older lady and few other people gasped at what Gavin said. The security was shocked for a second but let the boys in as he didn’t want to get fired. Everyone else let it go to avoid a scene at the mall.
But Gavin was so conceited that he couldn’t help saying something to the lady on his way out. “Honestly, old witch. There’s nothing in this store for you. Go back to knitting, grandma. Bye!” He walked away with his friends while laughing at the people still waiting in line.
What Gavin didn’t know was the owner of the luxury store was his dad’s friend. He didn’t like what happened one bit and told his friend about it.
Mr. Goodwin couldn’t believe what his son had done, but he knew it was true. Gavin was growing up way too spoiled and pretentious for his liking. It was time to teach him a lesson.
“Young man, come here,” Mr. Goodwin said when Gavin walked in that night after a fun day with his friends.
“Hey, Dad! We got a bunch of stuff at the mall and had a blast,” his son started. Mr. Goodwin wasn’t interested in Gavin’s purchases or how much “fun” they had. He immediately demanded an explanation for his behavior.
“Dad! Are you going to believe some sad tale from a stranger over your own son?” he tried to deflect.
“Mr. Salinger is a great friend and the owner of the store, you fool. Do you think I wouldn’t find out about your behavior? Do you know how bad that makes me and our entire family look?” Mr. Goodwin said.
“I’m sorry, Dad. It won’t happen again,” Gavin acquiesced, but it was only to placate his father.
“That’s not enough. Tomorrow, you’re going to put on the employee uniform and work as a salesman all day. We’ll see if that teaches you how to behave in public like a decent person,” his dad added.
“That’s not fair! I swear I won’t do it again. Please! It’s going to be so embarrassing! What will my friends say?” Gavin cried and pleaded but to no avail.
“You should have thought about that before behaving like an entitled brat and insulting my customers. Also, if I hear that you are a less-than-stellar employee, you’ll continue working there for the rest of the year. Are we clear?” his father said angrily.
After a few hours working at the store, Gavin was furious at his father and everyone around him. But he couldn’t show it, or he would have to keep working there. He played the role of a great employee.
Coincidentally, the same lady he had yelled at yesterday was at the mall again and stopped by the store again. She saw Gavin and asked for his help. He was not going to apologize in a million years, but he helped her through the store.
He learned that her name was Mrs. Eleanor Thompson, the wife of a politician in town. Gavin couldn’t imagine why she didn’t use her influence to avoid standing in line the previous day but didn’t ask.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Thompson kept him occupied for what seemed like hours. She tried on everything, and he had to carry it around. When it finally looked like she was done shopping, he started going to the register with the items she picked.
“Oh, wait one second,” Mrs. Thompson said. “You know what? I don’t want any of that. I actually bought all of those yesterday. I just wanted to see you sweat. Have a nice day, young man!”
Gavin’s head almost exploded, and the lady walked out with a huge smile.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Don’t act like an entitled brat. Gavin acted like a spoiled baby and got a well-deserved punishment for it.
2. Karma doesn’t play games. Be kinder to others because you never know what’s going to happen in the future.