Drew Swope lost his job at Reid’s Fine Foods in Charlotte on Sunday after a confrontation with McCrory, who was visiting the store.
Swope, no fan of the Republican governor, said he simply told McCrory "thanks for nothing" before walking away. The remark set McCrory off, according to Swope.
"And he started yelling at me and eyes were bulging out of his head," Swope told TPM in a phone interview on Tuesday.
The openly gay Swope also told TPM that McCrory was hostile to him "for being a fag."
A spokesman for the governor said that McCrory did not raise his voice, and claimed that Swope actually made an obscene gesture — a charge that Swope vehemently denied.
McCrory's office did not respond to TPM's request for comment.
Regardless of what exactly went down, the incident cost Swope his job. But shortly after he spoke to TPM on Tuesday, Swope announced on Facebook that he was dealt a helping hand from a Democratic politician.
"The mayor of Charlotte, Pat Cannon, just called me and asked me to send him my resume and he'll see if he can help me find a position," Swope wrote.
Cannon told the Charlotte Observer that he might be able to work his connections to help Swope land a job in the private sector.
“To lose a job is nothing that someone wants to do,” Cannon said. “I felt that I would do what I could to help him along the way, if I could make something happen. I have a few leads for him to help him continue being a contributing citizen of Charlotte.”
Cannon said he hasn't discussed the matter with McCrory, who served as mayor of Charlotte from 1995 until 2009.
For his part, Swope had said from the beginning that he doesn't have any hard feelings toward his former employer.
“I wasn’t surprised at all," Swope told TPM. "I mean, I would have fired me. I’ve been in the restaurant business for 25 years. I know the rules.”