Ovation: Paying It Forward, Or Backward, In Winnipeg.
When visiting Toronto I determined that, generally speaking, Canadians are quite friendly. Whereas during a typical workday at home I rarely, if ever, speak to strangers, I found that the people of Toronto were far more likely to nod and smile and simply act pleasant. So it doesn’t surprise me a bit that customers in a Winnipeg Tim Hortons coffee shop recently made the news for “paying it forward.
Apparently, one generous customer started a chain of customers paying for the person behind them that lasted for about three hours and involved about 228 customers. Employees at the restaurant, arguably the Canadian equivalent of Starbucks, indicated that the energy among the staff and customers was infectious as they made a big deal of calling out numbers and involving the people waiting in line.
“They were calling out the numbers, ‘We’re at 162,’ and they made a really big deal of it. I think that’s what helped keep it going … because nobody wanted to be the one who broke that streak.” – Troy Thompson, Tim Hortons’ Manager
Eventually, the holiday cheer came to an end when a man decided that he would not pay for the three coffees ordered by the person behind him despite the fact this his own coffee order had been paid for by the customer before him. (Scrooge!)
I’ve only done something like this once … so far. Many years ago, I paid for the lunch of the car behind me in line at a fast food drive through window. At the time, it was almost easier since paying with cash was the norm. I handed the cashier a twenty-dollar bill and told her to apply my change to the car behind me. Nowadays, I rarely carry cash at all so it hasn’t really occurred to me.
I’m going to do this again someday soon. In fact, maybe one of my New Years resolutions will be to pay it forward (or backward) once each paycheck.
Do you ever pay it forward … or backward?
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