Lenin Gutierrez was appreciated by many for doing his duty right in spite of being yelled at.
The regulations and rules in place during the pandemic is to protect the lives of people. By following the guidelines, you are also respecting the thousands who have no choice but to work to keep the essential services open and running for the public. So, the bare minimum, we can do is to wear masks and maintain social distancing in public.
However, it is unfortunate to see some people behaving carelessly in spite of knowing the gravity of the issue. Apart from risking their own lives, they are also harming others through their ignorant attitude. Lenin Gutierrez became the victim of an attack by such a negligent person.
According to CNN, Gutierrez was working his usual shift at a Starbucks in the San Diego region on a Monday morning. It is then he interacted with the customer, Amber Lynn Gilles, who decided to place the order without covering her mouth and nose with a mask. The responsible employee asked Gilles if she had a mask and was about to show her the company guidelines when the woman lost her temper.
According to Gutierrez, the woman "started cursing up a storm." Besides losing her cool, she snapped pictures of the young man. She then posted the incident on Facebook saying, "Meet Lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I'm not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption." She even posted the picture of Gutierrez wearing a mask and looking at the camera.
The woman's post went viral. However, none of them supported the woman and her complaint. People appreciated the young man for doing his duty and educated the woman on why she was at fault. One wrote, "Good Job Lenen your integrity, health, and the job is first." Many gave her the title "Karen of the Month," and trolled her.
One commented, "Are you really crying cause you had to wear a mask for 10 minutes to get coffee then leave? Is it really that hard? Just wear the mask get your coffee then take it off when you leave Karen Jesus Christ."
Another wrote, "I am a manager of a Starbucks, the corporate policy as of right now is if you don’t have a mask or SOME type of face-covering you’re not allowed into the building. If you can use the drive-through just do that!! Just grab a bandanna or a scarf and put it on your face while you wait for your drink or food! We have to wear these masks 8 hours or more a day, you can wear it for the 10 minutes it takes to make your extra hot non-fat skinny vanilla latte with 30 splendas."
The barista, on the other hand, did not expect the incident to go online and could not believe the response from the public. "When I realized who it was I just thought 'wow, she really blasted me on Facebook'. I started reading the comments and just laughed at the memes people created about this 'encounter in the wild,'" said the man, according to CNN.
Apart from supporting him, Matt Cowan. a man who does not even know the barista started a GoFundMe page after he felt the young man was bullied for doing the right thing. He named the page "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen." He said it was a virtual chance for everyone who wanted to tip the young man. Thousands contributed to the page and it raised more than $90,000.
A Starbucks barista received nearly $80,000 in tips after being singled out for refusing to serve a customer not wearing a maskhttps://t.co/ygCVXsDKzu— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) June 29, 2020
"People aren't asking you to do a lot, they're asking you to wear a mask for your safety and the safety of others. Starbucks has also set up other ways to get coffee if you aren't comfortable wearing a mask," said Cowan to CNN.
A Starbucks barista received nearly $80,000 in tips after being singled out for refusing to serve a customer not wearing a mask https://t.co/mVL0IgHHzz— KMOV (@KMOV) June 28, 2020
The barista told CNN that he was overwhelmed by the kind gesture."I thought it was heartwarming to see Matt created a GoFundMe for me, even though we didn't know each other. I felt baffled and honored to receive so much support and love when it was at $1,000. The fact that now it went over $65,000, I don't know how to truly vocalize how grateful and blessed I feel with this opportunity everyone has given me."
He thanked everyone and said he would use the money to fulfill his dream of becoming a dancer.