Elderly Veteran Loses Job for Giving Away Muffin
Cracker Barrel says it's his 5th time violating company policy
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2014 4:13 PM CDT
A Cracker Barrel sign.   (PRNewsFoto/Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.)

(Newser) – A 73-year-old Vietnam veteran has lost his job for giving a needy man a muffin—and says he doesn't regret his moment of charity, Fox News reports. Joe Koblenzer was working as a Cracker Barrel host in Venice, Fla., when a homeless-looking man came in asking for tartar sauce and mayonnaise. "He said he was going to cook a fish," Koblenzer told WWSB. Koblenzer gave him the condiments and plunked a corn muffin in the bag as well. Soon after, he says, the general manager called him in and "said he had some bad news for me. 'Joe we are going to have to let you go.'"

Cracker Barrel issued a statement saying this was Koblenzer's fifth time giving away food or consuming it without paying, but Koblenzer says it was only strike three, and one accusation was unfair. Either way, he's now jobless after three years at the company where he earned the highest number of stars on his apron for job performance. He admits to breaking a rule, but says he'd do it again because "a moral issue comes in." The story has gained traction in social media, WWSB notes, and became a hot topic on the restaurant's Facebook page with more than 30 negative comments. "I feel badly," says Koblenzer. "I would not want that on any company, but it happened."

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Showing 3 of 303 comments
Jul 1, 2014 9:27 PM CDT
I own a restaurant and would fire an employee giving away my food. I worked for years in the business and would give away food all the time, but i would ALWAYS buy it first. Theft is theft even with good intentions. I am a Military family and love our Vets, but this man was in the wrong. He could have been arrested.
Jul 1, 2014 4:14 PM CDT
Bring back the Guillotine!
Jul 1, 2014 12:03 PM CDT
The article said "30 negative comments on cracker barrel's facebook page. It is more like Thousands of negative comments!