When Starbucks employee Lenin Gutierrez refused to help a belligerent customer because she wasn’t wearing a mask, not even he could have imagined how this now-infamous incident would turn into both a life-changing blessing and a never-ending headache.
But thanks to his steadfastness and Amber Lynn Gilles’ own ignorance, Gutierrez earned plenty of respect for his professionalism. And that has led people to donate more than $100,000 via a GoFundMe page as a lucrative tip of the cap to the barista.
So how did the whole ordeal happen?
Gilles aka “Starbucks Karen” took a photo of Gutierrez and verbally berated him and other Starbucks customers. She went so far as to call them “sheep.” Of course, someone filmed the entire incident, and once it hit social media channels, people began praising Gutierrez for maintaining his composure in the face of the newest “Karen.”
The “Tips for Lenin” GoFundMe page got started and has raised $105,453 from more than 7,000 donors.
In an ironic twist, the screenshot of the original post by Gilles ended up being used for the GoFundMe campaign.
But that hasn’t stopped Gilles from continuing to fight. Now, she wants a cut of the money, which Gutierrez plans on using to further his dance education and establish a local community dance program to serve underprivileged children in his area.
Gilles claimed she’s received death threats. She also claimed she was fully within her rights to call the police on the harmless Starbucks employee.
Check out her interview with NBC7 for yourself:
Even worse, she has threatened to sue not only Lenin but also GoFundMe founders Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester for “defamation and slander.”
The “Starbucks Karen” said she launched her own crowdfunding page, though it doesn’t appear on the platform. Hopefully, she doesn’t count on the Internet to back her up as they did for Gutierrez.