Pay it forward sucks

When it comes to the culture of the United Kingdom they tend to be an “America Lite” and import annoying things that don’t go anywhere such as tipping but one thing I am noticing lately is the “pay it forward” queue.

For those that do not know and you likely won’t it is when someone goes to a store and buys something and then say that they are buying for the person behind them who is then expected to buy for the person behind them and thus forming a chain and it sucks.

Imagine for a second you are standing in a line and the person in front of you randomly says at the height of his voice that he is buying for the person for you and all you want to get is a cheese and onion pasty. Imagine the person behind you then start chatting to their kids if they wanted anything else with that glee in their eye that they are not going to be paying for it but rather paying for the single person behind them.

The idea sucks don’t it? Well, that is what happened to me at Greggs and the daggers you get from people staring at you are sharp enough to cut the tension in the air after you tell the cashier that I am buying for my own and they can use what I am paying towards the next order only to then hear the person behind me moaning how it is “unfair”.

The whole concept of a “pay it forward” chain is bullshit and only puts unwanted pressure on the next person let alone people who are outright just going to be spammed (aka the person after you doesn’t get involved) and it puts a stupid amount of pressure for the cashiers who have to remember who has ordered what and who is paying for what.

I get the idea originally was meant to be a nice thing but it is a stupid thing and I wish it is something that dies a painful and slow death. If you want to do something nice just give the money over or into a pot that anyone can use if they are down on their luck – some places do a “take a penny, give a penny” system to help those that can’t afford to buy something or need that little extra help.

Sod “pay it forward” chains it isn’t worth the bondage it holds onto the next person and I honestly do hope it doesn’t become a thing here in the United Kingdom. I am interested if you have ever been part of a “pay it forwarding” chain and what your experience was!

Need to reference?

Ellis, M. (2022). Pay it forward sucks. [online] Snat's Narratives & Tales. Available at: [Accessed 16 Apr 2024].

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The 'Pay it Forward' chain is overrated and creates unwanted pressure on people - read this hilarious account of the my experience!

1 thought on “Pay it forward sucks”

  1. It came to my attention reading about this online it seems this is quite a common scam. The scam works by someone starting a chain and then getting someone else to come a little later and placing a far larger order that they originally wanted.


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