Here’s some news right out of California: a Starbucks barista in San Diego has received $95,000 through a GoFundMe campaign for telling a woman to wear a mask in their store.
This might be one of the top craziest stories I’ve heard all year, and it’s been a crazy year so far. In fact, this is so crazy it makes me wonder if the whole story is fact or fiction. I’ll get to that in a bit though.
The backstory is that Amber Lynn Gilles (Aka “Karen”) went into Starbucks without a mask. When the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, asked her if she had a mask she allegedly flipped him off and started cursing loudly. She then proceeded to take a photo of him and later posted it on Facebook, as shown below.
Keep in mind that it is mandatory to wear masks in California, so Karen was actually breaking a state law. Lenin in no way deserved to be verbally abused in person or harassed on social media. I worked in customer service for years so I completely sympathize with employees who are yelled at for just doing their job. Which leads to my first point:
The GoFundMe was started by Matt Cowan, who allegedly didn’t know Lenin at all. Why would someone do that for a complete stranger, who was probably in the same situation many customer service workers have faced? The appropriate route to take would have been for Lenin report the post on Facebook, thank everyone for their support and call it a day. If you’re thinking I sound suspicious of this story, you are completely right, which leads me to my second point:
This whole situation is slightly reminiscent of the story about the couple who raised money for the homeless guy for supposedly giving them the last of his change for gas. As you might remember, it turned out to be a hoax. I support GoFundMe campaigns when they are for major causes such as George Floyd’s or Breonna Taylor’s deaths. What I don’t support though, is giving donations for someone who was doing their job, and as a result was verbally attacked by some anti-mask wearing woman. That being said, if starting GoFundMe campaigns is the new way to help those being treated unfairly in public, where is the campaign for Christian Cooper, a black man who was accused of harassment by a white lady in Central Park? All he did was be a decent citizen and ask her to put her dog on a leash since they weren’t in an off-leash zone. There are also many incidents of harassment that don’t get recorded, so…
Where are the donations for customer service representatives who are yelled at everyday, for some reason or another?
Where are the donations for employees who are verbally and/or sexually harassed by their managers or colleagues?
We are in the middle of a global pandemic, and this seems to be very minor compared to what is going on. My guess is they all know each other and will be splitting the money. I know it sounds far fetched and if I’m wrong, I promise to write another post acknowledging so.