Be nice to people. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it's not. These entitled jerks chose the opposite—and I can't say I'd be particularly nice if I had to deal with these Karens run amok.
1. Flying Footlong
A seven-year-old girl came into my store to get the sandwich with a note listing the ingredients she wanted on it. At the cash, I rang in the sandwich, and the little girl passed me one filled-out Sub-Club card, which used to be good for a 6" sandwich with a purchase of a 28 oz drink. I cleared the cash and rang it in again, discounting half the sub.
I told the girl how much she owed me and she just stood there, looking at me. I asked her what was wrong and she said that her mom never gave her any money. I asked if her mom was outside and if she could go get her. This is where the nightmare started. The girl left and came back in crying, getting towed behind a raging mammoth of a woman who was demanding to talk to my manager about how she was being disrespected.
I explained to her the usage of the card and pointed out where the details were printed. She screamed, reached over the counter, grabbed the sandwich, and then threw it at my head. My manager later saw the security footage and called me laughing his butt off about it.
2. Fast Food PTSD
I went through a McDonald's drive-thru once and the place was slammed inside and out. After ordering, I was asked to park next to the curb and someone would bring my order to me as soon as possible. A girl walked up to my car visibly shaken and as she handed me my food, she said something that made my heart sink: "Please don't slap me." I said, "What?" Apparently, the last lady she delivered food to yelled at her and slapped her across the face because it took so long.
3. From Hero To Zero
I was working at a gas station a few years back on the graveyard shift. It was around 1 am when a really heavy guy walked into the store with a brown bag on his head. He came up to the counter and showed me the brick he had in his hand. He said that if I didn't give him the money in the register, he would beat me with it. Now, I am a pretty big dude, so I just smiled at him.
This set him off and he chucked the brick at me, but it flew right past me to the side. He then ran out of the store. I called the authorities and my manager. I told him what happened, and his response floored me. I ended up getting fired for not giving him the money...Apparently, it was policy to just give robbers whatever they ask for. I was a liability because I didn't follow the procedure. What made it worse was that my son was just born and I was the only one working in my family at the time.
4. Do You Know Who I Am?
Try dealing with Karen when you’re an officer. "Do you know who my husband is?" "You better not touch me. My husband is so and so" Yea ok, well tell me who your husband is on your way to the clinker, lady. Or Karen a military officer’s wife: "My husband is a captain. Where’s my salute?"
5. More Than She Bargained For
I was the assistant manager at a large women's clothing store, and we had a woman come in with some items and a gift receipt. Store policy is that item returns with a gift receipt are not given back in cash, they are given in gift cards. Madness ensues.
Karen gets so upset that she is forced to leave, and on her way out, she pulled the ultimate Karen move—she slams the glass door and it shatters. Since we had her information because she left her receipt, she was sent a bill for the door.
6. Faking It
I’m a former fast food worker reporting about a male Karen. He came through the drive-thru and handed me what I knew to be a fake $100 bill. I knew it was fake, but the process was to make sure the deposit box bill feeder didn't accept it. Well of course it didn't, because it was super fake. Naturally, the male Karen did NOT like what I was insinuating.
So he pulls around and comes inside, yelling and calling me names because I wouldn't take his fake 100. He called for the manager and I bailed to the back because I wanted to leave the twilight zone.
7. Hogging The Shade
This happened to me at the pool today and I still can't believe how infuriating it was. I walked to a shaded area to set up my chair. I’m conscientious about not taking up too much space so others can use the shade, too. People bring their own chairs or towels to sit on since the pool keeps the chaise lounges stored.
I noticed that there are five towels on the ground taking up nearly all the shade, but no one was using them. After about an hour of the towels being vacant, a Karen walked up and this is how the conversation went:
Karen, snarkily: Is this your chair?
Me: Yes. Do you need me to move it? Is there a problem?
Karen: Your chair is not six feet away from us. What is WRONG with you? What if I have a sick child?
Me: Okay, KAREN, then maybe you shouldn’t be at the pool in the first place. And maybe you should think about not laying five towels down to hog all the shade and then not using the space for at least an hour.
Karen: (Something nasty I couldn’t understand as I was trying to peacefully listen to my podcast again).
Me: (Flipped her the bird).
Karen: Oh, that’s a real nice gesture to use in front of your son.
Me: I’m showing my son how to stand up for himself.
She didn’t have a word to say after that.
8. Cart Cooties
I was shopping in the Walmart grocery section when a Karen with two young children had her cart parked against the shelves on one side. I needed something that was blocked by the cart. She was shopping up and down the aisle, bringing things to her cart and then walking back down the aisle.
I politely stood next to her cart, waiting for her to move it. One of the times she came back to it, I even said, “I need something behind your cart”. Her reaction was chilling.
She ignored me. She then turned her back and started walking to the other end of the aisle again. I had been waiting there for about five minutes, so I pushed her cart about a foot, so I could reach my item.
With that she turned and screamed, “You touched my cart"! She proceeded to run back toward me yelling at the top of her lungs that I had no right to touch her cart. I told her I just moved it to get an item and told her to calm down. She screamed, “No, you calm down, you’re causing a big scene”! Then she walked off, screaming all the way that I touched her cart.
9. Depreciating Values
My ex-roommate and I shared a place for two years and she was a real piece of work. She was filthy rich, entitled, and selfish. We bought common kitchen utensils, an IKEA side table, and a Black & Decker blender together.
She wanted to move out to her own place and was packing all her stuff. On the day she moved out, I wasn’t at the apartment, but when I came back the entire unit was dirty with trash all over. I had noticed that she hadn’t returned the mailbox key so I messaged her asking for it. Her reply stays fresh in my mind: “Pay me my share of the used items and take the mailbox key”.
I read it twice and replied, “You can take whatever you want but I am not paying you back your share. You have used the items for two years. I hope you understand how depreciation works”.
She was adamant and said she had contributed to the items and wants her 50% back. I patiently said, “You paid 50% and used it for two years. How do you think you will get back the money from IKEA if you return it now? Do you understand that the item isn’t gold that appreciates in value”?
She sent me a hate message in CAPITAL LETTERS saying how narcissistic I was and how God would take care of me. I informed my building management about the key and they were understanding of the situation.
Finally, Karen returned the mailbox key to the management and sent me a long text which I didn’t bother to read and ended up blocking her.
10. Picked The Wrong Fight
My sister is a Karen. One of the worst. Sis had a very strange life. Three times she married rich criminals. She enjoyed a life of incredible (stolen) wealth: designer everything, five-star hotels in Europe, and one of her kids made it to the Olympic tryouts.
But it all came crashing down when she was around 60. She got a job at an airline ticket counter, on her feet all day wearing her Cartier watch, angry at the entire world for not knowing “who she really was”. She told me about a really bad day at work.
Ethel Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy's widow and celebrity human rights advocate, walked up one day, threw her ticket on the counter, and went back to her cell phone call. How disrespectful!
My sister put on her “Officious Airline Employee Hat” and interrupted seventy-something Ethel Kennedy to ask lamebrain security questions. “Excuse me. Excuse me. Ma'am, did you pack your own bags? Did anyone you don't know give you anything to carry on the plane”?
Sis got sat down and received a ferocious screaming rebuke by every airline exec at Logan Airport.
11. You've Been Framed
I used to work at an Applebee's. One of my tables was an elderly couple and what I assumed was their granddaughter. They ordered their food (steak, salad, and chicken fingers). In the kitchen, a random server, let's call him Matt, was running people's food because everyone was busy. Well, the table next to mine belonged to a server named Ashley.
Matt accidentally ran Ashley's food to my table. He asked the elderly couple if they were at the table that had ordered a chicken penne pasta, onion rings, and a chocolate dessert, all of which were completely different than what they had ordered. They said yes, then. proceeded to yell at the manager about how their food was wrong and how bad of a server I was.
I hate people.
12. When In Doubt, Smile
I worked in retail for a bit during my senior year of high school and sometime after. I once had a customer rudely ask me if I had gone to high school. She even had the audacity to say that I was probably a dropout towards the end of a transaction. I was so stunned, I didn't know how to react...then I just gave her an exaggerated shrug, a big, dumb smile, and I crossed my eyes as I handed her her bag.
13. The Hair Scare
I was a hairstylist at a salon when this lady in her late 60s came in. She said she wanted to go a shade darker than she had, so I picked out a medium blonde. When she left, she was happy. That was around 3 pm. Then, around 6 pm she called us and said she didn't like the color...She wanted to know if she could come back in at 8 pm to get it fixed. I told her she could come in first thing in the morning since we closed at 8:30 pm.
So the next day, at 8 am, she came in...but she was totally tipsy. Yet it was even worse than I could have imagined. While I was finishing up her highlights, she started screaming at me, telling me I made her look like "a freaking dog" and that her husband told her she couldn't come home until she got her hair fixed. The latter part was weird because she told me earlier that her husband was blind...
Anyway, I was seven months pregnant at the time and she pushed me up against the wall, telling me I better fix her hair or her son-in-law, who is a well-known lawyer in Houston, was going to sue me. She was acting so crazy that the other stylist was freaking out. The guy that was in her chair even got up and told her to screw off or he was going to call the authorities.
She got in his face and started yelling at him, and then she went over to my client and told her that her hair color was beautiful and that she wanted her to be the same color. My client's hair was actually darker than the lady's, and it was still blonde. Anyway, I ended up fixing her hair and she thanked me at the end of the night. I sat in my car crying for an hour.
