San Diego "Karen" Goes Viral After Refusing To Wear Mask At Area Starbucks

June 23, 2020

A San Diego Starbuck's barista is in for a huge tip after a GoFundMe in his honor has amassed more than $8,000 in donations following a viral post from a disgruntled "Karen" who he denied service to for refusing to wear a face covering as required by local and state mandates.

Amber Lynn Gilles made a Facebook post about her experience at a Starbuck's in San Diego's Clairemont Mesa neighborhood yesterday at 10:38am and it now has has 71,000 likes, 96,000 comments and more than 33,000 shares. The Yelp page for the Starbuck's location at 4227 Genesee Avenue has also been bombarded, resulting in an "Unusual Activity Alert," temporarily blocking additional posts.

"Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask," posted Ms. Gilles on her Facebook page. "Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption."

Needless to say, Ms. Gilles' Facebook post caused quite a stir and has gone viral, but she has no remorse. She followed her initial Facebook post with another stating: "I am not scarred or bothered by your ignorant fraud ass’s, not so sorry you losers got nothing better to do. thanks for the ratings ✌🏻you all act like the terrorist organization you are."

Due to COVID-19 precautions, since May 1, San Diego County has required the wearing of face coverings when entering any business open to the public. Just this past week, California Governor Gavin Newsom made it a statewide mandate that facial coverings be worn while in public or high-risk settings. We published an article recently called "How Should Restaurants & Businesses Approach Those Who Do Not Wear Face Coverings" to assist businesses in dealing with noncompliant customers.

There is now a GoFundMe campaign entitled "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen" with the sole purpose of providing gratitude to the Starbuck's employee, Lenin, "for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild". At the time of publishing, the GoFundMe had raised over $8,000 from over 700 people from around the world.

According to Urban Dictionary, a Karen is a "stereotypical name associated with rude, obnoxious and insufferable middle aged white women." The term has substantially gained in popularity in 2020.