Karens seem to be everywhere these days, but some really know how to go the extra mile. These entitled gems pull all sorts of antics, from harassing customer service workers to throwing full-blown tantrums over nothing. Of course, as poisonous as they are, their idiocy is SO ridiculous—it’s impossible to look away.
1. Getting The Vapors
I’m a cocktail waitress, and I’m also seven months pregnant. Now, obviously, I don’t drink while pregnant or drink on the job ever. A woman, the Karen, comes in with what I’m assuming was her husband and son and daughter and asks to be seated for lunch. We’re not really a restaurant, but we do have a small appetizer menu with sandwiches and wings and stuff.
I give them menus and Karen says, “But, wait, do you work here?” “Yep.” “But you’re pregnant, you can’t work here if you’re pregnant.” “I work here, I don’t drink here,” I say with a laugh, trying to keep the mood light. The woman looks me over and says, “Have you taken any prenatal courses? Do you really think that’s responsible to have your unborn baby in here?” This is where I made an error.
I get defensive about anyone asserting I’m a bad mother, obviously. So I said, “Well, you’ve brought your kids in here.” “Yes, and what kind of example do you think you’re setting for them?” I’m still collecting my thoughts at this point when they grunt and wave me away. I figure I can kiss my tip goodbye but hopefully that’ll be the end of the discussion.
I see them flagging down the bartender after a few minutes and figure they’re ready, so I go over. Karen asks to speak to a manager. Now, they haven’t even gotten drinks yet, so nothing about my abilities could really be wrong yet. I just ask if there’s anything I can help them with, and her husband (Mr. Karen) says really sternly, “No, just a manager, didn’t you hear my wife?”
The place is too small for a manager, it’s just servers and bartenders and two co-owners. The one who’s working is in the back on a phone call and will be MAD if I go and bother her. I realize they’re probably still uncomfortable with my being pregnant so say, “Maybe Ella (The only other server) can help?” But Karen just gets up to physically look for the manager.
I admit defeat and go back to drag her off her call. The owner tried not to let on how mad she is about being disrupted and goes over with a big smile to ask if there’s anything she can help them with. Karen informs her, as though it’s urgent breaking news, “Your server is pregnant.” The owner says she’s aware and asks if they’d prefer a different server.
Karen: No no no, she can’t be a drink girl if she’s pregnant. Owner: I assure you, none of our employees drink on the clock. Especially not our pregnant ones. If you’d prefer I can have Ella serve you…Mr. Karen: I don’t want my kids seeing this! Owner: Maybe I’m missing something. Seeing what, exactly? Mr. Karen (talking really slowly and condescendingly): A. pregnant. woman. around. all. this. alcohol.
Me: I don’t know what you’re insinuating, but I would never drink during pregnancy. Then the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard comes out. Karen: Look honey, didn’t you take a health class in junior high? With a drink right under you half the time, vapor is absorbed into your blood through the air and then that blood goes to the fetus and poisons it.
The owner and I exchange a look and realize we won’t get anywhere with her. Owner: So, we can have Ella serve you, or I’m afraid there’s not much else we can do. Mr. Karen: We’re not leaving until she’s placed on maternity leave. Or better yet, fired! Owner: We can’t help you. Mr. Karen: I’ll call the authorities! You’re an accomplice to child endangerment!
Owner: There is no child endangerment to speak of sir, please leave. Karen (getting crocodile teary): YOU MAY NOT THINK A FETUS IS A CHILD BUT I WAS TAUGHT TO BELIEVE LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION AND I WILL STAND UP FOR ALL LIVING THINGS BIG AND SMALL BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT MY LORD AND SAVIOR WANTS ME TO DO! The entire time she’s delivering this tearful speech she’s looking around expecting others to, I don’t know, join in with her? Applaud?
Owner: You’re disturbing my customers and if you don’t leave you’re trespassing and I’ll have to escalate this, which I really don’t want to do. Karen: JESUS IS LOVE AND JESUS SAID THIS IS NOT OKAY. JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK IT’S OKAY TO HARM A CHILD IF IT’S SMALL ENOUGH—This is an Irish pub and the owners are devout Catholics, but she wasn’t having any of this. Owner: HEY. I don’t need anyone to tell me what Jesus said. I need you to please leave.
Mr. Karen: I’m calling the authorities. Owner: You do that. We just stop trying to service their table. As we all wait for the officers to arrive, Karen keeps trying to give her sermon, but there was a game on that people had come to watch and eventually everyone yelled at her until she piped down. Enter Officer 1 and Officer 2.
Officer 1: We received a call. Is there a Mr. Karen in here somewhere? Mr. Karen: Right here officers! Officer 1: You said you were witnessing child endangerment—are the parties involved still in the bar? They point me out. I pretend not to notice because I’m worried the officers will take them outside and I won’t be able to watch any more fireworks.
Officer 2: So what exactly was going on? Karen: That woman was drinking! She’s pregnant, you can plainly see she’s very pregnant. Before I can go over and tell them she’s lying about my drinking, the officers look at each other and look back at the Karen family. Officer 2: That’s not against the law. Karen: WHAT?!?!!!!!??! Mr. Karen: Look here—
Officer 1: It’s definitely not recommended, but it isn’t against the law. Now, do you know the woman, is she a friend of yours? Family? Karen: She works here. In a bar. And she’s pregnant! Mr. Karen: I want to see this place’s license revoked. Officer 2: So, listen, she isn’t doing anything wrong. What I can do is talk to her, but we can’t take any action beyond that. Is there anything else you observed that you’d like to report?
So the second officer comes over to me and takes me to a quiet spot while the first is getting their personal information and taking the rest of the statement. Karen is crying again and I assume bemoaning being the last bastion of good Christian morality in this bar. Officer 2 introduces himself and congratulates me on the pregnancy and says I probably overheard why they were called.
He starts to offer me some public resources for new mothers, parenting classes, etc. I didn’t want to interrupt him, so was waiting for the right moment to interject with my plea of innocence. That’s when other patrons come over, thinking I’m in trouble and start defending me. We have plenty of regulars who know me and they would not let this stand.
Some even complained to the officers that the owner had asked the Karen party to leave and they’d continued to make a scene. So both the officers go talk to the owner, who said she was just about to call them herself on account of the trespassing, but sirens outside are bad for business and she was hoping the Karens would eventually leave on their own.
The officers tell the Karen party they need to leave. Mr. Karen: This is a public place. I have every right to be here if I want! Officer 1: No sir, this is a private business, and the business owners have asked you to leave. It sounds like more than once, but at least once since we’ve been here. Karen: THIS IS A DISGRACE. THIS IS AN AFFRONT TO…TO…TO SCRIPTURE AND CHILD SAFETY AND—
Officer 2: I understand you’re upset. Let’s talk about it outside. (He places a hand on Mr. Karen and gives him a firm look.) This next part was said as Mr. Karen walks out backward so he can keep yelling at us, but bumping into things every step of the way. Mr. Karen: I’ll be contacting the authorities about your license. Bump I happen to be close personal friends with the mayor! Crash And you two, I want badge numbers. Don’t think we’re done here because we haven’t even bang started!
So the officers took them out and as it was told to me by a regular who left around the same time, walked the Karens to their car, which was improperly parked in a handicap space. For which they were ticketed. They did make a complaint to the liquor authority, claiming, among many things, that we served minors. We were investigated but obviously came up fine.
2. DIY Karen
When I worked at the Home Depot, a Karen told me that she didn’t want any Black men to install her flooring. I was in charge of arranging her order, so I told her that we don’t select which individuals exactly will install her floor and that she’ll get who she gets. She proceeded to have a fit about it. She started yelling at me, asking me for my manager.
And I’m so glad she did because guess what: my manager’s name was Dwayne and he was a real big Black dude. Turns out she didn’t want to speak to the manager after all.
3. For Karen And Country
I joined the army right out of high school. During basic training, I volunteered for a unit known as The Old Guard, which is responsible for ceremonies in the DC area and funerals in Arlington National Cemetery, amongst other duties. It consists of units you may have heard of, such as the US Army Drill Team and the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknowns.
So it’s the 4th of July in DC. Big celebration, all kinds of stuff going on. I’m sure you can picture it. Most of the celebration goes on in front of the Capitol on the National Mall. As part of the festivities, my unit, the Presidential Guns Salute Battery, fires the bass line for the performance of the 1812 overture. Only the more seasoned guys in the platoon get picked to do it, so the rest of us are given a cordoned-off area in the very front.
We bring some food, some chairs, our families, and we have a cookout during the day and watch the show when it starts. During the earlier parts of the day, it isn’t too crowded, but as evening draws near it becomes packed, nearly shoulder-to-shoulder. Fortunately, as I mentioned before, we had our own area at the front roped off from the general public, giving us ample room to have our cookout.
Throughout the day, we would have people politely ask if they could join us, we said no but were always respectful. We weren’t in uniform, but we had our unit T-shirts on so we were still representing the army. Enter Karen. It’s midway through the afternoon, still a few hours before the show. We’re enjoying the weather and the time off.
I happened to be near the edge of our area when I hear someone behind me. I turn around and there she is, pinched face and a haircut that says “I want to speak with your manager’s manager.” Karen: Excuse me young man, could you ask your father to take this rope down? This is supposed to be a public area for everyone and my kids can’t see the Capitol.
Mind you, there are signs hanging on the rope every five feet explaining the purpose of the rope. Me: (with my best PR smile) I’m sorry ma’am, this area is reserved for members of The Old Guard and their families. If you’d like to come back a little closer to dusk, we’ll be taking the rope down around then. Karen: The Old Guard? I’ve never heard of that before.
Me: (always happy to drop knowledge) Ma’am, We are the primary ceremonial unit for the US Army and escort to the President of the US of A. Karen: I don’t see the president. Shouldn’t you be escorting him or something then? rolls eyes Me: Uhh…. (I had no idea how to respond to that, fortunately, I was saved.) Platoon Sergeant: (Places hand on my shoulder) Good afternoon ma’am, I’m Sergeant First Class Guyincharge, what seems to be the problem?
As I knew this was my cue to get out, I went back to my chair and observed their interaction. Couldn’t hear anything, but the interaction concluded with Karen walking away looking annoyed. Didn’t think anything else of it…until about two hours later. We’re cleaning up our trash, breaking down the chairs and tables and such. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Karen approaching again.
This time she has two Capitol officers in tow. My sergeant must have noticed too, as I heard him mutter “what in the heck?” under his breath as he walked to intercept the trio. Again, I didn’t hear all of the conversation, but we all heard about it later. Sergeant: Officers, what seems to be the problem? Officers: (Obviously exasperated by the situation) Sergeant Guyincharge, we received a report that you and your group were making lewd gestures and comments towards this woman’s family. Is there any truth to this?
Sergeant: Absolutely not. I’ve been supervising them all day, nothing even close to that has happened today. Offices: (nodding as though this was what they expected) We had assumed that, but we had to follow up. Sorry to bother you. Karen: You mean you’re going to just let them sit there and hog up all of the space!? I drove my kids nine hours to see this!!!!!
Officers: Ma’am, these men are here with the express permission of the District of Columbia. There are signs there (points to a sign not three feet away) that explicitly state that. Sergeant: (trying to diffuse the situation) Ma’am, we’re cleaning up our area right now. As soon as we are done we will be removing the rope to let everyone in. If you can be patient and wait, we can get you and your family right up front here in about 20 minutes.
Karen proceeded to stare at them, much like a cow stares at an incoming train. Then she spun around and walked away without another word. We think it’s all over, we go back to what we were doing. We were wrong. We’re just finishing up, taking the ropes off of the pylons and stacking the pylons in the arms of another dude in the platoon.
Out of nowhere, here comes Karen, trailed by her four children and obviously stressed spouse. “It’s about time! Get out of my way!” Karen all but screams as she goes barreling right through Private Anotherguy. Now, to be in The Old Guard, you have to be between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 4″ and maintain the army standard of physical fitness. To add to that, we are an infantry unit.
If you aren’t aware, the infantry is generally the front-line combat, and we are trained for just that. So, suffice to say, none of us were small, nor weak. Karen was probably around 180ish. So when I say she barreled through this dude, I mean it. She put some force into it. Anotherguy goes sprawling to the ground, steel pylons fly in every direction.
A couple hit him in the face, and he chipped a tooth and split his eyebrow open. One pylon bounces off the ground and hits one of Karen’s children in the leg. The kid, probably 12 or 13, starts wailing like he lost a limb. As we are helping Anotherguy to his feet, Karen is losing every last ounce of her mind. Red-faced, screaming about how she’s going to sue us for assault, how we’ve ruined her family vacation blah blah blah……
At this point, the sergeant is done with her. If Karen thought she was being loud, she quickly learned there are few things louder than a ticked-off senior NCO. With a single word, he quieted everyone within 50 feet of us. Sergeant: STOP! (paused for dramatic effect) THAT IS ENOUGH. YOU HAVE BEEN HARASSING ME ALL AFTERNOON. WE HAVE TRIED TO BE NICE, WE HAVE TRIED TO BE RESPECTFUL. YOU HAVE BEEN NOTHING BUT RUDE. NOW YOU’VE INJURED ONE OF MY MEN. THIS. STOPS. NOW!
I think Karen might have had a small stroke right then. She stood, mouth agape, not able to utter a single word. And then, as if right on cue, here come those two Capitol officers. They hadn’t been far away and had seen the entire incident. I didn’t think Karen’s eyes could get any wider, until the first officer pulled out a pair of cuffs and said, “Ma’am turn around and put your hands behind your back. You are under arrest for assault and harassment.”
She tried every excuse she could think of, but the officers were having exactly none of it. They talked to Anotherguy, and he wanted to press charges, so they carted her off. I don’t know what the father did with the kids, they disappeared when the officers took Karen. Come to find out after Anotherguy comes back from the court hearing that Karen had been carrying three bottles of pills that weren’t hers, plus two credit cards that weren’t hers either.
No idea what kind of time she got, but it wasn’t enough. After all was said and done, we watched the 1812 overture and laughed about Karen for weeks afterward. Anotherguy was fine, a chipped tooth and a little bit of bruising. Nothing major, fortunately.
4. Karen Versus Carl Jr.
My mom is a Karen. She thinks the world is supposed to cater to her and that everyone else is wrong. Once, we went to Carl’s Jr. and she ordered four burgers for the four of us. What she did next made me so angry—she pulled one burger out of the bag while the guy was getting our drinks and hid it. She complained that he forgot a burger, pulling out the remaining three in the bag one by one and counting them in front of him.
He keep swearing up and down that he put them all in the bag, but she threatened him, saying, “If you don’t get me another burger, I will call your manager.” I was stunned speechless, but it happened so fast. She got a free burger and laughed as we drove off. I just stared at her and she opened it up to eat it on the drive home. She ate her actual burger like the fifth one never existed.
I can’t even explain how she is when she’s in the hospital. She treats it like a luxury stay in a hotel.
5. Let The Music Play
This just happened to me and I’m both shocked and laughing my butt off. I was on a bus on my way into college, listening to a punk band I’ve recently got heavily into, a band from Brixen in the German-speaking region of South Tyrol in Italy called Frei. Wild. The bus is fairly packed, so I’m right at the front of the bus where you’d park a stroller or a wheelchair.
A woman with a stroller gets onto the bus and sits in the only free seat, next to me. She looks down at my phone (why? I still can’t work it out) and sees that I’m listening to a song called “Sieger Stehen Da Auf, Wo Verlier Liegen Bleiben” (roughly translated, rather aptly, to “Winners Stand Where Losers Fall”). She then yanks one of my earphones out. “You live in Scotland, stop listening to your awful Polish music. God, all you Polaks are all the same, refusing to be decent citizens and speak English.”
Now, I’m Scottish. Born and bred. Apart from a week in Amsterdam, two weeks in Morocco, three weeks in the States, and a week in France, I’ve stayed very much in the UK my entire life. Never been to Poland, or Germany for that matter. I eventually had enough of her, so I tried to put her in her place: “This is German Music. Also, I was born here. To Scottish parents.”
Karen tried to make her rebuttal, but I got there first. “Also, how does me listening to some punk rock that happens to be in German effect you? I have my headphones, you can’t hear it.” Karen’s eyes lit up as if she’d won the Karen lottery. “Why are you listening to that sinful, demonic music in public? You’re gonna scare my kid.”
I look in the stroller. “Firstly, your child is sound asleep. Secondly, I have my headphones in, you can’t hear it, I can’t hear it. Screw off and let me listen to my music in peace. Maybe Polish people aren’t the problem in this country. Maybe it’s stuck-up judgmental witches like you.” As I called her out on this, she whacked the stop button, and yeeted herself and the stroller right off the bus at the next stop. Thank God.
6. The Joys Of Motherhood
My boyfriend’s cousin has four children. Each of her kids is the personification of the word bratty. The cousin refuses to discipline them and constantly makes excuses for their behavior. She’s also very judgemental of our decision to not have children. She has often made some snide comments towards me, implying that I’m a selfish jerk who is depriving my boyfriend of the “joys of raising children.”
For these reasons and for her generally entitled behavior, my boyfriend had cut ties with her. However, when he and I visited his parental home three days ago for his parents’ anniversary celebration, we ran into her again. My boyfriend’s dad had urged him to use this occasion to mend bridges with the cousin. So we both tried to make nice and engaged in small talk with her. I’ve never regretted an action more.
During our conversation, my boyfriend mentioned that we were leaving for Melbourne for vacation in a few days. At this, the cousin’s eyes lit up. “Oh that sounds like so much fun,” she said, “My husband and I haven’t gone anywhere since our honeymoon.” She whined some more about how hard it is for them with four kids, if only they could afford such luxuries, etc.
I could tell where this was going almost immediately. My boyfriend probably felt sorry for her and, being the kind and generous soul that he is, he offered to buy them a weekend in a resort in Mt. Abu, a hill station in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Cousin (face scrunched up): “That’s nice, but why can’t you just take us to Melbourne with you?”
BF (getting a bit annoyed, but still patient): Well, we want to spend some time alone together. Plus we’ll be meeting some close friends there. Besides, Mt. Abu is a beautiful place. Your kids will love it. Cousin (in the annoying “Karen” tone): I still don’t see why you can’t take us to Australia. You’re being so selfish, going on this great trip and sticking your family with a cheap weekend getaway.
BF’s Mom: He’s making a very generous offer. Either take it or leave it. Cousin (wearing the expression that morons wear when they think they’ve had a bright idea): Oh I know! Why don’t my husband and I go to Mt. Abu and you can take our kids to Melbourne? Me: What??? Cousin: It’s a great idea. The kids can have fun in Melbourne with you two and my hubby and I can enjoy a peaceful weekend. This way, the kids can actually spend some time with their uncle. You never make time for them!
BF: I’m offering for the last time. It’s either the weekend in Mt. Abu or nothing at all. And why the heck would we ruin our vacation taking care of your kids? Cousin: How can you say that? My kids are so well-behaved. You’ll have so much fun spending time with them. Besides, my husband and I could really use some quiet time together. You two don’t have any responsibilities. You have no idea how hard it is to raise four kids. You can afford this trip. I don’t see why you won’t share with family……
BF: One more word and you’re losing my Mt. Abu offer. On hearing this, the cousin finally shut up. We all had dinner together and she was mercifully quiet. If only her kids had followed her example. You’d think this would be the end of it, but NO! We had seriously underestimated her dedication to her Karenness. This morning, the cousin showed up at my apartment with the kids in tow.
I was shocked to see her, of course, and asked if something was wrong. She smiled and said, “I’m just here to drop the kids off. You’re leaving tonight right?” After taking a second to recover, I asked, “Did you fall and hit your head on something? We told you we weren’t taking your kids with us. What part of that did you not understand?”
She then tried to convince me that my boyfriend had called her later on and had agreed to take her kids. I knew this was a lie and called it as such. The cousin became enraged and asked if I was going to break her kids’ hearts. I called my boyfriend, and after telling him what was going on I turned on the speaker. My boyfriend proceeded to chew her out brutally, telling her he would no longer pay for their weekend getaway and that this is exactly the kind of behavior that had made him cut ties with her.
She tried to get a word in but he wouldn’t let her. The cousin took her kids and stormed off. My boyfriend and I are having a laugh over this and are still wondering what made her think that this plan would ever work.
7. This Karen Comes With Baggage
I dated a male Karen for eight years. He was a semi-successful business owner who was twice my age, and I was young and dumb—for a lack of better words. The gist of our relationship was him trying to take over every part of my life. For instance, he would order for me at restaurants and would dissuade me if I wanted to try something new.
If I had a problem with something, it would be immediately brushed off; but if he had a problem, then he had to talk to a manager. Not knowing any better, I just thought he was very particular and even started copying some of his tendencies: like speaking up when I felt I wasn’t getting the right service when I was out on my own.
I realized who he really was when we were flying back from Vegas. I noticed something so peculiar—our luggage was heavier than when we flew in. Obviously, we’d bought extra things which made up for the weight difference. So he demanded an explanation from the check-in clerk as to why it weighed more if it was the same luggage. I innocently answered that it must have been the extra shoes and clothes. He was quiet and paid up.
Later, he told me not to do that again. He said he knew the reason why the luggage was heavier and that he was just trying to get away with not paying. At that moment, a bulb went off in my head. This man who’d spent $1,500 on a private dancer for his friend was making an already stressful job more stressful for the clerk in order to avoid paying $60!
We broke up soon after and I checked myself on the Karen tendencies he’d rubbed off on me.
8. Living Your Best Life
I lived in Melbourne, Australia for about a year. While there, I met a gorgeous gay couple, Brian and Derek (names changed). They were both bisexual, and they lived in the same building as me on the floor directly above mine. I soon entered into an intimate relationship with both of them. We would have threesomes, and sometimes more.
Besides the awesome bedroom stuff, I also became really good friends with them and we’re still in touch. It was tons of fun for all involved. Among my neighbors was a middle-aged couple with two children. They lived right across the hallway from me and were quick to judge us after seeing Brian and Derek exiting my apartment early in the morning on more than one occasion.
The woman, Karen, asked me in the elevator what I was doing with “those two gays.” I politely told her it was none of her business. When she kept on pestering me, I told her “If you must know, I’m friends with benefits with them, now leave me alone.” I still remember the look of shock on her face. I don’t think she expected me to reply so brazenly.
When I told Brian and Derek about this, they shared their own experience in dealing with them. This couple had tried to talk to the property manager about “gays moving into a building with families and children.” They were told to screw off but any time either or both of these guys were in the elevator with them or ran into them in the parking lot, the husband (Let’s call him Todd) would stand between them and his kids while giving Brian and/or Derek angry looks.
They must’ve been trying to prevent their kids from catching “the gay.” HA. In the weeks that followed, the entitled couple continued to give me the stink eye any time they saw me. I just smiled back at them sweetly, which annoyed them even more. On one occasion, their teenage daughter said “good morning” to me and tried to make small talk, before her mother dragged her away by the arm while berating her for talking to “that woman.”
Interestingly, their kids seemed very well behaved and nice and I truly felt sorry for them. My next-door neighbors (another couple with kids with whom I got along very well) later told me that Karen had tried to get them to file a noise complaint against me. According to Karen’s logic, since I shared a wall with that family, they could probably hear all the “ungodly” noises coming from my apartment and they should complain in order to protect their children.
The nice couple told them they would do no such thing as I had never bothered them and they had never heard any such noises coming out of my apartment. One night, Brian, Derek, and I decided to have a foursome that would involve the three of us and Brian and Derek’s friend Dean. The next morning, Dean asked if he could come back to my place with me.
As it was a Sunday morning and Dean was hotter than Hades, I agreed. As he and I were walking down the hallway to my place, Karen was just getting out of hers. She saw Dean and I smiling and talking with his arm around my waist. She approached me, asking angrily if I was “selling my body.” I told her she was insane and asked her to kindly screw off.
Later that day, I received a terrifying call from the property manager. She wanted to let me know that Karen and Todd had complained that I was “a prostitute” and that it was dangerous for their children to be in the same building as me. They told her in great detail about how I was bringing home different men. The property manager had gotten to know Brian and Derek quite well and had an inkling that I was “friends” with them.
So she contacted them and they told her all about Karen’s crazy behavior and accusations. They said that the man they had seen me with was a mutual friend. The property manager dissuaded the family from filing any sort of false complaint against me as it could cause a world of trouble for them. I thanked that kind lady and later had a good chuckle over it all with Brian and Derek.
The blatant harassment from Karen and Todd had stopped, but of course, the hateful looks continued. On one occasion, when we were in the elevator together, Karen made a pathetic attempt at shaming me by condescendingly asking if I was going to have any men over that night. What she didn’t realize is that shame about my promiscuity is something I’m entirely incapable of feeling.
I proceeded to tell her in great detail about all the acts I was going to engage in that evening. I mean, she’s the one who asked, right? After this fun little interaction, she and her husband avoided me completely. Good times.
9. A Big Splash
I worked at a McDonald’s in my sophomore year of high school. Some lady went through the drive-thru at about 1 AM and someone accidentally gave her Diet Coke instead of regular. In her rage, she threw the drink back through the window—but that wasn’t what it made it memorable. It was where the drink landed. The drink splashed right into the hot frying oil and it began to sizzle and splatter—and then, it splashed all over one of our co-workers.
The lady drove away pretty fast, but the manager got her license plate number off the cameras. She was sued for that incident.
10. Queen Of The Karens
Long ago, I worked for one of those bulk warehouse club stores. My trade was simple: I was a wrangler of the silver buffalo, and dutifully retrieve the ol’ shopping carts I did. The job in and of itself wasn’t the worst I’d ever had; I got plenty of exercise, got to be outside, and generally didn’t have to interact with the “members” (calling them customers was taboo) for the most part.
For the most part. The thing about this job is that the company I worked for had a reputation for being cheap. Thusly, more often than not, I was on my own out in the parking lot. “Big whoop,” you might say. “You gathered carts? You should see how hard MY job is!” Yeah, well… Shut up. This is my story, jerk-o. I digress.
The reason that being alone sucked is that this store didn’t have just one kind of cart. Heck, they didn’t even just have TWO kinds of carts. You had your classic garden variety cart, the kiddie-cart with the plastic facade to make it resemble a car, the electric scooters (which weren’t supposed to leave the store, but did so with alarming frequency), and finally, the bulky, hard-to-control flatbeds.
On top of that, whenever someone needed help loading their haul into their minivans, I was the guy they called. You know, because the greeters, cashiers, and managers were all busy. As you might expect, one man cannot be in multiple places at once, and as a result, on some of our busier days, it became incredibly difficult to keep enough carts in the vestibule. Our story begins on one of these days…
So there I was, chugging along like a good worker drone, struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of people coming in to buy cheap bulk goods. Sure enough, I get a call on the radio: Manager – “[sktchh] We need you to help some members load their purchases. [sktchh]” Me – “Uh, I’d love to, but I’m barely able to keep up out here as is…”
Manager – “[sktchh] Just do it. You can afford to stop gathering carts for two minutes. [sktchh]” *Ron Howard voice* – “He couldn’t.” However, I didn’t want to push my luck, so I complied. After spending 20 minutes loading people’s purchases because when one person needs it, suddenly they ALL need it, I came back to find my vestibule a near-ghost town, save for a single line of carts that was half-gone, and…the Karen.
I won’t waste time describing this specimen. She was the prototype. You know what she looked like. There she stood, menacing, tapping her foot with such speed that it could make any metal drummer green with envy. You could collect the contempt in her gaze in a jar. Karen – “Where are the big flat ones?” I blanked for a moment. Me – “I’m sorry?”