I regret not calling the police on that witch. I also wish I was able to thank the guy who stood up to her for me.
14. In Her Defense
I was in a McDonald's during the lunch rush. This old guy in front of me started harassing the girl at the register who was obviously fairly new. He asked her where she was from and then asked her if everyone from her town was as dumb as she was. He turned to me after saying this and was just like, "Am I right?" I flat out told him right then and there that she was doing her best (during the busiest part of her shift, mind you) and that his jerk behavior wasn't making things any better or easier.
When I got up to the counter, I told her I was sorry she had to deal with pricks like that at her work.
15. Out Of Change
I worked at Chick-Fil-A when I was 16. I was a cashier working the counter during breakfast. The manager hadn't come back from the bank, so I didn't have a lot of change left in my drawer. I had a line of a few people in front of me and so did the other girl next to me. I let the guy know that unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to take his order at my register because I didn't have any coins to give him as change.
I told him that the girl next to me would have to take him. Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say. He got super upset and started screaming at me, telling me how horrible and stupid I was. Apparently, I ruined his entire morning. He totally created a scene in front of everyone. On top of this, I was super emotional and I burst into tears. The owner came out and asked the guy to leave, telling him he wasn't welcome at that Chick-Fil-A anymore.
I moved over to the end of the counter and started portioning out cheesecake while trying to compose myself and a few ladies came up to me to tell me I was doing a great job. That kind of restored my faith in humanity.
16. Let Me Downgrade You
A young woman walked into the cinema I worked at, and as always, I was at the ticket office. I sold her tickets to the show she wanted to see. She then proceeded to the 'Candy Bar' and ordered a cup of coffee—black, not too hot—and I offered to take it into her theater for her, to which she said, "That would be great!" Before I took it in, I decided to upgrade her cup to a mug, which was the larger of the two containers we offered, as we were pretty much out of cups.
I made her coffee and headed up the theater stairs to give it to her. I handed it over to her and she stared at me as if I'd just ended her firstborn. She shrieked in the packed theater, yelling: "DID I NOT ORDER A CUP?" I was shocked, but I rolled with it and said pleasantly, "I upgraded your coffee for free," to which she replied, "I ORDERED A CUP AND IT'S WHAT I BETTER GET, MAKE ANOTHER ONE!"
So I grudgingly made her another coffee and brought it back to her. She then offered a snide remark: "Looks like you finally did it right!" Now, I know she ordered the cup and I was obliged to carry out her order for her, but for heck's sake, isn't a free upgrade a GOOD THING?
17. Sketchy Parenting
I worked at a local sports bar and I had two men come in with their dates...and their children. The eldest child was running around the restaurant picking food off of people's plates, while the middle child was changing the TV stations in the middle of baseball playoffs. The youngest child was sleeping on the table while the adults proceeded to drink margaritas.
I served them their food and as soon as the youngest child woke up to take a bite, he proceeded to vomit, covering the table completely. I attempted to be a hospitable server and I cleaned it up, expecting that the customers would be appreciative. Nope. They simply ordered more margaritas. At that point, I refused to serve them anymore (they each had two margaritas) because they were extremely disrespectful and I was not comfortable serving drinks to people who are responsible for getting children home safely.
That's where everything hit the fan. These women proceeded to stand up and scream at me from across the table, saying, "You don't know me, you want some?" Thankfully, I had my manager come over and kick them out. The kicker? Before they left, they poured out two full ketchup bottles underneath the table and left no tip.
18. I’m Like A Bird
I was the only person on shift, which made me the de facto manager. Five minutes before closing, a woman came in and she was SO angry that we didn't have any decaf coffee. She demanded to speak to the manager. I told her that was me because I was the only one there, and the coffee pots were cleaned for the night because we were closing up shop.
Her reply stunned me. She screamed at me and told me she was going to "find a real manager and get you fired". She then threw half a cup of cappuccino machine sludge at me, and she was about to jump the counter. I was holding a hammer under the counter thinking, "Don't do it, don't do it". I picked up the phone like I was about to call the authorities. She then left and I locked the door.
A few seconds later, she came back AND RAN FACE-FIRST INTO THE GLASS DOOR. LIKE A BIRD. What an idiot.
19. We Don’t Do That Here, Lady
One of my managers had to explain to a Karen, during a lunch rush, why she couldn't take the onion out of the French onion soup.
20. The Best Offense Is A Good Defense
I had a raging Karen in the first lane of the drive-thru yelling at me. I just listened and listened, and when she was done I let her sit there a second. Then I said, "Ma'am, you can choke". Not expecting that answer, she just drove off in shock. It could have gone totally different, but I'm glad it didn't.
21. This Is Why Chivalry Is Over
I was on my way into a store and noticed a young mother with two small children walking up to the door from my left side. She was holding each child by the hand. As I approached the door I entered and held it open for her. Her reaction was seriously disturbing.
She proceeded to berate me for holding open the door! She screamed and cussed at me.
I simply replied, “I was only trying to be nice” and something like, “Nice language to use in front of the children”. Then I just continued on my way. I’ll never forget that, it caught me totally off-guard.
22. At Least He Smartened Up
After I finished my master’s degree in history, I received a teaching assistant position to help pay the bills while working on my doctorate. This story happened after we graded and returned the first written assignment.
I was doing office hours and expecting some students to come in with questions. I had graded before, so I had a little bit of an idea what to expect. Knowing the vast majority of the students were fresh, we all went easy on the first assignment. About an hour after returning the papers, one of the students stormed into my tiny space waving the paper in the air and announced, “I’m not going to get into law school with grades like these”!
My mind went blank. I just stared and finally sighed something like, “Yeeahh”?
I think I was silent long enough that he had time to realize how silly he sounded. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember that he took the class more seriously after that and passed with a decent grade.
23. Fortunately The Interview Went Well
I'd been working at a massage establishment and was wanting to find work closer to home, since I'd been having about a 45-minute commute to work every day. I got an interview for a closer place and scheduled it for 10am, an hour before my shift was to start.
On the way there, I ended up missing a turn, and after a little bit, realized my error and turned around. Once I was certain that I'd be late for work, I texted my boss to let her know that I was going to be late because of an interview.
Eventually, I arrived at work. With the other massage therapists currently in sessions, I was alone in the reception area. A lady came in to ask if we had something of hers that she thought she’d left behind after her massage some days prior. I began to look around, and the phone rang. I never could’ve predicted what happened next.
It was my boss. She screamed, “Rachel, you're fired! You can't pull that on me and expect to continue working for me! GET OUT OF MY SHOP”! Apparently she had sent a text firing me, but I didn't see it right away because I had been looking for that lady's lost item.
I hung up the phone, told the lady everything my boss just said to me, she apologized and wished me good luck, and she left. And, of course, so did I.
24. Let Me Just Pull A Seat Out Of Nowhere For You
I was standing on a crowded train and a pregnant Karen started screaming at ME because she had nowhere to sit. Me, the person who was standing because there were no seats. She started screaming like it was my fault.
25. Warden Of The Dog Park
I moved to the Pacific Northwest last year and while I was finding the best spot to live I stayed at my mom's house. I had a German Shepherd and was eager to explore the dog parks in the area.
I found a dog park not too far from the house. After running around for a while, my dog started to squat to use the restroom. I don’t normally carry bags on me because dog parks already have them for free but when I went to grab a bag, a lady started yelling from across the dog park.
She yelled that I needed to pick up my dog's mess or we would get in trouble and she would report me. I was confused since the poop wasn’t even done coming out of his butt while she was yelling and I was clearly walking towards the bags.
The lady stood there with her hand on her hips, tapping her foot, giving me a dirty look, so out of sheer spite I stopped and decided I wasn’t going to pick it up now.
My boyfriend said he didn’t want to cause a scene so he went to grab a bag and the lady had the nerve to say, “That’s what I thought, I knew you weren’t going to pick it up” while continuing to put her hands on her hips, watching him the entire time and waiting till he picked up the mess.
26. Were You Expecting Annie Leibovitz?
My first job was a cashier position at a certain theme park centered around colorful plastic building bricks. I was working at a shop that makes “driver's licenses” for kids. Now, keep in mind that these were not meant to be high-quality photos. They were taken with a rather junky digital camera, then uploaded to our computer screens. The guests were then able to view what we were doing on the screens facing them, so they could tell us how to crop the photo into a headshot, choose their color scheme, etc. before we printed it on a plastic card for $5.
My job that day was to line the kids up for the photos, up to five at a time (hence the cropping). Anyone who has ever tried photographing kids, mainly ones under eight years old, knows that it’s near-impossible to keep them still for a picture.
This lady apparently thought it was supposed to be a professional photo shoot or something because she yelled at me for “taking the worst photos of her kids that she has ever seen in her life” and proceeded to make me take a few more pictures of just her kids—who were three and five at the time.
I managed to get one decent shot in after trying for nearly 10 minutes to get them to stand still. I then had the displeasure of ringing her up, where she still grumbled at the quality and the service. Then, as she was paying, someone else came up to ask me how it all worked.
Before I even had the chance to address them, Karen piped up. She told them: “This man here takes bad pictures of your kids and pastes the pictures onto a colored background and prints it out on a card for you”.
I just about lost it on this woman because it was so very obvious that I am not a man. It was clear she was trying to get whatever jabs in while she could because she knew I did nothing wrong and that I actually tried to fix whatever perceived mistake I made with her kids’ pictures.
I still have no idea how I stayed so calm.
