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

(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."

A Cracker Barrel sign.
A Cracker Barrel sign.   (PRNewsFoto/Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.)
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