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“Pay It Forward?” Or Socialism?

ASSESSING THE STUPIDITY OF STARBUCKS’ BENEVOLENCE By Mande Wilkes  ||  I can’t stand coffee. The taste, the smell, the vaguely Italian size designations, the way people fiend for it like dope, the fact that it stains, the fact that it can burn, the fact that little poor kids pick it…

ASSESSING THE STUPIDITY OF STARBUCKS’ BENEVOLENCE

mande wilkesBy Mande Wilkes  ||  I can’t stand coffee. The taste, the smell, the vaguely Italian size designations, the way people fiend for it like dope, the fact that it stains, the fact that it can burn, the fact that little poor kids pick it from fields for a penny a day. Coffee sucks, is what.

Which is all to say that I’m more than a little biased on the topic to follow.

But still, even to all you coffee enthusiasts, does not it shock the conscience, this “pay it forward” shtick going on at Starbucks stores around the country?

In case you haven’t heard…

A few days ago, in Florida, no less than 378 people paid for the coffee order of the car behind them in line.  After almost 11 hours, finally someone normal appeared in line and refused to carry on with the foolishness.

Naturally this story has been paraded about by the media, as they breathlessly proclaim it as so many “acts of kindness.” And also, the media has stuck their tongue out at the lone rational human being who didn’t care to pay for a random person’s caramel macchiato.

Seriously, the story has leapfrogged from a simple blurb on a slow news day to a major national headline, taking on in the process a political identity of its own. To hear the media tell it, the story is evidence at last of, if not compassion, then at least a measure of clemency.

If I were writing for FOX News instead of FITS News, I might call them socialists, these people who paid for a stranger’s cup of coffee. But I probably hate the misuse of that term as much as I hate coffee itself, so what I’ll call it instead of “socialist” is … stupid.

It’s stupid to pay for a stranger’s grande venti latte (or WTF-ever you call it). It’s not “kind” or “benevolent.” It’s not even cute. And a full 378 people in a row “paid it forward” (or backward, it we’re being strictly literal here), thinking I can only assume that they were “making someone’s day.”

(I feel compelled to reiterate that this happened in Florida, in August! Just how hot and humid does it have to be for you people to press pause on your coffee addiction?)

Anyway, I’m hardly opposed to actual acts of random kindness. In fact it’s kind of a hassle to be the car behind me in any line, because I always – always – give money to panhandlers. For all I know, some of them use the money at Starbucks, but something tells me that’s rarely the case.

You know what’d be a cool experiment? To panhandle at a Starbucks drive-though during one of these epic sprees of stupidity. Wonder how that would go …

So strange it is that in an era when people are arguably stingier than ever, so many are also mindlessly magnanimous – but only, it seems, when the beneficiary is a person similarly situated in life. And it’s not news that convenience is king, and what’s more convenient than “helping out” whoever happens to be in the car right behind you?

I was half-joking when I wrote the bit about “socialism,” but genuinely I do wonder at the origin of this behavior – whether a society increasingly focused on the whole instead of the parts contributes to a mindset of blind, automated benevolence.  And if it does, what might be the consequences? Seems to me that we’re losing sight of what it means to be in need, and what it looks like to be in a position to assist.

Mande Wilkes is a wife, mother, businesswoman, author, etc. residing on the South Carolina coast with her family.  You can read more of her work in The (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News.

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62 comments

Deo Vindice SC August 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Nikki, come get the money ?

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TontoBubbaGoldstein August 24, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I can’t stand coffee. The taste, the smell, the vaguely Italian size designations, the way people fiend for it like dope, the fact that it stains, the fact that it can burn, the fact that little poor kids pick it from fields for a penny a day. Coffee sucks, is what.

None of that is a problem for TBG.
It does, however give TBG the runs.
TMI?

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CorruptionInColumbia August 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm

That just makes you a regular kind of guy. There is no crime in that.

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Throne of the Gods August 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

“That just makes you a regular kind of guy.”

It doesn’t give me the runs, but certainly helps to make me a “regular kind of guy”.

:)

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SCBlues August 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm

“TMI?”
Yes.

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 12:39 am

I’m only interested in the rush. There was a time that if the espresso shot didn’t come out according to a timer, they’d dump the shot. I convinced a couple of baristas to let me have all their dumped shots in a grande cup, if they’d charge me for a quad.

I have also had some luck getting the free refill for a large popcorn when I bought the first one.

It’s all about the charm, and what you can do with a pickle.

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SCBlues August 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm

“I can’t stand coffee.”
Well, to say you lost me from the start would be an understatement.

P.S. I thought you were not posting on here any longer?

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Talk Me Down August 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Don’t ever believe chatroom/blogosphere “suicide” posts. They’re all BS from hopeless, egotistical, manic/depressive addicts.

