Sunday, June 29, 2014

Charity is what you do with your own time and stuff, not your employer's

Cracker Barrel is in the news again. This time for firing a worker for giving away a corn muffin. (Story here.) The worker had been there 3 years, and this was either his 3rd or 5th such action, depending on whether you take his word for it or Cracker Barrel's.

This caught my attention because the underlying offenses all appear to involve taking for himself or others what isn't his to take or give. Whether having a soda on duty when doing so is not allowed, or giving away a restaurant's food, seems to me the underlying issue is "Who pays?" for the lost time and lost food and drink. In my opinion, unless otherwise agreed, it's the worker's responsibility to work during working hours and to pay for anything that the company normally sells but he or she consumes or gives away instead. The worker here says he'd have been willing to pay for the muffin if asked, but after multiple such warnings, why did he think he needed to be asked?

Charity is great, but giving away others' time and stuff without their permission is theft, not charity.


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