If you’ve visited a Starbucks in the past week, you’d half-expect your overpriced beverage of choice to be served to you by cuddly puppy dogs and fairies and unicorns.
At a store in Hempfield, Pennsylvania, a woman, described only as the “type of person that, when you ask her how she is … she’ll say, ‘I’m dancing above marvelous,’ or ‘I’m flirting with fantastic,’” supposedly bought a cup of coffee for a fellow customer without being prompted to do so, starting a two-hour “cheer chain” of benevolence in which customers repeatedly picked up the tab for the car behind them in the drive-thru line. In Miami, Florida, it was reported that a Tai Chi master responded to a man yelling at him “with a bit of Zen” by purchasing his coffee for him, starting a chain that lasted all day long. A similar story, this one out of Riverdale, California, is now emblazoned on some of Starbucks’ ubiquitous red holiday cups.
But is this really random kindness or the wily manipulations of the Starbucks’ PR team?