Entertainment And News

After A Company Throws A Disappointing Retirement Party For Their 70-Year-Old Employee, His Coworker Brilliantly Steps In To Give Him A Real Gift

Photo: @m3nta11y1ll1/ TikTok
Soniah, John

A woman shared the good deed she did for her elderly coworker after the company they worked for only did the bare minimum for his retirement after 42 years.

In videos posted to her TikTok page, a content creator named Soniah explained that her 70-year-old coworker was planning on retiring and wanted to give him a better gift after seeing the party the company decided to throw for him.

She raised money after her elderly coworker was only given a certificate and barbecue for his retirement.

In Soniah's since-deleted video, which has since been reposted by other accounts, she explained that the company she and her elderly coworker, John, worked for had done the bare minimum for his retirement party. While she didn't specify the name of their workplace, she admitted that it was a minimum-wage paying position that John had been doing for the last four decades.

"Today is my co-worker's last day, he worked for this company for 42 years, making minimum wage," Soniah wrote in overlay text on her video. "The company only threw him a BBQ and gave him a certificate. He takes the bus and [train] to get here every day on time."



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She explained that he enjoyed working for the company, and didn't even want to retire. Instead of compensating him fairly for the years of hard work he put into his job, Soniah pointed out that they didn't even give him a bonus of any kind, just a barbecue and a certificate.

"Don’t be a slave to your job. Thank you John for your loyalty," she continued.

Soniah admitted that she was furious when she found out how John's long and hardworking career was celebrated by their company, and that the only people who really honored him were the other coworkers, who traded heartwarming stories about John's work ethic and personality. 

Refusing to allow John to not have a proper send-off, Soniah revealed that she had started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for John's retirement fund. 

"Mr. John worked for 42 years for our company. Rain or shine, he will make it to work! Extremely dependable! It doesn’t matter how much we would suggest to take his vacation days, he would still want to work!" Soniah wrote in the description of the campaign.

"Can we give John a little something more for his retirement? Or maybe just some positive vibes and words of encouragement to get him through the rest of his days. He has no wife or kids however he does have a nephew whom he loves dearly. It would be nice to give him some kind of company or something to do so he knows that he’s special and loved."

The overall goal of the campaign had been $28,000, but after her initial TikTok video went viral and people started learning about John's story, it didn't take long for many to start donating. The end amount raised ended up being $36,504.

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Soniah ended up contacting John to tell him the good news about the campaign and the money raised.

In a follow-up video on her account, Soniah promised her followers that she had transferred the GoFundMe to John so that he could access the money, but before that, shared the moment when she finally told him about the response from the public and the fundraiser.

"You have inspired the world with your story," Soniah told John. "So many people related to you, so many people from Australia, the UK, and Scotland, all over the world." 



She informed him that so many of these people left kind messages on the GoFundMe campaign, which she assured him she'd print out so that he could have and read them. She explained to John that she had started the fundraiser because she wanted to give him something for his retirement that would mean something to him, especially because of all of the hard work and long hours he put into his job.

"I'm gonna make sure everything goes into your account, just for you, okay?"

While Soniah was able to step in and give her retiring coworker such a thoughtful and compassionate gift after their company failed to do so, for many others, being able to retire comfortably isn't as much of a luxury.

In a July 2023 poll conducted jointly by Axios and Ipsos, 29 percent of workers under 55 answered a retirement query with, “I don’t think I will ever retire.” When asked why not, three-quarters admitted that they can't afford to stop working. On top of that, in a CNBC survey conducted by SurveyMonkey, 56% of Americans agree they’re not on track to retire comfortably.

Soniah's act of kindness, while extraordinary, should ideally be accompanied by efforts to ensure that retirement is not a distant dream for a significant portion of the workforce and that many of these employers are working harder to make sure their employees feel seen and appreciated.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.