After receiving praises online for standing up to a customer who refused to follow the protocol of the store on wearing masks, a Starbucks employee is set to meet with a financial adviser in order to help him decide on what to do with the $100,000 that was raised for him through a fundraising campaign.
Lenin Gutierrez was only doing his job when he had an encounter with a customer named Amber Lynn Gilles, a San Diego based yoga instructor and self-described activist, who became the reason he had received such support.
According to CBS News, last week, Gutierrez was working his shift in a Starbucks shop when Gilles came in to order, however, the Gutierrez refused to serve her due to the fact that she was not wearing a mask. After this, Gilles took it to Facebook and posted about her experience with Gutierrez to express her indignation. She posted a photo of the employee and said that next time she goes to the store she will bring the cops and bring a medical certificate so that she won't be forced to wear a mask before being served.
However, Gilles' post backfired on her after her post prompted outburst from social media who called her "Karen" - a nickname which is now being used to refer to people who feel entitled while in public, especially white women.
After the backlash, she received from social media, "Starbucks Karen" did not make any comments about the incident. But she made several posts in her Facebook account which made it clear that she is against wearing masks. Her posts also clearly expressed how she rejects any science or medical data that says masks can help curb the spread of COVID-19.
After her post became viral, many people expressed their support and lauded Gutierrez for standing up to her. Moreover, many people said that they wanted to give tips to the young man for doing his job and not letting "Karen" stop him from doing what is right.
This then prompted a person named Matt Cowan to start a GoFundMe campaign for Gutierrez which was called "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen." As of Thursday, the money raised for Lenin has reached $102,296.
Thankful for the support that he has received, Gutierrez also took it to Facebook and posted a video of himself thanking the people who gave the donations. He also narrated how surprised he was that the unpleasant encounter that he had with Gilles turned into something that can possibly change his life, while he did nothing but only do his job.
Meanwhile, "Karen" has also posted another video of her defending herself from those who called her out and said that she never threatened anyone during the encounter. She also said that she only wanted to get her coffee without being forced to wear a mask. This is because she believes that it begins with masks but could end up with people being forced to get vaccines and eventually something bigger, NBC reported.
Starbucks on the other hand released a statement via a spokesperson who said that they are respectfully requesting customers to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.