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 12:35 am

I’ve had it with all the parsimonious mincing news articles bent to convince us that we should sign over the United States to the rich… I’m leaving the boards forEVER!

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easterndumbfuckistan August 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

“I can’t stand coffee.”

What language is that in? I can’t understand it. I know it’s not English or français since I speak both.

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 12:33 am

How does one “stand” coffee? It makes no sense at all!

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Smirks August 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

Getting a liquid to stand is rather difficult.

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Buz Martin August 25, 2014 at 9:15 am

Getting a coffee stand is easy enough, though. Tough part is making it pay off.

Smirks August 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

P.S. I thought you were not posting on here any longer?

I’m not addicted, I can stop any time I want! *hic*

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euwe max August 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Hey! Let me have some of that!

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shifty henry August 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Mande is a good sport and having fun with us guys. Anyway, look at her new photo she is giving us. GO, MANDE..!!

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Same ol' Same ol' August 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

No Shit. I didn’t even get to the article. Fits is having Mande mess with us on purpose. She jilts us, then teases us. Just to drive us crazy.
Anyway, I love coffee and am happily addicted. Double shot in the dark is great. I do like my coffee like I like my wimmin’, hot, blonde, strong.
No, I don’t pay it forward at Starbucks unless it is a MILF. Not into the younger girls, but hey, they say it’s mind over matter. If she don’t mind, it don’t matter.
I’m a lecherous old bastard, I know.

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Same ol' Same ol' August 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I haven’t read the article yet ( I will, I will, gimme little time), but bejeebus Mande, you are hot! Yo mama let u date?
You gotta boyfriend, he’s a luck dude.

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Pretty please with a cherry? August 24, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Show us your tits.

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Boob Marley August 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Face is a little cattywampus, but the boobs look ok.

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easterndumbfuckistan August 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I feel compelled to reiterate that this happened in Florida, in August! Just how hot and humid does it have to be for you people to press pause on your coffee addiction?

NEVER – That’s what iced coffee is for. I’m not a nice person until I get some coffee in my system, no matter how hot it is!!!

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tomstickler August 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Maybe this all happened by accident, sorta like buttoning your shirt one button off, and no one caught on until the 379th customer realized he wasn’t paying for what he got.

Coulda happened!

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt August 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

First sentence told me all I need to know…if you’re a coffee hater then that says it all.

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Squishy123 August 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm

I read the first paragraph and fell in love, having big tits is just a bonus.

Coffee does suck, the concept of let’s burn some beans, grind them up, poor some hot water over them and drink the swill. Not only have I never given Starbucks a dime, I’ve never even stepped foot in one of their stores.

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CorruptionInColumbia August 25, 2014 at 2:05 am

You haven’t lived yet, then.

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Squishy123 August 24, 2014 at 10:15 pm

How does this whole pay it forward work, if the person in front of me pays for my order do they leave an open tab? What if I order $1000 worth of shit from the store?

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Buz Martin August 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Slow non-news day, Mande?

For the record I love hell out of coffee, the more caffeinated the better. I love it even in the hottest heat, and am inordinately fond of Starbucks. Foregoing it these days only because there’s other stuff I love/want/need more and it IS absurdly overpriced.

/// After almost 11 hours, finally someone normal appeared in line and refused to carry on with the foolishness. ///

It’s not particularly “normal” or not-“normal” to refuse to participate in something like that. No different than choosing to eat Chick-Fil-A or not. I eat those yummy sammiches coz I like ’em and I don’t let ideological and/or religious shit dictate where I trade. Not “normal” or not-“normal” to be that way. I’m just an obstinate fucker like that.

So are you.

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Buz Martin August 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Having said all that, I’m very pleased to have Mande posting again, even if she’s officially stopped.

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Mike at the Beach August 25, 2014 at 2:04 am

Only here would that make any damn sense, yet here we are.

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 12:32 am

Whatever happened to hot babes giving mercy fucks to improve their karma?

I just don’t know what’s wrong with kids today!

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CorruptionInColumbia August 25, 2014 at 2:02 am

“Mercy fucks”, I like that! I never had a word for it until now, but I used to figure that may have had something to do with why I seemed to get lucky with nurses, more than any other occupation.

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 5:09 am

Nurses always have the best drugs.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein August 25, 2014 at 9:23 am

The head nurse has dirty knees…

BADOOM PSSSH!

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 5:15 am

Hey! Just hold on a minute! What’s wrong with socialism? Those Swedish bitches are FINE!

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gregorybgeddings August 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Ubangi?
Ubetcha!

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No bath's on the commune August 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

It’s all good till they wanna share their herpes with you.

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euwe max August 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Hair piece? This is my real hair!

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gregorybgeddings August 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

hee hee

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gregorybgeddings August 25, 2014 at 8:14 am

If she was fat and ugly no one would publish this nit-picking tripe…let alone read it.

