457 Starbucks-Goers Pay It Forward, Until This Guy Shows Up

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Starbucks chain in St. Petersburg, Fla., saw 457 customers pay-it-forward by buying coffee for the next customer in line.

But when customer number 458, Peter Schorsh, showed up for his free coffee, he decided the charity had to stop.

“I had to put an end to it,” Schorsh wrote on his blog.

He said the act of kindness wasn’t driven by altruism, but rather peer pressure. Because people felt obligated to pay it forward, the generosity wasn’t genuine enough for Schorsh.

"I just don't want to be forced into doing something," he told ABC News. "This is turning into a social phenomenon and I had to put an end to it."

“It just seems like a First-World problem to me — Middle-class people sitting in their cars at a drive-thru, sipping a $5 drink and worrying about someone breaking the ranks,” he said.

The first pay-it-forward at the Starbucks began Wednesday when 378 customers bought drinks for the fellow coffee drinkers. The 379th customer broke the chain because she simply didn't understand the concept. The Kevin Spacey-Helen Hunt film is 14 years old.

The chain started up again Thursday, lasting 10 hours.

When Schorsh, a blogger and political consultant, pulled up to the drive thru at 2 p.m. the barista said his drink was already paid for and would he like to return the favor.

“No,” said Schorsh.

However, he did tip the barista a $100 tip for his two Frappucinnos.

Sources: ABC News, New York Daily News

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Noel Reinhold