Veteran says he was fired for giving a corn muffin to a homeless man

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(CNN) -A 73-year-old Veteran says he was fired from a Cracker Barrel restaurant for giving a needy man a few condiment packets and a corn muffing.  He admits it was against the restaurant’s rules, but he says he thinks it was the right thing to do.

For the past three years, Joe Koblenzer has put on his brown and yellow Cracker Barrel apron and greeted those who come into the Venice, Florida location.

“It’s a fun job. A job really suited to me,” said Koblenzer.  Two weeks ago, he says a man who looked like he might be homeless came through the doors.

“He looked a little needy. He asked I had any mayonnaise and some tarter sauce. He said he was going to cook a fish.”

Koblenzer says he obliged and put a corn muffin in.   That gesture apparently cost him his job.

“The general manager called me in and said he had some bad news for me,” Koblenzer began.  “Joe we are going to have to let you go.”

He admits he’s been written up before.  Two years ago, he got a fountain drink on the job and once, he gave a woman a cup of coffee.  He claims she actually paid for it.

“It’s a rule. They legally can do this because I did break the rule.”




  • rose

    Some rules are meant to be broken. In big Corporate Business there is NO gray area. Cracker Barrel is no ma and pa business, it’s called “working for the man.”

  • Charley

    I can understand Cracker Barrel’s position on this, because it is theft, although so minor in statute , for they probably throw so much food out at the end of the day. If it were me, I would have reached in my pocket and pulled out a dollar and thrown it on the bosses desk and said to him ” here you need this more than I do” then told hem he cant fire me I QUIT. Threw my dirty apron on the floor and walked out. I guess the ex employee could stand just outside the property line of the restaurant with a sigh that says I got fired for feeding homeless people, Don’t eat here

    • rose

      CHARLEY, This man is 73, he comes from a different generation of people, a giving and helping generation. He did what his heart felt like he should do, and it cost him his job. It’s not like the generation that tries to let friends come in and eat for free.

  • South County Dad

    We’re supposed to have my son’s lunch after his baptism at Cracker Barrel. Probably a bad idea to kick off his entrance into his Christian life by celebrating it with people who view “the least of these” – those who my son will serve, in that manner. I’m betting that there is another place that will be more appropriate.

    • Mark Foster

      Perhaps this is a good time to review the ten commandments, one of which is “Thou shalt not steal”.

  • EdgarPoe

    This is appalling treatment of this elderly veteran. Do ya think that giving away a muffin is going to break the company? Cracker Barrel is despicable, SHAME ON YOU! Scumm.

  • Bob

    Some of you don’t understand the zero tolerance that companies have to maintain. It would be difficult to have company rules that state that stealing a muffin is OK, but don’t walk out with a ham.

  • Rick Sander

    If he wants to give the man a muffin, he should go buy him a muffin. It’s not charity to give away someone else’s money.

Comments are closed.

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