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Barista gets over $74,000 in tips after woman without face mask shames him for not serving her

/ 06:47 PM June 28, 2020
Barista

Lenin Gutierrez. Image: Facebook/Amber Lynn Gilles

A barista has received over $74,000 (more than P3.6 million) in tips after a woman shamed him for refusing to serve her since she was not wearing a face mask.

Amber Lynn Gilles was at a Starbucks branch in San Diego, California in the United States when the man declined to serve her. She then took a photo of the barista and posted it to her Facebook page last Monday, June 22.

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“Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask,” she said. “Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.”

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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.

Posted by Amber Lynn Gilles on Monday, June 22, 2020

California requires residents to wear face masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Gilles quickly drew flak from other Facebook users over her post. They also criticized her for shaming a person who they believe was simply following company policy.

Following the woman’s post, one Matt Cowan set up a GoFundMe page (Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen) to raise money for the barista, Lenin Gutierrez.

While Cowan initially aimed to raise $1,000 (around P49,900) for Gutierrez, people quickly donated and the effort surpassed its goal. By June 24, Cowan collected $10,000 (about P499,800) and met up with Gutierrez on the same day to personally hand it to him.

Gutierrez later expressed his gratitude for the donations through a video on his Facebook page.

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“It’s so shocking to see something get so big that only happened within a few minutes,” he said after thanking those who supported him.

He then explained his side of the incident. When Gilles told Gutierrez she did not need a face mask, he was going to show her a paper that stated they required customers to wear face masks.

However, before Gutierrez could explain the policy, he said that Gilles had already begun cursing him and reiterated that she did not need a face mask. She later left the store before returning in a few minutes to ask for Gutierrez’s name and snap a photo of him.

I’ve received numerous messages asking for my side of the story. Since this seems to be the most popular thread I decided to post my personal experience here. Thank you all for the love and support.

Posted by Lenin Gutierrez on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

“I thought that was going to be the end of it,” Gutierrez said, “I didn’t know it was going to come to this.”

Gutierrez noted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he had been working as a dance teacher to kids. He intends to use the donations he received to further focus on dancing.

“I can fuel my passions even better now. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for it,” he said. “It’s just amazing to see that I can actually make these dreams of pursuing more into dance a thing now. Thank you so much for it.”

While Cowan has already handed over the $10,000 (about P499,800) to Gutierrez, people continue to donate to the crowdfunding page. Cowan has since changed the goal to $75,000 (P3.7 million) and is just less than $1,000 (around P49,900) away from reaching it. Over 5,700 people have donated to his effort, as of writing. JB

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TAGS: barista, California, Coronavirus, COVID-19, crowdfunding, Face Masks
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