Teen who had Starbucks paid for by kind stranger branded ‘selfish’ by customers

A student who had her Starbucks order paid for by a stranger was later branded “selfish” by disgruntled customers.

The 16-year-old woman, from the US, had stopped in at the store to pick up a coffee on her way to school.

Posting about the situation to Reddit, she explained that whilst waiting in the queue, the man in front of her decided he wanted to start a goodwill chain of paying for the order of the next person.

She thanked him for covering her $7 (£5) coffee order, but was unable to keep up the good deed chain – as the group behind her had ordered $34 (£26) worth of food and drink she couldn’t afford.

As reported by the Mirror, she wrote: “This morning I went to Starbucks to grab a coffee and breakfast before school.

“The man in front of me apparently had just gotten a big paycheque and wanted to start one of those ‘pay for the person behind you’ chains.

“I paid for my $7 order, which I thanked him endlessly for.

The customers behind the student started yelling at her and calling her ‘selfish’ (stock photo).

“But the group of women behind me ordered $34 worth of things that I couldn’t afford.”

Instead of being understanding of the teen’s financial situation, one of the women in the group slammed her as “selfish” and claimed it was “unfair” that she was leaving with a free coffee without continuing the chain of good deeds.

She added: “I told the cashier that I wouldn’t be paying for them and one of the three women exploded on me.

“She started yelling about how kids of my age were selfish and had no manners. Another woman made a point that it was unfair I got a free order and was trying to leave.

“Now I feel like an a**hole because I really could’ve paid for their orders with some extra pocket change, but I wanted to save the money for school lunch and getting a snack from our vending machines. I left anyways without paying and have felt selfish the whole day.”

Commenters on the Reddit post were quick to defend the teen’s actions though, with many stating she wasn’t under any obligation to pay for anyone else – and some even slammed the man for starting the chain in the first place.

One person said: “You are under zero obligation to pay for someone else. Glad the guy did something nice for you, though.”

While another added: “That’s why I hate when people trying to start these chains. If someone wants to treat you that’s fine, that’s on them. But you should not feel obligated to pay for the person behind you for reasons exactly like this one.

“You walked into Starbucks expecting to spend $7, not $34. That is a very large discrepancy and some people literally can’t afford it.”

And a third stated: “Pay it forward lines are just a feel-good thing people do instead of actually paying it forward by tipping the employees.

“Every single person in that line knows they can afford their order, those things do not actually help anyone except to help people feel like they have been charitable.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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