When customers at a Bakersfield, California Jack in the Box ordered food at the drive thru for the past few weeks, they had no idea what was right behind the thin wall of the restaurant. When cashier Alex Mesta was working the line, he had hidden something behind the cashier station that no one but him had known.
As he was handing out food to paying customer, something else was going on behind the scenes. For every one of his shifts, Mesta was up to no good. Then his manager came across it all by accident, and was sick at what Mesta was up to… After his boss was randomly reviewing surveillance footage, Mesta was fired without notice. The supervisor spotted the employee engaging in illicit behavior behind the cash register.
Because Mesta was only earning a minimum wage, he could care less about losing his dead-end job. And he shows no remorse for doing the disturbing thing he was up to behind the register. Plus, he already has a plan to get another regular paycheck. But he will miss something else a whole lot more than he does the money. As one of the late night shift workers, Mesta had a lot of downtime on the job. And as the proverb goes, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. During the shift, Alex Mesta met one customer who came in more frequently than others. He learned that the older gentleman was a veteran of the United States military.
Through conversation, Alex befriended the veteran. And then he offered the hero a cup of coffee for free – as a way to show appreciation for the men and women who serve our great nation. Several times each week, the old veteran would return to the Jack in the Box to get his free cup of coffee. But he stayed for the conversation with the talkative cashier. Because the restaurant did not even charge $1 for a cup of coffee, Mesta did not mind giving away the establishments beverage for free. He did not pay for the cup, he gave it away for nothing. Meanwhile, the veteran appreciated Alex’s kindness and the respect he had for his elders.
There aren’t many 19-year-old men out there looking out for older veterans. Everything was fine until Alex made a wrong move one night. Because the establishment had leftover tacos that were to be thrown away, Alex through he could give them to the veteran. Without wanting to waste food and put the war hero out, he handed over the tacos for free. Just days later, Alex was called into his manager’s office and fired on the spot. The patriotic teen explained the situation. But the manager refused to listen.
Between the free tacos and coffee, Alex had cost the company under $10. If Jack in the Box cared about veterans, they might have allowed Alex to pay the cost of the items he gave away for free. Instead, they fired him. “I know what I did wasn’t right to them,” Alex said. “But to me, it felt right.” When the incident hit social media, the public lashed out at Jack in the Box. Nevertheless, the unpatriotic company refused to change their policy and did not rehire Alex. They fired back at the disgruntled public with a statement that read that the firing had. Despite all the outrage, after the incident hit social media, Jack in the Box didn’t back down on their “nothing to do with a guest’s military experience,” although they admitted that Alex was fired for “mishandling funds.”