Karen – “Ugh. Mexicans…” For the record, I’m very much white. Karen – “WHERE. ARE. THE. FLAT ONES.” Me – “Oh, you mean the flatbeds. I’m sorry, I was just helping some other members load their merchandise and haven’t had a chance to—” Karen – “OH MY GOD, I don’t care about your excuses, you have ONE JOB, and a TRAINED. MONKEY. Could do it!”
I just want this lady out of my face, so I don’t fight it. Me – “Sorry ma’am. I’ll grab one from the parking lot for you…” Karen – “You’d better…” So I go back out to the lot and find a whole line of flatbeds sticking out of a corral blocking several parking spaces. I push them all into the vestibule where she waits, huffing about how I’m wasting her valuable time.
I separate one from the rest and bring it to her. Me – “I’m terribly sorry about the wait, ma’am.” She leers at me with utter malice. Karen – “Hmmph. Unbelievable…” And with that, she dismisses herself into the store, where she will be someone else’s problem. I shake my head and return to doing what I’m paid to do. I wish I’d never seen her again…but I did.
About 15 minutes later, I’m returning a line of carts when I see her pushing her flatbed to her Miata and jawing about “stupid people” (most certainly referring to me) on her cell phone. You know what she had bought? What she had insisted on having a flatbed for? A cake. This wasn’t even like, a big cake. It was one of those little circular numbers.
Anyways, I witness as she continues to yammer on about how I nearly ruined—RUINED I TELL YOU—her precious baby’s birthday party, when the most glorious thing happened. Still clutching her phone with those jai-alai scoop claws of hers, she attempts to pick up the cake with one hand, the plastic topper pops off, and she spills the cake all over her undoubtedly expensive designer outfit.
Seething with white-hot rage, she locks eyes with me. Karen – “YOU! GET ME ANOTHER CAKE! NOW!” Me – “Terribly sorry ma’am. I’ve got one job, and these carts won’t gather themselves.” I walked away, grin plastered on my face as her shrieks faded into the distance behind me. I’ve had my share of nasty customer interactions before, but this one…Really took the cake.
11. A Wild Ride
When I was 16, I worked at the amusement park in my city. It wasn’t a big one, but it wasn’t small either. Most of our rides were aimed towards elementary school-aged children, though we had a few for the older kids as well. Anyways, I was a rides operator, and that day, I was assigned to a ride designed for older kids. We had to measure the kids, and they couldn’t go on if they were under the height requirements no matter what, even if they had a parent with them.
It was a ride that only had a bar that went across your stomach, so someone too small could easily fall off. Entitled Mother and her entitled brat are in line, and I can already tell the kid is gonna be too short to ride without even having to measure him. He’s pretty far back, so I know it’s gonna be one or two runs before he makes it on.
So after I’m done loading, I tell the mom that her kid is too short for the ride and that they should go try the smaller version of it on the other side of the park. She looks at me with the dirtiest stare ever and just says: “We’re gonna wait here.” Now, I have to run my ride because I need to meet certain times, so I don’t argue. Time goes by and she’s finally at the start of the line.
I measure her kid, and of course he’s like 6 inches shorter than the height requirements. Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but your child is too short to ride this ride. I would recommend going over to the smaller version near the entrance of the park, though. He: No, it’s fine, I’m with him. I’ll hold him. She tries to shove me out of the way, but I’m standing my ground.
Me: I’m really sorry ma’am, but we don’t allow people under the height limit to ride this ride. The safeties we have on it just won’t hold someone too small, and your kid could fall off. She then asks to speak to my manager. I get asked that quite a lot by entitled parents, so I give them a call and tell her to wait on the side while I load my ride.
She gets very offended, saying that she shouldn’t have to wait longer for her kid to ride this ride because I couldn’t do my job, and at this point I just kind of ignore her and move on. Ride runs, my team lead gets there and talks with her. He tells her that he’s really sorry but that I’m right, her child can’t ride this ride. Now at this point, the brat is throwing a tantrum.
I mean, he’s rolling on the concrete like a piece of bacon in a frying pan. I’m trying my hardest not to laugh at this point. Anyways, my lead apologizes, offers her a “skip the line” ticket for the ride he’s allowed to go on at the entrance, and leaves. The mom is trying to calm down the kid and starts talking to him. He gets up, all smiling and happy, and stands next to the gates, watching me.
Now I’m not thinking too much of this at this point, so I start loading my ride again, which has a significantly less busy line and I have a couple of empty seats on it. As I’m doing my security checks and getting ready to run it, the mom taps me on the shoulder and thanks me for my help, which I found extremely odd. I turn around to tell her that it’s really no problem, and she starts apologizing and telling me that she shouldn’t have acted the way she did and blah blah blah.
I’m completely stunned, not really sure how to react, but I tell her it’s no problem and to enjoy the rest of her day. I look back at my ride, and realize the brat isn’t standing next to the fence anymore. I’m starting to get weird vibes. I look around for him and he’s not anywhere to be seen. I look at the mom again, who has her phone out with her camera pointing at the ride, and that’s when I knew.
I take my keys out of the ride and start walking towards it. It’s kind of a “swing” type of thing so I couldn’t see the back from where I was standing, but I knew darn well the brat had snuck on. The mom starts panicking, asking me what I’m doing and why I’m not running the ride. I completely ignore her and walk to the back of the ride, and lo and behold, the kid is sitting there.
He almost pees himself when he sees me walking towards him. He didn’t have the bar properly locked AT ALL and would’ve flown right out as soon as I started the ride. Now I’m mad, and I mean mad. I mean, I could’ve gone behind bars for manslaughter right then and there. I just look at him and very sternly tell him to get off my ride.
He tells me he can’t and he needs help, which is fair. I don’t even know how he managed to get on in the first place, but I grab him and put him down, and he starts sprinting towards his mom, crying. As he’s running, he trips and falls down on his face. When he gets up, his nose is all bloody and his knees are skinned, which is when I knew I was completely and utterly screwed.
The mom starts screaming like a banshee at the sight. As I’m running towards the kid to make sure he’s okay and to help him up, she runs towards me, slaps me hard across the face, and starts yelling for security. I’m absolutely and completely stunned at this point. Some security guards must’ve heard her screaming at the top of her lungs because they come running.
The exchange goes something like this. Guard: What’s going on here? Mom: This girl attacked my son! She threw him off the ride into the pavement! Me: Excuse me??? Brat: It’s true!! She punched me too. Guard: Do you want us to call the authorities? Mom: Yes! You need to arrest her!! She’s mentally unstable. I’m just dumbfounded at this point.
My lead gets to the ride and asks what the heck is going on, and I tell him everything that happened in between sobs. There’s one thing the mom forgot to take into account, though. There were like 15 people on the ride who saw everything. So they tell the officers and the security guards and my lead and everyone else what happened.
The mom quickly realized her error, as she just started running with her kid in tow as soon as she saw people asking the other guests questions. They caught her pretty quickly, and I pressed assault charges against her. Needless to say, I handed in my resignation that same day.
12. Early Morning Karen
I once worked at Dunkin Donuts for a few months. Once, we had a lovely woman pull up at the drive-thru 20 minutes before it opened. Naturally, my co-worker and I ignored her while we hurried to set up because without the headset on, we had no idea she was even there. And there was no way I was putting that thing on a minute earlier than I had to.
Eventually, she pulled up to the window with an evil-looking face. We gestured to tell her “Sorry, we’re not open yet,” but apparently, she took it personally. She then started banging on the glass. When we opened the window to explain that we couldn’t serve her yet, she began cursing and squeezed her fat self out of the car.
She leaned into the window spewing off insults. We just stared in awe. I think we told her the authorities were coming or something and she left.
13. The Queen’s English
This story took place five months ago. So my stepmom is British. Welsh, to be exact. For those who don’t know, Wales is the little hump west of England and north of Cornwall. It’s a beautiful place known for sheep. My stepmom is ethnically Welsh, but raised in England. Despite this, my Nain and Taid (Welsh for grandma and grandpa) insisted on her and her brother learning Welsh to preserve their heritage.
The Welsh are a proud people, and so they wanted to ensure their children were as immersed as they could be. So she grew up bilingual, went to university, got a job working for a certain tech giant, and moved to the US to help train their staff. A few years later, she met my dad and joined the family. At the time I was still getting over my mom, so her presence was less than welcome.
Despite this, my stepmom never pushed me or tried to buy her way in. She gave me the room I needed to grieve, and, when I was ready, showered me with enough affection to make up for the lost time. She has my eternal love and respect for it and has become my second mother. Now, we live in a large town in the mid-west, being west of the seaboard but east of the Mississippi, so while most people are open to outsiders, there’s the usual few who just want to ruin everything.
Around Christmas time, I was visiting home from college with my girlfriend, Charlie, enjoying some quality girls’ time with my stepmom. We were in the mall, searching for some place that sold plastic modeling glue for my dad (he’s really into Warhammer). During this, my stepmom is on the phone with her brother, who still lives in the UK, catching up and sharing some laughs.
They were speaking Welsh to each other, which happened to offend a woman who has since earned the title of Karen. We were standing in front of the mall map, trying to find the hobby store when I heard a loud scoff from behind us. I turned to see a woman dressed in a rather nice-looking business suit corralling her kids away like they’d just encountered a streaker.
Now I was ready to let it go, but Charlie can get very defensive of people she likes, so she ended up calling her out. “Something offend you, ma’am?” The woman seemed to ponder her next move before responding with that oh so stupid phrase. “You’re in America! When you’re here, you speak English! Not Muslim! My kids don’t need to hear that!”
Now, I’ve met some pretty stupid people in my life. Even dated one. But never, ever have I heard of someone confusing Welsh for Arabic (which is what I assumed she meant). They’re two very different languages from two very different cultures. The only similarity between them is how little I understand them. However, for someone to be so offended by someone speaking another language, they probably also didn’t immerse themselves too much in other cultures.
To her, the world probably began in New York and ended in Los Angeles. It was at this point that my stepmom hung up. “Now, I know that Americans get a bad rap and all,” she said in an obvious British accent. “But it doesn’t help when you actively conform to the stereotype.” “Oh my God,” Karen said with righteous indignation. “Your accent is awful! Where did you even learn to speak English?”
My stepmom held the most deadpan expression she could: “England.” I swear I could smell the smoke coming from the flaming mess inside Karen’s skull. She looked at Charlie and I (a pair of shockingly Caucasian college brats) and then my stepmom (our even paler chaperone), took a moment to process what she was doing, and then walked away, dragging a group of embarrassed looking tweens with her.
I have to give her credit. At least she knew when to quit. My stepmom chuckled, muttered an offensive-sounding Welsh phrase, and then helped us scan the map for the hobby shop. The rest of the day went well, and we had a funny story to tell my dad when we got back. To all the people out there who get offended when someone speaks another language: get over yourselves.
The world doesn’t revolve around you. To all my bilingual friends out there who speak their native tongues: good for you. It’s important to keep your culture alive. And to Karen: next time you try to accost someone for speaking something other than English, at least get the right continent.
14. A Giggling Fit
It was getting near closing time and I was cleaning the self-checkout machines while my manager was topping up the coins and receipt paper. This woman, just shy of 50, came up to the checkout and just stood there with her mostly empty cart. I was waiting to see if she would walk up to the actual register for service, but no; she just stood there.
I finally asked her, “Do you need help?” She replied, “No,” and kept standing there. Then, she started giggling loudly to herself in a way that made other people around her uncomfortable. I just kept cleaning and my manager continued filling the machines, all of which were devoid of customers. Finally, the woman spoke loudly, to no one in particular, saying the rudest thing ever: “Do you want to work or not?”
I let out a long breath, then dropped my cloth and spray bottle down. Suddenly, my manager stepped in and replied loudly, “She does have work! She’s cleaning right now.” Then she motioned for me to keep cleaning. Well, the woman giggled again, really loudly and snottily this time, and said, “I want a checkout.” My manager replied, “You had your chance. She asked you if you wanted help. You said no. And now, you’re going to have to check yourself out.”
The lady started freaking out and demanded to see the manager. My manager destroyed her with one sentence: “You’re looking at her.” The woman sheepishly checked her own items out while we both watched her. And then my manager giggled loudly, just like the woman had done. It was glorious.
15. Nope, Nope, And Nope
My partner and I purchased the house next door to my best friend. I had lived with him for close to a decade when his kids were babies, so the children viewed my house as an extension of theirs, and were in and out all day, every day. I have a more flexible schedule than he and his wife, so I have them in the mornings, after school, and on days off of school.
I had a pool in my yard, and because my friend’s kids were still little, I installed a retractable cover and made sure it was locked so they couldn’t open it. My friend’s yard had one of those wood fort/climbing wall/swing set deals and a large sandbox. Throughout the year, we spent most evenings outside, grilling, drinking, and watching the kids play/swim/whatever.
One summer day, I came home from work a little earlier than normal, and started to prep for dinner. I heard a knock at my back door, which was odd, since my buddy’s kids never knocked. I went to see who it was and discovered a mom and two kids who looked to be maybe 5-7 years old. As I opened the door, she informed me that her kids needed to use the bathroom and that I needed to come out and get the cover off my pool.
I was confused and asked her to repeat herself, and she said that her kids needed to pee and that they were hot and bored with playing in the sandbox, so I needed to open up my pool. I asked her why the heck she was in my friend’s yard and what made her think her kids were welcome to swim in my pool, or use my bathroom for that matter.
She got really witchy and told me that she had moved into the house behind us and that she had watched my buddy’s kids come over all the time and watched as I opened the pool for them. She insisted that since I was willing to open my pool for the kids next door, I should also open it for the children who lived behind me. I tried explaining the relationship between my best friend’s family and mine.
She claimed it didn’t matter that I had known them since birth and pretty much had helped raise them, I just needed to get to know her kids too and it would be OK. I told her no and closed the door on her. She spent a while knocking and fussing at me through the window, and then had her kids pee in a planter on the side of the patio.
When I still didn’t react, she took her kids back into my friend’s yard to play on the swings. I texted him to let him know what was going on, right at the moment he was letting his 300+ pounds worth of Newfie dogs out into the yard without noticing the unwelcome visitors. The mom starts shrieking and climbs up into the fort, leaving both kids on the swings.
She starts demanding that we put the dogs inside and how dare my friend let his dogs out into his own yard when her kids are clearly playing there. He tells her to get the heck out and calls the authorities. When the officers arrived, she put on the whole waterworks about how her kids are just looking for friends, and my buddy’s kids are somehow mistreating her kids, even though they’d never met.
She said that he invited her over just to let his dogs attack her children, blah blah blah. They eventually move her back onto her own property, then come back later to tell us they warned her about coming back. She lived in that house for almost a year before she and her husband divorced. But even then, she still managed to be a nightmare neighbor.
During that year, I had to replace the lock over the pool cover controls three times, have a fencing company remove a gate at the back of my property that was meant to let the lawnmower through, and eventually payed a security company to come to check on the yard any time we were going to be away for more than a few hours.
We found her and her kids in our yards repeatedly, but she’d leave when we got home. What finally resolved the issue was my partner catching her in the pool. She told him she knew the man that owned the house and that he had told her it was OK to swim. He told her he was married to the man that owned the pool and that it’s not OK to swim.
She apparently had a bad reaction to realizing she was immersing her sons in gay water. We didn’t see her again after that.
16. A Watery Chuckle
I work in a large airport at a small convenience store on one of the busiest concourses. I hear it all, especially about our prices. Although we try to keep our margins as low as possible, we still have to pay our rent as a business, and it’s about $14k a month. One day, I had an older woman come in and set down an expensive brand of water that was priced around $5.15 after tax.
I knew that she was going to say something about it, so I prepared myself mentally. Indeed, she did say something, and it threw me for a loop. She asked me, “Wanna know something funny?” I said that I did. She said, “This same water in another airport is $2.50.” I stared blankly at her for a solid 10 seconds. Finally, I said, “I think I missed the joke.”
She then proceeded to insult me, but she still purchased the water before leaving in a huff. Best day I’ve had in a while.
17. Meet Mega Karen
Today I crossed paths with the MegaKaren and, although she seriously disrupted my day, I’m kind of tickled to tell this story. I work in an office building with about three dozen companies operating on the premises, and because of the odd layout of the building we have six different parking lots. I prefer using the “hidden” lot that requires you to drive through one of the indoor lots to reach it.
Between being hard to find and all of the spots being marked “Compact,” this place is usually less crowded than some of the lots closer to the road, not to mention that the door into the building from that lot is right next to my office, so it’s convenient in every way for me personally. Today, it was raining cats and dogs when I arrived at the office.
For some reason, my normal lot was unusually full, however, someone pulled out of a prime space just as I arrived, giving me a much shorter walk through the wetness to reach the door. I exchange polite nods with the guy leaving, then pull into the space behind him. As I’m getting out of my car and grabbing my laptop bag out of the back, I hear some distant car horn honking.
I think nothing of it since it’s practically on the other side of the lot. When I turn around to head inside, though, this entitled mother rolls up in an oversized SUV and slides to a stop on the wet pavement between me and the building, splashing me with a bit of puddle in the process. Her: “That spot wasn’t for you!” Me: “Excuse me?” Her: “That parking spot! I was waiting for it and you took it from me!”
Me (now irritated): “Where were you waiting for it? The highway off-ramp?” Her: “NO! I’ve been looking for a parking spot for 20 minutes, and when one comes open it’s for the first person waiting!” At this point, I look up and take stock of the whole row of empty spaces she had ignored to come over and harass me about taking “her” space.
I also consider the fact that the claim she’s making—that whoever was waiting first gets the first available space—is not now, nor has it ever been, a real point of etiquette. Me: (gesturing): “There are plenty over there that were open before I even got here. Take your pick.” Her: “NO! I need THAT spot! You need to move, NOW!” Me: “Why on earth do you have to have THIS spot?”
Her (gesturing to the back seat): “So my baby doesn’t get wet walking from all the way over there!” I look in the back seat, and the kid looking back at me was easily 10-12 years old. Also, “over there” couldn’t have been more than 50 feet further to walk in the rain. Kid: “‘Sup?” Me: “That’s not a baby. He’ll be fine. And anyway, your car wouldn’t fit in this COMPACT spot.”
I move and point so she can read the six-inch tall letters marking the spot as smaller than average. Me: “But if you go around that side of the building, there’s another lot that isn’t compact spaces.” Her: “Whatever, are you gonna move or not? Your fat butt needs the extra exercise anyway.” Me: (already cranky because I hadn’t eaten yet, now angry that this orangutan in lipstick is talking to me this way): “Well I’m definitely not moving for such a colossal witch. Have fun walking in the rain, I hope you get struck by lightning.”
I quickly walked away while this charming example of humanity hurled insults after me. Now, admittedly, about 15 minutes later once I was settled in at my desk, I started feeling really bad that I’d told this woman I hope she gets struck by lightning, even if there was no lightning going on in that rainstorm. I continued to feel bad for all of five minutes when the sound of a car alarm caused me to go to the window and look out. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
This woman had parked somewhere, gotten out of the car, and was now keying the heck out of my driver’s side door while her kid recorded it on his phone. I took a quick picture of them in the act on my own phone and immediately called building security to tell them what was going on. So guess who got apprehended for destruction of property and assault?
Oh, right, she also spit on and scratched the security guard who went to confront her, so assault. And everything that went down from beginning to end was practically right under a security camera, so it got a good look at her, her kid, and her car (including her license plate) so no way she’s getting away with it. AND since the insult she etched into my car door is homophobic she may ALSO get charged for that.
18. Like Money In Your Pocket
I used to work for Kohls. While there, I had one customer come to the service desk with her receipt, saying that the cashier did not take off her 30% coupon. Usually, this is an easy enough fix, but when I looked at her receipt, the total was $0.00. She had already used Kohl’s cash to cover the whole thing. I told her the computer system takes the dollar off coupons first.
It is only afterward that it will then take the percentage off. This is how it works, irrespective of the order in which you scan them. Since her Kohl’s cash took care of the total, I told her that the system couldn’t take 30% off of $0.00. Apparently, she didn’t like that…not one bit. She then started yelling at me and telling me that I was stealing money from her.
I explained to her that Kohl’s cash is just a coupon we give to customers and not actual money. She then told me that she wouldn’t be shopping at Kohl’s again, and she threw her 30% coupon at me before leaving.
19. Mommy’s Little Monster
I was playing on a Minecraft server with five friends at the time this happened. This new kid joined our game and our Skype call. He kept breaking our builds and demanding we give him stuff. We originally decided to ban him, but we wanted to have some fun, so we kept just killing him. The Skype call was basically six guys laughing and a little kid screaming, calling us hackers.
We were talking on Skype when his mother called. “LET MY SON PLAY ON THE SERVER, YOU UNGRATEFUL JERKS.” “No,” we all said at the same time. “MY HUSBAND IS A LAWYER AND HE WILL SUE YOU AND I WILL CALL THE AUTHORITIES FOR HARASSMENT!” “Shut up, lady!” “DON’T YOU TALK TO ME LIKE THAT! MY SON DESERVES ALL YOUR ITEMS MORE THAN ALL OF YOU COMBINED!”
“Screw off, woman!” “YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SWEAR! ONLY ADULTS ARE ALLOWED TO USE THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE!” One of us makes a Christian Minecraft server meme and she gets really angry. “HOW DARE YOU INSULT MY RELIGION! ALRIGHT. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?” We start making up addresses. “THAT’S IT! I’M LEAVING!” “About time.” She left and blocked us. We still joke about that incident.
20. Listening In
I have been working throughout COVID in a supermarket. A few months ago, I found out that I have permanent hearing damage and hearing loss from an illness I had from January to February. I am currently in the early stages of an audiology referral and my employer has been really helpful. They are making sure that I can still work in the same roles as before with the same level of confidence.
One day, a customer arrived at the till who, for some reason, misinterpreted one of the offers that we run. Essentially, she wanted the discount but did not want one of the items required for the discount to go through. She did not realize that I have to scan everything and, therefore, charge her for the extra item in question so that she could get the discount.
I processed the transaction in this way but not without her raising her voice and attempting to grab the item that she didn’t want out of my hands. At that point, I was quite confused. I could hear parts of this customer’s sentences, but she was speaking very quickly and I did not understand why she was getting so incredibly agitated over some frozen peas. Around this time, she also started to badmouth all of my colleagues and myself, saying that we “shouldn’t work here if we don’t know what offers are on in the store.”
She also said that the staff members “know nothing,” implying that I was the one who should lose my job because of her adamant misreading of an offer. Through this, I finally understood why exactly she was so angry. So, I asked one of my colleagues to come to the tills in order to assist the customer.
She did not want to engage with me, nor was she capable of having a civilized conversation at that point. My colleague arrived and I began to serve the other customers waiting while the woman went on to my colleague about how I was “incompetent” and “useless.” But that’s not the worst thing she said—she repeatedly stated that I “wasn’t listening” to her, even though I had given her my full attention.
The repeated emphasis this woman put on me not “listening” really hit a nerve. The last thing that I wanted after going through the wringer with various illnesses for the past seven months was to be told that I was losing my hearing. It was permanent, and it was not something that could be fixed in the same way as the previous illnesses.
I have to work a lot harder on the tills due to the aforementioned hearing loss and as much as I try to not care and ignore it, this was just too much for me to handle at the moment. I started to cry in the middle of a transaction while this woman thoroughly berated me for something that I had absolutely no control over.
Somehow, I managed to pass it off as hay fever which I don’t think anyone believed. Eventually, it clicked into place for the customer that she was incorrect, and she very quickly went on her way after realizing that she had just completely humiliated herself in a store full of people. There was no apology made to any of my colleagues, or to myself and the other customers in the store.
I had been debating whether or not I needed to get a lanyard clearly stating I have a hearing loss, but it is still very early into the investigation process and I didn’t want to buy one before I had any thorough tests done on my ears. But this was the event that cemented that I absolutely needed to get one as soon as possible.
Regardless of my hearing loss, that kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and a completely different kind of demeaning. It was the most insulting reaction I have ever seen, and over a bag of frozen peas, no less. If she didn’t want them, we had a perfectly acceptable food bank to which they could be donated.
21. Age Before Beauty
I was traveling on a train yesterday afternoon, back from seeing some friends. I was basically traveling the entire length of the route with a journey of around nine hours going over 450 miles north, so a long time. I had a reserved seat for the whole journey, with the seat next to me switching from being reserved for some of the journey for an hour or two, then being vacant.
At around hour 6 of my journey, the train was becoming very busy with families going home from day trips out. The next stop saw the person sitting next to me depart, and a woman—who was looking and acting as if the group of scraggy students (like me!) and families with little ones were far beneath her—got on with a woman who looked my age.
They were both looking around for a seat. The older woman saw the space next to me and made a beeline for it, with the other woman in tow. This is the conversation that followed: Older Woman: Hi, I think you’re in my daughter’s seat. Me: Oh, really? I’m pretty sure this is the seat I reserved, doesn’t it say so on the display up top?
Older Woman: No, the screen’s gone off, but these are the seats for me and my daughter, now move. At this, I got out of my seat to look at the screen, which still said it was reserved and quickly sat back down. Me: Nope, it still says it’s my seat. The seat next to me seems free for a while if one of you wants to sit down. Daughter: Why can’t you just move? We’re probably traveling further than you anyway.
Me: Sorry, but I’m really not going to move. Older Woman: [Raising her voice to attract the attention of others] I can’t believe you won’t have the dignity to let me sit next to my child! She can’t just go and sit on her own! Me [to the daughter]: How old are you? Daughter: 23, so probably older than you, you really should do what I say.
I’m 21 and look it. Me: Seriously? I won’t move from my reserved seat, your “child” is 23 and doesn’t need to sit with you! [I was feeling petty and so rose my voice to mimic the mom when saying this] Older Woman: That’s it, we’re getting the staff, I will not be spoken to like this by a child! With that, they both left the carriage, and I didn’t hear anything from any member of staff or anyone else, though a lovely little old lady who was sitting across from me said that she would probably have sworn like a sailor at them if they’d spoken to her like that when they’d gone out of earshot!
The icing on the cake was when the train stopped around half an hour later, I saw them both getting off and walking up the platform—it took everything in me not to give them a little wave as they skulked past!
22. A Short Wick
I work at a candle store and this happened yesterday. An older woman came in—she was probably in her 80’s but still seemed to have her wits about her. Anyway, she was going on and on about needing a small gift for a guy who did some work in the building she lived in. I told her that we carried a line of skincare and bath products for men.
She scoffed and says that would be weird. So, I said, “How about a candle?” This was because, you know, I work at a candle store. Her response made me curl a fist. She basically said, in an angry voice, “I can’t give him a candle. He’s not gay!” I was trying very hard to bite my tongue and remind her that we have tons of male customers and even my straight boyfriend likes our candles.
She then had the nerve to say, “That’s good for him, but I cannot give the man a candle because he’s not gay!” At that point, I was over it and I walked away. My manager then stepped in because she has a lot more patience for ignorance than I do. After she left and we vented about her, my manager told me that the woman ended up buying a notebook that says, “Slay the day.”
23. It’s The Little Things
So today, my husband and I were feeling bored and adventurous and decided to make a pilgrimage to a posh “Coffee Bar” in our city. We’ve been meaning to go for months but never got around to it. We pull in the lot and it’s packed. 10:45 am on a Sunday, so we expected it. As I’m getting out of the car, the mombie next to me is struggling to get three kids out of their seats while her husband (?) stood by the front of the car watching, not helping.
