Starbucks barista is thanked for safe service
Lenin Gutierrez, 24, was working his shift at a San Diego Starbucks on a Monday morning when a woman came into the shop without a mask and attempted to place an order. After asking if she had a face mask, the woman “started cursing up a storm” Gutierrez said, and flipped him off.
The customer was identified as Amber Lynn Gilles after she took a photo of Gutierrez and publicly shamed him on Facebook. “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,” Gilles wrote.
But instead of generating the backlash toward Gutierrez, Gilles’ Facebook post actually led to an outpouring of support for the barista, and instead, people generated backlash toward Gilles. People began leaving supportive comments on Gilles’ Facebook post, and many even said they wanted to give him a special tip.
One man by the name of Matt Cowan was so moved that he started a GoFundMe called “Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen” to give everyone a chance to tip the young barista virtually. The campaign’s initial goal was $1,000—but less than a week later, the campaign raised nearly $80,000.
“I felt baffled and honored to receive so much support and love when it was at $1,000,” Gutierrez said in a statement. He went on to express how “grateful and blessed” he feels and shared that he plans to use some of the money to pursue his dreams of becoming a dancer while donating some money to organizations in the San Diego community.
By: Maytinee Kramer