The Starbucks “Pay It Forward” Question

Posted in Entertainment
Sun, Dec 30 - 6:01 pm EST | 10 years ago by
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    bones-promo001starbucks.jpgRecently, fellow b5media blogger, Jonathan Ramsey and I were in a meeting at our day job (yes, folks, we work together away from blogging too) when one of our co-workers told us that he had heard of a Starbucks that had made the evening news recently.

    The story was that a person was at the drive through window of the local Starbucks and had ordered a number of specialty coffee drinks, so it was taking the order a while to be completed. The man in the car behind was impatient and started to honk the horn to try to hurry the person up. The first person went to pay for the large order and said to the cashier to include whatever the man in the car following had ordered in his payment as well.

    As the story goes, the man finally got to the window and found out that the car before him had paid for his coffee, which made him feel guilty. So he said that he would pay for the order of the person behind him. And the story went on to say that the trend continued on all that day of each person paying for the order for the car behind them.

    Jonathan, being who he is, left the meeting and proceeded to look the story up online, only to find that it had not happened at all. It turned out to be an urban legend.

    But it got me to thinking, what would happen if each of the characters on Bones had approached the Starbucks drive-through window and was told that the person in front of them in line had already paid for their order? Let’s see if we can think through this theoretical scenario…

    First, and most obvious would be Hodgens. I could see him instantly deciding that it was a giant conspiracy to somehow trick him into giving up his credit card information or his identification. He would probably refuse to take the free gesture and might go ahead and pay for it again.

    Then, it would be just like Angela to take the gesture as a sign from the universe that she had been living her life the right way and that karmically, she should pay for the orders of the three cars behind her. After all what goes around, comes around, right?

    Booth, because of his highly moral and religious background would be compelled to pay for the person behind him in line, so as to avoid breaking the chain of generosity.

    I’m thinking that Zack would simply be surprised, say thank you, then take his free drink and drive away. To him, the logical way is always the best, right?

    Brennan would, of course, fall deep into a train of thought about the anthropological implications of the randomness of generosity without any hope of its return. (I don’t know about you, but I would love to hear that explanation.) ;-)

    But when it comes to Cam, I’m stumped. I really don’t know for sure how she would react to the situation.

    What do you think? Would Cam keep the trend going? Would she break the trend? And what of the others? Do you think they would react the way I imagine them reacting, or another way entirely? Leave a comment to share your thoughts!!

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      • sofi

        wow, that’s a good question, Cam…uhmm..let’s think, how she would react?

        I think that maybe she would doubt about the kindness of the person that payed for her order but…she would keep the trend. I don’t think she’ll break it, after all it’s a coffee…among other things.

        and for the record, I would also love to know Brennan’s reasoning.

      • auntiemamewb

        wow…i think you’ve had too much time to think. this is coolest little blog. haha. i think cam is a person that has never lacked for love or attention…basically no chips on her shoulder. i think if she were faced with this situation she would not even have to think…but would simply be like “huh, cool. okay…well let me get the next guys.” she wouldn’t think hard about it at all…it would just be yet another easily given act of generosity. it’s easy to be generous when people are generous towards you.

      • Theresa

        I checked on this story and found some real news hits on a few NBC affiliate websites. I think it really happened.

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