I hop out and excuse myself and walk into the café with my own husband. Huge line. Two more people come in after us, then mombie and her horde. She immediately starts complaining about the line. She talks loudly to her husband at first, but when he’s clearly ignoring her, she decides to just complain to thin air. “Why is this line always so long? God, why don’t they have more staff? Why does every person have to come at the same time? UGH!”
She eventually asked the couple in front of her if she can go ahead because her kids are really, really hungry. These saints begrudgingly say sure, so now this delightful family is directly behind my husband and me. She then says to me, “Excuse me miss? May we have the spot before you in line? My children have been waiting a long time and are very hungry.”
With the nicest voice I could find, I said, “I’m sorry ma’am, we’ve been waiting a while too and are also hungry. The line is moving faster now at least!” I gave her a smile even though she was glaring at me. I turn back around only to hear her mutter, “Wow what a witch. Can you believe some people? How rude.” It took all my effort to not react.
My husband is a conflict avoider, I am not. But I respect his wishes enough to not cause a scene in public when I’m with him. Eventually, she starts telling her husband how they’re always out of the Mediterranean Spinach Breakfast sandwich she wants and she better get it this time or she’s gonna so mad. This is when I concoct a seriously evil plan.
I check my watch; it’s 10:55. A minute or two later, it’s our turn. Husband orders his Soy Chai and I sloooowly order my vanilla nitro cold brew…with cream….no, not cream, sorry, with soy. And an extra pump of vanilla. Barista rings us up as I check my watch. It’s 10:58. I ask to add a Mediterranean Spinach Breakfast Sandwich to the order.
She says sure, no problem. Gives us the total. I’m digging in my purse for my wallet, darn, just can’t seem to find it. More digging. Oh! There it is, finally. Hand her the card, wait for the receipt, and slowly sign. Pack purse back up, say thank you, and walk away. Husband says, “You’re hungry? We ate breakfast an hour ago.” Me: “No, I’m not hungry. Just had to do this.”
Him: “Do what?” I nod towards mombie. Husband looks over. She orders her coffee and some juice things for the kids, doesn’t even ask if her husband wants anything. Then it happened. “And one Mediterranean Spinach Breakfast Sandwich.” Barista: “Oh I’m sorry ma’am, we stopped serving breakfast at 11. We have all our lunch options today though.”
Mombie looks at her watch and yells “WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? IT’S 11:02!” Barista: “I’m sorry ma’am, company policy is to stop breakfast at 11. Is there anything else I can get you?” Mombie: “GET ME YOUR MANAGER! THIS IS RIDICULOUS. YOU JUST SOLD ONE A MOMENT AGO! THIS IS ABSURD!” The manager came over, explained the situation, apologized, but refused to give that witch a sandwich, bless her heart.
Mombie retracts her entire order and stomps out, red-faced and yelling all the way to her car. My husband was trying to hold back his laughter. Our order came up. We grabbed it and went back to the car. I’m unwrapping the sandwich and take a bite exactly as I’m trying to scoot around her trying to strap her kids in again. I say, “Oh excuse me ma’am, just gonna sneak by ya real quick!”
She’s glaring at me, the worst stare I’ve ever gotten. I get in the car and unwind the windows ever so slightly. It’s hot today, right? I slowly unwrap the rest of the sandwich and take a few more bites, passing it to husband and back while she’s screaming and struggling with her kids, getting no help from Daddy. As soon as she pulled away, we burst into laughter. Today was a good day.
24. Sole Cost
I no longer work retail, but I used to work at an extremely discounted store, something like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc. This incident actually happened a few nights before my last day. We were about to close, and this lady came up to my register to check out. She handed me a pair of Michael Kors baby shoes and asked me how much they are.
I told her the price—$27—and she flipped! She retorted that the price could not be correct. I calmly said, “They are $27, ma’am. Did you still want them?” She replied, “I want them but not for that price.” She clearly wanted a discount. I had to clarify: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t do discounts. We’re already an extremely discounted store.”
She said in disbelief, “$27 for baby shoes?! That’s crazy.” So, seeing her reluctance to pay that much, I assumed that she did not want to buy them anymore. Thus, I offered to put them back for her. She stopped me angrily, saying, “Uh hello? I said that I want them!” I acceded to that but firmly maintained my stance by saying, “OK, ma’am. They’re still going to be $27 though.”
She refused to believe me and asked me to check again. So, I flipped the computer screen around and showed her the price. At that moment, she did not know what to do because she was wrong, so she snapped at me to get my manager. The said manager came, confirmed the price, then left.
I thought that was the end of it, but no. Karen then said, “I just don’t understand why they are so much?” I tried to make her understand by saying, “Well, these are Michael Kors, one of the more expensive brands we carry here. If you were to buy these anywhere else then they’d be at least $100. You’re actually getting a pretty good deal.”
She still refused to budge and said, “I just don’t believe you. That’s not the real price. And you should know, I work for the Attorney General, and it would be a shame if you lost your job because you’re making up prices.” Still trying to maintain my cool, I replied, “There’s no benefit for me to lie to you.” She finally became quiet.
What was she thinking? Consider this, lady. I get paid $9 an hour to scan items. What on earth makes you think I make commission? If you want Michael Kors goods then you have to pay Michael Kors prices, even though this was already a bargain.
25. Sweet And Soured
I am 17 and live in the UK, and this happened around December of last year in a Lidl, which is a grocery store. My mom asked me to go grocery shopping because she was quite busy with something and I agreed to go. I spent around 10 minutes at the Lidl looking for things on the shopping list. While there, I decided to get a treat for myself because why not.
I got some Fin Carré chocolate and made my way to the till. I was standing in line while using my phone just minding my business until this overly loud parent with her very hyperactive kid, who looked around eight, came behind me in the line. Mother: “You wouldn’t mind letting us go in front of you, would you?” I looked down on her cart, which seemed to be a lot more full than mine.
Still, I decided I’m not in a rush, and I replied “sure” and subtly smiled. She thanked me and went on to go in front of me. My impression of this woman seemed normal…until this happened. The kid said as he was pointing to my cart: “Mom, look it’s that chocolate that you promised me to buy next time we go shopping.” Mom: “Oh yes darling I just remembered.”
She then looked up to me and said, “May I grab the chocolate bar? The little one’s been eager to get it.” Now, this chocolate is somewhat far from the tills in this location, so getting a new chocolate bar for myself would’ve been a chore. I replied: “I’m sorry I don’t think I can give you the chocolate, it’s quite far from the tills.”
Her smile quickly turned into a stare and she said in a loud voice: “Right, I don’t care how far this chocolate is from here, someone like you is more than capable of getting a new bar, so stop making George cross!” I replied: “I don’t care how capable I am, I’m not going anywhere and this chocolate is staying in the cart.” Now, there was a lot going through my head at this point, but I remember how the kid was reaching inside my cart, trying to grab the chocolate.
I quickly grabbed it myself and held it in my hand. Kid: “Mom, the guy took the chocolate!” Mom: “Right, I’ve had enough.” This woman literally reached to my hand to grab the chocolate, but I moved in time and decided to go directly to the cashier and ask him to call a manager. The cashier seemed to have witnessed everything and informed the manager about what happened.
After no more than two minutes of me awkwardly standing, the manager arrives. She walks up to the mother and quietly asks her to leave. However, the mother kept trying to incriminate me somehow until she finally paid for her groceries and left. Me, the cashier, and the manager all had a laugh about it after she left. Now that I think about it, that scene wasn’t worth a chocolate bar, but oh well.
26. On The Edge
A lady demanded that I call her a manager today. She wanted to complain about how some items did not have a price on them while others did. She started interrogating me about pricing protocol, but I was on SCO duty today. Though, since I’d never seen her in the store before, I lied and said that I had nothing to do with stocking.
The manager arrived and Queen Karen launched into a full-fledged rant. Then, while she was at the counter complaining, she added a very hand-flailing, gestured complaint that the counter edges were too rough and sharp. She went as far as to say she was lucky that she did not injure herself, otherwise she would have called the health board. I wipe that counter down probably 200 times every day.
I assure you, there is nothing sharp about it because I would be among the first to raise a concern about it if there was. The employees where I work are very aware of how something small like a sharp edge on a cart can end up with a potential lawsuit in this crazy economic and opportunistic climate in which we live right now.
My manager handled it well, but the other associates and I couldn’t stop laughing about it all shift. Their loud proclamations about how such-and-such—mostly random things like the color scheme, etc.—could have been fatal for us were just absurd.
27. Too Hot To Handle
So I was standing in line at the checkout at my local supermarket. It was a SUPER heatwave around this time, just scorching outside. I think in total I had about 10 items, some frozen goods, drinks, and snacks. While in line, I usually tend to take out one of the buds of my earphones in case someone calls out to me. At this time, the woman at the cash register was taking care of the payment of one client.
There was one person in front of me, and then suddenly she appeared—the entitled mother. Now honestly, she didn’t look it. She didn’t even give off a mean vibe or anything. Even the way she started talking to me was overall nice and polite, AT FIRST. “Excuse me, do you mind if I skip ahead? I’m in a hurry.” Now in general if somebody politely asks me this and I don’t have any urgent business of my own, I usually don’t mind.
This time, however, I didn’t have that many groceries, so her delay would be at most a few minutes, while she was pushing a fully loaded shopping cart in front of her. If I would have let her skip, I’d probably still be in the store for another 10-20 minutes. So I politely decline and tell her I will hurry as much as I can. Of course, this was a great offense; I hadn’t given this woman what she was entitled to. She blew up instantly.
Yelling and screaming at me that she was in a hurry and (not kidding here) had to be home in time for her shows. This is important a bit later. Now while this woman was going off, the person at the cash register went into ignore mode and just started scanning my groceries, which I loaded into a bag while she was going on about how I was garbage and they should me ban me from the store.
This should have been the end of it, but then she said something that made me almost want to throttle her. While I was walking away, just about to put the earbud back in, she yells, “If you pass by my car, tell my son he’s the reason he has to wait another half an hour for me.” Now I’m not an extremely smart person, but in this moment my brain made some connections quickly.
What I realized was this: One, it was very hot outside. Two, this woman had been in the store for a while, judging by the number of her groceries. Three, the entire parking lot of this store had almost no shade. Four, it was about 2 pm, so the sun was just over its peak. I rush outside and start running past cars, scanning them for kids inside.
Thankfully, one of the first cars I pass has a small child laying in the back seat. This kid is as pale as a ghost, sweating like crazy, and it looked like he was only half-conscious. I run back inside, and to my utter astonishment, this witch is having a conversation with the cashier while she’s checking out her groceries. I grab her by the shoulders, spin her around, and yell almost straight to her face that her kid is literally dying in the car.
At first, she looked at me in complete confusion, probably never having been spoken to like that before in her life. Then the realization of what I told her sunk in and she rushed outside. While she went outside, a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked what had happened. I explained the situation but left out some details, just saying I saw the kid in the car and knew that this woman was probably the owner.
He went outside and when I came outside, the mother suddenly rushed me and got in my face, saying I was the reason she was in the store for so long and her son’s current condition was my fault. Before I can even respond, the man that approached me earlier speaks up. Turns out, this man was an off-duty officer and had been in the store for a while.
As a result, he knew that the actual delay I “caused” could have not caused this. He also said he had already called an ambulance for the kid and the authorities for her. I don’t know what happened to the woman, but she completely crashed. She just sat down on the pavement and started shaking her head, not saying much except the occasional sob or “not my fault.”
As for the ending: everything turned out okay for most parties. I stayed a while to give a statement and my contact information in case it went to court. The kid was okay (afterward) and since his mom got detained, they called his dad or another male family member (I didn’t ask) to accompany him to the hospital. As for the mother, I’m assuming she is going to have to stand trial for child endangerment.
28. Peeping Polly
I usually sleep in my underwear during summer since it gets hot in my house, and I also have curtains in my windows. So one day I woke up and made myself a bowl of cereal since I was home alone. I walk past my window to the kitchen when I hear a knock on the door. I’m still only in my underwear, so I hurry and get some shorts on. I open the door and see this entitled mother and her daughter.
Mother: HOW DARE YOU WALK AROUND IN YOUR UNDERWEAR Me: Uh….I’m in my own house and I had the window closed with the curtain down? Mother: MY DAUGHTER GOT CURIOUS AND PEEKED THROUGH YOUR WINDOW AND SAW YOU IN YOUR UNDERWEAR. Me (stunned into silence for a bit): Well, it’s my house, and I can be as naked as I want to be. And then I shut the door in their faces.
16. Make Way
So, I work at a grocery store chain and Tuesdays are what we refer to as “Specials Day.” Basically, it’s my job to change out last week’s special with the current week’s special. It is a long and painful project that I volunteered for when I got promoted because I like doing projects that other people do not.
That day, I was doing my thing in the specials aisle. I started getting gradually more and more annoyed since the whole process would be three times faster if they just let me do it when the store was closed, but, for some baffling reason, they wanted the customers to interact with me as I was occupied with 10 pallets of random things.
Near the end of my ninth pallet, I had myself basically pinned into a corner of the aisle. This was a strong nonverbal language that should have signaled to the customers, “Hey, maybe don’t walk this way. I’ll have to step around my pallet, move my pallet jack, and reset myself if you do.” But lo and behold, trouble was headed my way—a lady came walking down the aisle, approaching me at the end.
I am a chill guy, but I don’t really talk much to the customers because my store is in an upper-class area and the wealthy folks don’t like getting spoken to by some sweaty dude in a uniform. So, when she kept walking towards me, I realized that she was going to try and walk around my pallet or, God forbid, walk on it.
I quickly moved my jack and the pallet and looked up at the ceiling, questioning God for creating oblivious customers. Apparently, that look at the ceiling really truly infuriated her. At first, as she walked through the suddenly clear path, she apologized half-heartedly in that way only some types of customers can pull off.
But her apology read more like “Oh, I am sorry wage person. I sure hope I didn’t inconvenience you with my presence.” I nodded my head at her “apology” and turned back to move my jack and pallet back to where I was working. Apparently, not only did she expect me to move, but she also really expected me to graciously tell her it was no problem that she made me move my entire working station so she could save 15 steps.
Between not accepting her apology and looking at the ceiling for about three milliseconds, she decided right then and there that I was a menace and needed a talking to. She started with the basic criticism of me being a retail grunt who didn’t have a big fake grin on my face the entire day. She topped it off with the classic line that always gets my blood boiling: “I do not think you should be working here if that is going to be your attitude.”
She said that while looking at me like I was an animal in a zoo exhibit. I did not reply and just kept working. “What’s the worst that can happen?” I thought. I cannot please everyone. Then she got in line. Now, the line to the checkout is situated about 10 feet from where I was working. At that point, the villain, in her mind, had her walkway obstructed.
She went out of her way to loudly criticize me and complain about how I should not be allowed to work at the store. Now, I will be honest with you, I should have just let her have her moment. If I had let her just screech and complain, it probably would have ended there. Maybe a phone call or strongly worded email to corporate. No biggie. I should have just smiled and kept working.
But there was a part of me that needed her to know that yelling at customers about how terrible I am is not how we did things at our store. So, I told her, calm as I could, that she needed to stop making a scene. And when I say something snapped in this woman, it was like someone hit a light switch. Immediately, her phone was recording me and everything got a lot more dangerous.
She was asking leading questions like, “Did you just tell me I can’t talk to other customers?” and “Do you think you have the right to break my first amendment?” and “Who’s the manager here?” Now, there are two things you can do when someone gets their phones out and records you. You can walk away, potentially get followed, and then you can ask them to stop recording.
Or you can be a fool like me and ask them to stop recording you right away. The latter method, naturally, led to her screaming even louder and accusing me of being a terrible person. She randomly started threatening me, saying that she could have me fired whenever she wanted. At that point, I was just trying to get her to leave.
She had made the scene worse by recording and trying to be the next viral “look at how bad I was treated” internet star, and it was clear that she just wanted to capture my angry reaction on film. I am glad to report that I did not get angry with her. I did not raise my voice at all. I just stood there and let her scream at me. As she finally finished paying for her groceries, I asked her again to please leave if she was going to continue making a scene.
This led to her sitting behind the cashiers and between the doors and waiting for me to walk away so that she could leave. I informed her that I needed to see her leave. She said that she was not leaving until I was out of her sight. I stood my ground and told her that she needed to leave or I would be forced to call the authorities.
Oh, God. She had the wrong reaction to that statement. Most of the time, if someone says, “Hey, this might need to become an official matter,” the natural human reaction is to reevaluate what they are doing and decide if they want to continue. For reasons only God knows, this customer’s reaction was “Good, call them. I want them here.”
Here’s the thing. I was not ever going to call them. It was a bottomless threat. What was I going to say to them? “There is a lady screaming at me and recording me?” Worst case scenario, this woman makes the whole situation into some kind of bigger issue and I end up on the news. So, my bluff having been called, I walked into the office and called my direct manager.
I told her what had happened and she basically told me to get back out there and deescalate the situation. I went back to the registers and I actually decided that the best course of action was to tuck tail and just apologize. So, I did. I said to her, “I’m really sorry you had a bad experience today. I hope you can come back and shop here. I understand what went wrong and I will gladly give you corporate’s information.” And then I told her to have a good day, indicating the door as I said that.
She sort of accepted my apology. Of course, she still went on about how I was terrible and how I should not work there, but at least she calmed down a little…until she mentioned she was an “investigator.” Not seeing a uniform or a badge, I asked her what I thought to be a natural and reasonable question.
I asked, “An investigator for who?” Her exact reply was, “Do not play stupid. You know what kind of investigator.” Then she went on to say that she was going to call corporate, let them know that I was only harassing her because she was an immigrant (which was ironic since I am an immigrant too) and that I should expect not to have a job in the next 24 hours.
I just sat there and took it. There was nothing else I could do, really. Sometimes you just have to let them screech so they will leave. As she finally turned to leave, she noticed that I was watching her. So, she came back and said that I could not watch her leave because I was “going to attack” her outside.
I clammed up even more at that comment. As a final shot, she told me that she had “the means to retaliate” in her car and that she’d “gladly use it” if I come outside. She finally left and I called my boss, breaking down in tears of pure frustration, telling her how the de-escalation went. My boss assured me that she was just a crazy lady and that she, my boss, would have my back if this turned into a bigger deal.
29. An Expensive Mistake
I own a Jeep that’s fully built, has a lift kit, the whole shebang. One day I’m coming home from work. It’s a summer day so the roof is off and I’m having some open-top fun. I stop at a red light and suddenly screeeeech BANG! I drive forward slightly and go back to assess the damage, and lo and behold it’s a Mercedes C class, a new one at that.
It was completely destroyed from the front, and my beautiful Jeep had no damage apart from a few scratches. I went to check on the passenger of the Mercedes and got her out of the car. Under a minute after she’s out of the car, she starts screaming about how I wrecked HER car. I told her calmly that she was the one who rammed into me.
I don’t think she understood how my hitting her would be impossible. In any case, I offer to share our insurance details because I knew that Mercedes damage doesn’t come cheap, but she said she didn’t have insurance. Instead, she insisted that I pay her 10k cash. How she got this number? I don’t know. I said that was just plain wrong as first, she hit me, and second, it’s her fault for not having insurance.
She then went on a ramble on how her kids needed the money and now her kids will have to starve because she will have to pay to fix her car and how it will all be my fault when they are on the street tomorrow…blah blah blah. Yeah, on the street with a Mercedes. She then said she would call the authorities if I didn’t pay her. This was still incredibly stupid, so I still refused.
So then she called the cops…………..yeah. Officers came, assessed the damage, and asked us what happened. She said and I quote, “He backed into me at full speed on a red light.” Then they asked me what happened and I told them, and it became a he said, she said situation. Luckily, a shopkeeper was there and saw the whole thing and even captured it on a surveillance camera.
Needless to say, I came out on top. The officers got her for reckless driving and driving without insurance. She then started yelling at them about how they would just let me get away. They explained that I did nothing wrong and that they now had video evidence of that fact. Eventually, they let me go from the scene and I got in my Jeep and left.
30. Selective Vision
Today, I had two unrelated customers really get under my skin. Most of the time, I shrug off mean customers. I let them complain and then reply with “Sorry, company policy” or some other non-response to shut them up. But not today. And the first one was a doozy. This customer was an older lady who had bought four packages of hot dogs.
We currently have a sale for hot dogs: buy two and they are 99 cents each while their normal price is $2.99 each. The limit is one, so it’s a pretty good deal; you save $4 overall. However, this lady was angry that only two of her hot dogs had gone for the sale price. I was called up and asked to fix it. The lady claimed that there was no limit mentioned on the sale sign.
So, I got out a sales flier, and before I had even opened it, she claimed that she doesn’t read the fliers. That made me instantly angry. I set up a refund and went to get the on-shelf sale tag. And wouldn’t you know it, in big bold capital letters the tag read: “Limit offer one per customer.” I grabbed the sign and started to go up front to show the customer.
She saw me coming and immediately took off because the cashier had run the refund before I had a chance to get the tag. It irks me that customers can read the sale sign, but selectively ignore parts of it.
31. The Turban Towel Heist
This happened about five years ago when I was working as a newly qualified social worker. It had been a rough morning and long story short, I had spit and vomit on me. As pretty standard practice, I kept a spare set of court clothes in my car so I had something to change into, but I felt pretty disgusting and wanted a shower. So I took an early lunch and went to my gym nearby the office to shower and change.
I showered, came out and put my hair up into a towel turban, and walked toward the lockers. The changing area was empty except for one kid, a boy about eight or nine. A bit weird for him to be alone, but I assumed his mom must’ve been in the only occupied stall so I didn’t think too much of it. I smiled to acknowledge him and got to my locker to grab my things to change into.
At this point, the boy looked at me, pointed at my towel turban, and said: “What’s that?” Me: Oh it’s a towel turban, pretty neat huh? It stays up better than a regular towel. Boy: Cool. And he started to reach for my head. Me: Excuse me, what are you doing? Boy: I just want to see it. Me: Err, no I’m using it, sorry. At this point in my life, I’m pretty used to kids being a bit inappropriate, and it’s my job to make sure they understand, but I wasn’t expecting it here.
He looked a bit angry but went back to his (mom’s?) phone. I get dressed quickly and get my things to go over to the mirror and take the turban off to hairdryer my hair. I’m flipping my hair around to get it dried and I notice that this kid comes up to the mirror, then leaves again. I think nothing of it, and finish drying my hair, turn the hairdryer off, reach for my turban…and it isn’t there.
I know what he’s done, and I whip around and look at him. He’s turning a shade of red but staring fixedly on his phone so as to ignore me. I’m trying to remain calm, but Christ I’ve been spat at, vomited on, and now someone has taken my towel turban?! I walk back over and do my best “I’ve had enough of this” voice and say “Please return the turban. Now.”
He keeps ignoring me, so I repeat, “Please return the turban. Now.” He’s gone a huge shade of red, refuses to look at me, and mumbles something like “I didn’t take it.” I’ve had it at this point, so go over to the only occupied stall and knock on the door “Excuse me, is this your son out here?” The entitled mother opens the door and looks at me, thoroughly annoyed.
Her: What? Me: Is this your son? He has taken my towel turban, I have asked for it back, but he is not returning it. Please ask him to hand it back, and I’ll not inform the gym staff. Her: What the heck is a towel turban? I start to explain, but the boy says, “It’s a hair towel that stays up better than a normal towel!” We both look at him, and the mom says: Ok… so what do you want?
Me: I want my towel turban back please. Her: Well, he wouldn’t just take something, you obviously just lost it. You shouldn’t go around accusing people because you lose things! Me: (getting annoyed) Well, he will have no problem then emptying his bag. If he has it, he can just hand it back and if I’m mistaken, I will apologize. The mom looks at the kid, and it’s obvious to anyone that he’s lying.
She just says: Don’t be stupid, I’m not letting you rummage through his things like he’s some kind of thief! Look at you, you are harassing a little boy in a changing room! I inhale to try and stop my eyes from doing a 360-degree roll. Me: I’m not asking to touch anything. I’m asking for you to go through his bag for my turban. That is all. If you are not willing, I will go to the staff and ask them to sort this out.
I know it’s just a freaking towel turban, but theft is theft, and it’s pink and cute, so I’m not letting anyone have it. Her: So you’re threatening me now?! I know a circular argument when I hear one, so I go to the door, lean out and call for someone to come and sort it out. Enter gym trainer dude. Trainer: What’s going on? He looks between the three of us and the kid has gone back to staring a hole through the phone and the mother positions herself between the trainer and the kid.
Her: This crazy witch is harassing my son and trying to go through his bag! She needs throwing out! She… Me: That isn’t what happened. Her son has taken my towel turban, and I would like it returned. I just keep looking at this kid, and the trainer says: Ok, so what happened? Did you take the towel?
The kid mumbles something about how I must’ve lost it and the mother jumps in and says: See? He didn’t take it, he’s so traumatized he can barely say anything! She then bends down to him and hugs him saying, “It’ll be alright” and she “Won’t let me get away with this” verrrrrrry dramatically. I look at the trainer and explain the whole event.
He says: Ok, so, why don’t we just check his bag? The kid starts dramatically wailing and the mother starts ranting about how this is harassment. The trainer looks uncomfortable and says, “That’s literally the only way I think I can solve this.” The mother then stands up and tries to push past me, but I’m not moving and the room is small, so she fails.
She starts swearing and thrusts the kid’s backpack at the trainer. Her: Fine! Check it! He hasn’t taken it, and when you don’t find it, I want her thrown out! The kid wails. The trainer obviously finds the pink, wet turban towel in the bag. He picks it up and kind of just looks at it. The kid wails even more and tries to grab it, but the trainer holds it out of his reach.
Trainer: Right, so…so…this is yours? Me: yes, Thank you. I stuff the coveted turban towel into my bag and get out my car keys and ID lanyard. As I put the lanyard over my head, something practically audibly clicked in the mother’s head: That’s a social worker ID. She yanks the kid’s arm, snatches the bag from the trainer, and I move to let her pass.
The trainer looks super confused and I explain that she must’ve just been embarrassed that her son took my turban. But I knew she was panicking because she realized what my job was and that her son was out of school, taking pink, wet turban towels.
32. Needing An Explanation
I had never ever encountered anyone really going off on me at work…Until yesterday. This encounter at my workplace—a burger place—involved a rude customer named Darren, his young daughter, my coworker named Karen, my manager named Bernard, and me.
At my workplace, we organize orders numerically. Once your order is finished, we call out the number and the customer comes to pick up their order at a hand-out area. Now, I am currently training for a new role, so I was close to the handout table, but not working it. I noticed a man, whom I came to know as Darren, standing in front of the table with a receipt in his hand and a burger in the other.
Obviously, I knew he had a complaint. I just didn’t expect that it would go like this. I asked him if something was wrong with his order. He said that he had gotten the wrong burger. He was actually calm at this point and he sounded only a slight bit irritated, but there was nothing alarming. I apologized and asked what kind of burger he was missing.
That’s when Karen, who was taking orders next to us, jumped in and said, “Oh, I think his daughter grabbed the wrong order. His order is in the back.” I later told her that it was not necessary to tell the customers their mistakes in that manner because either way, we were going to fix it for them. It was faster to just fix it rather than play the blame game.
Plus, no one was going to blame her and go on some witch hunt. I just wanted to do my job. At the time, I just said that the food in the back was already cold, so I just needed to know which burger he needed.” Instead of answering me, Darren said, “Wait. My daughter grabbed the wrong food though?” Karen said that was what she thought had happened.
