When Amber Lynn Gilles expressed outrage at a Starbucks worker’s suggestion that she follow the company’s and county’s public health mandate with a face mask, she probably had no idea how profitable it would be, for the barista she criticized.
Gilles is the last participant in social networks to be called “Karen”, a name that is now used as a reference. The San Diego resident posted a photo of Lenin Gutierrez on Facebook on Monday, saying the young barista “refused to serve me because I am not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for the police and bring a medical exemption.”
The self-described yoga activist and instructor did not respond to a request for comment, but she made it clear in multiple posts that she rejects medical data and science showing that the masks slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
As of Friday, 5,806 Californians had died of COVID-19, the disease caused by, according to John Hopkins University, and San Diego has required residents to wear masks in public since May 1.
The widely shared and commented post promoted many expressions of support for Gutierrez, including from those who wrote that they would like to tip him, prompting a stranger, Matt Cowan, to start a virtual tip jar for the worker on GoFundMe. The donation page titled “Tips for Lenin Facing a San Diego Karen” had raised more than $ 43,000 for Gutierrez as of Friday afternoon.
“Everyone is joining someone for doing what they are supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else. It just shows that there are many good people and that outweighs the bad,” Cowan said in a San Diego news story. plug.
Gutiérrez, an aspiring dancer, posted a video on Facebook expressing his gratitude for the donations and conveying his surprise that an incident that lasted only a few minutes could result in something “so big.”
He described that he was assigned the cash register and asked Gilles if he had a face mask, prompting her to curse and run away, only to return moments later to take a picture of Gutierrez, ask for his name, and threaten to phone. to Starbucks corporate headquarters before leaving again. .
“We respectfully request customers to follow the social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including the use of a face covering when visiting our stores,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in an email.