27. Does Not Realize Other People Exist
I was working in the coffee shop of a busy ferry. It seemed that all 2,500 people on-board wanted to come through my coffee shop and they were all ordering one thing at a time.
Karen stormed up to my till as I was serving one customer.
Karen: Are you on a go-slow or something?
Me: No, ma’am. I’m on a 14-hour shift.
Karen: Well, why is it taking so long.
Me: There’s lots of people in the queue.
Karen: Well, can’t you go faster?
Me: I could, but you’re stopping me from serving this lady.
Karen: I just want to buy this sandwich and a drink.
Me: As do the people in the queue.
Karen: Can’t I just pay for this now?
Me: This lady’s drinks are in the till, so not right now.
Karen huffed. She waited, angrily. I finished with that customer.
Karen: Well!? Can you serve me now?
Me: (To the lady who was next in the queue) Do you mind? (She didn’t, so I served Karen).
Lady in the queue who had heard all of this: Some people have no manners.
28. That’s Some Super Hearing
A few years ago, I was living with my friends in a row house in Maharashtra. We were five girls, all working IT jobs with different shift timings. It had been smooth sailing for years…till we moved into this particular place.
Our neighbor was the biggest Karen we have ever encountered. She would scream at us regularly outside for stupid random things but the scariest was her coming to our door at 3am with her husband, thumping the door loudly and saying our going to the bathroom at night disturbed her sleep. She lived in another house altogether, but according to her, when we went to the bathroom, she would get disturbed because of the door noise. We girls couldn't hear anything if we were in different rooms but apparently she could from another house!
She ordered us to stop going to the bathroom at night, as according to her, our parents hadn't taught us how to close bathroom doors properly.
29. Mind Your Own Business
I was talking to this elderly lady at Whole Foods in Spanish because she didn’t know the English word for ginger.
Here came Karen in a motorized scooter cart. In a rather vociferous tone, she said, “This is America, why don’t you speak English”.
Okay Karen, you’ve got legs, why don’t you walk?
30. Some People’s Children
We attended an outdoor event at a winery this past weekend. Signs were posted to wear a mask in the public areas. Everyone was social distancing on the lawn. So while waiting in a long line for the porta-potty, there was an unmasked couple in front of a masked couple.
The masked woman requested that the couple in front of her wear a mask…and that’s when Karen erupted. She started yelling that she didn’t have one, she forgot it, she didn't need to wear one…blah, blah, blah!
The line was getting longer, around 15 deep. The woman behind me said, “Notice how the guys are keeping out of it”?
Well…after the unmasked couple finished with their business in the porta-potty, the masked woman walked in and then immediately walked out and yelled, ”You peed all over the walls and floor”!
The guy just ran.
31. He Doesn’t Work Here, Karen
I was at Best Buy years ago. I heard two people talking about a computer they were looking at and they had some questions. So I politely introduced myself and asked if I could help. I got them squared away and then went on about my business.
Then someone started clearing their throat. I didn’t think anything of it because I was engrossed in what I was doing. Finally, I heard an exasperated sigh and felt a rude tap on my shoulder. I turned around and saw a clearly angry lady standing there.
Karen: (Big sigh). I need help with a cell phone.
Karen: Well, are you going to help me?
Me: Ma’am, I don’t work here.
I couldn’t believe her answer.
Karen: Look, I know this isn’t your department, but I waited patiently while you helped that couple. I know you are just a lowly peon, but you could at least get me some help.
Me: Look, lady, I don’t work here.
Karen: That’s it, I am going to have your job!
And she stomped off. I shrugged it off and didn’t think about her again.
Five minutes later she came back with another guy.
Karen: I want this person disciplined. He was disrespectful, rude, and refused to help me.
Best Buy Guy: Ma’am, he doesn’t work here.
That’s when I had an epiphany. I looked down and realized I was wearing khaki pants and a blue polo shirt.
Karen: Good! I told you I would have your job!
Best Buy Guy: No ma’am, I can’t fire him, he’s not an employee. Now how may I help you.
But then she took her stupidity to the next level.
Karen: Oh, this is ridiculous, you stupid jerks are just sticking together. I’m writing to corporate to complain and I am NEVER coming to this Radio Shack again!
The Best Buy dude and I looked at each other and in almost unison said “Okay then” while watching her storm off.
32. She Really Wants That Pizza
My brother and I were at Dominos waiting to pick up our delicious pizza. The staff were very busy and we had been at the counter, standing at the designated social distancing spot, waiting to be served for around five minutes. The social distancing spot was a taped line around a meter back from the counter.
Karen walked in and stepped in front of us. Assuming she had made a mistake I said, “Excuse me, we were actually waiting”.
She looked at me and said, “Yeah, but mine’s ready though”. As if that were somehow justification for pushing in. My pizza was ready too.
The most annoying part of the situation was that the staff served her straight away, though we’d been trying to get their attention for five minutes while our food was going cold.
33. Street Parking
My neighbor was quite upset that I kept parking in front of her house. There's 10 houses in the entire block and usually not more than half a dozen cars parked at any given time. I didn't particularly do it on purpose, I just didn't want to do a U-turn and didn't think much of it.
One day, Karen came up to me and asked why I kept parking there and told me to park in front of my house instead.
Her demeanor and attitude were quite negative and hostile. I didn't take it too lightly. We went back and forth and I pretty much told her, “It’s public parking”.
She wasn't expecting that answer because she flew into a rage quickly after, accusing me of some conspiracy to possibly rob her.
Had she asked nicely, for whatever the reason, I probably would have complied.
She lost it and went inside the house, and called the authorities shortly after. As I was cleaning my car, the authorities arrived to inform me there was suspicious activity going on in front of her house. The guy was mad cool about it, laughed it off, and was on his way no more than three minutes after engaging with me—but the story didn’t end there.
About two years later, she came over on Christmas and brought me a small present and apologized, to my surprise.
Afterward, I stopped parking my cars in front of her house.
I was working a shift at the discount store. I was a floor associate who knew how to ring. The supervisor called me up to help get rid of the line, which was weird because there were already four cashiers and four customers in line, so there really wasn’t a point to calling me up. I took the next person in line, because this supervisor was rather rude and I wanted to stay on her good side.
I started ringing up this lady who was just getting one pair of pants and also had a 10% off coupon. The coupon wasn’t working, so I read the coupon to make sure there wasn’t a limitation to it. There was nothing weird about the coupon and I explained to her that the coupon is not working. The lady was being rude, complaining that I was wasting her time.
I go over to the supervisor to ask for help. The lady snapped that we obviously got the coupon before, and she didn't understand why it was taking so long. She was so rude, just for a minor inconvenience that wasn't even our fault!
The supervisor said that she has never seen this coupon before. As the supervisor and I were trying to figure out what was wrong with the coupon, a random lady came up to the customer. Suddenly, Karen turned into such a nice lady. Once her friend left, she turned right back into the devil herself. I was thinking to myself, does your friend know how UNPLEASANT YOU ARE?!
35. Freedom To Breathe
I teach 4th grade and today was the first day of school. Students are required to wear masks. I brought a pack of surgical masks to school in case a kid forgot theirs. A boy named Noah came maskless, so I provided him with a mask.
I explained to the kids about Covid and why they have to wear masks. I also talked about vaccines. Noah raised his hand and said that his mom told him vaccines are dangerous. I said, “You have to get vaccines to go to school. You're vaccinated, and you're fine, right”? He seemed to understand that vaccines aren't bad.
At dismissal, Noah's mom pulled up in her car. Noah goes into the car and his mom yells, “Why are you wearing a muzzle? Who put this on you”?
Noah calmly answered, “Mr. White gave me it, I gotta wear a mask to stop me from getting germs”.
She shouted at me, “HOW DARE YOU MUZZLE MY CHILD LIKE HE'S SOME SORT OF ANIMAL! HAVEN'T YOU HEARD OF FREEDOM? HE HAS THE FREEDOM TO BREATHE”!
“It's a part of the dress code made by the school board. The kids have to wear masks so the Delta variant doesn't spread”.
She yelled that Covid is a hoax. I told her that it wasn't and that if she didn't want her son to wear a mask, she should look into sending him to a private school. She responded by calling me a “liberal Marxist" and drove off.
I feel bad for her son.
36. Quite The First Day
A woman asked me to do something I was completely untrained to do. Mind you, this was my first day actually working there after basic training. I asked her if she had a rewards card, she then said she did and would get it out.
After looking in her purse, she said that she wouldn’t bother trying to find it because it would take too long. Eventually, she paid. Afterward, she mentioned wanting points on her purchase. I explained to her that after payment has been made, points cannot be redeemed from the purchase. Her reaction was brutal.
She proceeds to rant about how it was all my fault because I “didn’t ask” for her rewards card, even though I had. We had the manager step in, and it turns out there was a way to solve the issue, but Karen wasn’t having it, so she waited in anger while telling the manager that it was all my fault that she didn’t get her points. It was also my fault for not knowing how to fix a “simple issue” and that because I didn’t know how to void orders and refund payments on the first day of work, I was “ill-prepared to work”.
I was 15.
37. Taking The Credit
This woman was buying a bathroom vanity with no packaging on it. This wasn’t too big of an issue, but as I was trying to page the department for them to give me an item number, she hissed at me that she “didn’t have time for this”, that her “husband is waiting in the car so I’d better be faster than this”!
While I was trying to ignore her obvious self-entitled rage and just look up the item number on our company website, she suddenly pulled a manual out of the unit and slammed it down on the counter in front of me.