So, Darren replied, “Well, can you tell her that? Because I do not want to start a fight if I tell her.” At that point, Karen and I looked at each other confused and uncomfortable. He then waved his daughter over. They were a tall duo, but I guessed that she was around 12. I tried to avoid the situation and reiterated, “Really, I can just get the correct burger for you. It’s not a big deal at all.”
Darren insisted that she needed to “learn this.” I then said, “OK. Well, I did not hand out the food, so I cannot say if she grabbed the wrong order. Karen can help with that.” Karen quickly washed her hands of the situation by saying, “I can’t. I am in the middle of taking orders.” That annoyed me and I thought, “Why were you listening to us in the first place then? Why put in your 2 cents when I was already fixing it and we had no issues?”
But my concern, at that point, was Darren, who suddenly really wanted me to do it. His tone made the situation really uncomfortable. Even his daughter started to look extremely uncomfortable. As he started getting irate, more condescending, and loud, I started to just look for a way out. He continued to insist that he wanted to talk to me and know what had happened.
I, once again, expressed my helplessness. “Yes, sir. But unfortunately, I do not know what happened. I was not here handing out the food.” He kept cutting me off, so I finally said, “I am going to get my manager for you because I cannot help you any more with this.” As I turned to step away, he started screaming at the top of his lungs.
He shouted, “No, don’t walk away from me! Ma’am, I do not want your manager! I am not trying to create a scene here!” Everyone was staring as he was going off and I yelled out Bernard’s name. Bernard came over and that is when Darren went back to his calm voice. He told Bernard that he just wanted to know what happened with his order.
I was still standing there and Bernard said, “He wants to talk to you.” Darren had a condescending voice when he was talking to me. He gave a half-truth and then asked, “Is that not what happened?” So, I stood quietly, and after he asked again, I said, “Well, I mean, my manager is here. So, yes, I am agreeing that that is what happened.”
I also refused to look at him because when I get angry, I cry. I was trying so hard not to let the tears out. Also, because he was bending down to my level, I wanted to punch him. Darren started saying stuff like, “Will you look at me? Why does it feel like you don’t want to be talking to me? Do you even want to be here talking to me?”
When he didn’t stop his aggression, I absolutely lost it. So, I said, “No, I don’t. Bernard, I’m not doing this. I can’t do this.” And I walked away. I went to the back where three or four different coworkers checked up on me. One even offered to let me punch him to take out my anger. I did not take him up on his offer, but I love that kid.
At that point, I only had like 10 to 15 minutes left on my shift, so I got to go home. Bernard apologized to me and said he didn’t expect him to speak to me that way. On one hand, I understand because Darren could come across as a normal calm customer. But on the other hand, this guy was literally just screaming at me. And he was at least 6’3 (192 cms) while I am 4’11 (125 cms).
Even his daughter was taller than me. I told Bernard that it felt a little biased because he was not as condescending with him as he was with me. But Bernard said that he felt it was more to do with height since he was just as tall and built similarly to the customer. Either way, he said that there was something off about that guy anyway, and I agree.
33. Cruising For A Bruising
I’m a femboy, which means that I’m a man who acts more feminine and in most occasions wears women’s clothing and such. One day, my boyfriend and I decided to go on a cruise vacation. We drove from our apartment early in the morning, since we live quite a ways from the harbor where we were going to sail from. It takes about 3-4 hours to drive.
I am totally not a morning person, but my boyfriend was completely zonked that morning from work, so I decided to drive so he could sleep some more. We got there about 30 minutes before departure so we parked the car and went out to smoke. I was ready to drop, I was that exhausted. I was so excited about our trip that I didn’t get much sleep that night.
But we finished up, got our bags, and walked over to the check-in. Enter the witch and her little brat. Her: Move over, my son and I NEED to check in right now. We moved over since it wasn’t our first encounter with a woman like this. She finished checking in her son and herself so we got back to the counter and finished up as well.
All the while, we talked with the woman behind the counter about entitled parents. We got aboard and went looking for our cabin. It had a nice double bed, big TV on the wall, a nice view, etc. We packed out our luggage and settled in. We turned on the TV and watched Smokey and the Bandit while waiting for the announcement that we were departing.
When it came, we went up to the adult zone (one of the upper decks next to the bar) and who do we see, yup this woman and her kid. The kid can’t have been older than nine, and this zone was only for people 18 and older. Anyway, we ignore them and start kissing and being touchy-feely, and pretending like we’re Jack and Rose from Titanic.
The mom comes over. Her: You shouldn’t act like that here, my son is here watching the two of you. But you did well kid, having a cute girlfriend like that, and nice dress by the way. I was wearing something like a lace-up, tartan, asymmetrical dress since I like the punk-ish style. We just thanked her and went back inside to rest for a bit.
In the evening, we had a reservation at one of the fancier restaurants on board. We got there and since we had a reservation we could skip the huge line. Some people didn’t like it but stayed quiet, but not…her. Yep, she was there again. Her: Why do they get to skip the line while the rest of us have to stay behind? Let me trade with you, my son is very hungry.
I got tired of meeting her everywhere but hey, it’s a ship, surrounded by water, we can’t avoid her for long. We got to our table, still hearing her yelling at the workers. We ordered some drinks and food, then my boyfriend told me that he had something to ask me. He took his chair and pushed it out so he could stand, eyed the waiter that came over with a little black box, and I knew what was happening and started getting tears in my eyes.
I had been waiting for some time for this to happen. He got on one knee and asked, “Will you make me the happiest man on earth?” He barely finished the sentence when I said yes. No time to think, I just did it, since I can’t think of a life without him. Everyone started clapping and I gave him a long kiss. The entitled mom finally got through the line and saw us kissing.
Her: Can’t you kiss your girlfriend somewhere else? My son is with me. Boyfriend: First of all, I just proposed and kissed to make it official. Second, that is not my girlfriend, that’s my boyfriend. You could see all color disappear from her face. Her: …How could you do that with children present? You should not do something like that at all. Blah, Blah, Blah.
While she kept yelling, I noticed that something smelled like poop and I couldn’t see her little brat anywhere, until….I looked down and there he was, trying to pull down my skirt. I quickly grabbed his hands and yanked him away from me. Mother: HOWDAREYOUTOUCHMYBABY Like that, yes. I don’t think she breathed at all during that sentence. And here we go…
Her: I will sue you for this. And stop wearing girl’s clothing, it is not ok to walk like that. My boyfriend was furious. He normally never lays a hand on anyone, but had I not seen it and stopped him, he would have slapped her into the next century. The woman saw what he was about to do and acted like he actually did it….with the employees and the manager looking at her.
She got escorted out and we got our meal on the house. After ” resting” in our cabin, we set out to find the bar. We heard there was live music and good drinks so we had to try it. We found it after wandering around for a while. We entered, ordered some drinks, and sat down. We drank quite a bit and decided to dance as fiancés. Well, who do we see…
Entitled Mother: STOOOOOP THE Music. It got quiet. Her: Don’t start the music until these two leave. She starts to sound like that typical Catholic priest while pointing at us all angry. But she got the exact opposite of what she wanted. The bartender comes over and says: Miss, I have to ask you to leave the bar. Her: Why do we have to leave while These Two get to stay?
Bartender: First of all, you brought a kid that most certainly is not 18 years or older. Second, we do not tolerate those comments. And lastly, you’re just a nasty person. You could almost hear her jaw drop to the floor as she looked for a response. She ended up leaving, music started playing again, and we gave an extra big tip before leaving to our cabin for some more cozy time.
The rest of our vacation went pretty much without meeting her and her devil spawn again. We are getting married in August.
34. Too Good To Be True
To preface, it needs to be said that my store does not have coupons. We never have, and we probably never will. On this day, I had a woman come in saying that she wanted to get decor for her new house. I offered to show her what we had available. She then mentioned that she was so excited that she was going to get such a good deal.
I assumed that was because everything she was picking out was 40% off. Spoiler alert: it was not. She proceeded to spend over an hour picking out everything and having us put it behind the counter for her. That was when she finally mentioned, “Oh yes, I was so happy to get a coupon for half off of everything here,” which was the major red flag.
I then asked her if I could see it while also explaining that we did not carry in-store coupons. She proceeded to spend another 30 minutes looking for the supposed coupon. I finally got a glance at her phone and it all made sense—she had pulled up one of those websites that claim to give out coupon codes, but they usually don’t work.
It even said in a big text that they uncertified codes. She was perfectly polite the entire time but explaining to her that she couldn’t use any of that in-store was exhausting. I know the older generation can have trouble with stuff like that, but it was like she just could not believe that she could not use her coupons. And, of course, she had us put half of it back.
35. Not-So Empty Threats
So I’m on a plane and I’m sat a few rows behind a family of four. The boarding is nearly complete. The daughter (entitled kid) is sobbing, and it gets more and more audible as more people get in and on their seats. Finally, the Entitled Mother gets a hold of the flight attendant and demands her to ask the captain “one more time” if they could have their dog in the cabin instead of the pet compartment.
The flight attendant tries to explain that their dog is too large and has to travel separately. This provokes the entitled kid to cry out even louder, and the flight attendant tries to explain how it is perfectly safe for animals to travel in their designated compartment underneath the passengers. The fuss starts to attract attention, and someone close to my row announces their severe allergy to dogs to the family and the flight attendant.
The mother raises her voice and demands the flight attendant to dig their luggage and dog out of the plane, as they will find another airline that allows all family members in the cabin. At this point, the plane is full and the doors are closed, and it seems the captain is waiting for confirmation from the crew to start rolling towards the take-off strip. The flight attendant tries to explain how they would have to go through all the luggage to find theirs, and how that would delay the flight.
The mother is having none of it and very clearly articulates, “You would turn back in an instant and go through it all if there was a bomb, wouldn’t you?” All movement and chatter stop and the flight attendant gets very serious, “Please remain seated, we’ll see what we can do.” It takes less than a minute for officers to arrive and escort the family out.
It takes 10 more to get their luggage and the dog and another five for the flight to take off. Seeing the mad-angry husband with the crying kids watch their mom put in the patrol car was the best start for a holiday I’ve had in a long time.
36. Cost Per Spray
I work at a thrift store, and due to COVID, there needs to be a door greeter who greets customers coming in and sprays their hands with hand sanitizer. This was what I was doing when an elderly woman came in. As I sprayed her hands, she started coughing dramatically as though this was the first time anyone had ever done that.
Then, she said, “You sprayed too much. It got into my mouth.” I immediately felt bad when she said that, but then she lost me when she said that it had gotten into her mouth. She was clearly wearing a mask. To top it off, as she walked away, she muttered something. It sounded like, “This is going to affect the amount of money I spend today.” I don’t get how that affects me, but okay.
37. A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
I am a 28-year-old woman who just recently went fully blind. When I was a teenager, I volunteered with my local youth group to help rebuild Mississippi after hurricane Katrina, and while down there I picked up a fungal parasite called Histoplasmosis that, over a decade, migrated to my eyes and slowly caused blindness. I’ve been totally blind for about a year now, so I’m pretty new to it.
When I first went blind, I barely left the house and was afraid to go in public. I felt like everyone was staring at me and in all honesty, I barely knew what I was doing. The transition had been difficult and I didn’t have any support group to teach me. One day my husband asks if I can take an Uber down to the bank and deposit a rent check and I reluctantly agree.
While out, he messages again and reminds me that we’re out of a few crucial groceries. There was a Wal-Mart grocery literally across the street from the bank, so I figure everything in life is an experience and I’ll have to learn how to shop alone eventually, so why not. Everything was fine at first and I was only grabbing a few things so I didn’t need a cart.
I was using my cane and what little echolocation skills I had at the time to get around, but was still bumping into things as we blind tend to do sometimes. My cane suddenly hit something a bit softer and I figure maybe I had whacked someone’s leg and apologize. Cue Entitled Kid (EK) and Entitled Mother (EM). Me: Shoot, I’m sorry—
EM: Hey! You just hit my son!! Me: I’m so sorry, ma’am, I didn’t see him there. EM begins yelling: HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE HIM, HE’S CLEARLY RIGHT HERE!! Now, again, I’m fully blind, but I don’t wear sunglasses. Mostly because I can’t afford a good UV blocking pair, but also I’m not ever looking for pity or to ”play the part” of a generic blind person.
I just want to be treated like a normal person, but I do understand her confusion as blindness is a spectrum, so I try to calmly explain. Me: Ma’am, I’m blind, I can’t see anything, let alone your son. That’s why I have to use the cane, so I can get around without— She cuts me off: If you’re blind, why aren’t you wearing big sunglasses?
As a blind person, I get a lot of stupid questions, but I understand a lot of them are just people who don’t know better, so I try to happily answer as many as I can. Me: Those are really expensive (around $200 for a good pair), and I really don’t need any inside. Here is where my blood starts to boil. EM: You’re not blind, you’re faking it!
I can’t think of any reason someone would want to pretend to be blind, and nothing makes me angrier more than when someone calls me a liar when I’m not. Just as I’m about to respond, I feel a tug and before I blink, I realize this little demon spawn has snatched my $100 cane from my hands. For those of you who don’t understand, that’s like if you’re shopping and suddenly the power goes out and you can’t see a single light.
Without my cane, I can barely move at all without crashing into anything. My voice gets shaky as I begin to panic: Please give that back! I REALLY DO NEED IT!! EM: No you don’t, you liar. My son deserves to play with this more than you! I hear her shuffle away and my expensive cane cracking into metal displays and such as they leave.
I start crying and waving my arms in front of me to grab onto something, anything, and end up crashing and falling into a center aisle display, making a loud scene. I somewhat curl into a ball and cry. I’m alone in public, in the dark, and I had no idea what to do. Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder and a man’s voice. We’ll call him AG for awesome guy.
He asks if I’m okay and to stay right here. I do, but begin to at least sit up and listen. This man must have been tall and built like a tank because his footsteps sounded like a giant and I felt a suction of wind when he took off. Maybe about 30 or 40 feet away, I hear this loud bellowing like an angry lion and a loud crash, then before I know it the man is back and helping me to my feet.
He takes my hand and puts my cane into my palm and helps me pick up the items I dropped when I fell into the display. Me wiping tears from my cheeks: Thank you, thank you so much, I didn’t know how to handle that. AG: Don’t worry about it, some people are just monsters. This guy restored my faith in humanity and even helped me finish shopping and helped me out of the store.
As we’re leaving, I can hear the familiar screeching of EM, something about AG grabbing the cane and pulling hard, flinging her little devil child into a shopping cart. I don’t know if she was exaggerating or not but it would explain the crash I heard. It’s easy to feel alone in a world without sight, but even through the sheer terror of being stripped of my cane, at least I know now that there are people willing to stand up for me when I need it.
38. A Question Of Receiving
I had a woman say that she didn’t want her receipt. Then, when I threw it out, she yelled and said that I should give her a receipt. So, I went to print a new one and she immediately said, “No, I want my original receipt.” So, I pulled it out of my trash can, which only had receipt paper in it, and she goes, “It’s that one!”
I wondered, “Lady, how would you know? They’re all the same.” However, I held my tongue and just say, “No, this is for a smaller purchase. You got a bigger size.” I found hers and she huffed off. Fast forward a few days—I looked through the customer feedback box and I was shocked. We get a bad review saying that I was rude, threw out her receipt when she asked for it, and did not print her a new one.
It went on to claim that I just pulled a receipt out of the garbage and didn’t even give her the right receipt. Corporate gave her a gift card. I was done after that.
39. A Beautiful Thing
So, back in high school one of my closest friends got pregnant and gave birth to the sweetest baby boy. She stopped going to school for a while to take care of her kid, but still did online school so she could graduate with her class. One thing we would do is go to one of the local food places near the high school on Fridays. On this particular day, we decided to go to this nice Chinese place that I frequent regularly.
The little old Asian lady knows me by name. This Chinese place has a sticker on the front door that says something like “Breastfeeding will always be allowed,” which is great since that’s what my friend is more comfortable doing for her baby. After we ordered our food, we hung out in this little waiting area when the baby gets all fussy.
She takes out the little cover and covers her baby and her chest as she starts to feed him. We keep talking until this woman and her son, who had to be around 10, comes in. I recognize the kid as one of the kids I looked after when I use to volunteer at a youth center. He comes up to me and starts talking to me, and then asks my friend what she’s doing with the baby.
Before my friend could answer, the boy’s mother cuts in. “A disgusting thing is what she’s doing. Don’t you know better than to do that in public? And why are you even doing that if you’re only a kid?” My friend has an attitude sometimes, so I try to jump in before she would start to throw things. “It’s not disgusting, and the owner, Mrs. L is fine with it. She has a sticker on the door.”
Mrs. L was just ogling the baby a second ago. She smiles at us and continues to write some stuff down. The mother wasn’t happy about this and continues with her rant. “I’m sorry but I’m just not okay with a baby breastfeeding another baby. Can you please just stop,” she says in frustration. Mrs. L finally cuts in and in her broken English, she says, “Nursing baby is a beautiful thing. You have problem, you leave.”
She then taps the order on the window that leads to the kitchen and apologizes to my friend for the woman’s nasty behavior. She then looks at the boy who is still next to me and says jokingly, “Your mother, she dummy right?” This makes the boy laugh and the mother just grumble in her seat, trying to stay as far from us as she could.
When my friend finished and we grabbed our food, Mrs. L threw in an extra order of egg rolls, since they were my friend’s favorite.
40. An Ill-fitting Argument
I work at Zara as a sales associate. Due to COVID, our dressing rooms are closed because they would be used as a shared space and, therefore, they’d require a wipe down, among other things, every time they would be used. We just do not have the staff to do that. So even though the pandemic is starting to die down, no dressing rooms.
Our return policy is pretty standard, though, so most people do not give us any grief and just buy their items and return or exchange them the next day if they do not fit. No big deal, right? Right. So, this happened while I was walking back and forth from our dressing room, which we are using as an extra stock room, filling up the shelves.
We were in the middle of a big sale, so I was trying to hustle and get everything out there as fast as I could. I was putting knitwear on racks, humming along to the song that was playing, and just generally having a grand old time. Then, approached me. The dreaded demon. Karen. She goes, “Excuuuuuuuuse me!” And I’m immediately on guard.
I turned around and immediately all my warning sensors were going off. She looked like a total Karen. Stringy blonde hair, thin lips, years of sunburn that has ruined her skin, not wearing a mask—but has one pulled down below her chin—and a girl behind her in her late teens that looked absolutely miserable being out with her.
Before I even fully processed it, my brain just said, “Oh boy.” I turned on my customer service smile and said, “Hi! How can I help you?” She was immediately in my face, not respecting social distancing at all. She demanded to know if we had a fitting room open, saying, “I was just by your fitting rooms and I saw your sign. Do you have any fitting rooms open?”
The sign clearly said that we did not, but I started with my little spiel. I said, “No, we do not have the fitting rooms open due to COVID, but our return policy still stands, even for the sale, so—” She interrupts me by saying, “But I need a fitting room.” She also stepped closer to me so I stepped back. Clearly, she had no respect for our social distancing rules.
I tried to explain again that she couldn’t use the fitting room, but she wouldn’t have it. “I just saw someone in there.” I replied, “I know, ma’am. That was my manager; she’s pricing items.” That apparently was not a good enough explanation for her, and she rebutted, “So she’s back there and I can’t be?” I just said “Yes.” She still kept trying to get close to me and I kept taking steps back.
She had me quite literally backed into a corner. She proceeded to retort, “This policy is ridiculous. I can’t believe this is still instituted, it’s completely absurd.” She then went on this entire rant about how stupid she thought the whole situation was. Apparently, she felt that she had to explain to me how stores work.
I replied, “Well, ma’am, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and if we were to open the fitting rooms now, then we wouldn’t have the staff to keep them clean and also run the store.” She rolled her eyes and just started talking about how stupid and ridiculous it was that we couldn’t accommodate her. At that point, I had enough.
I try to get her to stop attacking me for things I cannot control by putting it in perspective, “Ma’am, I’m just a sales associate and this policy comes from corporate. There’s really nothing that I can do about this.” This apparently enrages her, and she starts demanding that I change the policy right that second and get in touch with corporate to change the policy just for her.
At that moment, I had a divine moment of self-reflection. My third eye opened and I realized that throughout the whole conversation, I had been looking down. I am 5’3″ (162 cm), so I don’t get to look down at people very often. In arguments, I always feel stupid because I’m yelling up at whoever I am arguing with.
I am clearly not tall, but at that moment, I felt like an Amazonian goddess. I realized that I did not need to fear the Karen because the Karen would never have the dignity of talking down to me in an argument. She was still ranting and raving at this point, talking about how I needed to be the one who instituted the change because it’s my job in danger.
I looked at her, gave her my best sales smile, and said, “Zara is an internationally successful company, ma’am. I am pretty confident in my job. You have a nice day, now.” And I gave the polite gesture of “Get out of my way.” She stormed off, and the daughter, who had been silent and miserable the entire time, whispered, “I am so sorry,” and hurries after her mom.
I went to the fitting room and complained to my manager, who made a few choice comments about the Karens who don’t take the pandemic seriously. I love that lady, truly. Also, when I got home, I searched for Zara’s net worth out of curiosity. Seeing the results, I was relieved. Not worried about my job, not even a little bit.
41. (Don’t) Just Keep Swimming
So let me tell y’all about how this mother tried to have me be her free babysitter/lifeguard. We just got one of those above ground pools you set up yourself that is 4 feet deep and 14 feet round. We spent the majority of two days prepping and filling it and letting it warm. Finally yesterday it was ready, and my daughter asked if she could invite a little girl she is semi-friendly with from down the street to come swim with her.
Since they are eight and they are tall enough to stand with heads above water, I said ok. Well, her little friend brought her toddler sister, who is probably on the younger side of two. definitely too small to stand with her head above the water. I tell the friend that her little sister can’t get in the water unless her mom is here to watch her, and send her home with the message. They both come back and she says, “Mom said she’s fine in her float and I can watch her.”
And I said “No it’s not fine, I don’t think an eight-year-old is responsible enough to watch a toddler in a pool, and I am not going to be the one watching her either. You need to tell your mom either she comes to watch your little sister or she is not getting in the pool.” They both go home and then BOTH COME BACK!! At this point I am livid.
I walk back to their house with them and pound on the door. No answer. I keep knocking, and then the garage door starts to open with this woman backing her car out!! I quickly went and stood at the end of the driveway with all the kids in tow, both of hers and both of mine. She gets out of her car all angry and asks me what my problem is?!
I tell her my problem is that I’m not her babysitter, and that I am definitely not going to be responsible for keeping her baby from drowning in MY swimming pool on MY property! Her reaction was chilling. She then proceeds to start baby-talking her own kids, saying, “I’m so sorry babies the mean lady isn’t going to let you swim, I’m so sorry princesses” and on and on. Of course, the toddler bursts into tears, and then the mother screams at me.
“Look what you’ve done!! You’ve made her cry and ruined her day! Hope you are proud of yourself!! She then snatches up the little sister, who is screaming, tosses her in the car, and screams at the friend to get in too. The friend is red in the face, and you can tell she is so embarrassed. She just mumbles sorry while climbing in the car. The mother then proceeds to peel out of her own driveway and we walk back home. Witch.
For what it’s worth, I was NOT planning on leaving the kids wholly unattended. I was right beside the pool doing yard work and planned on continuing once all the kids were in the pool. I just did not want to watch a small toddler in the pool, as she would require extreme supervision. Like sitting and staring directly at her kind of supervision.
42. Fishing For Trouble
I work at an aquatics store and I manage the freshwater aquariums. Whenever I work at the store, I usually ask people about their fish tanks to help them figure out any problems the tanks may have or recommend the best fish for them. Most of the time, I can help them prevent any beginner mistakes, or just stop their fish from expiring.
A few days ago, a lady came in a few minutes before closing. I was already behind on closing because of other customers, so I was kind of tired. This lady brought in dead fish and a water sample. The parameters looked good, but as a hobbyist myself, I suspected ammonia poisoning for her fish. We did not test for ammonia though.
Furthermore, this lady had done a full water change before her fish kicked it. So, I went through the usual—I explained the proper way to do a water change (25% every week) and also recommend products. She wanted a quick fix despite me explaining that her cycle was a mess and that there was no way that her fish would survive unless she started her cycle all over again.
Such is a process that can take weeks sometimes. Instead of listening, she made up an excuse about how she really needed to take some fish home because her kids want them. I still tried to guide her to a sensible decision. I recommended that she take only two fish so as to not shock the new cycle too much. All went well until she realized something that I had overlooked myself—the fish sale would end in a few days.
Then she insists that she absolutely must take the other fish too. I mentally say, “Alright. Fine. Take your fish.” Out loud I remind her that there is a good chance her fish are going to lose their lives unless she is very careful with her cycle. I, finally, send her on her way thirty minutes after closing because she would not listen to any advice that I gave her.
This was despite asking me what she could do and then not wanting to do it because she thought that it was too much work or she did not have time. I explained it later to the manager and she said that if she came back to return those same fish, I was to deny her the sale.
43. Eat My Dust
I recently had an emergency appendectomy, and recovery has been slow. I had to take time off from my own athletics, but worse, from coaching in the kid’s sports program I’m involved with. The experience made me step back and realize I really built my whole identity around being active and healthy, so the hit my physical abilities took as a result of being sick and the healing process has made me feel lost.
I’ve been working to regain the joy I used to experience from exercise, without going “Oh, you used to be so much faster with that,” or “Your technique used to be so much stronger,” or “You don’t fit in anymore,” or whatever else and just enjoy myself regardless of the level I’m at. But ironically, the anxiety about not being able to do what I used to has made regaining those abilities difficult.
It made me self-conscious about exercising in public spaces, but I was starting to finally get over it as friends convinced me the source of the concerns was all in my head. There’s no way to get back to it other than training, so despite the anxiety, I started running again, as soon as the doctors approved it. I went to the local track and just did a few slow laps each morning, building up speed every few days.
I’ve only just been authorized to add some sprints and bodyweight strength training to the mix. Occasionally there were other people at the track, but I didn’t really notice because I run with headphones on and try to zone out in these lighter sessions. But little did I know, my friends were wrong. It was not all in my head. I was being watched, and more than that, I was being judged.
This was my absolute catastrophe-level worst nightmare at this stage of building back my strength and speed. On Friday, I was setting up for practice at the kid’s program and the head coach asked me into his office because a parent had a complaint. A parent I didn’t know too well, Karen, was there and he said she had specific complaints about me.
I was a bit nervous, as anyone is being called to meet with their boss over a complaint, but I figured it was a classic case of “My kid should start more,” or “I know my kid tried out as a midfielder but I want him/her to switch to defense,” that kind of “rules don’t apply to me” thing. But instead, I sit down in the office, and Karen is playing my boss a video of me running on the track.
That she filmed from afar; it’s surrounded by stadium-style risers. I was horrified, both because no one is ever totally used to seeing themselves on video, and because I was just embarrassed about how slow I was. But most importantly because why was a virtual stranger (I’d met her personally maybe four times, ever) filming me while I ran on my own time at a private facility?
She then went on to explain that her eight-year-old son, one of the players on my squad, was lapping me in the video. She was insisting the coaches need to hold themselves to higher athletic standards than the young players if they want to prepare them for college teams. (Again, her son is eight.) Apparently, her son would sometimes be running on the track while her older child was practicing on a nearby field.
I never noticed, the kid is still relatively new, and again, I don’t pay much attention to the other people on the track. My boss patiently but firmly explained to Karen that my physical abilities are not the parents’ concern, and all personnel are closely managed by the head coaches who understand each unique situation and what’s appropriate, and that her son wouldn’t be impacted.
