FLORIDA – 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 muffin.
He admits it was against the restaurant’s rules, but 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 apron and greeted those who come in to the Venice location.
Two weeks ago, the 73-year-old 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,” said Koblenzer.
The man who’s job it is to be friendly obliged.
“I got it for him. As I walked out I put a corn muffin in,” said Koblenzer.
That gesture apparently cost Joe his job.
“The general manager called me in and said he had some bad news for me. Joe we are going to have to let you go,” Joe said.
He admits he’s been written up before.
Now the Vietnam veteran who was trying to supplement his social security is the one down on his luck.
The debate over the seriousness of the event and the subsequent firing has started a firestorm online.
Joe says he’s sad over the situation and misses the regulars and employees he’s gotten to know.
He says yes it was against the rules, and yes they have a right to let him go, but morally it still feels like it was the right thing to do.