“Here”! she screamed. Normally, that wouldn’t do much but I realized there was a model number on the top-right of the page so I typed that into the computer and presto, there it was.
For some reason, she expected all this praise for taking the manual out, and because she was getting so hostile, one of my awesome coworkers came up and stood beside me in solidarity, and to help me feel safe.
When this woman hissed at us, “I’LL take the credit for this, thank you” I just casually replied, “We’ll both take the credit”.
She stared at me so hard she might’ve nearly had an aneurysm. I was shaking and red-faced after she finally left, and my coworker was so supportive about the whole thing, in total agreement that this woman was obviously a narcissist and didn’t know how to handle not being in total control of me the whole time.
38. Were They By Da Vinci Or Something?
We were in a thrift store in Germany. I saw some pictures on top of a cabinet and couldn’t reach them to look at them.
I asked a lady that worked there if they could be brought down for me to look at them. That’s when this woman comes up to me and says, “Those are mine! You don’t need to see them, I’m going to buy them”! She practically yelled it at me.
I held up my hands in surrender and said, “No problem lady. You obviously need them more than I do”. The lady that worked there looked on without comment except for a look of commiseration.
39. A Rare Self-Identifying Karen
I had a couple of hormone-influenced Karen moments during the exhausting new mom phase after having my daughter. During that first month, I was blacklisted by our internet and cable provider after the screen froze on Disney Junior. I freaked out on a diaper company so fiercely after a diaper blowout and torn side tab that they sent me four boxes of diapers to calm me down. I was escorted out of my favorite coffee shop for yelling at them about being out of whipped cream. And I didn’t stop there.
I also cussed out the teenage boys up the street so badly (for the entire neighborhood to hear) for playing basketball during nap time that I didn’t get trick-or-treaters at my house for the next two years. Yikes! Glad that’s over.
40. The iPad
I was sitting in the park, watching Netflix on my iPad. The park was right in front of my house and my parents were watching me from inside.
Then came Karen. She said that I couldn't loiter and asked whose iPad I was using.
I told her it was mine and started to get up to go home. I was confused how a child sitting on the grass at a public park would be loitering but I didn't ask her.
“Come back here. You stole that didn't you”? she said, grabbing my arm.
“Miss, please let me go”, I said, fighting back my annoyance.
“Give me the iPad”, she said, trying to grab it.
I didn't let her.
My dad came running out the house and to my rescue. “Ma'am, your hands are on my child. If you don't let go, I will call for help”.
She huffed and let me go. “You probably took the iPad for her anyway”, she mumbled, walking away.
41. I Wouldn’t Want A Sick Surgeon
I had scheduled a young woman for a very long surgery on a deep-seated brain tumor right next to her brainstem. Having explained the risks and benefits of the surgery at length like I usually do (including the significant risks), she was more concerned about how much of her hair I would remove to do the surgery.
The night before surgery, I got a terrible flu—fever to over 103, malaise, joint and muscle pains, the works. In the end, I had no choice but to cancel her surgery and schedule for another day.
I expected she would understand. I mean, who would want to undergo such a massive and dangerous surgery if the surgeon were that ill?
Well, I was wrong. The patient became furious, hostile, angry, and blamed me for inflicting emotional distress. She demanded that I immediately find another surgeon to do the surgery that morning (not possible) and later lodged complaints up and down the hospital system, filed complaints with the medical staff, and threatened to sue me. It took weeks to calm her—and our hospital—down.
It was the first time I had ever canceled a surgery in 20 years.
42. The Flooring Installers
When I worked at Home Depot, Karen told me that she didn't want any Black men to install her flooring. I was in charge of arranging her order and 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, demanded white installers, and asked to speak to my manager.
I was so glad she did, because 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.
43. Free Food For Being Forgetful
Karen left her card in the EFTPOS machine at the McDonalds I was managing as a teenager. She then rang me to say I needed to drive it out to her, that I ruined her night, ruined her family's night, owed her free food, and that she'll be laying a formal complaint when I refused all of the above. She showed up 45 minutes later with steam blowing out of her ears, asking for her card back.
No formal complaint yet.
44. That’s Not How This Works
When I worked at a bakery, Karen bought a chocolate cupcake and ate half of it. Karen then asked if she could return her half-eaten chocolate cupcake—and the reason why was deranged. It was not because she didn't like it, but because she wanted to exchange it for half of a vanilla cupcake, "something less decadent".
Like most bakeries, we did not sell cupcakes "by the half". She became offended when I asked if she wanted to purchase a vanilla cupcake instead.
45. It’s Just A Sticker
I worked at a grocery store and a coworker put a 99¢ sticker on my shirt. We were two of maybe five employees so we were all good friends and everything is funny when you gotta pass time on a shift so I just left it there.
Some woman came through my line and asked me why I had a sticker on my shirt and I just kinda laughed it off. She asked if I thought it was funny and I was like, “Not really but sorta". She asked if my coworker put it there to which I responded yes. She told me she was going to speak to the store owner because it was "disrespectful" to behave that way at work. She told me to call my manager and I did but he was a super cool guy and knew this lady was an idiot. She talked to the store owner and my manager about firing me to no avail.
46. You Could’ve Told Them
I made a tiny mistake filling out a booking sheet for a company: I set the time 15 minutes later than asked. It was a two-second fix to log back into the account and click on the correct time in the drop-down box.
Karen sat next to me and watched me do it.
Karen logged in, took a screenshot of it—didn’t fix it—then sent said screenshot to my line manager and said nothing to me.
After the lecture from my line manager about "paying attention to the details", I turned to Karen and asked, "Why not just say 'Hey dude, you made a mistake' and just fix it"?
She didn’t look at me, continued clicking away at her keyboard, and said, "Yeah, well, if you can't do it right the first time, maybe you need somebody to tell you".
47. Not The Driver
Poor Karen got very upset once when my partner parked his car a bit too close to hers. I was sitting in the car while he was in a shop, and big old Karen came waddling over to the car, red-faced with anger, bent down, and bellowed in through the driver’s window at me asking if I thought I could park any closer. However, there was something she didn’t notice.
Karen didn’t figure out that I wasn’t the driver however (even though I was sitting in the passenger’s seat), and she received the sharp end of my tongue, to which I always remember her calling me a “buttwipe” as she wobbled away furiously.
48. The Supportive Manager
When I worked at a popular arcade chain I had a Karen absolutely berate me because I wouldn’t give her kid a prize they didn’t win. So she wanted a manager and when my manager came over, she was straight-faced the whole rant until Karen goes, “Whatever happened to the customer’s always right”? My manager got revenge on her in that moment.
He leaned in a little and said, “We don’t have customers here, we have guests. Customers are always right, guests are usually wrong. Goodbye” and waved a security guard over to take Karen out.
Best day of work ever.
49. The Law Of Thermodynamics
I deliver appliances for Best Buy. We had a woman call and complain that her fridge was not pre-cooled before it was delivered and that she had to wait for it to come down to temp. No one in the office was prepared for that one.
50. Knowing The Law
I used to work in a public night shift service, kinda like an emergency room but for non-emergencies. A Karen walked in at 3am asking for a prescription for hypertension meds, which isn’t unusual, as people sometimes don’t notice they’re running low.
Anyway, the law states that this service can only write prescriptions for potentially life-threatening conditions’ meds for a maximum of 72 hours coverage. While I was writing the prescription Karen casually mentioned that she was an insomniac, and while cleaning the medicine cabinet she realized she was down to her last full blister.
My pen stopped and I asked her to repeat it. She did, so I took the prescription, tore it in half, then again, then I threw it in the bin, explaining to her the law. She got mad, started yelling and threatened to call the authorities.
I told her to go ahead. I knew exactly what would happen.
The authorities came, and she triumphantly announced that I’m refusing to treat her. I explained the situation, and they asked her if it’s true that she has a full blister, and she confirmed it. The authorities looked at her, then at me, then asked her politely to leave, as I was in the right. She was livid.
The day after, my boss called me and cracked up because Karen went there during the day to talk to “the manager”, and my boss told her the exact same thing.
51. Talk About Overreacting
When I was 20, my husband, our daughter, and I rented the house I grew up in from my stepfather. I had lived in that house since I was 11, so all of our close neighbors knew and thought of me as part of their family. We were very close.
At this time I was in the Army and my husband was in the oilfield. I had just gotten off work, changed into civilian clothes, and picked up my daughter from my mom. I was tired after a long, hot day.
When I was nearly home, I saw a small dog running down the busy highway and decided to save it. I called it over to my truck where he jumped right in. I then pulled forward into an area that was safe so I could call the vet’s office that was on the rabies tag.
The dog jumped on my 18-month-old daughter, scratching her face, so I opened the door to place him in the back while I got contact information for his owners.
He bolted. Just as a car pulled up behind me. As I was trying to catch this dog again, the lady driving the car jumped out and began screaming that I was dumping the dog. I pointed out that it had a collar with tags. That didn't matter. She was adamant that I was dumping the dog and she was going to make me regret that mistake.
I finally got the dog while the harpy continued to screech at me. I pointed at the tag again, telling her that it’s not my dog; I saved it from being run over and was attempting to call the vet’s office to find its owner.
“Yeah right, I'm so sure that's what you are! You’re such an upstanding citizen! Call the vet’s office so I have proof you dumped that dog”! she screamed.
I told her she was a complete idiot. Why would I dump a dog with tags linking it to me? I called the vet, but no answer. I said this and said I was taking him home with me so he didn’t get in trouble while I got hold of the vet’s office.