But she didn’t stop there. Karen then went on to say my being out of shape was probably connected to why I’d been taking so much time off lately. Uh… technically yes, it is, because I was in the hospital. She was complaining that the personnel changeover isn’t good for the kids. My boss again reiterated that the head coaches hadn’t changed or taken any time off and that I was still one of the most skilled in the area I instruct, so this was not her concern.
She asked if there was someone else she could speak to, but he explained that he was the owner and founder of this program, so, no there was not. I knew my boss was intentionally avoiding saying what had happened to me or even alluding to a health issue, to protect my privacy, but I figured maybe being transparent with her would show her how ridiculous she was being—and keep her tuition dollars in our program.
But when I explained, she just turned to the boss and said, “Well maybe you should furlough her until she’s healed and bring on a healthy coach in the meantime, because my son needs someone out there who can keep up with him.” My boss respected what I was trying to do, but made clear we weren’t going further with that strategy to avoid setting a precedent of sharing coaches’ personal circumstances.
Telling her why people take time off or what their health status may be is not her concern because the program manages that and makes appropriate decisions. She kept kicking up a fuss, but the coach finally told her he had to get back out on the field, back to her son and everyone else’s kids. She started physically leaving but continued fussing about how she was not satisfied and would not be recommending us to other parents.
Pro tip—this is not the way to conduct yourself with the people who make recommendations to scouts concerning family culture/team interaction. The coach wasn’t preparing to leave, instead, he stopped her in her tracks to tell her if she was found to be surveilling or otherwise harassing any staff members again, she would be perma-banned from the program.
No games or practices, no team social events, no presence in our buildings, and no clemency. So, that was pretty satisfying. Her son is a good, average, kid and I’m glad the consequences were focused on booting her out rather than limiting his opportunities to have fun playing. So then we went out and had a great, happy, safe practice.
This was still a pretty upsetting event for me personally though, and I’ll never unsee that discouraging video of me running, but it was ultimately reassuring to know the other staff has my back. Leaving Karen in the dust is just another step on my road to recovery!
44. A Calculated Move
In one of my old jobs, I worked in a coffee shop. I really enjoyed it and the people who came in regularly were a dream. One time, the till had broken down, and we resorted to a pen-and-paper process to take people’s orders. We also worked out their change correctly by punching it into the calculator. Everything was going well.
Or, it was going well..until this absolute demon of a customer came in. She started rattling off her order. I was hurriedly writing it down and double-checking the prices on the menu. She saw what I was doing and she tutted me as if she was disappointed. She also had the audacity to tap on the broken till and say, “Why aren’t you using this? Surely it’s easier?”
I pointed to the sign next to them and said as nicely as possible that we were using pen and paper, etc. Then, rolling her eyes, she said her order slowly but with a condescending tone. After taking her order, I took my time repeating it back to her, since she had asked for a lot. Apparently, that was too much for them.
She responded by saying, “I am in a hurry and you are taking too long.” I apologized and explained that I simply wished to make sure that the order was correct. Then I proceeded to total up her order with the calculator, and I heard her sighing and huffing as I was typing away the figures. She said, “Why do you need a calculator? Clearly, someone did not finish math, or else you would not be working here.”
That was the final straw. I balled up the piece of paper, threw it in the bin next to me, and said, “Another member of staff will be with you to help you shortly.” I made my way to the staff area and told my manager what had happened. They told me to relax and said that they would sort it. Needless to say, I watched as my manager went out and made it very clear that the customer’s business was not welcome.
I just wish that I had the sense to throw that balled-up piece of paper in her face. I hate people like that.
45. An Unwelcome Visitor
Buckle up everyone for this bumpy ride. Okay, so I was chilling in my living room around 3 am playing some video games. My parents are out of town visiting some friends and I decided to stay home, house to myself and all. So here I am, in nothing but a bra and panties, when there’s a knock on the door. “What the heck?” I think to myself.
I scramble to get my clothes on and I answer the door. It was a family acquaintance with her already whiny little brat. She’s also visibly pregnant, and we’ll get to why that part is important later. Me: Hey, what’s going on? Her: My car broke down and the tow company can’t come to get it until tomorrow, think me and my kid can crash here tonight?
Me: Sure, you guys can sleep in the living room. Once I let them in, I asked if she wanted anything and went to get the coffee she asked for. As I go get it, I see the little brat picking up my controller. Me: Hey little guy, please put that down. Her: Oh, can’t he play a game? Me: Sorry, no. I’m in the middle of something, plus he wouldn’t know how to play the type of game.
Her: But he reeealllly wants to, don’t you? Him: I WANT TO PLAY!!!! Me: No, you can’t play. Him: I WANT TO PLAY I WANT TO PLAY I WANT TO PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAY AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. He then throws the controller at the TV, shattering the screen. Me: WHAT THE HECK? I rush over to the TV. Her: Hey! Don’t you yell at my child! Me: YOU JUST LET HIM DESTROY MY TV LIKE THIS. Her: You’re the one who didn’t let him play the video game.
Me: I said no, and you have to teach your brat that he isn’t owed ANYTHING. Her: How dare you! Just wait until I tell your mother about how you treated him, you’ll make a terrible mom. Me: I’m not having kids, but if I did I wouldn’t let them be spoiled little brats! Her: YOU are being the brat right now! Just get a new TV and quit whining.
Me: Yeah, I’ll get a new TV with the money you pay me for the broken one. Her: WHAT?! But YOU are the one who instigated it. Me: You know what? Just get out of my house. You and your brat are no longer welcome. Her: What is wrong with you? I’m preeeegnant and have a toddler and have nowhere to go, you can’t just kick out a stranded pregnant mother and her toddler at 3 am in the cold.
Me: OH YES I CAN, YOU INSUFFERABLE WITCH. Get OUT of my house before I call the authorities. Her, picking her brat up and heading towards the door: Just wait until I tell your mother about this! Me: Yeah, I’ll gladly tell her about what the little brat to the TV and that you refused to pay for it! Her: You’ll regret this! Thankfully, though, she left.
The next morning I called my parents and explained what happened. They were very understanding because I was never raised to be a spoiled little jerk and the mom got an earful from my mom that if she didn’t pay them back we would take her to small claims. She tried to play the “Woe is me” card but it didn’t work and she forked over the $500 for the new TV. Then we cut contact with her.
46. Delivering It In Style
I work at a shipping store. One day, I was asked to ship something to Iraq to who I assume was a military husband. Well, as a typical Karen, she gave lip and was upset about price and other small things. After a long process, we got the $20 of junk shipped. A few weeks later, she returned to the store, upset. She demanded to see my boss.
She began to chew him out about how I sent the package to the wrong place and how we charged her too much. Her problem was that she wanted to send it to a military base, which should have astronomically reduced the price. My boss took one look at her, and shut her up with a single sentence: “Ma’am, how does my employee know a random street address in Iraq unless you told him to send it there?”
Karen was dumbfounded and, after a few moments of being flabbergasted, she rambled back that she would call the local news. She never did that or the other things that she threatened to do. She didn’t even write a bad message on Google.
47. Fun For The Whole Family
This took place a couple of years ago, when I was 17 and I used to spend part of my summers helping out in my grandpa’s restaurant. The restaurant was located on the bottom floor of our family house in a little village (30 inhabitants) and my maternal great-grandparents lived on the upper floor. In the restaurant, my great-grandmother and my grandma were in charge of cooking and my great-grandpa and granddad were in charge of attending the tables.
It was kind of small, as it had like eight tables of four on the inside, and we could set another two outside if the weather was good. As the restaurant also served as a bar, it was filled with locals. Since many of them were retired, they used to spend the whole day playing cards and drinking, so although it was a small location, in summer usually it was full of people.
Also, my great-grandparents founded this restaurant in the year 1941, therefore it was well-known and had a good reputation among the locals. I’m also proud to say that my great-grandparents were very loved in their community as they really were great people. Although it was a quite remote place, in summer we used to get like four or five groups of tourists per week.
The rule was that my brother and I were in charge of serving their tables as we were the only ones who knew any other language than Spanish, our native tongue. Our opening hours at the time were from 12:00 to 22:30 but the kitchen was only open from 13:00 to 15:00 and from 19:30 to 21:00. We only served one menu, composed of a starter, two main dishes, dessert, and cider or water.
So now the story. It was around 16:00, therefore most of the customers had finished eating and were chatting over a cup of coffee or some pints. My grandparents and great-grandparents were still eating as they waited until everyone was finished. Meanwhile, my brother and I were in charge of serving the tables just in case anyone wanted something else to drink.
Suddenly we hear a car outside, and I can hear a woman loudly speaking in English. As soon as they enter, this happens. Her: We would like to have a table, X from the Y Hotel told us this was a great place to eat. Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but the kitchen is already closed as it’s kind of late. Her: Yes, it’s late because we got lost in these stupid roads! Is it so difficult to put proper signals? Also, we have a little kid who is hungry.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, let me check If I can do something for you. I then went inside and explained the situation to my grandma, who told me to attend them as everything was already prepared and it would be just heating the food. Her: Well, are you going to give us a table or not? If the kitchen is closed, how is it that those people are eating.
At this point, she pointed at my grandpas. At the moment, I thought she was behaving like that because she was kind of hungry. I wasn’t really used to dealing with rude people, as the majority of tourists used to be really respectful. Me: Well those are the owners, so they can eat whenever they want. (I said this while laughing a bit). Anyway, I have just asked them and you will be able to eat too, so please follow me to your table.
They follow me to the table and I explain to them that there is only one menu. They give me a strange look but they seem OK with that. I serve them the bread and I put a bottle of water on the table. They start devouring the bread so my “They were a bit rude cause they were hungry” theory seemed to be confirmed. I was so, so wrong.
As soon as I bring the starter, the dad demands to have the Wi-Fi password. Him: Hey, we see that there is a Wi-Fi network, what’s is the password? Me: Yes, there is one. However, the Wi-Fi is for the staff’s personal use. (We had a measured and reeeeally slow connection that my grandpa used for checking some newspapers and my brother and I used for sending Whatsapps to our friends). Him: That’s ridiculous! We are paying customers and we deserve to have access to your Wi-Fi!
Mom: Yes, our little angel wants to watch some videos. We don’t have any kind of internet access here! Me: Sorry, but as I have said it’s for personal use. Mom: That’s not right, this would be unacceptable in America. Me: Well, I’m sorry to inform you that we are not in America. The mom tells something to the kid and he starts running around the restaurant, stomping his feet and shouting
My great-grandpa comes to me and asks me what is happening, I explain the whole situation to him and he asks me to please translate what he is going to say. Him: Please lady control your child, or I will have to ask you three to leave. Her: DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME HOW TO RAISE MY CHILD YOU DINOSAUR! Father: DON’T GET CLOSE TO MY CHILD YOU OLD CREEP! By this point, everyone is of course looking with disbelief to these morons.
I hesitate for a second, but translate all of this to my great-grandpa, expecting a not really nice reaction. Instead of saying anything, he slowly turns around and asks two men who are sitting at a table to take the whole family out of his restaurant. I proceed to explain to the family that if they don’t get out, those two men, who also happened to be police officers, would be taking them out.
They don’t seem to believe that those two men were officers and they refused to leave until we served them. Finally, both men stood up, showed their plaques, and asked them (in their best English) to leave. They finally stand up and leave. However, as they were leaving the officers realized that they had parked in front of our garage, blocking it.
At that point, they decided to ask for their rental car papers while taking a couple of photos and giving them a fine for blocking a private property garage.
48. Discounting It
A doctor came into the store a few days ago with a bag of clothes. She asked if we had discounts for health care workers, to which we said that we did not. The discounts were only for military personnel and teachers or students. Immediately after hearing this, she got upset and said that doctors worked much harder and deserved it more than teachers.
In my eyes, it was rude and ignorant to expect that a well-paid doctor should get a discount over teachers who are severely underpaid. If she could come to our store and blow $300 on clothes and also have other shopping bags on her, I seriously doubt she needed a discount. But it only got worse. She had the audacity to say, “Well, who was working hard during the pandemic? Yeah, doctors! That’s right.”
It’s true in some ways, but she was also very well paid. Teachers, on the other hand, do so much to teach the younger generation, including future doctors, but they are not paid nearly enough, which is why they often get discounts. It just blew my mind how she sat there bashing teachers for getting a discount as if it was something the employees decided on.
49. Adults Only
I attended an adult-only wedding for a co-worker a few days ago. The actual ceremony was in a very small church, so it was mostly family and close friends but the reception was for roughly 250 people. The reception was at a very elegant hotel ballroom. Not child-friendly in any way. Crystal stemware, expensive linens on the table, etc.
About 1/2 hour into the reception, a commotion started that made everyone stare. This entitled mother is arguing with the wedding planner loudly. Me being the nosy broad that I am, I inched closer to hear. It turns out this woman brought her four young children to the reception even though the invitations clearly stated Adults Only.
The entitled mother insisted that her kids—the oldest one looked eight and the youngest was under a year old—were super well-behaved so it was fine. Now keep in mind this was around 7:30 pm. The planner was having none of it. She insisted that children were not allowed and she had to leave. In a last ditch effort to get admitted, the mother shouted at the bride.
The bride went over and listened to her for a moment, and then said in a syrupy sweet voice, “Of course you can come in, but your children cannot.” Then she turned on her heel and went back to her new husband. The mother flipped a nut, yelling about how she was invited, couldn’t find a babysitter, etc. Three of the groomsmen escorted her and her kids to the door.
50. Rules Are For Others
My store is currently closed for in-store shopping and we don’t have a proper click-and-collect set up yet. The system we have basically sends us an email, then we call the customer to confirm. Well, someone called about 30 minutes to close on Saturday and I squeezed her order in at the last minute.
She yelled, “Ugh, whatever,” and hung up on my manager. We got back to her within an hour and placed her order. When she came to pick up both on Saturday, she disregarded all our COVID policy signs saying to call the store for pick-ups. Instead, she climbed over the barriers to knock on the store’s door. I was on the phone with a customer when she did this, and my coworker was completely out of sight.
. When she did it again today, I gestured for her to call us. She called, and then when I collected her order and opened the door, she laid into me about how rude I was being. I countered, “I think it was rather rude of you to ignore all our signs and barriers and knock on the door.” She got very upset and yelled at me about how she was never coming back. “You’ll be lucky to have a job tomorrow,” she threatened.
51. If You Know, You Know
I’m home from college, and my parents require me to have a summer job. I’m blessed enough that I get to keep all the money I earn, my parents just like me to work to gain experience. This will be relevant later, but I’m not a skinny girl. I wouldn’t consider myself large either, I’m 5’6” tall and weigh about 140-145 lbs. right now and carry most of it in my hips and thighs.
The freshman 15 did hit me hard though, as I used to be 120ish. So today after finishing my last online final, my dad called me. He told me that one of his friends who runs a company texted him that they were looking for girls to work in the office, answering phones and stuff. I got excited because that’s exactly what I wanted, so I put on a dress, printed a copy of my résumé, and drove down.
The ladies inside were super nice and asked me to fill out an application, so I sat down to do so. We’re in the South which might be relevant, because typically for jobs like this they’re looking for a “pretty face” to sit behind the counter and talk to customers. This is unspoken, though. Yes, it’s awful but hey, I needed a job. So, as I’m filling out an application, this entitled mom enters with her teenage daughter.
She announces that she’s here about the opening and her daughter would like to apply. The one receptionist explains that she’ll need to fill out an application and hands her one and a pen. They come to sit in the lobby, right beside me, which I thought was weird but I didn’t say anything. Mom (to me): “Are you here for the job as well?” Me: “Yes ma’am.” Mom: “Hmph.” You know, that little cocky sound people make? I ignored her and went up to ask the receptionist a question about the application.
When I returned and sat back down, the mother walked up to the desk. Mom: “Does my daughter even really need to fill this out?” Receptionist: “It’s protocol. The boss will look at all the applications and decide who to call for an interview.” Mom: “Is he here? I’m sure if he could see my daughter, he’d know who he wanted to call, ha!”
Receptionist: “He is, but he isn’t seeing visitors right now.” Mom: “How will he know who to hire if he doesn’t know what the girls look like?” Receptionist: “Well, he will need to see their references and will make a few calls before he—” Mom: “No. My daughter is an aspiring model. She won [insert local pageant] in 2019. He needs to see her to know she’s the face he wants to see behind the counter interacting with customers.”
Receptionist: “I’m not sure what you mean? This isn’t a modeling job, looks don’t really matter…” Mom: “Oh I know, but they do. And let’s face it, your boss isn’t going to want” —at this point, she leans in closer— “a chubby girl up here, is he?” This whole time, the daughter is smirking at me in glances as she fills out her application.
This caught the attention of the second receptionist as well as me, and we both looked up at this point. Other receptionist: “Ma’am, I’m not sure I know what you mean.” Mom: “Oh, no disrespect, I just know the boss personally and know he’d prefer a new pretty face around the office. Maybe I’m a little biased, but I think there’s no question between my daughter and, well, this young lady for example. No offense honey, just trying to save you some time.”
At this point, I’m in tears. I don’t know if it was rage or the sting of her insult, but either way, I was NOT going to let her see me cry, so I quickly got up and handed my application to the first receptionist before trying to leave. Second receptionist (who is a plus-sized woman): “Sweetie, wait.” (talking to me) (turning to the mom) “You say you know the boss personally, right?”
Mom: “Oh, yes, we went to high school together.” Second receptionist: “And you know him so well that you know he’d prefer a skinny woman behind this desk?” Mom: “Well, I didn’t say that, but I’d assume so.” This is when the hammer dropped down. Second receptionist: “Great. Well, I’m his wife and I’ve worked behind this desk for almost 15 years now, and as you can see I could probably drop a few, and I take personal offense to what you’re saying about my husband and this young lady, so I’d like you to wait in the car while your daughter fills out her application.”
Both the mom and the daughter stormed out at that point, with the daughter taking her application, so I don’t know if she’ll apply or not. But, both women behind the counter told me that the mom was a witch and they’d vouch for me with the boss, so I’m hopeful that I got the job!
52. Dog Days
Several years ago, I used to work as a dog trainer at a very well-known pet supply store. While I was a dog trainer, it was still retail, so of course, I had to do 100 things outside of my job description. As a result, I was working the cash register, stocking, and yes, helping our loyal customers. The store I worked at was an absolute disaster with Karens, too.
Big, white suburban neighborhoods were situated around this store, so they came in like hordes. Well, on this particular day, it was vet day. Basically, a local vet service partnered with the store to offer quick walk-in vet checkups for things like vaccinations. Of course, put “cheap” and “Karens” together and you get the worst workday of your week.
This week, the store was packed. The line went all the way to the front, and we were the biggest store in the area. People were asking me questions left and right, dogs were relieving themselves everywhere, and kids were playing with the dog toys. It was the whole shebang. I was already like a headless chicken, having to juggle five tasks while also prepping for a dog training class. Yay.
But as I was making my way from the vet station helping another customer, I saw her, and she definitely looked like trouble. She had a dark tan, shoulder-length straight hair, sunglasses, and she was dragging a couple of kids down the aisle toward me. She looked like she was wanting to turn into the Hulk and was ready to fight. I prepped myself before I started to say, “How can I help—”
She stopped me in the middle of my sentence by saying one loud word, “Dogs!” She had a crazy gleam in her eyes. I tried to decipher her cryptic message and asked, “Dog…toys? Dog…food?” She then said, “Where are your dogs?” It took a second for my brain to catch up with her shrieks; to understand that she was hoping that we sold dogs.
Now, luckily, big box stores like this one tend to not sell dogs directly. Otherwise, they would get them from puppy mills. But now, unfortunately, I had to inform this lady that we were not that kind of store. I geared myself up for a battle, then said: “I am sorry, ma’am, but we do not sell dogs he—” She cursed and shrieked, then immediately spun around, pulling her kids like ragdolls the entire time.
She then stomped out the door again. It felt like I got hit and run over by words. This interaction was less than 30 seconds, so it was like a new record. It was then that I decided it would be best if I took my break before doing my next class.
53. Taking A Bow
Several years back, I was working at a small beauty supply store in the southern part of the US. Among other things, we sold little clip-in hairpieces. A family of four had come in and the mom and dad were discussing products in the first aisle while the two little girls were running unsupervised through the store, being loud and making messes.
It was truck day, and I had been stocking shelves out of a shopping cart, referred to as a buggy by many people in that area. It was chock full to the brim. I had gone to the stock room and when I came back 30 seconds later, I saw one of the little girls pushing my cart around the corner of the opposite end of the aisle.
She was standing on her tiptoes and still could not see over the handle. I heard her say something to her mother and her mother told her, “Put that back where you found it.” By that time, I had nearly caught up with the kid, who had turned the basket around. She pushed the cart up to me and said proudly, “Ma’am, are you lookin’ for yer buggy?”
I replied, “You do not need to be messing with that.” That’s when the mom’s Karen came out. She came roaring around the corner saying how I should not speak directly to her child and that if I had something to say, then I should say it to her. Never mind the fact that the kid had run into a shelf, slipped a bit on the tile floors, and almost turned the basket over on herself on the opposite side of the store from her mother’s location.
I did not bother to argue about safety concerns and instead went back to stocking shelves. A little while later, the mother asked me to help her match the color of her hair to the hairpieces. I helped her pick one out, then heard her confirm to her husband that it was the one she wanted. I then went up to the register, while she rounded up her kids.
When she got to the checkout, the hairpiece that she put on the counter was a different one than what I had seen her discussing. I asked her about it and she indicated that the other one was more than she could afford, but she planned to come back for it. I rang her out and they left. The next day, I got to work and the opening clerk said, “I got one of your customers today.”
I said, “Oh yeah?” I didn’t get customer complaints often, but that particular week, I had someone else come in, while I was off, saying that I was rude. They had been unhappy that I had prevented them from shoplifting but they gave some other bogus reason to complain. When my coworker confirmed this, it was in a tone that made it clear I was in for a ride a bit later.
So, I asked, “Have you ever seen me be rude to a customer?” “No,” she answered. “It always seems like you’re sweet, but to hear them tell it, you’re big and bad.” About that time, the door opened, and in walked the hairpiece woman and her kids. It was about to go down. She started laying into me about how she had come to return the hairpiece that she got yesterday.
We did not take returns on hairpieces in the first place. However, she said that in the process of trying to return it with my co-worker, they had found a discrepancy between the item that she was trying to return and the one I had rang up. So, my coworker had asked her to come back during my shift so I could assist with the return.
This woman pulled the product that she wanted to return out and it was a different product than the one she purchased from me—in fact, it was the one that I had heard her tell her husband she wanted…and it was in a different product box. I told her as much, and she started screaming, saying that I better not be calling her a liar.
She also started making thinly veiled physical threats. In the meantime, one of her darling kids had come back around the sales counter where I was standing and she was trying to get my attention to get in on the action. I was ignoring the girl, but she kept tapping me on the hip. I whirled around and curtly said, “Don’t touch me.”
Then, remembering the scene from the day before, I snapped my head back to the mom and smiled sweetly. Through gritted teeth, but with the most upbeat voice, I said, “I am sorry, could you please tell your child not to touch me and remove her from behind the counter. It’s not safe for her to be back here.” She snarled, “That’s better.”
She barked a command at her kid, then made it clear that she would be back in an hour to continue her reign of terror. Shortly after she left, our store manager arrived unexpectedly early for the closing shift. We brought her up to speed on what had been going on. When the lady came back, I happened to be in the stock room.
My manager closed the stock room door and told me in the sternest voice ever: “Do NOT come out.” I could only hear snippets through the door, so I don’t know exactly what happened. I got the picture that we must have given her some money back as a one-time thing, probably because the other option was to refer to corporate, who would have given her money back.
But then I very clearly heard the woman’s voice ring across the store, “Go get her and bring her out here. I am going to snatch her up and…” “You will not lay a hand on my employee,” my manager emphatically interrupted. I did not hear any of the exchange after that, because I was so shocked at my sweet, proper manager’s firm retort.
My coworker, apparently, was similarly surprised. The consensus among the employees after that was that we were pretty proud of how tough our manager could be if needed. They also decided that if I was being rude to a “customer,” it was probably someone stealing.
54. In The Dog House
So I’m a 20-year-old woman and I work as a dog groomer. I’ve been one for four, almost five years. The big thing in dog grooming is reputation, quality, and time management. Yesterday, we were expecting a girl to come in at 10:00 to try out as a dog groomer. She was promising, 23 or 25 years old, and had worked as a dog groomer at other places.
She didn’t show till 4:30. No call. No nothing. She apparently had a hair appointment and friends from out of town came in so they got their nails done. She asked if she could groom now. I said no, I don’t think so. When she pressed, I said (and I might be a jerk for saying this): “We don’t want or need you. There’s no need to reschedule your try-out.”
I went back to get my last two dogs done. Apparently, she cried and I was starting to feel bad. Then came the entitled mother. Her mom came in this morning demanding we give her a second chance. I told her, “Your daughter was six and a half hours late. That’s not something that works in dog grooming.” The mom replied, “She was with friends. I’d think someone your age would understand that.”
Me: “Not when there’s a job interview. She didn’t call or anything.” At this point, I was ticked and over it. I have five dogs to get done. She said, “Well, there was no reason to make her cry!” I said I disagree and got back to work. Apparently, she stayed up there and demanded we give her another shot. As head dog groomer I said, not gonna happen. She left eventually, saying her daughter was too good for us.
55. Meet Ugly
So for some context. I’m a 17-year-old male and I work at a Segway tour company. It’s actually really fun, I get to ride Segways around the city and talk to people, and get paid to do it. So anyway, there was a tour booked a couple of days ago and I came in about 20 minutes early to answer emails and get everything ready. The group shows up, mother and daughter, and that’s when things get interesting.
I check them in. ME: Alright I have some waivers for you to sign. Daughter, how old are you? D: Uh, 16. ME: Ok, then you don’t need to sign a waiver. I ask this because if kids are younger than 18, their parents sign the waivers for them, but the mom only heard me say the first part, not when I said the girl didn’t need to sign a waiver, so she thought I was just asking her daughter how old she was.
This was probably what started it all. We go on the tour, and while I’m giving my spiel, the mom keeps interrupting me to tell me stuff about the daughter and find out if we are compatible. ME: …and so this non-profit organization opened in— MOM: Are you in college? ME: No, I’m a junior in high school. I’m usually pretty free with information about myself on tours because it helps keep people relaxed and initiates conversations during lulls in the tour.
Plus it helps with tipping. MOM: Oh, my daughter is also a junior, she is an artist. Stuff like this keeps happening throughout the tour, and every time, the daughter gets redder and redder. My mom does this too where she just tells random mall attendants about me, so I know what the girl is going through and I feel her pain. At the end of the tour, I tell the two of them that they have 15 minutes to go around the town, and then they can meet me back at the Segway place.
I get back and start getting things set up for their return. They roll in (pardon the pun) and I take their Segways to start charging them. MOM: So what do you think of my daughter? ME: Pardon me, what? MOM: I saw you checking her out during the tour, are you gonna ask her out? D: Mom, stop! ME: Um, ma’am I just recently got out of a relationship and I’m really not looking for anything right now.
MOM: What!?!? ME: Huh? MOM: Is my daughter not good enough for you!? ME: No, that’s not it, I just said that I just got out of a relationship. Then it all took a very wild turn. MOM: You are going to date my daughter and that’s final! ME: You can’t tell me what to do. I’m not your kid, and if I don’t want to date your daughter, I don’t have to! Besides, you haven’t even asked her if she wants to date me.
D: Yeah, I don’t want to date him. ME: SEE?!? MOM: I’m going to call your boss and tell him about your terrible customer service! You’re never going to work here again! ME: (pulling out my phone) Alright, you want to call him and explain this situation? How you’re trying to force me to date your daughter and get me fired for saying no?
