California teen Alex Mesta might have had good intentions giving away free food to a deserving customer, but his employers have a very different view on the matter.
As Fox 25 reports, the 19-year-old was recently fired from fast food chain Jack In the Box, after surveillance cameras caught him handing over free tacos to a military veteran. Mesta says he’s also given the man free coffee, too:
“Since he’s a vet, I don’t think I should charge him for his coffee. It’s like not even a dollar for his coffee. It’s either throw them away or make them for him.”
While the teen thought he was just doing his civic duty in honoring our veterans, Jack In the Box has since released a statement, reading in part:
“While it would not be appropriate to provide complete details on an internal disciplinary issue, our actions in this case were not based on just one incident and had nothing to do with the guest’s military experience.”
And while giving away food can be argued as stealing from the company, many Americans believe they went too far in punishing the teen.
Daniel Ortiz was so passionate about the incident, he wrote a lengthy Facebook post denouncing Jack in the Box that went viral:
Well here we go again this Jack in theBox located at 3300 Buena Vista Road here in Bakersfield Ca, A 19 year old boy…
He asked for anyone who was willing to offer the young man a job to message him:
“This young man was fired for giving away two Taco valued at $0.99 he offered to pay Jack in the Box back for them he said it was not right because they were going to throw them away anyway. This is a story that I feel the community needs to know you cannot punish this young man for doing what he felt was right in his heart.
God bless this young man and his parents for raising him right.”
Plenty of people weighed in on the matter, with Rita Faz saying she’s “disgusted” by the company’s actions:
“He needs to go work at Taco Bell on Hageman they should be hiring and definitely need his influence. Jack in the Box rather throw away food than give it to a veteran. Disgusting.”
Mike Golleher added:
“[If] they keep this up and I’ll have to make my own lunch.”
And John Jamison is clearly fed up with restaurant chains in their town:
“When will these chains realize Bakersfield residents won’t play these stupid games. We back our own. There’s another business I won’t patronize!”
At the end of the day, Mesta still believes he did the right thing in giving the veteran food and drink — food and drink that he says would otherwise have been thrown away.