UPDATE: Starbucks has responded with a statement:
We appreciate you reaching out for our response regarding Adrian Flores.
First and foremost, the wellbeing of our partners (this is what we call our employees) is always a top priority for Starbucks. We were concerned to learn of Adrian's mother's condition and made every effort to accommodate his situation -- including offering him paid time off.
Adrian resigned from the company in April.
We will update further with a second blog post as soon as we have all the information.
Generally Starbucks has a reputation for being a pretty good company to work for -- with the possible exception of the singing Starbucks barista that got fired.
Single father Adrian Flores of Harlingen, Texas, would have said the company was good to him. He claims to have worked there for nine years, up until he was allegedly fired for leaving work to visit his dying mother in the ICU.
Since then, he claims he's lost everything and is down to his last 26 cents. At least, he was until he started a GoFundMe account, where he explains his tale of woe. So far, $1,320 has been donated, and with Judd Apatow retweeting Flores' Twitter pleas for help, that number is likely to keep rising.
Perhaps what is most touching about Flores' story is that it could happen to anyone, at anytime. One day you have a decent job, a home, and a little money in the bank and the next day, one thing happens that throws it all into turmoil. And the internet has been generous, donating $20 and $50 at a time.
Now, director and actor Judd Apatow has retweeted Flores' post. Will it go viral? Will the next big thing on the internet be a warm and generous outpouring of empathy, understanding, and help?
What follows is only Flores' side of the story. We have reached out to him for more information to confirm it. We are also contacting Starbucks for its statement confirming or denying the story. We will update when we hear back from either side.
In the meantime:
To whom it may concern, June 19,2013 Started typing at 11:45am Ended typing 12:37pm
My name is Adrian Flores. I am 33 years old and I am from Harlingen,Tx. Im not a cancer victim, I dont have AIDS and I am not a drug addict.
I am a regular parent who has worked a 9-5 job for the past 12 years of my life. I am a proud single parent of my 8 1/2 year old son Branden Flores.
I began building my home in April 1st of 2005. The month after my son was born. My father was around to help me with the building process and so on and so forth.
The house was completed 1 year later. I moved in , by that time Branden was already a year old and it was just so awesome to be able to have my first home and my only son living in it with me.
Life was good , we never had much money, but we did have our home to live in happily.
I worked for Starbucks Coffee Company for 9 years! I did very well with them, I was on salary with them and managed a store in Brownsville,Tx.
January 13th 2013. My mother goes into the emergency room with heart failure. I contact my District Manager to let them know that I need time off to spend with my mother
as it may be the last moments I get to be with her. District Manager denies time off due to a new store opening that I was incharge of co-managing with a newly appointed store manager.
I begged and pleaded for time off as it was immediate and important. Every request was denied to me. I left the store , informed my employees that I needed to leave, that my mother was sick and I would be back at the most appropriate time. My mother lived 315 miles away in San Antonio ,Tx.
I left Starbucks on January 13th 2013 to go be with my mother in San Antonio. Me and my son left in a hurry . We arrived and my mother was in intensive care with all these crazy tubes attached to all over her body. It looked crazy! My district manager sends me a text message on January 13th 2013 at 9:05pm asking me how my mother was doing. I informed her that she wasnt too good and in intensive care at the moment. She then replied to me by sending me a text that said Tomorrow you have to be here at 6am with a excuse from the hospital stating that your mother is in the hospital. She then called me and started by telling me that she was very sorry that my mother was sick but that she needed me to bring in a excuse tomorrow morning by 6am as per her boss. Which is a guy from Houston Tx. I told them that I couldnt be there in the morning at that time , and that I could try to take it soon, but not at that time. She then became irate and told me then thats too bad, we already have a replacement for you. She then started by telling me that since it wasnt some one in my close family (meaning son daughter or wife) then it wasnt an emergency and that I shouldnt have left like that. I told her, its my MOM! She said that it didnt count.?!
She then told me im sorry but were going to have to find some one who can work at all times no matter what, I wish you the best and goodbye!
I was in shock. I felt like I was going to have a nervous break down.
My mother died on January 14th 2013 at 1143am.
After her death, I came back home, I had about $1500 on me and one last paycheck on the way for another $1500 . This is all I had on my life or name.
My mortgage came by thats $864. My light and water came by , there goes more money. Gas to take my son to school, job searching and going back home, expensive for the little car that I have.
My car payment $225. Food another $50 a week more or less.
I applied for unemployment and was denied because Starbucks claims that I quit my job. I appealed and Starbucks still won the case.
I applied for food stamps, an I am happily granted food . Its a big relief, I could care less about me eating, but my son I do care!
I have nothing left on 6/19/2013. No water, its been shutoff for non payment. No Job after Ive interviewed plenty of times, still no hire. I dont have tattoos or piercings, Im just normal.
I have $0.26 in my bank account :( I dont have any money to pay my mortgage, they already gave me an extension and im on my last week. Luckily I still have my vehicle but only for another week. My light will go soon .
Why am I going through this? What happened? Why why why!
I worked my butt off for this house! Why do they want to take it away just because I cant pay. Dont they know that if given time, I could pay it all back. I just need to get myself into a job again!
I just want my son to be happy, live his life like I did when growing up. Life used to be alot of fun back in the 80s.
To whom it may concern. My name is Adrian Flores , my sons name is Branden Flores. We live at 601 Red Lane Harlingen,Tx,78552 (956)742-8814
We really need some money. I know money isnt everything. But when we dont have money and money is the only resolution to keeping our home , then money iswhat we need in reality.
Please Help us as I have heard that you help people in need during times like these. Please help us. You can come to our home if you wish. We just need help .
We're now following Flores on Twitter to see how the story unfolds.