Then I guess the absurdity of the situation finally sunk in, and her face transitioned from pure rage to slight confusion. MOM: Wait, maybe I don’t want to— ME: No, let’s call him. (Start to go through my contacts, and press my boss’s name). Let’s have this conversation. MOM: I don’t think that’s a good idea— (Phone starts ringing)
MOM: Daughter, let’s go! She runs out the door, and the daughter turns to me and says “I’m sorry,” and then follows her mom. I hang up the phone before my boss answers and start cleaning the Segways.
56. Food Not Picture Perfect
I went on a date with a Karen once. It started out alright, but then when her food arrived, it didn’t look like the picture, so she demanded it be sent back. I’m pretty polite, so I waited to eat. I swear they sent the exact plate back. She lost it and demanded to see the manager. At that point, I started eating.
The manager came over, and the whole restaurant was looking like “what’s going on.” She just laid into him. I placed a twenty on the table to cover mine and slipped the waitress a ten while mouthing an apology. I left right after that, and I never did find out what happened. I drove to the restaurant too, so I have no idea how she got home. I blocked her number as I left.
57. Surf’s Up
I’m a surf instructor at a surf school on the beach. It was the end of the day, and I had just finished my final class. I’d done five hour-long classes in a row and I was covered in water and wet sand. Basically, I just wanted to get the thing off me and maybe go for a swim before I left the beach. I was in the surf shack we’re based in with three co-workers, who I’ll call Sam, Joe, and Mick.
Names changed but Sam in real life has an equally gender-neutral name. I texted my boyfriend, who confirmed he was five minutes away. I’d already finished my part of the closing up process, so while Sam put the closed sign on the door and locked up the filing cabinet and Joe and Mick sorted out the wetsuits and put the boards back in their holders, I left the boys to finish up and went to the changing area to strip off my wetsuit.
I’d gotten down to my tankini when I heard a loud, nasally, American-accented voice. EXCUSE ME? HELLO? SERVICE PLEASE? Seeing the boys were occupied, I pulled on my skirt and went to the door. This woman did not look like a stereotypical Karen. Long hair, tan, wearing a bikini with a big floppy beach hat and a sarong around her waist.
Her daughter was with her, looked around 10-12 years old, and like her mom’s Mini-Me, but she didn’t speak once during this encounter so I don’t know if she’s entitled or not. Me: Hi can I help you? Woman: You could start by putting some clothes on. My tankini is covering about the same amount of skin as a one-piece would, aside from a strip of exposed skin by my waist.
I’ll admit that the neckline is kind of low, but this woman is literally wearing a bikini, with way more exposed skin than me. And we’re in a surf shack. Me (customer service mode activated): I am very sorry, miss. Sam? Can you grab me my shirt, please? (he throws my tank top at me and I pull it on) Better? Woman: Not really. Is there anyone else who can take care of us?
Me: Sorry, my co-workers are a little busy right now, we’re closing up. Woman: Fine, I want to sign my daughter up for classes tomorrow. I start to talk her through the availability slots, when we can fit her kid in, prices and requirements. While I do this, I’m gesturing with my hands and leaning over the counter to point out some stuff on the sign-up sheet.
Woman (interrupting me): I’m sorry, don’t you have a sweatshirt or something? Keep in mind, it’s the middle of summer, in a heatwave, on a beach. Me (clinging to my customer service smile because I’m still technically on the clock): I’m sorry, no, I don’t. Would you like me to carry on? Woman: Is there no one else I could speak to? You’re making my daughter feel self-conscious.
Me (giving up on being polite): You’re making me feel self-conscious. It’s summer, it’s a beach, and it’s a heatwave. I do not have another shirt. Everything that needs to be covered is covered, and with all due respect, you’re wearing less than I am. Sam, wearing a t-shirt and denim shorts, hears all this and recognizes my tone as my “I’m about to snap” tone, so he looks at me, I nod at him, and he jumps in.
Sam: I’d be happy to help you, miss. My name is Sam. Why don’t you go— Woman: Sam is a guy? Sam: Last I checked. Woman: I thought you were a girl. Sam: Sorry to disappoint. Woman (to me): Do you think it’s appropriate to wander around like that when there’s a young man nearby? (to Sam) You should report her to HR. Sam: It’s a beach. People walk round in less all the time.
Woman (repeating): It’s inappropriate. Sam: You’re wearing a bikini. Woman: I’m not working, she is. Me: You do know this is a surf school? Meanwhile, Mick and Joe hear the noise. She hasn’t raised her voice or yelled or anything, but they can hear the tone of the conversation and decide they should step in just in case. Mick and Joe are both wearing board shorts and flip flops, and no shirts.
Mick (coming up behind me): Is there a problem here? Joe (at Mick’s side): Anything we can help with? Her eyes go wide. She looks between me and the three boys in shock and horror. Woman (recovering herself): I was just saying tha— Me: She was just telling me to put some clothes on. Mick: You know this is a beach, right? If anything, she’s overdressed.
The woman can see she’s not going to persuade me to magically summon more clothing to wear, and you can tell from her eyes she knows the boys won’t agree with her. Then a thought hits her like a brick to her hollow head. Woman: Just WHAT were you four doing back there? Joe: Closing up. Woman: I’m not stupid (I beg to differ).
Woman: You’re telling me she answered the door practically naked and y’all are wearing barely anything, but nothing’s going on here. Mick (jokingly to me): Now, we’ve told you not to answer the door naked. I laugh. Woman: Don’t you laugh at me, you little skank! I know what’s going on here you…perverts! Sam, who is gay, is in all-out, doubled over, peals of laughter.
The woman’s daughter looks really embarrassed and is now bright red with her face in her hands. Sam: You—You think that (trails off mid-sentence in favor of more laughing) Woman: Oh, sure, everyone protects the office skank! (Joe literally falls to the floor clutching his stomach laughing) Mick: Yeah, now if you don’t mind we’re in the middle of it, so get in or get out.
It’s just then that my boyfriend shows up. Boyfriend (sees me, Joe, Sam, and Mick beside ourselves laughing, the woman looking homicidal and the daughter bright red with her face in her hands): Everything okay here? My boyfriend comes over and gives me a hug, and I get the frankly genius idea to pull him in for a kiss in full view of the woman.
She screeches, some demonic noise that only dogs can hear, and stomps off, her poor daughter in tow, and that’s the last we ever heard from her.
58. Another Karen Bites The Dust
My mother is a reformed Karen. In fairness, she was never particularly bad. But, when I was young, if we went to a restaurant and something was poorly made, she would call in the waitstaff and be very indignant and complain. She’s now completely swapped sides. She’s particularly kind to waitstaff. If something is wrong and does need to be raised, she’ll be polite about it.
How did it happen? Well, it started with me being honest and saying her behavior was making me not want to go out to dinner with her. Then, she saw a member of her family do something similar: It turns out it was an acquired trait from her upbringing. She later recognized that he was being unpleasant and had ruined our night. She completely changed her tune after that and is more polite than normal.
Nowadays, if things are good, she will go out of her way to leave compliments.
59. Taking Me For A Ride
I’m a single parent, and I have a beautiful girl who is turning five in August. The past year I have been fighting with the ex that tried to keep my kid away from me. Lawyers aren’t cheap, and being single doesn’t exactly help with my finances. A couple of months ago, I won the lawsuit and I finally got to have my kid at my home again.
For the past few weeks she was saying she wanted a bicycle, but as I was still recovering from the lawsuit bills, I wasn’t able to afford it. This past week, I got my summer bonus which finally gave me the financial boost I needed. So yesterday I finally was able to buy my little girl her bike she wanted so badly. I enjoyed my time with her riding our bikes, but then it was getting time for dinner, which I still had to make.
So we head back home and park the bikes in the backyard. We go inside and I start making dinner. After about 10 minutes, I spot movement in the corner of my eye through the kitchen window—and my heart dropped. I see this kid just casually strolling by with the brand new bike I just got today. I ran to the front door, hoping I’d catch him before he rides away.
I was lucky I did. I yanked the bike out of his hands, and freaked out to him, saying it was mine and he had no right to just walk into other people’s back yards to take things. I was so mad. I forced him to get off my property, and set the bike inside my front hallway, thinking it’s over. Boy, was I wrong. After comforting my little girl, I return to the kitchen to continue making dinner.
15 minutes later, the doorbell rings. It’s the kid and his Evil Mother. EM: You give my boy this bike back! He found it! It’s his! Me: He “found” it in MY backyard! I got it for my MY kid today! You should try teaching your kid some manners, he shouldn’t trespass on other people’s property to take their things. EM: Don’t tell me how to raise my kid! Give me the bike back or I’m calling the authorities!
Me: (laughs) Call them! And I slam the door in her face. By this point, my kid is crying her eyes out, and I get to comfort her again, as she’s thinking she’s losing her brand new bike. Her sobbing finally over, I try continuing to make dinner, yet again. Preparation’s done, I’m about to put it all on the stove, doorbell. I flip out, storm to the door, violently open it, and get ready to just explode into her face.
Guess what, she actually called the authorities. I instantly calm down when I see it’s them and invite one of the two officers inside while the other stays with the evil woman. I explain the situation and show him the box the bike came in, along with the receipt that has my name on it. He shrugs and apologized for the inconvenience, and assured me I won’t be bothered again.
I let him out and close the door with a smug smile on my face. I check the front window to see what’s happening, and I see her go into a full tantrum. It ends with her in handcuffs and in the backseat of the patrol car. Bye Felicia! Don’t know what happened to her, and I don’t care. I finally finished dinner, and my kid still has her bike. That’s all that matters to me.
60. Karen And Proud Of It
My mom is a Karen. She always snaps her fingers at waiters when she needs something. I follow her around apologizing—and leaving big tips—in the wake of her terrible behavior. One time, when my brother’s boss wouldn’t give him a full week off for Christmas, my mom called his boss to explain that we were doing family photos and that he needed the time off.
The crazy part is how old my brother was when this happened. He was freaking 26. It is extremely frustrating to be around her because she is so unaware. She is very proud of her ability to “make things happen” and she views her Karenness as the desired personality trait.
61. Here’s To You
Now, for a bit of context, last weekend was liberation day in Holland, and many cities were having festivals to celebrate. Most of these festivals have free entrance, so they tend to crack down on people bringing their own food and drinks, to increase profits from beverage sales. A friend of mine lives within the area where the festival is taking place though, so usually we drop our booze at his place and retrieve it during the festival.
Since it didn’t seem like a terrific idea to walk around with a bottle of JD, I mixed it into a 1L Coca Cola Vanilla bottle with just enough coke that it looked like coke, and went onto the festival grounds. While walking around with the bottle of “coke,” I feel a tap on my shoulder. Festival etiquette is to move over to the side to let somebody pass, after which I move along.
I suddenly feel a hand grabbing my shoulder and trying to pull me back, so I turn around, and I’m faced with a typical Karen. Her: Where’d you get that? pointing at the bottle Me: Brought it from home. Her: Can my kid have some? Me, not wanting everybody to know I had booze on me: They sell coke over there, you can buy your kid a fresh, cold one. Her: They don’t sell vanilla coke there, and he doesn’t like the regular one. He wants yours. holds out hand
Me: If he doesn’t like the regular one, I’m pretty sure he won’t like this any better… Meanwhile, the kid has started squealing about how he’s thirsty and “wants THAT one,” and the mother starts giving me a demanding stare. Me: …Okay lady, I’m going to be honest with you. Half of this bottle is Jack Daniels, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to give it to the kid. Her response made me want to scream.
Her: You’re lying! You just made that up so you wouldn’t have to share with my baby! Now give it to me! While I turn away in an attempt to disappear into the crowd, the kid grabs the bottle with both hands, wrenches it from my hand, and makes a run for it, his mom in tow. I follow them, and I find them just in time to see the kid take a few massive swigs from the bottle.
After, this he starts violently throwing up almost immediately. Figuring the best move for me would be to not further pursue the now vomit-covered bottle of Jack and coke, I decided to head over to my friend’s and mix a new one. In passing, I throw the mom a “Told you” and make my way into the crowds. Within seconds, she charges me and starts attempting to take a swing at me.
“YOU POISONED MY BABY!!! SECURITY!!!” We’re separated by bystanders, and a stallholder gets security, who questions both me and the woman. Her: He gave my baby this bottle of poison and told him it was coke! I want him detained. Guard: Sir, what’s in this bottle? Me: A premixed JD and coke, somewhat on the generous side with the JD.
Guard: And why did you give that to a kid? Me: I didn’t, sir. I was mostly planning on getting smashed myself, to be fair. They thought it was coke, wouldn’t believe me when I told them it was booze and snatched the bottle from me. What you’re seeing here is just the result of the kid taking a drink before I was able to stop him.
At this point, a bystander chimed in, confirming that he saw the kid snatch the bottle from my hand, although he hadn’t heard the conversation. Security tells the mom to not pull that ridiculous stuff again and to take her still crying kid to the first-aid post. He then instructs me to be more careful with the next batch I’m “inevitably about to make.”
62. This Karen Cleaned Him Out
I was married to a typical Karen. She was always holding the line up to complain that the last time they forgot to add something to her long order at McDonald’s. She loved berating underpaid staff with her bellyaching no matter where or who. It was very embarrassing, to be honest.
She was also loud. Her voice had only one volume: 11.
She was ungrateful, and just a nasty piece of work. I desperately sought an excuse to leave her, but she ended up giving me the best reason to end it for good—I got cheated on and finally divorced her. I lost everything but my dignity.
63. A Dressing Down
I’ve been student teaching this spring in a sixth-grade class. It’s been a stressful semester, but a good one. Since day one, I have been treated 100% like a colleague and equal by my teacher and her grade level partners. I’m very baby-faced and don’t always look like I’m in my 20s, but I know these kids very well, as I subbed for them a lot last year and in this past fall.
So they already have respect for me and we have a decent relationship. This week we’re on a camping trip with four total classes. I finished student teaching, but my teacher invited me on as a teacher to get the experience. We mostly hang in the medical lodge and make sure kids take their meds each day. Easy gig after months of teaching.
The kids are happy to see me, too. Anyways. We arrived at camp. I rode on the bus with my teacher. Two of the other teachers drove their cars with student luggage, and so did some parents. I got off the bus and started to head down to the lodge with the other teachers for our meeting with the camp director and the counselors. I stopped off to fill my water bottle before heading down.
As I finished up, a mom came up to me. I smiled and was about to greet her— “You can’t wear that.” “Excuse me?” “Young lady, that is so inappropriate for a school setting. You’re going to distract my son and all the other boys. I’m going to have to ask you to change as soon as we get to our cabins.” For reference: I was wearing jeans, a black undershirt, and a tank top with thick straps that covered my bra.
You literally only saw my black undershirt that kept my bra from being seen through my shirt. Oh, and it was 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). I let out a small chuckle. I thought it was a silly mix up we could laugh about later. Nope, that set her off. “Don’t you dare laugh! I’m serious. Who is your teacher? You are so disrespectful. No wonder you’re dressed like that, trying to get the boys’ attention I bet.”
I put on my best “polite teacher dealing with parents” smile. “Whose parent are you?” She told me. Her kid was a troublemaker from another class. “Well,” I said, “I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m not a student. I’m a teacher. And the camp’s dress code allows my students to wear tank tops, so do not ask them to change.”
“Now you’re lying to me?! Where is your teacher? I’m getting you sent home!” One of my teacher’s partners, Mrs. A, overheard the yelling and came over—also in a tank top. “Is there something you need, Ms.?” She asked me. I shook my head. “No, I was just introducing myself to this mother. She didn’t know Mrs. T had a student teacher this year.”
Mrs. A nodded earnestly. “Yes, she has been such an asset to all of us this semester. Your son actually got a few science lessons from her this year! She’s going to be a great teacher.” The mother was absolutely red in the face. Later that afternoon, we brought all the parents down to our air-conditioned lodge to talk them through the week ahead.
Mrs. T, who is kind of our grade’s team captain, introduced me to the parents. Everyone except the one woman was happy to meet me, and a few even said their kids loved having me as one of their teachers. The best part of the week so far was when her son ran up to me at dinner and asked in front of his mom, “Miss, can you teach seventh grade next year so you can be one of my teachers? I’m gonna miss you!”
64. Battle Of The Karens
My mother and mother-in-law are both Karens and their real names are both Karen. My mom is her true Karen self when out and about in public. Going out to eat with her is a nightmare as she constantly complains about the service. She doesn’t even need to ask for the manager, they just know to come over to the table to make sure she is OK.
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is 1,000 times worse than my own mother. She is a narcissist. I could go on for days with stories about all the terrible things she says to strangers and myself included. Seeing that I am currently not communicating with my mother-in-law, I wonder if I should direct her to my manager—my mom—for further assistance to address the problems she has with me.
Has anyone seen two Karens battle it out?
65. The Forgiveness Gift
This story is more about the kid than the parent, but the parent was supporting the behavior sooo…One summer day last year, when I had just turned 14, I was playing some basketball with these two kids from my neighborhood in their driveway. Their family is pretty rich, so they have a fully paved driveway big enough to be a sizable court.
It’s just them and me for about half an hour, until Satan’s son himself came over from down the street. This kid is the really stereotypical little jerk who made the select soccer team three years ago and still thinks that he runs the place. So we let him join the game and everything is fine for a bit. I’m a little bit on the ahem “bigger side” but I’m really strong.
So I play really well as a center, posting up and that. And the kid is guarding me and he’s getting worked. He’s shorter and not as strong so he’s getting dominated. Here’s the major incident. I’ve just grabbed a loose ball and I’m running back towards the basket. The other kid gets back before me and stops my drive, so I start to back him down again.
He must have just been really frustrated by him not getting a chance on defense, so he thinks up a plan. At this point, I was wearing a hoodie and the jerk grabs my hood from behind and pulls as hard as he can. I, not expecting my airflow to be cut off, especially while I’m breathing hard, start to panic. I can’t shake him off of my back.
I don’t know how long he’s hanging on, but it felt like a whole 45 seconds. That may not seem like that long, but I’m freaking the heck out, so it feels like forever. An eternity later, his grip loosens and I finally get him off. I’m fired up at this point, so I punch him right in the nose. Definitely not as hard as I could, but it certainly would have hurt a lot.
This guy, however, drops like he’s out cold. Meanwhile, I’m on my knees trying to get my breath back. He’s bawling his eyes out, he’s rolling and screaming and all that, being the melodramatic jerk that he is. Suddenly his mom is running over, and it was that moment where I knew I was screwed. Sometime between when he started and when I socked him, his mother came out.
She’s the typical “I want to speak to the manager” white, upper-middle class mom who volunteers to be the head of the PTA every year and goes to Starbucks 20 times a day, and the kid is very much his mother’s son. Mom: OH MY GOD ARE YOU OK? WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM Me: He just nearly choked me out, so I punched him. Mom: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE SO MUCH BIGGER THAN HIM!!!!
Me: But he was choking me out! This whole thing goes on for a while until the neighbors step in to try to protect me, but to no avail. This just goes around for another five minutes before the kid finally gets up and LIMPS, yes, LIMPS back to his house I go home because I’m sick of this and I’m tired. The next day, I try go back over, but the kid is there already.
Neither of his parents’ cars is there so I assume that he’s staying at the neighbor kids’ house until they come back. I decide to go back inside because I don’t want to interact with him. A couple of hours later, the kid shows up at our door with his mom standing at the gate of our fence. Kid: Um, hi, I was just coming over to say sorry for choking you yesterday, I won’t ever do it again.
Me: Uhhh, ok. Thanks, I’m sorry that I punched you. At this point, my mom comes to see who I’m talking to and she asks what’s going on. The mother pipes up and says the most ridiculous thing. Her: We are here for your forgiveness gift. Me: My what? Her: Your forgiveness gift, it’s a tradition in our family that the person who apologizes last has to give the other person something to make up for it.
My mom: Excuse me? What’s going on? I explain what happened and as I explain what happened, and she seems to get more and more disgusted by the situation By the way, the kid had tried to “correct” my story while I was explaining it to my mom, saying things like, “He punched me twice in the face, and then kicked me in the nuts while I was crying on the ground.” I can see from my mom’s face that she knows it’s all lies.
I finish explaining and turn back to the kid. My mom: I’m sorry but we don’t do forgiveness gifts in this family. Woman: We do in this one. Kid, pick something out. He looked around and saw my PS4, and he points at it. Kid: Mommy, I want that. Keep in mind that this kid is just about a year younger than I am, too old for mommy, too old for this whole situation in my opinion.
The mom walks up to our door and sees it’s my PS4: Great, We’ll take that as our gift, My mom, with steam billowing out of her ears, slams the door in their faces and quickly locks it. They start pounding on the door so hard that it sounds like they are trying to break it down. We leave the door, but they stay there pounding on it for at least another five minutes before finally leaving.
I still leave my neighbor’s house any time I see him walking down the block.
66. Tween Confronts Karen
My mom is halfway to being a Karen. By that, I mean she will only do it in grocery stores. One time when I was 12, we were standing in line, and she was being an obnoxious twit. For some reason, I had had enough, and I decided to put her in her place right then and there. I said very clearly—and loud enough for most people in our line and the cashier to hear—”If you do not stop, I will not come out with you in the future. Your behavior is immature at best. Grow up.”
She’s not pulled that stuff around me since. Fingers crossed she doesn’t, but I guess we’ll see…
67. Just A Tip
After never dealing with an entitled parent in my life, I’ve now had two in the span of a few months. So I am a delivery driver for a major food delivery company in a major college town in Texas where everyone loves maroon. Normally, it’s not bad, pays pretty well, and customers are generally fine, though you’ll always have idiots in every service job.
This, however, surpassed anything I’d ever experienced before. I get an order alert on my phone, a relatively simple but expensive order (we drivers love expensive orders) from a restaurant nearby. In the portion for delivery instructions, the customer explains that I need to call her once I arrive, as ringing the doorbell (as I normally do) would disturb her autistic son.
Okay, no problem at all. I received therapy for sensory issues when I was a kid, so I’m going to be even more sympathetic to that than the average person. I receive the order, and drive over to the house (nice part of town), and give the customer a call. Younger woman answers and tells me to come up to the door. I do so. Enter the entitled mother.
Strangely, she was fairly attractive and did not have the typical Karen haircut. Me: Here’s your order ma’am, is there anything else I can help you with today? Her: Yes. My son is autistic, and people like you don’t understand how difficult it is to raise him. I shouldn’t have to pay this much for food. Can you give me a discount? Me, baffled: I’m sorry ma’am, but the app calculates your order total, not me. It’s already been paid for.
She did not like that answer. Her face changed from a smug smirk into a snarl. I suppose I didn’t realize how ridiculous the idea that people pay for their own food is. Her: Well, why don’t you pay for it then? I’m not sure if you heard, but my son is autistic, and it’s your fault that he’s still hungry! Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but that goes against our policy. If I paid for your order, I’d probably be fired.
Her: Good! You’re a useless driver anyway, you’re disgusting! My son is starving! Since I’ve had to go through so much trouble with you, you should tip ME! So, my app has a setting that while you’re in the process of taking an order to a customer, they’ll assign you another one at the same time if there’s activity. Thankfully, this saved me here.
Me: Can’t do that ma’am. Here’s your order. I dropped the food gently on the ground between us and jogged back to my car. She was shouting something unintelligible (so much for not disturbing her autistic son), but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Unsurprisingly, she gave me a one-star review (you tip online, so I got a small tip). I contacted support about it the next day.
Me: Yeah, I had a crazy lady yesterday, started demanding that I pay for her order, and even that I tip her. Really rude, not sure what the deal was. Them: Hmm, which order was it? Me: It was (order number) at (address). Them: Yikes, you’re the third person to complain about her. One or two, we take with a grain of salt, but three, you’re probably out. I’ll try to get her deactivated. If so, her review will be off your record.
Me: Thanks! Appreciate it! I feel like the entire world is better off now that she won’t get deliveries from us anymore, but was the cost worth it? That remains to be seen…
68. Karen Sees The Light
When I was growing up, my mom was a total Karen. She was always angry about something and treated my dad like total garbage. Mind you, my father is the kindest man who came from nothing, and he has built our life so good that even my grandkids will benefit from it. Also, she and my sister used to always go at it. Screaming and yelling were the norm around my household as a child.
I remember a time when I was like 10 or 11, I did something that upset my mom—I can’t remember exactly what it was—and she punished me in the most devastating way. She straight-up pretended I didn’t exist for months. She would literally come home—thankfully I rode a bike so I didn’t have to depend on her for a ride—and I’d have to wait for my dad to get home to make dinner. Eventually, I learned how to make simple meals myself.
She would openly say bad things about my dad, my sisters, and me to her friends. I remember walking in the kitchen one time and saw her typing an email to her friends and it was just bashing us. I remember when we would walk by her computer, she would half shut it, and give us a side-eye as we were walking by, and then reopen it as we walked out of the room. As if we didn’t all know what she was doing.
Public outings generally ended in some type of drama. Whether it was between my sister and mother, or just some problem my mom had in general with the venue or restaurant. You could almost always expect those to end in some sort of traumatic style. It honestly got so bad that my siblings and I, at one point, told our parents they should get a divorce. They never did though.
As I got older things got a little better. We moved across the country because my dad was doing well, and my parents were able to buy their dream house at a young age. My dad’s job was in our hometown though, so he would still spend most of his time there. So, basically, it was just my mom and me who moved out there full time. My sisters were both moved out by this time.
I was going into high school where I knew no one, and my mom didn’t work so she didn’t make any new friends either. I think we were forced to kind of be each other’s rock. We still had our arguments and indifferences, but as time went on we got closer. My mom still had issues with my dad—and a few other things—but life with my mom was good.
About a year after I went away to college, everything started to suddenly change. my mom got really sick. At one point, she came really close to not making it. It was terrifying for my whole family, but it ended up being one of our greatest blessings. Thankfully she pulled through and made a full recovery. Ever since then she has been a completely different woman.
My parents are totally in love again, and I’ve never seen them so happy. She never yells, screams, or really gets involved in any conflict anymore. She’s become the most supportive person in my life, and I can honestly say she is my best friend now. My whole family is closer now because of it as well.
Holidays and family get-togethers went from being a total drag to my most look forward to events of the year. While it’s unfortunate that it took my mother a “close to losing her life” experience to realize how good life could be if she would just change, I feel blessed for having a closer and happier family for it.
I think it also allows us to really cherish our time together because it’s not often we see each other anymore given our various life circumstances. But when we do, it’s the best time.
69. Mom’s The Word
I’m nonverbal due to an injury and communicate exclusively via writing and sign language, unless I want to feel like I’m pouring half-molten nails down my throat. Also, I love eating at restaurants. Denny’s, Applebee’s, little family-owned Mexican and Chinese places, etc. My husband typically orders for me to avoid me playing a game of charades with the waiter/waitress.
We were eating out one day, and apparently, this was wrong. So we were getting our food and this little kid near us, maybe eight or nine, was watching us since the restaurant was fairly empty. Right after the server leaves, the kid can audibly be heard speaking with his mother, a woman probably in her mid to late 40s. Kid: Mommy! What about her?
Mom: (She wasn’t paying attention, I’d assume) Hmm? What was that? Kid: He ordered for both of them! Mom: He what? Kid: The girl didn’t talk to him. Mom: That’s not right, let’s go see if there’s a reason. At this point, she takes a few steps over towards us, her kid in tow. Mom: Hi you two. Husband: Hello? Mom: Who is this? (She motions towards me) Your girlfriend?
