Amber Lynn Gilles walked into a Starbucks in San Diego without a mask and was promptly declined service.
Angry, she took a pic of the barista who didn’t serve her, posted it on Facebook writing,
“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.”
Lenen said that after Gilles walked in the store without a mask, he asked her if she had one and tried to point out the paper citing Starbucks’ regulations.
She then started “cursing up a storm,” took a photo of him and threatened to contact corporate.
But Amber’s Facebook post backfired and quickly got more than 100,000 reactions and comments, plus 50,000 shares. Many Facebook users defended the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, some calling Gilles a “Karen”.
One Facebook user wrote:
“There’s no reason to publicly shame a kid who’s trying to work his shift like any other day.”
“I don’t blame the kid behind the counter. They need to follow the rules that they are given.”
Comments poured in, with many people saying that they wanted to give Gutierrez a tip.
So Matt Cowan, who doesn’t know Gutierrez decided to start a virtual tip jar for the barista on GoFundMe.
Cowan called the donation page;
Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen
In the description, he wrote,
“Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild.”
Cowan said he never expected to reach more than $1,000. (It’s now up to $48,000!)
Cowan said in an interview with KGTV.
“Everybody is rallying around somebody for doing what they’re supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else.
It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there and that outweighs the bad.”
On Facebook, Gutierrez said he already has big plans for his unexpected tips. Gutierrez, who is an aspiring dancer, said he plans to use the money to fuel his passion, and to teach others the art of dance.
“With this donation that everyone provided me on GoFundMe, I can make these dreams a reality. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.”
Gutierrez said he’s blown away by the support. In a Facebook video, he thanked everyone who donated, and he also shared his side of the story.
UPDATE: Now Gilles says she wants some of the tip money and is threatening to sue the page creator for defamation and slander.
Gilles, 35, has three children and considers herself an anti-vaxxer. She says face masks are ineffective.
“It starts with coffee but it ends with digital certificates and forced vaccinations.”
Gilles also claims she purchased coffee two days earlier at the Starbucks without wearing a mask.
“I never threatened him, I just called him out on his actions.”
“I never threatened him.” Hear from woman who was denied service at a Clairemont Starbucks for refusing to wear a mask. She publically shamed the barista. A Go Fund Me Page on his behalf is now over $22,000. She says she’s getting death threats. #nbc7 & https://t.co/ylvk5rP6Vf pic.twitter.com/gCREw0LR5V— Artie Ojeda (@ArtieNBCSD) June 25, 2020