Joe Koblenzer’s three-year tenure as a Cracker Barrel greeter ended abruptly after he committed a dastardly act in the middle of work: he gave a homeless man some mayonnaise and tartar sauce, along with a muffin.
Koblenzer says that a man who “looked a little needy” came through the door and asked if he had any mayonnaise and tartar sauce. “He said he was going to cook a fish.”
“I got it for him. As I walked out I put a corn muffin in” with the condiments. Shortly after, Koblenzer was called into the General Manager’s office and terminated. The restaurant said he was a “serial offender.”
“During the time he was employed, he violated the Company’s policies regarding consuming food without paying or giving away free food, on five separate occasions,” Cracker Barrel said in a statement. “Mr. Koblenzer received multiple counselings and written warnings reminding him about the company’s polices and the consequences associated with violating them. On the fifth occasion, again per Company policy, Mr. Koblenzer was terminated. Cracker Barrel is grateful for and honors Mr. Koblenzer’s service to our country as we honor all service men and women and their families.”
In the United States, 23% of homeless people are veterans–47% of whom are Vietnam vets like Koblenzer, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.
Koblenzer, who was working at Cracker Barrel to supplement his Social Security check, says he knows giving the muffin away is against the rules, but he still feels that it was the right thing to do.
He is seeking employment elsewhere.