business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Post reports that the San Diego woman who complained on social media last month about the Starbucks barista who refused to serve her because she was not wearing a face mask, only to generate an outpouring of support for that barista that resulted in a customer-created GoFundMe page that brought in more than $100,000 in "tips" for the employee, now has a new cause.

She's considering suing for half the money that customers have to the barista.

According to the story, Amber Lynn Gilles told a local TV station that she has underlying medical conditions that don't allow her to wear a mask.

The Post writes that "Gilles brought two documents to the outlet to prove her exemption. One document was a pelvic exam from 2015, reporting a 'probable exophytic fibroid arising from the anterior wall of the uterus measuring 2.9 cm size,' and 'simple 2.5 cm left ovarian cyst.'

"A second was a handwritten note on letterhead from a local chiropractor, reading, 'Amber has underlying breath conditions that prevent her from wearing a mask or any type of facial covering whatsoever. Please contact me if have any questions.'

"Gilles asked for the chiropractor to not be named and the practitioner declined to discuss Gilles when the outlet reached out for comment."

“I get shortness of breath, dizziness and it messes with the heartbeat,” she told the TV station. “And I do have asthma as well, and I do get mask-acne. So there’s several things going on and not only that but it doesn’t even work.”

KC's View:

If she's stopped at "mask acne," she would've been better off.  But when she goes on to say that "it doesn't even work," Gilles betrays herself.  In essence, she has unmasked her own intentions and priorities.

I'm glad she didn't name the chiropractor, because that allows me to ask out loud - without impugning his or her integrity or expertise - whether he or she might've been promised a piece of the action.  Certainly a question worth asking.

Here's the deal.  There are folks out there for whom wearing a mask creates a medical problem, and while the wearing of masks is critical to bending the curve of the pandemic, it is important to show compassion toward those folks and figure out how to make accommodations.  But those folks have to meet retailers halfway … and by the way, on a serious note, retailers need to have processes in place designed to meet (and sometimes defuse) these situations.

These customers should try not to be rude, and certainly should avoid going on social media and threatening to "call the cops" next time if they're not served while not wearing a mask.

Maybe they ought to avoid looking brazenly opportunistic and greedy when things like this happen.  And maybe, just maybe, they ought to figure out when to be quiet and go away.