I put the dog in the back while I went home. She followed me the whole way, driving on my bumper. She pulled into my driveway and continued to berate me, calling me names and accusing me of dumping dogs all over the neighborhood. Saying that since I had moved in, the neighborhood had gone downhill and that I was trash.
I’d had enough. I started towards her, screaming at the top of my lungs for her to leave my property or I was going to remove her myself. She jumped into her car, backed up to the street, then began to scream at me from the street, which drew the attention of my neighbors.
I got my daughter out of the truck and had tied the dog to the fire hydrant when I heard her say to my neighbor, “Oh look, I bet she neglects that baby too”. She and my neighbor both realized she had gone too far when I charged at her, ready to beat the snot out of her.
My neighbor told her that she needed to get in her car and leave. She got in but refused to leave. I got my phone to call my dad so he could tell her that it's not my dog. He calmed me down and said, “Let me talk to her”.
As I approached, I heard her crying on the phone. “Please hurry, I'm afraid for my life. I think she's going to hurt me! She may have a weapon on her! She's coming to my window to try to get me! HELP ME”!
I repeated what she said to my dad, who was now angry too. I knocked and told her “My dad wants to speak to you”. She refused. I told my dad this and he said he was on his way—don't do anything stupid.
My dad and the deputy got there at the same time. The lady jumped out and began to scream that I was attempting to dump that dog and that I had threatened her life. She wanted me detained and my daughter taken into CPS.
We told both our sides and the deputy called the vet’s office to confirm that it isn't my dog. The vet confirmed the owners and their address. Which wasn't me.
The officer told the lady to go home. The dog ended up back at his own home and I was not detained. Karen continued trying to make my life suck until she made the mistake of calling the feds on my dad for testing an RPG simulator he was designing in the backyard.
She was soon selling her house and the neighborhood went back to being the close-knit community it had been before she moved in and caused so many problems. We all lived happily ever after, free from Karen's antics.
52. Carry It Yourself
Karen asked for my manager’s personal cell phone number to complain. The reason why was seriously ridiculous. She was mad that I, seven months pregnant at the time, would not carry a refrigerator up the stairs to her second-story room. She refused to believe our hotel had rooms without fridges and said I was just being fat and lazy.
When I refused to give her the number, she asked for corporate’s number. I wrote it down on a sticky note with a smiley face. She came down later and asked to move rooms. I made her pay the difference.
53. At Least He Said Thank You?
This was a Ken.
I was a forklift driver at a Pace Warehouse ages ago. The duty manager (Jamie) was telling me what needed to be done next when a guy stormed up to him.
“You have way too many handicapped spaces in your parking lot! There are SIX spaces and there is a car in only one of them. I demand that this be changed”.
Then just to sound even more deranged his next words were, “I mean if they are handicapped, how much can they carry”?
Jamie, who was a very laid-back sort, said very peacefully, “I’m sorry you feel that way but the number of spaces is determined by law. Before we opened, the fire marshall measured the size of our sales floor and gave us a maximum occupancy number, and that is what determines how many spaces we, by law, must have”.
The guy went, “Thank you. I did not know that. I am going to go home and write to my congressman right now”. And then he turned and stomped out.
54. Freedom of Speech
While I was stationed in a hospital, there was this medical secretary who just never liked me. She was always gruff and condescending, but I just stayed clear of her.
Well, I had written a letter to the local newspaper about wage increases. It was one of those “share the pain” type of call-to-action letters.
Karen went after me full-bore and demanded to my union that I be censored, fined, and reprimanded in every way possible. I suspect she tried to get me fired. In the end, even though absolutely no one else took offense to my letter (freedom of speech and all that), it was suggested that I write a letter of “apology” to her.
I did take the advice, and I wrote a letter that was apologetic for expressing my freedom of speech and opinion that unfortunately offended her delicate sensibilities. Her reaction was unhinged. She stormed down to my office, screamed out loud that she did not accept my apology, and threw the letter at me.
Absolutely no one, including her union, backed her. There was an apology letter on file, and the matter was done.
55. Big City Blowhard
I live in a vacation destination. Expensive lakeshore homes are often owned by wealthy families from big cities. I also work in automotive.
So Karen comes in and wants some maintenance done. Specifically an alignment. Now to be clear, alignments are NEVER an emergency. Karen got to talk to my business partner. I wasn’t really paying attention because I was working.
My partner explained to him when we are scheduling. He wanted the repair done immediately because he had new tires put on before he left the big city but didn’t want to pay their prices for further service.
My partner reiterated the schedule and told him if he wants to drop the vehicle off and leave it, if we get an opening or cancellation, we will do our best to get it in. I started paying some attention. This is a male-dominated industry and some of them get a bit abusive to my female partner, especially customers.
“Nope. I’m from [big city] and you need to do it now”.
“Sir, in order to do that I would have to start calling customers we have already made commitments to and tell them we cannot honor them”.
Then the words I will not forget: “Well, missy, you’re just going to have to start calling them or I will”.
At this point I have had enough. I simply looked over at him and explained to him there is no circumstance in which we will work on his vehicle.
He suggested that I didn’t know what I was talking about and was about to be fired. I shrugged, told him for a check for several million dollars I’ll sell him the shop, then he can fire both of us and try to convince the techs to work directly for him—but I was pretty certain that none would be in a position to work for someone with his attitude.
I did end up escorting him to the door. I will never forget him.
56. It’s Only One Item Over
My latest Karen experience was when I was waiting in line to check out and the 15-and-under cashier offered to check me out as she had no one waiting. Just as I was starting to check out, a Karen came up and began chewing me out for being in the 15-and-under line as I obviously had 16 items. She proceeded to lecture me on what the sign stated. I knew exactly what to do to put her in her place.
So I took my items and split them into two transactions, explaining that since she didn’t want them rung together, I now have to take longer to ring them up separately for each family—as I was shopping for a couple families in my neighborhood that are afraid to go out due to Covid so I offered to do a no-contact drop for them on my way home from work.
Karen gave an exasperated huff after that and the lady behind her told her to get a grip.
57. The Fisherman
I am an avid surf fisherman. I was on the beach after local bathing hours were over.
I saw this woman making her way toward me from about a block away. We were the only people for about four blocks either way. When she finally got to me, her first comment was, “Is there not a Fishing Only beach in Town”?
Well, no, there is not. She then went on a rant about kids swimming and dogs and hooks in the sand! When she finally wound down I asked her if she lived in our area? Nope, she was from Florida, here visiting family.
I then told her I am from this area and pay quite a bit in local taxes so she should go back to Florida and complain to someone there. I averaged about 200 days a year beach fishing back then, and she was the ONLY person ever to give me a problem.
58. The Queen
I was sitting on the city bus, going into town. A young woman with a double pushchair and twins came on the bus and put the pushchair on the side. She looked tired.
A few stops later, this woman comes in the bus and starts yelling at the young mother. Just starts screaming at her. “These seats are only for disabled people. I'm disabled! You need to move so I can sit down”!
The young mother tries to tell her she can't go anywhere else with the pushchair. Nope, Karen won't hear it. The bus driver turned in his seat and told the woman, “There are plenty of disabled seats on that side”. He pointed, then continued, “These spots are also designated for pushchairs".
Didn’t really help; this Karen will not have it.
Finally, Karen sat down so we could leave. We got to town and Karen screamed at the bus driver, “YOU MISSED MY STOP”! Even though she didn’t ring the bell. “I'M GOING TO TELL YOUR MANAGER HOW YOU'VE BEEN TREATING ME”!
The bus driver smiled and told her to go ahead.
The woman then replied, “I'M THE QUEEN, I NEED TO BE TREATED BETTER! Well, I'm related to the queen, and you'll be hearing from your manager”. We still see her every now and then and me and my husband always call her “the queen”.
59. A Bow Wasn’t Good Enough
I was working in the gift wrap department in a major chain. It was Christmas so it was very hectic. This happened on my last day of work before I went back to college after Christmas break.
This lady asked if we could wrap a huge stuffed animal almost as big as me. I told her we have no gift boxes that large. We could a) put together two corrugated boxes or b) tie an attractive bow on the stuffed animal’s neck.
That apparently wasn’t good enough for this lady. I still can’t believe what she did next. She jumped over our counter and started going through all our boxes, to see if we were lying or not, I guess. Another girl and I got in trouble for calling security on her. But what else were we supposed to do when customers went wild?
60. Probably Still A Better Influence
A Karen once told me I couldn't work on my car in my own garage at noon because she didn't want my fast-looking car to influence her sons to "be hooligans like you".
61. That’s What They Call Owning
This is the best interaction I ever had. This Karen griped about not wanting to pay the price for the services performed on her computer, which was exactly the price quoted when she dropped it off. She demanded to speak to the service manager. I called him from the back.
The service manager listened to her spiel as to how she should get a lower price for an irrelevant, pea-brained reason. The service manager made eye contact with me over her shoulder; I did not react. He then said no, the price quoted was the price that would be charged.
She said that was unacceptable, and she would be complaining to the owner, who was "a good friend" she claimed. There was obviously something she didn’t know. The service manager observed that he was evidently not that good a friend, since "he" was me, the person she was originally speaking to when she asked for the service manager.
Her face was glorious, and made the whole thing worthwhile!
62. Cheesed Off
This happened while I was serving at Steak 'n Shake. The customer had a coupon for a burger, fries, and a shake for a certain price. On the coupon, it specifically stated that cheese on the burger was a 39-cent upcharge, although it did have a picture of a burger with cheese on it. I was not prepared for her ridiculous tantrum.
