People donate thousands to courageous Starbucks worker
The coffee chain’s employee has received a huge following of support after challenging a customer who had breached COVID-19 guidance.
Although many countries are beginning to ease restrictions implemented to control the rampage of COVID-19, the dangers of the virus are still present; as a consequence, even in areas where lockdowns have been lifted there are still warnings for people to continue with basic measures designed to restrict the coronavirus’ passing, such as thoroughly and frequently washing hands and wearing face masks.
Because the United States has recorded death and infection rates amongst the highest in the world, it is even more important that US residents persist in following the guidance of health officials. Indeed, in San Diego County it has been a requirement since 1st May that residents must where face masks when out in public.
You would have thought that this would be a simple instruction to follow – basically, if other people can see your mouth when you’re out and about then you’re doing it wrong. However, one customer who visited a Starbucks store in the California county clearly hadn’t received the message.
Amber Lynn Gilles took to the totally impartial and reasonable realm of Facebook to shout about her apparent extreme anger and disgust at having been turned away from the Starbucks store for not wearing a mask – despite San Diego rules making it clear that businesses can refuse to serve anyone who is not wearing one.
The Facebook post quickly went viral after gaining more than fifty thousand shares and the diligent member of staff was soon identified as Lenin Gutierrez. Following Gilles’ outrage, a GoFundMe was set up on Gutierrez’s behalf to enable people to tip him for his defiant actions – so far, it has raised nearly $100,000.
Reacting to the public response and donation page (which is titled “Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen”), the barista recorded a YouTube video in which he thanked donors for their support and reminded everyone “to be kind to one another, and to love each other, and always remember to wear a mask.”
Starbucks issued a statement in support of its employee, saying: “We respectfully request customers follow social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores”.
Meanwhile, NBC San Diego has reported that Gilles is threatening to sue the creator of the charitable page for defamation and slander, claiming that she wants some of the money for herself.
The only thing I can say is that if the same event had occurred in Yorkshire then the barista’s response may have been blunter.