This morning on my stupid little hometown facebook there was a post from a women 'thanking' whomever it was ahead of her in line at the fast food restaurant that morning getting breakfast. She made the post nice and sappy saying she got 'tears in her eyes' and promises to pay it forward to someone else some day.
Gosh I hope that person isn't me!
I do not WANT anyone to pay for my meal and I certainly don't want the guilt trip to go with it. What it does (to most people anyway) is guilt you into offering to pay for the person behind you in line ordering. And you know what? That's crap. Because being guilted into good deed isn't a good deed.
You don't want to feel judged by being 'that guy' who ends the pay it forward.
I don't eat at fast food restaurants but maybe once or twice a year (yeah, for real). So when I go it's usually on a cross country road trip. I don't have excess money in my budget so I choose a pretty frugal and tiny food item because that's what I can afford.
I'm 'that guy' that has a $3.99 order and feels guilted into paying it forward but the person behind me has a $27 order.
And people really love to do this crap at Starbucks.
Again, I almost never, ever go to Starbucks (mostly out of principal... they don't stand for the same beliefs and things I do so I don't go). But perhaps once a year (again, on a cross-country driving trip) I'll end up going for a coffee.
Now, I'm the person that orders a tall black.
My bill is $1.85 plus tax average in the states I'm usually driving through. So... $2
Whomever offers to pay for my drink is getting off pretty lucky for $1.85 but then when the "don't be the guy who breaks the chain" guilt kicks in, I'm then forced to pay more like $14 for that tall, plain, black coffee because the couple in the car behind me more than likely are NOT ordering simple black coffee.
See where I'm going here?
So I like the people who proclaim; "Take your freebie, be thankful and move on!"
YAY for them!
Even better is when I'm hopping around the internet and I'm seeing managers and supervisors that WORK for the company saying "This pay it forward stuff is crap.... I'm secretly HAPPY for the customers who just take their free food or drink and move on" others say their company cash registers make it a pain to do the 'pay it forward' crap and slows down the lines when people insist on doing this.
For example - I found this on a reddit style forum...
When you're doing 65 cars per half hour, trying to make sure the bump screen and the register stay sorted and organized is a hassle that really slows down the process. Also, you're not getting a free drink if you contribute to the chain, you're just getting your stuff at a different price. It's an empty gesture that makes a lot of people uncomfortable because they feel obligated and so many people celebrate an empty gesture that doesn't do any charity after the first person. It's just another way for people to pretend they did something charitable and friendly without actually doing so. That's my hot take.
It's an empty gesture that makes a lot of people uncomfortable...
I'll pay for my little $3 food order myself, without any guilt, thank you. Because I don't HAVE the $15 to pay for the person behind me. I brought or budgeted $3 for my order and that's what I have.
If someone really wants to 'pay it forward' to help someone - go buy GIFT CARDS. Keep them with you or in your car and hand them out to someone in the grocery store or other places you do that you deem would be thankful for it or need it. Hand out food gift cards to the homeless if it makes you feel better.
But paying for someone's fancy schmancy $8 drinks in line Starbucks isn't really being charitable.
.... don't mind my little rants, it's just the coffee talking again.