Austin's Morning News
Venice veteran says he lost job after giving muffin to needy person
VENICE, Fla. -- A 73-year old veteran says he was fired from the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Venice for giving someone who looked in a need a few condiment packets and a corn muffin.
Was it against the restaurant's rules, or is it the right thing to do? It's a debate that is already catching fire online.
For the past three plus years, Joe Koblenzer has put on his brown and yellow Cracker Barrel apron and greeted those who come in to the Venice location. “It's a fun job; a job really suited to me."
He says that two weeks ago, a man who looked like he might be homeless came through the doors. "He looked a little needy. He asked if I had any mayonnaise and some tarter sauce. He said he was going to cook a fish."
The man whose job it is to be friendly obliged. "I got it for him. As I walked out I put a corn muffin in."
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."
He admits he's been written up before; two years ago for getting a fountain drink on the job and a second time for giving a cup of coffee to woman. He claims she actually paid for it.
But rules are rules. “It's a rule. They legally can do this because I did break the rule. I completely forgot about it. I am a host at Cracker Barrel with a little above minimum wage job."
Now the Vietnam vet who was trying to supplement his Social Security is the one looking for work.
"Hurt me? Oh yeah it has."