Husband: Close enough, do you need something? Mom: Do you do that often? Husband: Do what often? Mom: Order for her? Husband: All the time. Mom: Could you please stop that? Husband: I’d rather not. Mom: I’m asking nicely. Kid: Can she not talk? Husband: Basica— Mother cuts him off: Just don’t do it again, I don’t want my kid to grow up to be some barbarian.
Husband: No. Feel free to leave us alone. She leaves with a huff and that seemed to be it for the night at first, as we got our food we started talking (signing), both clearly a little confused about what this strange woman’s issue was. Now, when I’m saying crazy in sign language I use the ever-known finger-pointing-to-head crazy, which I happened to start using right as she re approached us.
Mom: What are you two doing? Husband: Please go away, ma’am. Mom: I’m not going to let you teach my kid gang signs. So stop it. Husband: We’re not teaching anything, it’s si— Mom: I don’t care what it is, stop it. Just “talk” like normal people. She physically put air quotes on the word “talk,” classy. She soon walked away, and we continued our conversation with her angrily staring at us and trying to “shield” her kid from the terrible gang signs up until they left.
70. Karen Gets Told
My close friend’s mother was a Karen when I was a kid. His father was the absolute kindest person in the world and took so much garbage from her: at least most of the time. Every once in a while he would say something absolutely withering, and the look he would give at those times was terrifying. Here’s a perfect example of a time he talked back to her.
We were all out to eat at one point, and she wanted a server to be fired. She was literally demanding he be fired right there, right then. She was standing halfway up from the table, her face turning redder and redder, and she started enumerating all the reasons we should have all our food for free and the server should be unemployed.
My friend’s father gently put his hand on her shoulder and he spoke two words that had the whole table pause from eating: “‘Shut up,’ he said in a voice that was calm, even, and as cold as outer space. She immediately shut up and we ate the rest of the meal in silence. I always loved that line, and I liked that he would stand up to her occasionally…but when he used that voice, I felt like I was hearing a psychopath talk.
71. Karen, Meet Kevin
Karens tend to marry Kevins. Kevins drive trucks even though they work in offices. They think the check-out ladies are flirting with them, and start fights over parking spaces. They’re the jerks that rush to overtake you and then slow down. They flirt with the waitress while their wives are in the bathroom, but only tip ten percent.
Kevins have “conceal carry” permits for their pistols, but let everyone know they conceal carry, by showing them off every chance they get—with trigger discipline. They also think calling Black people “urban youth” means they’re not prejudiced, and they like to unironically wear T-shirts that threaten their daughter’s dates.
They let random law enforcement officers know that they pay their wages, every chance they get. But their darkest tendency is that sometimes they hit their wives, and they certainly hit their kids. It’s easier than talking to them.
72. Bread And Circus
This happened almost 40 years ago. My immediate family was, for the most part, perfectly normal and boring. We were not prone to outbursts and tantrums. It was very calm and quiet. Everyone got along and we were pretty happy with our boredom. I tell you that so you understand that I had absolutely no experience at all with people prone to screaming fits.
You should also know that I suffer from a case of terminal morbid curiosity. I also don’t care about pleasing other people. Never did. Never saw the fun in it. This happened when we were visiting for my great auntie’s funeral. I was 12. My one aunt insisted that we all go out to dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. It was just the best, she said so and she was never wrong.
The gimmick here was a little flag of Italy on the table. When you wanted more dinner rolls, you raised the flag. This is important. Flag up, you get rolls. Flag down, no rolls. Remember that. The six of us are seated, they take our drink order and bring the breadbasket. With us is my poor long-suffering uncle who will one day be made a saint for being married to this woman for over 20 years.
It started with the drink order. Aunt: We will have five sweet teas. Dad: I’ll have a Coke. Mom: I’ll have a Coke. Me: Tea, no sugar (This is a mortal sin in the south). Aunt: Don’t be silly, you can’t have sweet tea without sugar! Me: I don’t like sugar. Aunt: That’s stupid. Bring her sweet tea. Waitress (who winked at me): Yes, Ma’am. Uncle: I think I’d like a Coke as well.
Emily, their daughter: I’d like a Coke. Aunt: We drink Pepsi, not Coke. We are having sweet tea. The waitress brought us our requested drinks. My aunt was growing agitated. See, likes to control everything and everyone. So she told us what to order for dinner. I’m not going to get into an ethical debate here, but I refuse to eat veal.
She demanded we all have the veal. I refused. I knew this would set her off but, oh well. I’m not eating veal. My parents, after I had explained to them years earlier why I would not eat veal, refused to eat it as well. Did I mention I get my “I don’t care about pleasing you” quality from my parents? Well, they didn’t care either. They were perfectly capable of ordering whatever they wanted.
So they did. I had lasagna. It was good. My mother’s was better. Once we ordered what we wanted, it emboldened my uncle and he stepped out of line and ordered something else as well. My aunt was NOT. HAVING. IT. Aunt: You are getting the veal. Uncle: No, I feel like something else tonight. Aunt: The veal is the best. Uncle: I still want something else.
Aunt: You won’t like it. Uncle: I’m sure I will. Aunt: You don’t know what you are talking about. Uncle: I know what I like. Aunt: Well you can’t have it. Uncle: Yes, I can! Aunt: I said no! Uncle: Well, I’m ordering it! Aunt: You always get the veal! Uncle: Because it’s your favorite and you make me. I don’t even like Italian food!
Aunt: Yes you do, it’s your favorite. Uncle: I want the lasagna. Aunt: Order what I tell you to order. Uncle: No. Lasagna. Emily: I’ll have the lasagna, too. Aunt: You can’t have that, you are allergic. Emily: No, I’m not. Aunt: I’m your mother, I know what you can and can’t eat. Aunt: (to the waitress): Bring her the veal, right now!
The whole time this is going on, I am looking from one to the other like watching a tennis match. Back and forth, with the pitch of her voice getting more and more shrill with each sentence. I was fairly certain that when we left bats would have been summoned. I’m just watching them and eating a dinner roll…The food arrives and everyone got what they wanted, even Emily, much to the fury of my aunt. Then it happens.
My uncle raises the flag. My aunt puts it down. He puts it back up. She takes it back down. Up and down, up and down. I see the bread guy hovering at the edge of the table…..waiting. The flag goes up and he rushes in to drop off the new basket before it can go back down. My aunt grabs the basket and throws it at the kid that delivered it.
To save time and typing, every time my aunt speaks, the flag goes down. The rest of the time it goes up. Aunt: You don’t need any more bread! Uncle: But I want more. Aunt: I said no. Uncle: I’m an adult, I can have more bread if I want. Aunt: No you can’t. Uncle: Why, just tell me why I can’t have more bread. Aunt: Because I said so. You aren’t listening to me.
Uncle: I’m hungry and want more bread. Aunt: You wouldn’t be if you had ordered the veal! Aunt: Yes I would. I always am but you never let me have more bread. Tonight I get more! Me: I want some more bread, too. Aunt: No, you have had enough. Me: No, I really think I want more. Aunt: Well, you are wrong. Me: You seem upset.
Aunt: That’s because you people aren’t listening to me. Me: Yes we are. We just don’t care. We want more bread. Dad (to me while trying not to laugh at how absurd this is): You aren’t helping. Me: I think you want more bread too. At this point the whole darn place is watching our table and the battle over the flag. I’m fairly sure there were people taking bets to see who would win.
In the middle of the confusion, a nice lady sitting at another table nearest Emily tapped her and slipped their fresh bread basket to her. Emily took a roll and slipped it to me. I took one and slipped it to my father, then it went to my mother who, after taking a roll for herself, slipped one onto my uncle’s plate. If you can believe it, it got even more ridiculous from there. My aunt saw it and grabbed for it.
My uncle was faster. He shoved the whole thing into his mouth at once. It was a big roll. The waitress approached the table to check to see if we needed anything (Xanax was unfortunately not on the menu) and my aunt demanded she bring the check. Me: I want dessert. Chocolate cake. Uncle: Sounds great! I’ll have some. Emily: Me too. Dad: I’ll have apple pie.
Mom: I’ll have cheesecake. Bring cheesecake for [aunt]. She loves cheesecake. Aunt: NO! We are not having dessert. We are getting the check and leaving. NOW! Dad: No, we aren’t. Aunt: Well, I’m leaving. You can all walk home. Dad: I drove. It’s our car. Aunt: I know, give me the keys. Dad. Nope. Aunt: You have to give me the keys. I live here. You are just visiting.
Dad: Yes, I’m just visiting. With my family. In our car. Aunt: It’s MY state! Dad: I don’t care. It’s my car and you can’t have it. You’re a terrible driver anyway. Aunt: No I’m not! Dad: You drive the wrong way on the freeway. Aunt: No I don’t. It’s the other cars going the wrong way! Dad: You get lost in your own neighborhood. Aunt: Not always.
Dad: You are not driving my car. Aunt: Yes I am! Dad: No you aren’t. That ladies and gentlemen, continued while we ate dessert and paid the check (my father was buying). As we walked to the car, and for the entire trip back to their house, my father drove. We dropped them off and went back to our hotel room. Dad to my mom: Has your sister always been this crazy?
Mom: No, it started when she was about three. Dad: What happened? Mom: She started speaking in complete sentences. Dad: Ah……
73. A Coven of Karens
I’m surrounded by Karens. They’re everywhere. First off, my father is the biggest Karen of them all. He’s just insufferable out in public if everything isn’t his way. He refuses to wait in any line that is more than 30 seconds of wait time. Absolutely everything has to be his way or the highway….these are his words, not mine.
My mother-in-law is also a full-blown Karen. Just the worst. She makes everything about her. Everything. If it’s not, she will make a scene or a fuss and turn all the attention on her. How she reacts afterward boils my blood—without fail, she’ll play the victim. It’s nuts. My wife is a Karen in training. Her shyness keeps her from being a full-blown Karen, but behind closed doors, everything is gaslighting and my fault.
74. Karen Magnet
I was married to a Karen whose mom was a Karen. She was like Ray’s mom on Everybody Loves Raymond. When I went out to eat with my mom and grandma, my mom complained that the coffee was too hot and my grandma complained that the ice cream was too cold. My wife also got us thrown out of the little league game, and for the most embarrassing reason too—she was harassing the 15-year-old umpire.
Now I’m by myself and Karen-free.
75. Does Not Compute
Dear Entitled Mother, Thank you so, SO very much for your complete and utter lack of patience when getting on the bus, which resulted in breaking part of my $55,000 wheelchair and me needing to call the authorities for help…So I was on the bus tonight heading to a workshop that I was fairly excited about. Things were great until slightly before my stop when two adults got on.
One was with a toddler and the other was wheeling a stroller. It is strict corporate policy that all strollers must be folded before being brought onto the bus, but not enough drivers actually enforce it, and this was one of those MONSTER Cadillac strollers to boot. The entitled mom brought her unfolded stroller on the bus and, seeing the front entirely occupied by disabled people (including myself) decided to push past toward the back.
Only…her behemoth of a stroller wouldn’t fit in the space available, and she started ramming it along my wheelchair to plow it through. Me: Hey! Watch it! Mom: *keeps trying to squeeze through* Me: Careful! I can feel you tugging at stuff! Her: *doesn’t stop* Finally, she managed to push through and moved back. I fumed for the next few blocks, pushed the button for my stop, and turned on my wheelchair…
Then I got a “left brake disconnected” error. I tried again. Repeated errors. Me: Ffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuu… The next several minutes were spent with the bus pulled over, passengers getting mad at ME for “causing” a delay, while I panic trying to figure out how to get off the bus. Finally, a guy flipped my electric/freewheel release switch on and off several times and that managed to convince my chair to work enough for me to get off my bus and get about 15 feet away before it suddenly turned itself off.
I turned it back on. It started throwing up a “charger inhibit” error, which basically is the error you get when you try to start moving when you’re still plugged into the wall outlet. The next hour was a progression of events that saw me sitting on the ground with the back of my chair opened up as I went through everything, trying to figure out what the ever-loving heck was going on. I even called the authorities because I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get home, since my wheelchair repair company doesn’t have after-hours service.
In the end, I discovered that two different things had gotten disconnected, and when I fixed them my chair started up just fine. The lovely officer helped me get the cover back on my chair and, more importantly, helped me get safely back into my chair. I said screw it, skipped the workshop, went home, showered the icky sidewalk off of me, and had a couple of drinks.
None of this would have happened if that Entitled Mother had just taken one second to fold her stroller up. Or, I dunno, STOPPED when I repeatedly asked her to…But no, she was far Too Important to do such basic stuff like that. And yes, my wheelchair is actually $55,000. I know that sounds like a lot, but given that according to the order form I just looked at, the joystick cover alone is $85, it doesn’t surprise me at all.
It has three different tilt/adjustment settings that drives the cost up enormously. I love shouting at people who drive too close to me that my wheelchair costs more than their car.
76. Gloves Come Off
My aunt is a Karen. She is exactly what a Karen is portrayed as. Everyone hates her. At a recent family reunion, my mom had had enough of my aunt apparently, and got into a huge argument with her—I can’t remember what it was about. I went to try and break it up, and as soon as I got to them, my mom delivered the final blow: “You’re such a despicable person,” she said, before decking her.
My mom walked away and I stood there trying not to laugh. My aunt started crying.
77. Welcome To Karenville
I am not married to a Karen; actually, she’s the exact opposite. I literally wish she’d be a Karen from time to time and stand up for herself, but she’s got me for that, so it’s all cool. I literally live in a suburb of Karens…I swear to God, go look up Westchase Florida because it’s a fancy, ritzy part of a lousy city.
Every woman here is the definition of a Karen. They are middle-aged, stay-at-home, soccer moms with rich husbands. They spend all day toting around their spoiled brats on “errands” which include the gym—but a women’s only gym—with other Karens. This is followed by sitting at Starbucks for an hour in their $200 workout outfits.
At Starbucks, they sit with their other Karen friends, and they all have kids beside them in $1,000 strollers. They come into my business, let’s say, which is a natural and organic grocery store—go figure—only to complain about the quality of our fruit and vegetables, and make our special order and call them when their stuff comes in.
This is all because Karen is apparently better than every other person in the whole freaking world. I really hate living here!
78. Back Of The Line
I dearly wish I could claim this was me, or even a relative, so I could claim this degree of clever was in my genes. But it was not. It was a bouncer at a small-town club, and when he made the comment there weren’t even the expected, cinematic ‘OOOOOHHH!” Or ‘WHAAAAT!” reactions one would expect. Just an echoing silence from about 40 onlookers.
So, this mother and daughter pair was trying to get into the club late in the evening. The daughter was clearly young, and actually reasonably attractive in quite a nice, fashionable outfit. The mother was not obese, but certainly overweight, and had shoehorned her corpulence into hot pants and a tank top that would have been trashy on a supermodel, and friends…she was no supermodel.
Badly dyed stringy hair, cheap bulky jewelry, spray-on orange skin, all the trailer-trimmings. I didn’t hear how the exchange started, but clearly these two were trying to cut ahead of the line. The bouncer, this massive, action figure of a Black man with an oddly babyish face and the patience of Job, had denied this effort. Hilarity ensued.
The daughter threw a few verbal jabs but seemed to be just mildly irritated. The sideshow of a mother lost her bloody mind. Shrieking prejudiced epithets that would curl the ear-hair of a bystander, and every horrific name you care (or do not care) to imagine. Interspersed with the expected “Do you know who I am,” and “Get me the owner,” etc.
The bouncer just stood there and didn’t react with anything but polite direction. Downright heroic. After a few minutes of this vile screeching, the daughter is now embarrassed as heck and trying to pull the mother away. People are gathering to watch and the whole thing has become a spectator sport. The bouncer just kept politely saying “You will need to go to the back of the line like anyone else ma’am” or variations on that theme.
By now the woman wasn’t even trying to argue the point, just squealing the revolting, and at this point quite repetitive, insults. Then she screamed that he was an awful bouncer and would get fired that night. Then she tried to slap the bouncer. She missed, quite badly, at which point the bouncer took a single step forward as she fell back with a shriek.
He then said quite loudly: “Ma’am, at any point tonight have I ever told you how to get off flabby obese old men in an alley? Clearly baffled, she said nothing but sputtered… he continued: “No, Ma’am, I have never said anything like that. Not once. I don’t tell you how to do your job, so don’t tell me how to do MINE.” Silence. Like, 40 people in the street, not a sound.
She yelled a couple more things, then scuttled away with her daughter dragging her by the arm. It’s been over a decade, but I still want to go find that bouncer and buy him a drink.
79. Karen Sufferer Hits The Jackpot
I have two exes that were both borderline Karens. Both were extremely frustrating people. They couldn’t take the blame or responsibility for anything! I still remember one of them being absolutely furious with me for not answering her calls—despite the fact that her calls weren’t coming through because my workplace had no signal at the time.
I had another who treated me like an absolute idiot. I used to drive to her places all the time, but when my car broke down, she came to mine and always made a fuss about giving her gas money. I argued at first, considering I normally paid for everything and never asked her for anything back. I figured then that giving her the gas money was also kind of a way of paying her to shut up.
She’d also make a massive scene when something didn’t go her way. I still remember her screaming at her dad about something so insignificant, and I was absolutely embarrassed for her. How on earth does a grown adult think and act so entitled? Still, we got engaged—I now have no idea why I did that—and an ex of mine, who I hadn’t heard from for a long time, asked if she could come to this big celebration we were having.
I told my then-girlfriend about this weird email and she totally flipped out—she accused me of cheating on her with this ex of mine. She said, “You guys must be seeing each other if she’s contacting you!!!” Then she ran off to tell my parents I’d been cheating on her.
That was a big ugly mess to clean up. The break-ups were interesting. I broke up with the first one in my car when dropping her off at home after having our 500th argument of the week—it was still only Monday, too! She properly ugly cried in the car and refused to leave. She was coughing and spilling everything from the contents of her nose everywhere.
I just stayed quiet and eventually, she quietly left. It felt like forever though. It was by far one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life! But it wasn’t over yet. She proceeded to tell a few of my good friends we broke up because I took advantage of her, so yeah—another horrible mess to clean up. I even had to go to the authorities about that.
The second girl took it better, but still made it her life’s mission to rip me to pieces every time we were out with friends—we had some friends in the same circle, and she’d always be out when I was out with a particular group. It makes me so grateful for the wife I have now. I don’t know what the opposite of a Karen is, but she is absolutely it!
She’s understanding, extremely generous, kind, caring, empathetic, sweet, considerate, and respectful. I’ve hit the jackpot, and by God do I know it!
80. Giving New Meaning To “Food Fight”
I can finally air my uncensored frustration about the night my engagement was single-handedly corrupted by my entitled mother-in-law. Let’s call her “Ellen.” Ok, so my girlfriend and I were really engaged to be engaged. We’d both agreed we wanted to get married, but I hadn’t done the formal proposal yet because we wanted to meet each other’s families first, since neither lived nearby.
I always thought the old trope about meeting the in-laws being a big fiasco was a myth, both because I was younger and more naive then, and because I’m lucky to have easy parents. My girlfriend met my parents for a few hours. Once we were alone just me and them, I told them my intentions and my mom asked, “Does she have any kids already?”
My dad asked, “Does she have a good solid job?” And they both asked, “You really love her?” And that was that, I had their full support for the marriage. I thought meeting her parents would be the same. Some grilling was to be expected, but as long as I was honest and respectful, it would all be fine. I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
Relevant fact, my girlfriend’s parents had her when they were teenagers, by surprise, so they later had a “do-over daughter” (their words, not mine!!) who was just six years old. My girlfriend and I made the trip up to their city and I met them for the first time over dinner at a steak house. It was pretty upscale, and we’d scheduled the dinner for 8:00 pm, so I was surprised to see they’d brought the kid along with them.
I met everyone at once and the initial awkwardness settled once we’d sat down. We were making great small talk when the six-year-old said she was thirsty. No big deal right? Well, all of a sudden, my girlfriend’s mother Ellen starts screaming. “Water? Water! WATER?!” A waiter came rushing over to see what the commotion was and, without even making eye contact with the poor guy, Ellen went, “We’ve been here forever and no one’s even gotten us any water. My daughter’s been asking.”
We had been sitting for about 15 or 20 minutes without service, it was true, but they were visibly behind, and there were no circumstances that would’ve warranted that shouting. I should’ve realized from how unfazed everyone else at the table was that I should be bracing myself for a long night, but I couldn’t imagine what was to come at that point.
The waiter rushed over with water and apologized for the delay, explaining a few very large parties had arrived all at once. The guy was seemed sincere, and quite affable, so I thought the water would just be an anomaly in an otherwise pleasant night. Then Ellen kicked into full gear. “We’ll need a kid’s menu.” She informed the waiter.
He said that they didn’t have a kid’s menu, but that the chef could simplify most dishes. “What do you mean you don’t have a kid’s menu?” Ellen replied in total disbelief, as though he’d said they didn’t have a fire exit. He explained they didn’t get too many child visitors and that there were enough plain foods on the menu that no separate menu had ever been necessary.
Ellen sighed dramatically and waved him away. Literally, without saying a word, waved him off from the table. I tried to give him an apologetic glance but, understandably, he didn’t look back our way. I was so glad the poor guy left and didn’t have to be subjected to her anymore. Meanwhile, she turned her attention on me, and I almost wished he’d come back.
At least he was getting paid to be here. She was like, “So you’re a screenwriter?” And I explained, “Well, yes and no. I want to be, but it’s hard to get a job in that field that you can support yourself on, so I’m working at a non-profit right now. There’s a screenwriting component to the job though, so I’m really happy there.”
Ellen turned to her six-year-old and went “Hear that? You want to be sure to snag a man who works for profit. Learn from this. It’s not too late for you.” I couldn’t tell if she was trying to be funny or not. So, I just let it pass, looking over to my girlfriend to see if she was even considering speaking up on my behalf. Nope. The waiter came back, visibly nervous.
That hurt, because he was so relaxed and personable at the start of the meal. He asked if we’d like to hear the specials before we ordered and Ellen said sure. Here’s how that went. Waiter: First we have a lightly seared strip stea— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Oh… uh, ok. Then we have a broiled leg of grass fed— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Uh, we, uh, we have a pasta primavera mixed with—
Ellen: NEEEEXXXXTTTTTTUHHH And on and on until he’d gone through all seven or 10 specials, even though she ultimately ordered off the menu, a plain rib eye, well done. She tried to order her daughter the same, but the kid said she just wanted plain mashed potatoes, so Ellen let her get mashed potatoes alone for dinner. Then…she sent the waiter away! The rest of us hadn’t even ordered yet!
And everyone else just sat there like it was entirely normal! I waited for someone to say something, thinking it was more her older daughter (my girlfriend’s) place or her husband’s, but when no one did I couldn’t help myself. “I, uh, was the one steak and potatoes going to be for all of us, or?” My girlfriend explained, in the tone you’d use for a tourist violating a sacred local taboo, “My mom always has the waiter put the kid’s food in first, so it can get started right away. We’ll order once the kitchen has hers.”
I thought she was joking, since Ellen didn’t just order her kid’s food, she also ordered her own dinner, too. So I laughed. “Something funny?” Ellen asked. Then I realized she was serious, and I shut up. Thankfully, her dad at least recognized that what was normal for them might not be as regular to me, and tried to lighten the mood with a change of topic.
But not even 10 minutes after she and her daughter had ordered, Ellen started in again. Another table, that had been there long before we were, got a side order of mashed potatoes with their meal. Ellen threw a total conniption. She was sputtering so inaudibly that none of us could figure out what was wrong at first. Finally, she managed to flag down some busboy who barely spoke English and began laying into him like he’d just side-swiped her on the freeway.
He kept trying to explain he wasn’t a server and he could go get one, but she wouldn’t stop to breathe long enough for him to find someone who could actually help. All the while, I kept looking at my girlfriend for signs of embarrassment, or at the very least irritation, but you wouldn’t have known if she was even hearing any of this.
Our waiter came over, somehow still feigning a smile despite knowing what he was walking into, and Ellen actually goes, “Why did that table get mashed potatoes and ours haven’t come yet?” The waiter kindly but concisely explained, “Well Ma’am, those people ordered potatoes before your party had placed their order.” Ellen looks this man in the eye (finally) and says, “Well it doesn’t matter when they ordered it. My daughter is the youngest one here! Her food should come out first.”
You could tell the waiter was working hard to restrain himself at this point. He explained it was a first come, first served, policy and age didn’t help one way or the other. He offered to go check on the potatoes, Ellen agreed, or more specifically she said, “Yah, you better!” but I was clocking him and he went right back to his server station…because we had only just ordered a few minutes ago.
Three or five more minutes passed, during which we could have no other discussion at the table except how awful this restaurant was, how hungry the poor baby was (who hadn’t said a word about being hungry this whole time and was contently playing her loud iPad game, without headphones, disturbing all the other diners around us), and how America has lost all respect for motherhood because it’s just a “me, me, me” culture now.
I chimed in, “I’m with you on that last part.” And to my utter shock, instead of laughing at my joke, my girlfriend seemed annoyed with me! So after a few minutes, the waiter comes back and says the potatoes will be out very soon. Ellen then goes and does something that, again, I thought was just a myth. She took three singles and a five out of her wallet and put them on the table in full view of the waiter.
Then she took one single away and said “Every table I see getting potatoes before us is a bill gone.” I was absolutely mortified. The waiter, to his unending credit, just took a deep breath and said, “I don’t have control over the order in which the kitchen fires tickets, but what I can tell you is it should be out any minute.” And he left without saying anything disparaging.
I had been holding my tongue all night as well, in the name of my relationship, but once the tip hit the table (the $8 tip for a $100+ bill, on top of everything else) I figured if my girlfriend was half the woman I thought she was, then she wouldn’t mind my speaking up at this point. If anything, she’d be supportive, right? So I scooted my chair back a bit.
Then I said, “Listen I know what you’re doing with the cash on the table, but that kind of thing makes me really uncomfortable, and it’s just not called for. Please put the money away or we can just continue this some other time.” My girlfriend’s dad spits back, “What? How cheap do you have to be to not believe in tipping service workers?”
Before I could process whether he was serious or yanking my chain, Ellen shocked me with, “No, you know what, you’re right, this isn’t necessary.” I should’ve known better than to be relieved. I still can’t believe what she did next. She folded the bills back into her wallet, patiently waited for the next plate of mashed potatoes to be carried out, and when it wasn’t delivered to us, (it was a very common side dish at this place, a steak house) she went right up to a stranger’s table and picked it up off their table.
She half explained something about her daughter “starving” as she was walking away with the stranger’s food, but unsurprisingly, that wasn’t convincing enough for them. The old lady she took it from followed her right over to our table and tried to take it back. I was already searching for my coat tag in preparation to go, but a shoving match was beginning to unfold between Ellen and an elderly woman with a tennis ball walker, and far be it from me to sit through all that had happened only to leave just as the night was getting interesting.
The elderly woman was like, “Give me back my potatoes!! Who are you??” And the poor little girl was like, “Mommy, it’s ok, don’t take someone else’s potatoes…” But it all fell on deaf ears. Ellen yelled at the old lady, “How could you sit there and eat these when my daughter hasn’t even been served yet? She’s sitting here hungry, just a little girl, and you’re over there stuffing your face? Come on, other potatoes will be out any minute.”
And the old lady, got to love her, was like, “Great, if they’ll be out any minute, then what’s the [bleeping] problem?!” To which Ellen still found holier than thou ground, gasping, “Language, please!” Finally the waiter, and this time someone higher up as well, I think the manager, thank God, came over to separate them, as they had begun to raise their voices and cause a disturbance.