This lady THREW A FIT in the dining room that I was treating her unfairly, it was false advertising, etc. I told her I agreed that it was false advertising with the picture, but the text specifically stated the upcharge, and unfortunately, I couldn't do anything about it. Also, the difference was literally cents.
The lady at the next table overheard everything and got up and put 50 cents on the table to cover it. She then said something to the effect of "I'll pay for your darn cheese if you just shut up".
This ticked the cheese lady off even more. My manager obviously sensed the issue and came out. Took the cheese up charge of the bill. Like what the heck, Karen?
63. A Slight Overreaction
The staff did not know it at the time, but our ketchup dispenser was empty. A boy, aged 10-ish, was just smashing down on the handle trying to get ketchup, but none was being dispensed. A staff member noticed the kid smashing the ketchup dispenser, so I went out to see what was going on".
Oh, the ketchup is empty. I'll get a new bag from the kitchen. Give me two minutes and I'll be right back with some new ketchup". I removed the empty container, took it back to the kitchen, cleaned the dispenser, and placed it in a new bag. When I took it back out to the condiment stand, I was met by a Karen.
K: "WHY DID YOU TAKE THE KETCHUP AWAY FROM MY SON?!
Me: "The ketchup was empty, so I replaced the bag".
K: "WHY DID YOU TAKE THE KETCHUP AWAY?! GO GET YOUR MANAGER!"
Me: "Uhhh, okay. One minute".
I walked about two meters, turned around, and introduced myself as the manager.
K: "WHY DID YOU TAKE THE KETCHUP AWAY FROM MY SON?!
Me: "Ma'am, please lower your voice. The ketchup was empty. I explained to your son that I needed to take it back to the kitchen to refill it".
K: "NO YOU DIDN'T! I WAS STANDING HERE THE WHOLE TIME. YOU TOOK THE KETCHUP AWAY FROM MY SON!"
Me: "Ma'am, please lower your voice. You were not with your son. He was here alone, trying to get ketchup, which was empty".
K: "DON'T YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO! DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH?!"
Me: "Nope. Ma'am, please get your belongings and leave this establishment".
K: "I WILL NOT LEAVE THIS ESTABLISHMENT! I AM GOING TO BURN THIS PLACE DOWN!"
Other patrons were now visibly upset with what they were witnessing. I was so done at that point, so I called the authorities. The Karen gave a statement while the officers question me. I also gave a statement. I couldn’t believe my ears. Karen told them that I struck her son, pushed him out of the way, and moved the ketchup to an area where her son couldn't get access to the ketchup.
I disputed the claim and offered to provide video evidence (with sound) of what actually happened. They watched the video once, thanked me, and walked out to the eating area.
Officer: "Ma'am, does your son has someone who can look after him?"
K: "HIS FATHER IS AT WORK RIGHT NOW!"
Officer: "Okay. You're being placed under arrest for making threats and a false report".
Cue more yelling, threats, and tears. In the end, she was charged with making the false report (but not the threats), and received a lifetime ban from not just our restaurant, but the entire mall where our restaurant was located.
I felt bad. Not for the Karen, but for her son. He has to live with that...
64. Do You Know Who I Am?
I used to work in a call center and I had plenty of Karens who wanted to talk to someone above me because they thought the world existed to cater to them. I always went back into their account to review the notes to see what was done.
9 out of 10 times they were given whatever they wanted even if it wasn't justified. It was so stupid—enabling these people's behavior is what gets them feeling so entitled in the first place. I once told a woman if she didn't pay for her services, after 60 days they'd be interrupted. Her response took me aback.
She responded with: "Excuse me? I'm a valued customer and that is not how I will be treated". or something to that effect. Absolutely ridiculous.
65. It’s Never Enough
Oh heck yeah. Buckle up. I worked as a manager at a chain BBQ restaurant which we will call Popular Charlie’s. There was this lady who we called "Nacho Lady"—I’ll get into why. She was that kind of overweight, holistic living, essential oil, serviceman’s wife. The kind of person who talks to her two-year-old daughter like a coherent adult because she’s going to change the world".
She had all the "Karen" aesthetics to match. We all dreaded her when she came in. We call her Nacho Lady because whenever she comes by, she orders our nachos at our takeout area. No big deal. But she would want everything on the side. Again, no big deal in most situations because I understand that nachos get soggy really easily, especially to-go.
But what some people don’t like or understand is seeing the actual proportions for everything. Two ounces of anything really isn’t that much. That goes for the cheese, chili, beans, nacho sauce, and all the works. Even though it is all proportioned equally, the customer doesn’t like what they see, and that’s when the backlash happens. The Karen moment started happening.
She didn’t like the actual proportions and demanded more, but refused to pay for it. Our takeout specialists were good at standing up for themselves and the rules.
Of course, she didn’t accept it, so she had to speak to a manager. Myself or two others depending on the day. She would also order two kids’ meals, pork sandwiches, and fries. Again, no big deal, but she was very particular about this one as well.
The pork had to be dry (no BBQ sauce) in a separate container. Kids’ buns toasted, which we don’t usually do. The fries had to be dropped off as soon as she walks in the door so they are crispy and fresh for when she takes them all the way home.
Because of her extreme specifications, it got to the point where only a manager was allowed to take her order and only a manager could review the order with her. This was always the most nerve-wracking part because she would sit down at our waiting table in the takeout area, open every single box and inspect everything.
Also, the way she went about was very...Karen. This is when all the issues would happen. The fries were never hot and fresh and crispy enough, and I sent them back to get new ones. There wasn’t enough of portioned pork for the kid’s sandwich, and she demanded more. There was not enough cheese sauce and shredded cheese, and she demanded more. There were not enough tortilla chips, and you know the rest.
The list went on. And to top it all off, she somehow got a hold of a ton of "free kid’s meal" coupons that were blank—meaning no manager signature, dates, or any sort of validation that she got it legitimately. A coupon is…no big deal…but a typical coupon can only be used one at a time with one transaction.
Only, a Karen being a Karen, she demanded we used two out of the giant stack so she gets her kids’ meals for free. This got to the point where things had to be run by the General Manager. Even if it means calling him on his day off. He was a bit of a wimp and always allowed it, but then she started costing us money.
It wasn’t feasible for her to keep coming back and having her as a customer because 9 times out of 10, we would end up having to send stuff back to the kitchen. A lot of waste. My other manager, Billy, was a fierce woman who never let anyone walk over her, she was awesome. She finally stepped up and made a call over the General Manager’s order and 86ed her.
When that moment came, we all huddled in the office and watched the security cameras as Billy ripped her a new one. That was an unforgettable day. I left and got out of the restaurant industry and management because of how horrible that field can be, but I do love that I have a "Karen" story from it.
66. A Bunch Of Suck Ups
I work at a vacuum repair shop. People don’t pay attention to their vacuum cleaners as much as you'd think. I can't tell you how many times someone comes to pick up their vacuum and says "Oh this one isn't mine" or "Mine didn’t have scratches down the side".
I'd always reply: "I can tell you it is, and it came in with all those scratches on the side". After the first two times it happened to me, we started taking pictures of the unit with serial numbers and customer information. We’d send them home with the serial number and require them to bring it back for pick up. We thought that would fix everything—but we were wrong.
Despite the evidence, I've had a lady close to tears because we didn’t have her vacuum. Even with the pictures, we had of it at drop off, her information, and the matching serial numbers, she wasn’t buying it. Sure, it's a big conspiracy and we just love taking in vacuums and switching all the information around because it's fun. People need to pay more attention.
67. Having Her Cake And Eating It Too
I used to work part-time at a bakery inside a grocery store. I dealt with my fair share of Karens during this time. Just to paint this picture of how it would work, we had a binder with laminated copies of about 100 different designs the decorators did regularly.
A customer would look through the book, pick a design they wanted, and fill me in on the details of when they wanted it, what size, what flavor, if any color changes were necessary, etc. Our decorators would come in at 7 AM and stay for however long it took to complete their orders.
So usually, they were gone by early- to mid-afternoon. The bakery closed along with the store at 9 PM. One day, maybe around 8:15 or 8:20 pm, a woman comes in and says she needs a cake. I figure she's referring to the cakes sitting in our cooler, which we keep at the ready in case anybody just wants something quick and simple.
So I motion to the cooler and ask her if she sees anything she likes. Then it starts—every retail worker's nightmare. Apparently, I'm a brilliant comedian because she starts laughing, and goes, "No, sweetie, I need a wedding cake". Alright, no big deal. I grab an order form and take down her information, and then ask what day she needs it".
Mind you, the store was closing in ~40 minutes, so even if I could decorate a cake, I wouldn't be able to help her. I tell her that there are no decorators present at the moment, but I could make sure it was ready for her first thing the next morning. She's clearly upset by this but says that'd be fine.
I continue taking her order and ask her what size she'd like. Our bakery was not an upscale joint, and our prices reflect that; just about everything comes in frozen. Our cakes come in a variety of predetermined sizes.
She pulls out her phone and thrusts it in my face, saying "Whatever that is". When I saw the screen, I nearly burst out laughing. On the screen is a very beautiful cake. Smooth white frosting, 7-8 tiers, decorations made in fondant, and blown sugar.
Before I even continue taking the order and dash her hopes when she sees the finished product, I tell her that that just wouldn't be possible. I didn't mean to offend our decorators, but I told her the truth; most of them were exceptionally gifted home bakers who didn't have formal training in terms of a culinary program or decorating school.
