Pay It Forward Goes Further Than Forward

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 7, 2017

I worked at a well-known chicken chain for a few years. Said chain pays above minimum wage, so we don’t take tips. Said chain also has a strong commitment to those in the military.

I am on front register one lunch time with a few of my coworkers. A family comes through my coworker’s register, and after he rings them up, the dad shows his military ID. Technically, we’re only supposed to do the half-off amount for the service member only, not the whole family, but my coworker gives it to the whole family, as it’s easier than canceling the dad’s meal and ringing it up by itself.

The family is stunned, and tries to tip him the balance, about $15. He refuses, because we’re not allowed to take tips. So, they give it to him to use for the next person who comes to that till.

The next person’s order is something around $8. As I’m ringing up another customer, I hear my coworker say, “Your total is $8, but the people ahead of you left enough money to pay for your order.”

“Really? In that case, take $15 and use it for the next person.”

It goes on like this for probably the better part of an hour. Over and over and over throughout lunch, I hear my coworker say, “The people in front of you left enough money to cover your food.” There must have been at least 30 orders before people stopped putting enough money in to keep it going, and the pot ran out.

After the lunch rush was over, my coworker and I looked at each other and agreed that that was one of the coolest things we had ever seen. Someday, when I am no longer dealing with student loans and such, I’d like to be able to start a chain like that.

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