Now, staff had already asked Ellen to turn down her daughter’s iPad multiple times without heed, and I’m guessing the waiter informed management about the “tip on the table,” stunt she pulled, because this was their final straw. They told us we were going to have to leave the restaurant. “But we don’t even have our food yet!” Ellen complained at the guy.
This was clearly not the manager’s first rodeo. “You can take the food that’s already been served free of charge, everything else will be canceled. Please leave immediately.” The old lady didn’t miss her chance to knock the potatoes right onto the floor so we couldn’t try to take them with us. Nothing else had been served yet, so we had to leave without any food. But the worst was yet to come.
When my girlfriend and I were finally alone in our car she said, “Can you believe that?” And I said, “Not at all. And I really can’t believe you didn’t warn me!” And she went, “How could I have known about any of that?” Confused, I asked, “Is she not usually like that?” Even more confused than me, my girlfriend asked, “Who?” “Your mom!” “What’s my mom got to do with the terrible service at that place?”
That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. The fact that she didn’t see anything wrong with her mom’s behavior, and that I’d be marrying into that situation, shook me too deep. We both dodged a bullet in more ways than one. In hindsight, we weren’t right for each other, regardless of who her family was. Her mom saved us both a lot of time and heartache, helping me realize in one night what would’ve probably taken us years otherwise.
Within a month we’d moved into separate apartments and gone on a “break” that ended up lasting forever. I’m not sorry I won’t see you again, Ellen. I am sorry any wait staff ever will, though.
81. Snow White Becomes Evil Karen
When I first met my wife, she was beautiful in every single way. I remember looking at her as she spoke to the ducks at the lake. I thought: “I’m going to marry this beautiful Snow White”. She loved all animals and they loved her right back. Her soul was pure. She looked like a queen in everything she wore, be it jeans or a sundress. She was never a princess-type woman; she was always destined to be my queen.
I’m not sure when she changed, but slowly and surely, she did. She humiliates me, she belittles me, and she saddens me. I’ll never be right or even acknowledged to have a valid point or opinion. She wastes money that I work hard to earn. But the thing that gets me the most is that she has strategically spaced out our pregnancies to maximize the time she doesn’t have to return to paid work. She has admitted this.
Why don’t I leave her? Better the devil you know, aye?
82. “Karenasaurus” Rex
I was married to a Karen. She was very nasty and could not lose an argument. She was physically and mentally abusive. But the worst thing she would do is, if she had the idea that I might walk out on, she would physically corner me and scream in my face for over an hour. She’d try to egg me into touching her so she could “Call 9-1-1 on me for assault.”
She rear-ended someone in her Geo Tracker—the poor woman’s Karenmobile. The accident only shattered her grille. I went to a few Pick ’n Pulls to see if I could find a new grille. There were No Geo Tracker grilles, but I found a Chevy Tracker grille. I bought it—but I had to have permission to spend a dime, so I told her I got a Tracker grille.
Unfortunately, she saw the grille before I had a chance to de-badge it and put it on her Tracker with the Geo logo. That resulted in two weeks of torment from her. I told her I’d take it back and get a Geo Tracker one…and I did take it back…but I still had my devious plan in mind. I went and found the badge I’d seen the other day (that wasn’t sun-faded like hers), stuck it on the Chevy Tracker grille, and installed it.
She had no clue about my deception. She did, however, go on for days about how stupid I was to buy a Chevy grille, which was obviously not the same vehicle, and how she had to wait a whole extra day to be able to drive it to work. She also went on to complain that I should have used the original badge so it wasn’t obvious, even though that’s what I did.
It was also my fault she rear-ended the guy. My fault her brakes weren’t good. My fault that she drove the faster route I found to her work. My fault that she still worked there. My fault I didn’t force her to move to San Diego. My fault I didn’t make her a new child. All my fault. When she couldn’t win a fight, the past would win it for her.
If that wouldn’t win, she would get straight abusive until I would submit. After I left her—which was the second largest battle and longer story—I found out that she cheated on me with every male employee she worked with on “business trips.” And yes, it was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario. All the way up to the wedding, she was outwardly a great person. The wedding changed her into Karenasaurus Rex.
83. Karenism Explained
My girlfriend desperately wanted to be a Karen when we were younger until she started losing all of her friends. Then she started losing all of my friends, and we discussed in a healthy manner how unhealthy and unattractive rudeness is. But the worst part is, in her head, it was because that’s how she needed to act in order to ever feel like she’s being heard.
So, I made a point to be more aware and she made a point to be less rude. Now, disagreements are normally thought out. Our big problem has always been that I react by calculating and thinking things out, and she reacts by whatever the most powerful emotion she’s feeling tells her to do. We both have worked on that.
The problem is soft-spoken women are almost always walked on, especially in scenarios where they aren’t satisfied: you can almost hear the New York deli guy going “Listen, lady…” (cringe). So you start Karen-ing and it gets immediate results.
84. Boss Bride
As I kid, I would often be working at my dad’s workplace—he was an off-premise caterer and an event planner and would often be hired to put together lavish wedding parties. Huge feasts, cheese and fruit tables 40 feet long, lots of drinks, sometimes multiple pigs for both an afternoon and an evening roast, lots of fancy people wanting fancy parties, paying a ton of money, and expecting the world to revolve around them.
One event, in particular, stood out because when the bride-to-be and her mother came in to go over details, they had some rather heated disagreements over some really, really stupid stuff. When this happened, often my dad would just sit there quietly, not taking sides, and patiently wait for people to work out the differences. But this argument came to an interesting and final conclusion.
The mother of the bride was arguing about the specific shade the decorative ribbons and icing trim on the cake should be. Up until that point, she had proven herself incapable of letting her daughter have the final say in anything, from the menu to the plate garnishes, to the time the meal was to start. The mother was insisting that she have her way on everything.
The daughter was gritting her teeth and just grinding through it, but when her mother started to fuss about the exact shade of off-light-green-no-that’s-too-light-no-that’s-too-dark, the bride snapped. She loudly and firmly stated “Mother, if you don’t knock it off right this instant I am going to disinvite you from the wedding. This is my day and while I value your input, the decisions will be mine.”
She then turned to my dad, looked him squarely in the eyes, and said, “I will be signing your check, you work for me. Nothing is decided until I say so. If my mother tries to plan or change anything, you are to call me immediately. I do not expect you will have any problems with that.” My dad simply said “not at all,” and they got back to planning the wedding.
85. When A Karen Snaps
I have Karens for parents and let me tell you: it’s awful. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I got some money in gift vouchers from different charities. So, I went out and brought some decent headphones. One day, they just snapped and my sister saw what happened. All I did was bend them slightly to place them on my head and they snapped.
My dad was angry, and the next day, he grabbed my wheelchair and took me back to the shops. He got me to take off my chemo cap and made me sit in my wheelchair. He wheeled me in the shop and that’s when he blew up. He ended up getting into a screaming match—ordering a manager and a supervisor—and said “Look at her.” At some point, my sisters left the shop and just cringed outside.
My dad wouldn’t let me leave or wheel myself out. The whole time, I was beet red and had my head in my hands. When they wouldn’t help him, he threw the broken headphones into the metal trash can for receipts: I remember hearing it rattle. He stormed out calling them terrible names. As I was being wheeled out, I looked up and mouthed “I’m so sorry.”
86. Facebook Is Karen’s Kingdom
One of my cousins is married to a Karen. He lives at the office day and night just to hide from her. We also suspect he’s not faithful from time to time. She was a very slow hatching Karen, so he was basically trapped on a ship with a “xenomorph” and didn’t know it. Once they tied the knot and baby number one arrived, she took her ultimate Karen form.
I won’t go out to eat with them, because she will complain about everything the whole time. Facebook is her kingdom, and the other Karens reinforce these terrible behaviors by liking all of her posts. Her favorite activity is complaining about how hard it is being a full-time mom—even though her kids are in school and she has a housekeeper.
87. Some Assembly Required
This happened several years ago. I was the nighttime charge nurse over the ICU. I’d just finished a 12-hour shift at my hospital that had turned into a 14-hour shift. I was exhausted and had to return for a fourth shift in nine hours. All I wanted were some items to drop in the slow cooker so I’d have something to eat when I got up later that night.
I stopped at a well-known big box store that sells groceries, clothes, electronics.. the works. I’m wearing royal blue scrubs, a name badge with a big RN under it and forgot to take my stethoscope off so it’s hanging around my neck. The employees here…well…don’t wear that. As I’m walking towards the store I see an elderly couple struggling to load a large box in their SUV parked at the front of the store.
And I mean old. 90+ Shaky hands. Teetering around with limited mobility. No way would his hips take the weight without snapping…and I’ve worked enough tonight. I approach quickly and address the female half of the couple offering help. It was gladly accepted and I got their TV loaded with very little difficulty. It was more cumbersome than heavy.
I’m chatting with the woman who is explaining it’s a gift for their son and her husband hadn’t wanted to wait for help. I’d wondered why an employee wasn’t helping. That’s when it happened. This woman yells, “Hey! Hey!” at me. Startled, me and the nice lady stop our conversation and look over. It’s a lady in her 50s dressed in a cheap-looking beige pantsuit with a “get your manager” hairstyle standing about 15 feet away with a hand on her overly broad hip.
She says, “IF you are ABOUT done. I need help over here.” She then points to her cart with two boxes of bookshelves…some assembly required. I realize she thinks I work here. I start to say, “Oh sorry. I don’t work…” and she cuts me off, yelling: “You are already making me late! Just get it done! …and DON’T scratch my paint up.”
The elderly lady and I exchange looks of disbelief and I try again. “I don’t work he—” but once again, she cuts me off and says, “Just get it done!” She then steps away from her cart to grab her purse grumbling about “stupid idiots” and is digging for her keys when disaster strikes. The cart rolls further away and one wheel goes off the curb.
The entire uneven load causes the cart to topple over. I instinctively jump forward to try to prevent everything from falling…I was unsuccessful. This awful woman, who has now turned to see her particle board bookshelves spilled out on the cement. Corners of the boxes crushed and one has torn open with a few pieces and packaging now exposed.
The awful woman completely loses her mind and begins raging. She’s swearing at me and yelling: “You moron! Pick them up! ARGH. I’m going to have you fired! You owe me new bookshelves! And I’m late!” At this point, I’m done. I yell: “Pick them up yourself! I DON’T WORK HERE!” I then turn to go inside when I feel her grab my sleeve and try to yank me around.
I jerk my sleeve out of out of grip and turn to face her now violently red face. She opens her mouth to start screaming again but I put my finger in her face and say: “No! Don’t touch me! Shut your mouth! I do not work here, and even if I did. I’d quit before I help you clean up your pile of garbage!” She stands there speechless.
Like a bottom-feeding fish, her mouth opening and closing. She is absolutely sputtering in shock that I’ve dared raise MY voice at HER. That’s when the manager and an employee come out. As this awful woman sees the manager and finds her voice. I couldn’t believe what she did next. She says: “Are you the manager? This man damaged my bookshelves and is refusing to pay for them.”
I just stare in shock. Seriously?! She’s finally realized that a man in bright blue scrubs with a stethoscope and a big RN badge really doesn’t work here. But instead of apologizing, she chooses to double down on the craziness and now accuses me of breaking her stuff. Before I can voice my denial, the elderly gentleman I’d helped earlier steps in and explains the situation to the manager.
The awful woman is still voicing complaints but the manager realizes the real situation and apologizes to me and the couple. I’m still standing by watching angrily as the manager deals with the woman and inspects the bookshelves. They are not damaged. He offers her two new boxes but she is now done with the whole situation. She says no.
She’s already too late because of me. Just glares over at me and says to the manager, “Just load them. I’m already late enough because of this!” The manager and employee then lift the boxes up and get them wedged into the woman’s car. As I shake my head and go to enter the store I’m stopped by the elderly lady I’d helped earlier.
She says: “Sir. Thank you so much for helping us with the TV. I’m so sorry some people are so rude.” She then reaches for my hand to shake. As she folds both her fragile hands around mine, I can feel something in her palm she’s giving me. She whispers: “Don’t look yet. Wait till she leaves.” I slide the package into my scrub pocket and the nice lady walks away.
The terrible woman then gets in her car and, without apologizing or thanking anyone, peels out and drives away. I finally enter the store to grab my food items. When I reached into my pocket and pulled out what she’d given me, I was utterly astonished. It was a plastic bag with a bunch of screws and hardware. I realize immediately that the sweet little old lady took advantage of the commotion to take the hardware out of the terrible woman’s ripped box.
I couldn’t believe it. I had the biggest grin on my face as I did my shopping. And I have a new petty revenge hero to idolize.
88. Having Your Chocolate and Eating It Too
I worked at an independent chocolate shop that sold various flavors of truffles, brownies, and drinks. We also had non-dairy options, vegan options, and nut free options available. A woman demanded to speak to the manager because we did not have a “dairy free, nut free, sugar-free, vegan” option. Luckily, the owner literally just laughed and said, “We do have one, it’s called water.” I have never seen such entitled rage in my life!
89. Room Service
For a full year, my college roommate secretly slept with my boyfriend while I was at class. I routinely took more than a full course load and was in math and science classes or study groups every morning. One day, I walked in to see a horrifying sight. They were just fully in the act after I came back early from a cancelled class.
I moved out. I was more angry at her than heartbroken. I also lost most of my friends through the breakup, and they stuck together for a good while. Fast forward five years later. Those two throw a crazy expensive engagement party at the guy’s parents’ beach house, which was attended by some still-mutual friends who told me everything.
At the party, she caught him sleeping with one of the waitresses from the catering company in a bathroom. They still got married. I feel a little bad for her despite the karma balance. She feels like she can’t do better than being with a cheater.
90. A Taste Of Her Own Medicine
When my boyfriend was 14, he was living with his mom and sister on a housing estate. It was summer and he liked a bit of light in his upstairs bedroom, so he left the curtains open at all times. That included when he was getting dressed and after having a shower, so if you purposefully stared at his window, you could see him from his waist up (and only his waist up).
Well, their neighbor did not like that one bit. She went pounding on their door, yelling at my mother-in-law that her son was a disgrace, hanging around always naked and exposing himself to her daughter. My mother-in-law told her he had every right to do whatever he wanted in his bedroom, and that if they didn’t want to see him all they needed to do was not to look.
A couple of days went by and lo and behold, the authorities showed up at the neighbor’s door. Turned out the neighbor had been filming and taking pictures of my boyfriend to show to the housing people as evidence of his wrongdoing to get them kicked out. Except that the housing office called the authorities on her for taking pictures and videos of an underage kid and kicked her and her family out.
91. Greasing The Parts
At the time, I was the front desk receptionist at a car dealership that had an attached service and parts department. I dealt with all kinds of people, but this one customer particularly left me dumbfounded. It was around 7 pm, about an hour after the service and parts department had closed. The sales department was open until 8 pm, so I was just going about my business as usual.
A woman walked up to my desk and slammed a 19-liter jug of motor oil down on the counter. That scared me since I was looking away at the time. She immediately demanded that I sell her the oil. I was confused and just kind of…looked at her for a moment. There was no checkout counter at my desk as we were in an entirely different part of the building.
Also, where did she get that? The parts department was closed and the window into the storeroom was locked with a fold-down metal cage. I finally got myself together and told her that the parts department was closed and that I would be unable to sell anything. Her reaction was priceless. She immediately got angry, blowing her top while gesturing to the closest window demanding that I give her the oil.
I suggested for her to go to another shop nearby, as they were open until 9 pm. Surely, she could get oil there. She didn’t like that answer and scoffed at me. “I need Kia brand oil, for my Kia brand car.” She said it incredibly matter-of-factly and stared at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet. That again caught me off guard.
I have pretty bad anxiety, so I was still mentally and physically reeling from her slamming the bottle down and I was not getting very collected thoughts. I tried to explain that any brand of oil would do and that I’d be happy to help her figure out what would work best so she could pick it up there…but she just kept shaking her head at me.
Finally, she shouted out that she would just come back the following day, that I had been absolutely no help, and stormed out. I noticed then that she had a kid with her. What a great example she set for her children. I did figure out that she had pulled the oil jug down off of a display case in the service department. That was extra amusing to me, imagining someone taking something off of a clearly not-for-sale display shelf because she was mad.
92. A Look Of Absolute Horror
My mom was a Karen in both name and behavior. My dad had a massive heart attack. His brain was oxygen-deprived, and we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. We also weren’t sure how intact his mind would be. He was intubated, sedated, the whole works for days. My toddler nephew visited the hospital. He was dad’s special buddy.
My dad somehow roused from his critically ill state to wave his fingers and say a few words to my adorable nephew. A miracle! My mom tried to get my dad to talk to her, and then she did something absolutely appalling…she slapped him—pretty hard—on the chest because he wouldn’t say anything to her. She was jealous of a two-year-old. I mean, she hit a man in intensive care.
The look on the nurse’s face was absolute horror.
93. Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth
My mom had a rule about no shoes in the house under any circumstances—but one day, it came back to bite her. My brother’s friend had prosthetic legs, so he always had shoes on. He came over one day and my mom got really mad and confronted him, yelling: “Why do you think you’re so special that you don’t have to take your shoes off in our house when everyone else does?”
He responded by lifting up his jeans and showing his Air Jordans resting in a pair of fake legs and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am. If I take them off, I’ll have to take my legs off, too.” My mom offered a half-hearted apology and went upstairs. She never commented on it again.
94. Tell The Truth
I was in a chain beauty store that has a hair salon in the back. I was looking at a display that happened to be right next to the salon, and I overheard the woman in the chair finishing up with the stylist. I was there for a few minutes, so I heard a decent portion of their conversation. A little while later, I got in line to pay and recognized the woman in front of me as the woman from the salon.
There was only one cashier working, and she was currently helping someone else. When they finished and the cashier called her over, the woman dropped her items on the counter and handed the cashier a coupon. Cashier (C): “I’m sorry ma’am, but this coupon can’t be applied to the items you’re purchasing.” Salon Lady (SL): “What do you mean?”
C: “There are some restrictions to what this coupon can be used towards. They’re listed down at the bottom of the coupon here,” and she attempted to show her. SL: “That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve used coupons on these items before. I buy them all the time.” C: “I’m sorry ma’am. The previous coupons you used may have had different restrictions, however, this one specifically states that it cannot be used on these items. The coupon actually mentions this brand by name in the restrictions.”
SL then began screaming at the cashier about her horrible customer service and the fact that last month they wouldn’t give her a free birthday gift even though she’s been a rewards member for over 10 years just because she tried to redeem it two months after her birthday. She demanded the number for corporate and the cashier’s name. The cashier started to write down the number.
SL: “No, tell it to me right now. I’m going to call them right now to make sure you aren’t lying to me!” She pulled out her phone and the cashier told her the number and her name. SL proceeded to dial and stand at the register. C: “Ma’am, if you could just step to the side so I can ring up the other customers…” SL: “NO! YOU WILL FINISH MY TRANSACTION! I AM GOING TO TELL CORPORATE HOW HORRIBLY YOU’RE TREATING ME AND THEY WILL COMmAND YOU TO HONOR MY COUPON AND GIVE ME MY BIRTHDAY GIFT!”
The cashier attempted to flag down another employee and drew even more screams from SL for “attempting to leave.” By this time, the manager had overheard the yelling and come over, but SL refused to speak to her, refused to let the cashier open another register, and refused to move from where she was standing. She stood at the register fake crying to the rep on the phone.
It was total lies, all about how she came in to get a haircut and it turned out horribly and the stylist refused to fix it and how her mother was dying in the hospital and she just wanted to see her one last time and now she looks awful and the employees in the store were treating her horribly and she couldn’t believe how such a loyal customer was being mistreated and publicly humiliated “all over a free birthday gift.”
The manager, having no other option, opened up another register to try to move through the massive line that had backed up and called me over. At the end of my transaction, I said, “Thank you. I would also like the number to corporate, your name, and that employee’s name, so that I can tell them how calmly and politely you attempted to deal with this completely irrational woman. I was here for the whole thing, including when she told the stylist she liked her hair and her mother had been released from the hospital last week. Hopefully I can counteract whatever damage she may be doing.”
The manager thanked me and gave me the number and their names. I got in my car and called, telling the rep who answered the entire story and insisting that the cashier and manager did nothing wrong and that the woman was lying to get what she wanted. She thanked me and said she would make sure that my message got to where it needed to go. I sure hope it did.
95. Dog Day Afternoon
My vet has been after me to take my dog to get his teeth cleaned. I made an online appointment to drop him off and received a confirmation email of my appointment time being 9 am. A couple of days before the appointment, I received another reminder email with 9 am. I arrive to the clinic at 8:45 am and check in with the receptionist. They ask me to have a seat and they’ll come get my dog quickly to take him back.
About 30 minutes later, after no one had come, I asked the receptionist if there was a delay and she responded, “Well, you should have been here at 7 am. So since you’re late it’s taking longer.” I replied that the appointment time I received and confirmed was for 9 am. She refused to accept my answer and continued to say that it was 7 am and it doesn’t matter what I received.
I politely sat back down to wait again instead of engaging in an argument. Shortly after, they came to take my dog back to clean his teeth. I spoke with the vet tech and they said that the reason for the 7 am arrival was for blood work but it wasn’t a big deal and they’d get it done still. Before leaving, I looked up the email on my phone and of course, it said 9 am. I proceeded to try to show the email to the receptionist, who didn’t even look at the email and instead said, “I don’t have control over the emails sent. That’s corporate.”
I responded that she may not be responsible for sending the emails but she works for the company that does and should be able to provide the feedback. She smirked at me and kept to her story, that it wasn’t her problem and it was my fault I wasn’t informed of the early arrival. The smirking is what sent me over the top. She began to act as if she wanted to physically fight, which was fine with me, but the lead tech came out to defuse the situation.
Eventually, I left to do a few errands while they completed the teeth cleaning. But it was far from over. 3 pm rolls around and I began to get worried that I hadn’t heard from the vet since 9 am. I attempted to call with no answer. After a few tries, someone answered. I asked about my dog and they simply responded with, “He’s doing good. He’s been out to pee and they should be calling you soon.” We hung up. 4:30 pm comes and I’m starting to get more and more upset that I have no idea what’s going on.
I tried calling and despite numerous calls, I couldn’t get through. I called corporate, who also was having trouble getting through. Corporate told me the only way to truly speak with someone was to GO THERE. I tell the guy on the phone he better hope he gets a hold of them before I get there to warn them I’m coming, because it won’t be pretty. I drive 30 minutes with corporate still trying to get a hold of them.
I park, get out of the car, walk up to the front desk and wait for the receptionist. Corporate comes back on the phone saying they still can’t get a hold of them. I tell the guy “I know. I’m right here waiting for the receptionist to stop ignoring me and I’m watching them ignore your phone calls.” At the vet, I ask about my dog. THEY HADN’T EVEN COMPLETED THE TEETH CLEANING. MY DOG HAD BEEN KENNELED FOR 8 HOURS FOR NOTHING.
At this point, my voice is raised and I’m not holding anything back. The same lead vet tech comes out to discuss with me and while I’m explaining that just that morning the receptionist (who wasn’t there anymore) had argued with me about needing to be there at 7 am FOR NOTHING. That it wouldn’t have mattered whether I got there at 7 am or camped out in the parking lot, they wouldn’t have completed my dog’s cleaning anyway.
I also pointed out the fact that NO ONE communicated with me about them not being able to get to my dog. Then I got sent over the edge. What does this vet tech do? SHE SMIRKS AT ME. I couldn’t even contain the rage anymore. I started lecturing her about the smirking and the fact that the SAME behavior is what set me off with the morning receptionist.
She swore she wasn’t smirking and apologized but it was too late. I told her if they don’t bring me my dog I will go back there myself and get him. An employee in the store (the vet clinic is inside a pet store) who was leaving stopped in his tracks and began watching the altercation between me and the lead vet tech. He stood there for about five minutes, holding an empty water jug, about 15-20 feet away.
After I finished giving the vet tech a lecture I turned to the employee and said “Can I help you? You can keep it moving. This isn’t a show.” His response was to turn around and walk back into the grooming salon that was right next to the vet and point at me as he gossiped to his coworkers. Me? I waved! I yelled: “Where’s YOUR manager?” He came back out and told me HE was the manager and he was worried about the vet tech’s safety.
I turned to the vet tech and asked her if she felt threatened and she replied no. I pointed out to him that he wasn’t needed and if he was soooooo worried about her safety he should have been much closer than 20 feet away for so long and shouldn’t have retreated to his grooming salon until I called him out for gossiping. As I’m talking to him, a woman appears and asks what’s going on. It got real interesting.
Guess what? SHE was the manager. I tell her that homeboy wanted to be an onlooker and then go and gossip to other employees. She tells me he wouldn’t do that. I tell her at this point all I want is to leave. All I want is my dog and I’m gone. They bring my dog out while the manager, grooming employee, and lead vet tech are there. Homeboy tries to pet my dog!
As I’m trying to leave, the lady who runs the clinic comes out and tells me she wants to talk. I respond that I’m done talking and they’ve lost my dog as a patient. She continues to try to get me to speak with her so finally, I give in. I don’t wanna be rude to an older lady. As I’m describing everything I’ve been through, the incorrect time on the email, the receptionist with the attitude, my dog being contained for 8 hours for no reason, the lead vet tech’s smirking, the employee who couldn’t mind his business…she proceeds to tell me that they KNEW when I dropped him off that they wouldn’t be able to get to him because of another emergency.
SAY WHAT?! She also tells me they’re having a lot of trouble with the employees at the clinic and she’s upset at my experience and wants the opportunity to do better. She offers to clean my dog’s teeth if I bring him in again, to which I replied absolutely not. I’ve got problems with at least two of your employees and you want me to trust your team to take good care of my dog?
You’re crazy. I left and vowed never to shop at the pet store nor use the clinic or grooming salon ever again. Good riddance!
96. Comeuppance Bought And Paid For
My mom and I saw a great Bridezilla freak out while shopping for my wedding dress a few years back. We were in a small, local shop when another mother-daughter duo came in. The attendant who had been helping us went up to greet them. The mother said they were here to pick up her daughter’s dress, so the attendant looks her name up in the computer, frowns, and says, “Ma’am, you never bought the dress.”
“What are you talking about?” The attendant shows the lady the notes on her computer screen. “You said you wanted to think about it, and asked if we could hold the dress. We held it for two weeks, but when we didn’t hear back from you, we assumed you didn’t want it.” “Well, we want it now.” “It’s been over eight months”, the attendant explained, “We sold the dress a long time ago. But I can order you another one, and have it expedited here in a few weeks.”
And like a Mt. St. Helens of entitlement, the eruption began. “This is unacceptable!” The mother shrieked. “We have her alterations scheduled in two hours! The wedding is a week away! I can’t believe you sold her dress!” The bride, meanwhile, is slumped against the desk and sobbing like someone kicked her dog. My mom and I are just open-mouthed staring at this point.
The attendant was trying to be diplomatic, but is clearly as baffled as we are. “Ma’am, we had no way to know you wanted it. You never called. You never put down a deposit. The dress isn’t yours until you pay for it.” After some more screaming from the mother and wailing from the bride, they left. The shop attendant came back over to us and I asked her, “Does that kind of thing happen a lot?”
The poor lady just deflated. “All the time.” It baffles me to this day. How do you schedule alterations on a dress that you never purchased? Why would you wait until a week before the wedding to pick up your dress? How do you make it to adulthood without knowing how basic buying and selling transactions work?