I then politely refer her to a more upscale bakery that I knew of that was more equipped to help her than we were. Then the dreaded six words came. "Can I speak to your manager?" At this point in time, I had been working at that bakery for a little over a year, so I was capable enough to close the department on my own.
As such, I was the only one there. I told her this but offered to leave a note with the customer's name and number so my manager could call her tomorrow. "Fine then. Let me talk to a store manager". There were anywhere between 1-3 store managers who oversaw the entire grocery store and all its departments on staff a night.
So I go to our phone and page a store manager over to the bakery department. The whole time we're waiting, she's staring daggers into me. A manager I was fairly friendly with came to the counter in a few minutes and asked what the problem was.
I briefed her before she went to talk to the customer. The second we get over there, the customer starts spewing lies about me, saying I was rude and refusing to help her. I tried to defend myself, but the manager just told me to keep doing my closing work out back.
10 minutes later she comes back, shaking her head and rubbing her temples. "That witch was crazy". The customer service industry is a blast.
68. Thirsting For A Fight
I work as a server part-time. About a month ago, I had a table consisting of a mother, a father, and their son who was around 10. They seemed like a normal family at first—but the whole experience turned sour very quickly.
After I put their order in and got them drinks, I had to visit my three other tables that were sat a couple of minutes before. I took about five minutes, introducing myself to a party of 10 and getting their orders. Then I walked over to "Karen" from the first family because she was waving at me.
She told me that they needed more water. The cup was still half full, but I told her I would bring it as soon as I could. I then went to my other two tables and got their orders...And that's when it happened. All of a sudden, I heard the Karen screaming at a boy who worked in carryout. I went over and see what was wrong. She was upset because I didn’t get her the water immediately and she then started screaming at me. I ran back and got her a whole pitcher of water because she was clearly thirsty.
She proceeded to scream at me because I didn’t get her a son a refill of Sprite even though they didn’t ask (and his cup was 3/4 of the way full). I apologized and went to get the Sprite while alerting my manager of the issue.
While I was getting another Sprite, her husband got up and started cursing in my manager’s face, about three inches from her. Here's the worst part—they didn’t stop yelling and complaining, so my other manager gave them their meal for free and a gift card.
Mind you, this was all over WATER. It took about three minutes after I told them I’d get them water for them to start going insane. I ended up apologizing to my other tables for the disturbance, but they were very understanding and apologized on behalf of the psychotic family.
I couldn’t help but wonder what happens to their son when he doesn’t do exactly what they want.
69. Being Extra
I love the Karens who seem to think extra food is free. You’re not going to go anywhere and get extra meat or queso guacamole for free. I had a couple come in and they got a salad. They asked for extra meat, then queso, then even more queso.
I told them they would be charged for each scoop. She flipped out. She started cussing at me about how it’s wrong and she shouldn’t have to pay for more than one, why must we be so expensive because the other location does not do this? But I had the perfect reply.
I gave her a big smile and let her know I am the general manager of that store, so I knew she did not get that treatment there. Sorry, extra food is not free. She then started screaming for a corporate number and the store owner.
I told her I couldn’t give out people’s private numbers and told her to leave. She is now banned from both stores. She did put in a complaint…but guess who sees them and makes return calls? Me. She hung up on me when I called.
70. Cold Cash
I’m not a manager, just a guy who doesn’t put up with stuff. When I was working at the movie theater, I had a woman come in wanting like four movie tickets, which was like $26 or something at the time, and she dumped out a bag of change that wasn’t rolled up or pre-counted.
I asked her if it was counted and she said no. I told her I’m not counting it and that she can step to the side and count it out herself. She threw a fit, saying I had to do it for her. I told her I don’t. That goes back and forth for a minute until she gives out her famous line: "I wanna speak to the manager".
I just said "no". She kept demanding and I kept saying no. My manager finally came out because she could hear the woman screaming. She asked what happened and the woman said that I was the rudest employee ever. My manager looked at me and just said, "We are not obligated to count out that large an amount of loose change".
After she left, the woman kept yelling and I finally told her to go or I’ll gladly call the authorities. I wasn’t actually going to, but it usually scares people straight. She scoffed at me and told me I needed to bag up her money for her. I just told her to have a nice day.
71. A Magical Appearance
Hoo boy. This brings me back. So, when I was a younger man, I was an assistant manager at Blockbuster Video. For you young'uns out there, before Netflix you would have to go to this place called a video rental store and actually pay money to rent a movie. Once upon a time, they even came on these boxy things called VHS tapes.
So, one day I was working an evening shift, and the phone rang. This woman I'll call Karen was on the other end. She said she got a call earlier in the day about some videos being overdue. She was absolutely livid. I brought up her account on our computer and sure enough, three movies were still out and were due back a week before.
She went ballistic; absolutely screeching at me over the phone that her daughter rented those movies for a sleepover and had returned them. I checked the return bin, but nothing. I even walked out to the floor and check the copies on the shelf to see if maybe it was them. No dice.
Finally, she just screamed at me, accusing me of trying to rip her off. She said she was going to tell her husband, who was an attorney, and he'd sue us all out of existence. I went about the rest of my shift—but I had no idea what was coming. Lo and behold, about an hour later this woman came marching in.
She came right up to the counter and slammed a stack of three VHS tapes on the counter before us, yelling some profanity at the poor clerk. I had witnessed this from the other end when I was checking in returned movies. I looked at the stack of movies and sure enough, they were the ones her daughter had rented and "returned". But it wasn’t over.
The next day I was also working there and this man in a suit came in. Real friendly guy who asked to speak to management. I walked over to chat with him, and he told me that he was the lawyer. He wanted to apologize for his wife's behavior. I kid you not, he actually said, "We're trying to get her under control. The doctor just prescribed her Xanax".
72. It’s Never Enough
I was eating at a cheap, greasy-spoon kind of diner that has been around since the '50s. All the meat is frozen, and pretty much nothing but the coffee and eggs are made fresh. You know what you're getting when you come to this place.
A couple comes in with their two young boys, about six or seven. The mom makes a minor scene about not wanting a booth, but a table. There is an entire wall of booths and multiple tables, but she specifically wants the one in the middle of the room that needs to be bussed since the people that were using it JUST left.
She makes a scene about having to wait for the one busboy handling the entire section to take care of it, even when the manager went and got him to take care of it immediately. At this point, I'm not paying too much attention, but they're sitting literally right next to us.
They order appetizers, steak, shakes for the kids, etc. Their waitress is handling several other tables at the same time—like a third of the floor—and serves some coffee and sliced pie to an elderly couple that came in after the family. Big mistake. Karen throws an absolute hissy fit because "WE WERE HERE FIRST, HOW COME THEY'RE GETTING THEIR ORDERS FIRST?!?!"
The manager comes back out and explains in the most placid tones possible that multiple fried goods and a steak take time to cook, but hot coffee is available all day, and sliced pie is on a display up front so there's no prep time. Karen calms down, but still fumes.
She doesn't allow the boys to get their food (they had a buffet option) until she and the dad's food comes to the table. Once the adult food arrives, Karen just starts tucking in; both boys are just tall enough to see over the edge of the buffet, but not nearly enough to reach tongs or reasonably serve themselves.
A waitress from another section sees them struggling and comes over to help, asking what they want on their plates. Another huge mistake. Karen FLIES to her feet and makes a BIG scene, this time about "How dare you tell my kids what they can and cannot eat! Who do you think you are handling their food?!"
Cue the manager coming out again. The waitress is an older woman, we're talking white hair, and is nearly in tears thinking that she has done something terrible. The manager asks her to go chill in the back a bit while she smooths things over with Karen. Karen now demands balloons (they had them as a special birthday thing) for the kids.
They get balloons, and Karen calms down. The husband and kids are pretty quiet throughout this. The kids seem visibly embarrassed, and the husband is acting like this is pretty normal. The husband's steak comes out last. He's unenthusiastic about it, and Karen calls for the manager A FOURTH TIME to chew her out over the steak being overdone, dry, etc.
They send it back and demand another. Then a third. Let me reiterate; this is a place you go for like, greasy burgers and fries, fish and chips. Steak is on the menu, but realistic expectations and reason mean you're not expecting high quality. You're getting what you pay for.
The manager just kept calm and kept apologizing for their "sub-optimal experience", but beyond filling minor low-cost demands (for example, the balloons) didn't offer up much. When Karen basically shouted that they would never be coming back, the manager was just like "Sorry to hear that, have a nice night". An absolute pro.
73. Onto Bigger, Better Things
I was a manager at Little Caesar's about 15 years ago. I'd typically work three or four closing shifts a week, and then one opening shift. Back then, they ran the $5 pizza thing, but it was typically only on Wednesdays.
Throughout the week, they usually ran "2 pizzas for X dollars" specials. This happened on one of those nights. A male Karen placed an order via phone, and then came to pick it up. I believe he ordered something like a "two pizza" deal, but then wanted bread and sauce when he got there.
Well…he didn't have enough money for the bread and sauce. He only brought enough for the pizza. I told him that I'm sorry and that there was nothing I could do. He looked at me and said angrily, "My kids want that bread". I repeated to him that there wasn't really much I could do.
I couldn't give away food without it being paid for, as I would get in trouble. Keep in mind, he was there while there were several other customers in the store. Had he been alone, I might have just handed it over. His reaction was otherworldly—He threw an absolute fit, called me several names, and then told me "This isn't over!" and then he left with the pizzas that he paid for.
