Would You Order Something More Expensive If You Knew A Stranger Would Pay For It?

Upon first reading, the tale of woe from a person who is upset at getting a free coffee from a stranger — because he would’ve ordered something way more elaborate and expensive if he knew he wouldn’t have to pay for it — makes my face feel like exploding into a thousand tiny pieces of rage. Each of those pieces is screaming, “YOU UNGRATEFUL PIECE OF HUMAN GARBAGE!” But let’s think about this.

Here’s what got us thinking about the kindness of strangers and the potential to take advantage of such goodwill: Some person wrote into a column called “Dear Crabby” a few weeks ago on the Yakima Herald’s site (h/t to Fark.com for finding it), all in a dither because he or she wanted more out of an act of kindness.

“So I’m at Starbucks and pretty much broke because it’s a couple days till payday, right? So instead of the grande extra-shot white-chocolate mocha double-whip I really want, when I get to the counter I order a short Pike Place with room,” writes the person, who I will reference as a guy just for easier reading.

Okay, frugality. We get it. But then he complains that the “perky Starbuckette” handed it to over and said that the customer in front of him paid for his drink. His response?

“What’s up with that? I mean, this nice, anonymous customer-benefactor obviously wanted me to be happy, which means a grande etc., not a stinkin’ short drip.”

What’s up with that?!?!? Tiny pieces of rage, exploding everywhere. He wanted to know if baristas should be required to tell customers before they order that their drink will be paid for, so they can get what they really want.

“That way nobody would get stuck with a little cup of plain coffee, which they wouldn’t even refill for free, btw.” Signed, Disappointed.

Crabby goes off on Disappointed pointing out that he or she should just be thankful someone did something so nice out of the kindness of their hearts. Maybe that nice stranger figured you would order what you did no matter what. But it made us wonder — who among us wouldn’t want a more expensive drink? Or maybe just a plain coffee is all you need in the first place, without all that extra shot super special and large latte nonsense.

Be honest:

Dear Crabby: Java jerk [Yakima Herald]