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Employee caught sneaking extra food to needy elderly couple gets fired. AITA?

Employee caught sneaking extra food to needy elderly couple gets fired. AITA?


Stealing from your place of employment is certainly grounds for dismissal.

But, when it is a small cost that could help people in need, it is hard to say no. One former fastfood employee tells about when their coworker called them out for giving extra food to an elderly couple and their grandchild, costing them their job.

TIFU and got fired over chicken nuggets.


I work or rather worked at a fast food place. A little over two weeks ago on a quiet evening at work, an old couple came in with who I assumed to be their granddaughter. They were all wearing matching knitted sweaters, and I remember thinking just how adorable they looked.

They deliberated for a bit while counting the money that they had then the old man ordered a kid's meal. I took their order and went to prepare it myself because we sometimes do this if it's quicker or for other reasons.

I gave him his order and he thanked me. They went to sit down not far from my station and he handed the meal to the child. She offered to share her meal but they encouraged her to finish her food by herself. They reassured her that they were not that hungry. They seemed to be content just watching her eat. She finished and they left.

I felt bad for them and looked over at my colleague who also witnessed this, and he just shrugged. The following day, they came again and ordered the same thing. I told them that they could take a seat and I'd bring the order to them. When no one was looking, I instead secretly used a bigger box and filled it to the brim with nuggets and fries.

I think it's important to point out that we are NOT allowed to do this. People have gotten fired before for giving their friends more food but I did it anyway.

I brought the order to them and they were surprised to see the size of the meal compared to yesterdays. I gave them a knowing look and a smile and they thanked me. I was just pleased to see them all eating.

This went on for two weeks although they did not come in everyday but I still gave them the extras whenever they would come. On Tuesday, they came in earlier but not to eat.

They wanted to thank me for helping them through a challenging couple of days. They appreciated the extra food that I gave them because aside from the kid eating at school, that was everyone's only meal for the day.

On the bright side they were finally able to receive much needed resources so they wanted to let me know that they won't be coming in anymore. We laughed over the fact that they actually don't like fast food.

I told them that I'm glad that I was able to help a bit and wished them well. When I turned around, my colleague was there but he didn't say anything and neither did I. Yesterday my manager wanted to speak to me.

He told me that he had been tipped off that I have been stealing from the store and giving my friends extra orders. The camera footage spoke for itself and there was also a witness.

The same colleague who shrugged when that family first came in, it seemed that he was spying on me. Funny thing is he and I both applied for the same position in the store and were waiting to hear who got it. I guess he wanted to eliminate competition which worked because I got fired just in time for my birthday.

TL:DR I gave an old couple extras on their order for two whole weeks and I got fired for it.

People responded with their own stories and judgements:


This is why I NEVER trust coworkers anymore. I used to keep thinking that if I just got the RIGHT job, then the RIGHT coworkers would come with it. I did that for 15 years of my working life and have learned just recently that you’re always being spied on.

If you can, don’t let yourself become jaded. You did a good thing for those people. The right thing, in fact. You helped those people survive, and compared to the cost of corporate profits, that’s zero-sum, my man! You message me if you need someone to be your last boss for references!


This isnt a f%$k up, this is wholesome. F@%k greedy corporate policies. Salute to you, kindness goes a long way, you stay the same, we need more people like you. Karma will get that snitch's ass someday.


I don’t know what if any plans you have moving forward, but if you ever are looking for a job outside of retail, I’d think many would see this as a pro not a con. I was fired from XYZ because I helped a struggling family with a bit of extra food.

Or if you really want to burn bridges, consider going to your local news. They typically eat up those feel good stories of retail employees helping others. When they interview you, definitely say you were fired. I’d bet they will either be shamed into hiring you back or you will get a better offer somewhere else.


If I was your boss, I would have at least given you the opportunity to pay for the extra food, but maybe let you off with a friendly warning.


I've seen how much food is wasted every hour at these places. Don't be discouraged helping those in need. At the end of the day you know you did the right thing and you can go to sleep at night knowing you helped make someone's day a little bit better. I'm sure knowing the situation, you make the same choice 100/100 times.

If your area is like mine, I'm sure you will have no issue finding a similar job. As wholesome as this is though, I would avoid bringing this situation up during an interview. Woke the human side of the manager would probably agree with you, the manager side of them won't.


Its a business not a charity. You stole from the business. You got caught, and so you were fired. You knew the consequences before you started stealing. But you still think your ex-coworker shares some responsibility for 'spying' on you?

You might think you are Robin Hood, but lets be honest here, you weren't giving out free food to every poor unfortunate soul who patronised this business, just the one family you thought were 'cute'.

I have no doubt that you had good intentions. You should find a line of work where those intentions will be rewarded- social work, or charity work, perhaps? But you can't give away the stock of a business that doesn't belong to you because you think its cute for people to wear matching jumpers...


I am going to go against the flow here and say that you actually f@*$ed up. If you want to give them extra food you should have paid for it from your pocket (or you can collect funds between your co-workers and friends, or you can just go tell your manager about this ask him if the restaurant would want to help these couple at almost no cost). In the future, don't do charity with other people's money.


It ain’t charity if it didn’t cost them anything. Well, ok it cost them a job, so it was charity, but the job was the price. So they shouldn’t be whining about the cost if they made the decision.


No sympathy here. You didn't get 'fired over chicken nuggets', you got fired for stealing from your employer multiple times and you shouldn't be seeking validation on Reddit for your illegal and dishonest actions.

If you felt sorry for the family then you should have paid for their larger meal yourself and then served it to them. That would have been fine and a beautiful human thing to do. But instead you decided to abuse your position of trust with the cash register and stock, and repeatedly steal your employer's products.


I own a restaurant. Getting fired for this is wrong on 2 levels.

1. Your manager should have a process whereby you can take care of people in this situation. We feed people for free often and my employees are empowered to make these decisions when I'm not there as long as they text me.

2. Firing you for caring about customers and building long term relationships with them is just wrong on a lot of levels.

Do you think this former employee deserved to be fired? Have you ever rationalized acts of kindness like this at work?

Sources: Reddit
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