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J Mande Wilkes August 25, 2014 at 8:31 am

In fact I did used to be fat (though never ugly, in my own opinion) and at 250 pounds I was probably more widely read than I am presently. Go figure (see what I did there?).

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gregorybgeddings August 25, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congratulations on your discipline. I am a writer too. I have had plenty of strike-outs as well as a few gems. Will despises me but, quite frankly, I view that as a badge of honor.
Keep at it and don’t to forget to ignore dopes like me as much as possible. The only person you need to please is yourself.

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J Mande Wilkes August 25, 2014 at 8:56 am

Certainly I never forget to please myself.

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hinman2k1 August 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

Now THAT I would pay to see!

Buz Martin August 25, 2014 at 9:22 am

Me too, God help me!

lulz August 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

“I am a writer too. ”

LMAO!

Sure you are, you’re work is highly touted by the same book club that just finished a group study on the Unabomber’s manifesto.

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gregorybgeddings August 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm

“Sure you are, you’re work is highly touted by the same book club that just finished a group study on the Unabomber’s manifesto.”

Can I quote you on that?

gregorybgeddings August 25, 2014 at 8:42 am

Belatedly…I got the “Go figure” pun…good one

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Buz Martin August 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

Where were you widely read? On FITS? Must have been before my time. First I saw of you, you were slimmed way down, hot, and running for public office.

(I did enjoy saying something you did might have been “before my time.”)

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jimlewisowb August 25, 2014 at 10:20 am

“…at 250 pounds ,,,, more widely read …”

Same can be said for signs on the back of tractor trailer rigs

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TJ August 25, 2014 at 8:23 am

Guess I don’t see what got Mande’s thong in a bunch- she wasn’t in line, she didn’t have to participate, the government didn’t order anyone to do it, nor did it send drones or armed forces to make sue you did. It was a bunch of people doing something they chose to do. What might the consequences of such behavior be? More people doing stuff for others just because they choose to?

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Halfvast Conspirator August 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

Wouldn’t it be more fun to go dump a bucket of ice water in the car behind?

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Smirks August 25, 2014 at 9:06 am

I don’t get why someone can be upset with a simple act of kindness, or that it’s in the news. I’ve been on both ends of this sort of thing and its nice when I find myself on the receiving end. (First time I got this was on a particularly bad morning, and although it only saved me like three bucks, it did succeed in cheering me up.)

As far as news goes, I’d rather see this than some over-sensationalized garbage off of a 24 hour news channel.

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Reality Bites September 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

It’s not kindness. If they are going to starbucks in the first place they can afford their own overpriced coffee. Pay it forward is just an excuse for smugness, and this is a scam marketing trick by starbucks to get people to spend more money than they normally would by attaching emotional value to an otherwise mundane task.

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jimlewisowb August 25, 2014 at 10:25 am

Hey Liz, where the hell are you

Looks like retread Ms. Wilkes is posting more than you

Surely you can come up with something to whip the crap out of a cup of cappuccino

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Liz August 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Sorry you didn’t like my latest post. To be fair it was abundantly clear from the title what it would be about…you don’t HAVE to read, and comment, if you’re not at all interested. And about “Ms Wilkes” – I have nothing to do with her number of posts…I thought she just posted about how she wasn’t posting here anymore?? Haha

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jimlewisowb August 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Ms. Liz Gunn

I am sure this blog can survive without my comments.

Normally I have a pretty thick skin but on some days when the wind is right, the air is cool and your blood pressure is up it doesn’t take much to pull the pin and count to eight.

Your cute little “Haha” at the end of your post is why Jimmy Cagney shoved that grapefruit into the bitch’s face

So, I will close out this window, delete this site from favorites, delete fitsnews email and go find another blog

thanks for your time and have a great day

jimlewis, owb

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J Mande Wilkes August 25, 2014 at 5:52 pm Reply
Liz August 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm

HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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CoffeeHype August 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

I’ll have an Iced Frappalappadingdongwhippitydoodah with six heaping spoonfuls of pretension.

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idiotwind August 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm

uummm i thought you were not posting here anymore. something about the readership being too stupid or agreeing with you too much or…..? are you actually Fits like everyone says?

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Crooner August 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Yes but weren’t they all quite pleased with themselves? Perhaps they were stopping for coffee on their way to a rally designed to keep the buses of immigrant children from coming to their town.

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Reality Bites September 30, 2014 at 10:52 am

It’s not kindness. If they are going to starbucks in the first place they can afford their own overpriced coffee. Pay it forward is just an excuse for smugness, and this is a scam marketing trick by starbucks to get people to spend more money than they normally would by attaching emotional value to an otherwise mundane task. Additionally, people spend other people’s money at a faster rate than they spend their own.

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