A line of customers at a Starbucks in Tampa found themselves participating in a “paying it forward” loop, in which each customer pays for the order for the person behind them, an activity that filled them all with a feeling of deep self-satisfaction.
“I don’t mind doing it because it’s such a nice thing to do”, said Paula Fern of Tampa. “Even if the person behind me’s order is a little bit more than what I ordered, it all evens out eventually.”
“Wait. It’s less? Fuck yes!” she added.
“I was the one who started it. I had a couple of extra bucks so I thought what the hell,” said Doug Cleets Furn of Tampa. “I feel like it’s very important to note that if I didn’t start it, it probably would have never happened.”
Asked what the point is, since eventually every person in the line eventually pays for someone’s order, especially when the money spent on a typical Starbucks order could make a real impact elsewhere, the customers held strong to the principles of what they were already doing.
“Oh, like what? Pay for some delinquent’s school lunch tab or donate to a shelter that helps victims of domestic violence?” asked Phil Drend of Tampa. “Why in the world would I ever do that? Nobody’s going to see me do it.”
“This just proves there are still good people in the world and more importantly, that I’m one of them”, offered Kathi Klitch in agreement.
The loop ended about an hour later when Dan Miller of St. Petersburg refused the offer from ahead and paid for his own coffee, an action that everybody else said makes him an asshole except for the Starbucks baristas for whom the whole thing creates extra work for which they’re rarely tipped fairly.