The Heartwarming Reason This Taco Bell Employee Is A Local Celebrity

The employees at local fast food joints can become legends in no time, if only because we see them so often. Most of us have a favorite barista, or a friendly drive-thru worker who always brightens our day — but some really go above and beyond. That's the case with Erik Poleate, an employee of the Taco Bell in Sycamore, Georgia, who is better known by his nicknames: Taco Bell Guy, Fun Erik, and Nanny Erik (via Daily Chronicle).

Poleate moved to Sycamore from Utah, and now works three jobs: Full-time at Taco Bell, part-time at McDonald's, and part-time as a nanny, and he also used to work at a local Hardee's. He's also become a fixture in the community, known for his happy, cheerful attitude and for doing good deeds for his customers. Poleate has lived alone for years, and doesn't have family in the area, so building friendships with his customers and others in the community are what has kept him going, as he told the paper. "I've been alone for so long, I'm glad to make everyone happy and make new friends."

Poleate wants to "pay it forward"

While Taco Bell employee Erik Poleate is known for his positive attitude, being "hardworking and happy," and "amazing with kids" (per the Daily Chronicle), he's locally famous for another reason: He wants to pay forward a message of spreading joy to others by performing good deeds. He's used his own money to start pay it forward chains at the restaurants where he works, giving customers a free meal in the hopes that they'll then offer to pay for the customer behind them, to spread generosity.

He's also bought slushies for high school students, covered for customers who forgot their wallets at home, and more. Fans of his on Facebook seem totally enamored with the Taco Bell Guy. "You are an amazing person! We are all so lucky and proud to have you as part of our community," one person said in the comment section, while another chimed in, "So humble too! How many lives he touches with just being who he is ... amazing!" But Poleate, ever-inspiring, is staying humble. "I'm not a celebrity, I'm not a hero. I'm just a dude doing good, trying to pay it forward."