I found out the next day that he talked to the store manager, and he obviously fabricated quite a bit of the story. The manager then called me at home and screamed me out over the phone. Apparently, I belittled the guy for being "too poor" to afford bread for his kids and I embarrassed him in front of other customers.
In reality, I apologized probably three or four times, and just told him that I would be in trouble if I just start giving stuff away. That was far from all. She decided to write me up for a lack of customer service skills and ended up comping the guy an order of up to $40 to be used whenever he wanted.
He came in the very next day when both the store manager and I were working. I was nothing but pleasant to him even then, and I even apologized if there was a misunderstanding. He still acted like a jerk while I was taking his order. He threw in a few "the customer is always right" mentions and "the younger generation doesn't know how to treat customers".
Whatever, I'm glad the store manager was there that day—because I had a plan. I made his pizzas very well, then I tossed them, put them onto the oven conveyor, making a slight mess, and then told the store manager that I refuse to work there anymore, especially not for a "has-been who treats her employees like garbage".
I walked out and told the guy to enjoy his pizza. I worked there for two years. I had a 9-5 manufacturing job a few days later at a small family-owned company right near home. I had no clue that some companies actually treated their employees like human beings until I worked there.
74. Nothing Comes For Free
I'm not in retail anymore, but I was managing a popular mid-range handbag store. Think "typical Karen bag", about $200-400. Anyway, most customers were fantastic. This one woman, however, was this Shrek-looking large redheaded lady who stomped in and demanded that we repair her 20-year-old bag for FREE.
If we couldn't do that, she demanded that we exchange this old ratty, smelly 20-year-old bag for a brand new one for her. Recently policy changes resulted in new prices for this service, but free repairs had about a one-year warranty on a new bag...not a 20-year-old one. I told her as such.
I was pretty young to have had the role I did, so she, dissatisfied with my answer, asked to speak to a manager. I told her I was the manager and she began turning as red as her hair. She screamed and yelled about how she'll call corporate and never shop here again!
Well, that sounds like a real loss, losing a customer who is too cheap to repair a 20-year-old bag and hasn't bought new from us in just as long. I give her my best customer service grin and say, "I’m so sorry, that’s just the policy". She demanded the company’s number.
I gave her the customer service line that you can find on Google, unbeknownst to her. She huffed away, forgetting her keys on the counter. She's halfway out and she remembered, turned around, red as a beet. She huffed in my smiling face and snatched the keys off the counter.
It was hilarious. She came back months later, worked with a different person on the team, and didn't even look my way.
75. Agree To Disagree
This Karen was trying to return a board game that was open and obviously played without a receipt. I offered store credit, but she wouldn’t take it and asked for my manager. He came up to the counter and discussed the situation with her.
It devolved into the old argument: "Well, in my day the customer was always right". My manager then cocked his head slightly before shutting her down: "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiii’ve never really subscribed to that theory". Store credit was given.
76. Would You Like Fries With That?
I used to work as a manager at a sandwich shop. Our policy for any pickup orders was to not cook their fries until the customer came in so that they have fresh fries. This is always told to the customer on the phone. I had this one witch call in her order and ask me if I could cook the fries immediately so that she didn’t have to wait for them.
I told her I couldn’t do that because if she doesn’t come in to pick her order up within about five minutes, those fries will be soggy and cold. She seemed to understand this. Well, guess what happened? She ends up showing up about 45 minutes after she placed the order and proceeded to yell at me because her fries weren’t ready.
I explained to her that if I had cooked her fries when she placed the order, they would be very cold and soggy because she took 45 minutes to pick her order up. She didn’t care. She continued to yell at me about how she was a nurse and has no time to wait for the fries.
I told her oh well, you either need to wait for them to cook (which takes literally two minutes to cook) or leave. She waited. What a witch.
77. Something’s Fishy
I worked at a grocery store in high school, and last summer I came back for it as my summer job. We did this ten-for-$10 deal where we'd have a bunch of stuff sale for a buck a piece, and then the 11th was free.
We were open 24 hours, but all of our sales kicked in at 6 am, and we weren't allowed to change it early in the register, as it's clearly stated on the first page of the flier and in the app—this is important. I'd sometimes work the third shift if they needed someone to fill in.
So we had this woman come in with literally a cart full of tuna at 4 am. There were easily 300-400 of them, as she had just taken the stand-up display boxes off the shelf. Of course, none of them ring up as on sale, and she starts screaming at the girl in front. The girl is explaining that this is how our policy works, and she's yelling about false advertising and how she deserves the price change.
I go up and tried to placate her, and she starts fuming all over again. I zoom in on the bit where it says are prices are only good at 6 am—and she goes PURPLE. "ARE YOU REALLY ARGUING WITH A CUSTOMER RIGHT NOW?!" I tell her I'm not, just pointing out what the ad says and she insists on seeing the manager.
He tells her the same thing the two of us already had, and she screamed about not knowing "Why she even bothered to shop here". I didn't go back to that job this summer.
78. What A Dough Head
I’m a kitchen chef in a pizzeria. We occasionally get this lady who orders a pizza and then tries to complain about it in order to get it for free. We always deny her and she always threatens to give us a bad review on Yelp or complains to whoever is unfortunate enough to be on the phone with her.
I can still remember my worst moment dealing with her. One time, she ordered a pizza with gluten-free crust and complained that the crust was "too doughy", so she demanded it be given to her for free. Gluten-free crusts are as crispy as a cracker when they come out of the oven and are almost the same while we make them.
Even if someone didn’t bake it in the oven beforehand for whatever reason, it’s virtually impossible for it to be doughy. For about a week, all of us would tell each other, "Make sure that it isn’t too doughy" as a joke when we had to make gluten-free pizzas.
79. Meet Dave
What’s the male version of a Karen? Would it be Dave? I'm going with Dave. So I'm opening a call center offshore, and this customer Dave refuses to speak to anybody who isn't American. I'm American but was working at that site during that project phase, so when the call escalates to me his first question was "Are you in the US"? At that time that was a no—an unacceptable answer for Dave, which flew him into a rage.
He hung up. He spent three hours calling and hanging up. He'd ask to speak to an American, they'd transfer to me, then he'd ask me if I was in the US. Three hours of the same process.
80. Off The Deep End
One time a Karen tried to return an expensive handbag that had obviously been used. She said I was calling her a liar and her anger escalated as she paced back and forth at the till point. It escalated so quickly.
Karen then proceeded to tell me that she was going to call in some guys to "come after me" after I finish work. Throughout this, I am politely repeating my request that Karen leaves, but in hindsight, I think this must have been rather annoying…as Karen proceeded to grab the bag and launch herself over the till at me in an attempt to hit me with it.
At this point in time, a colleague who was yet to start their shift (and therefore appeared as a customer) was on the shop floor and witnessed it all. They tackled Karen into the wall, knocking down glass shelves that had been displaying around 30 bags. Karen is now a crumpled mess on the floor. Appearing shocked, she stumbles upright and runs away.
81. Doing What’s Right
Work at a Barnes and Noble cafe. About an hour before closing, a Karen comes in and I proceed to take her order. Karen wasn’t a regular, yet she was getting snooty just because I asked her what she'd like and if she wanted it hot or cold.
She tells me in the most condescending way she wants an iced mocha. I go to make the drink. I hand it to her, tell her to have a nice night, and turn around to talk to the two other people at the counter. As we're talking, she shouts at us that it's wrong, and demands we make another drink.
Her complaint was that it was cold and she wanted it warm. Whatever, I apologized and made another one even though the first time I asked her, I held up the clear cup and wrote everything in front of her to verify it was right. Anyway, I grabbed the paper cup and started to make another one.
All the while, she was talking about how young people don't respect anyone, and she kept berating us for talking while working, making fun of personal stuff like the movie we were discussing, how we were dressed, our accents (this is in Alabama and she's obviously not Southern).
After about two minutes of this, I was fed up, so I finished the drink and went to hand it to her. But as she was taking it, she uttered the most triggering words: "I bet you stupid disrespectful kids don’t even know how to spell mocha, especially him". She then pointed at the one Black barista. I’d had enough. I yanked the drink back out of her hand and threw it in the garbage can like it was a baseball.
I then ripped my apron off, came out from behind the counter, got right in her face, and I really laid it into her. I inform her that her behavior wasn’t something we tolerate, tell her there was a camera above us with sound recording everything, tell her that because she bought a five-dollar drink doesn't give her the right to talk to anyone let alone us that way and ask her who in the heck she thinks she is. But I’m not done yet.
I get even closer and tell her that the store might want her business, but I sure as heck don’t, and she can take her refund and get out. I don't even go to the register, I take five dollars out of my own wallet, some odd cents out of my pocket, back up, and throw it at her feet. I point at the door and tell her to get the heck out of my cafe.
I'm not even a manager but it felt right at the time. The whole time, Karen's eyes are as wide as dinner plates in shock. She sheepishly picks the money off the floor, every cent, gains her voice, and starts screaming at the top of her lungs that we're not getting away with this, she's gonna call corporate and get our useless butts fired, and then she'd find out where we lived, burn our houses down, and hurt every last one of our pets and family members.
And that's not all—once she made it to the doorway, she throws her shoes at us, hitting a display stand of chips.
She leaves and peels out, nearly hitting two people in the parking lot. I pick up the shoes, throw them in the nearest trash can, pick up the chips, calmly put my apron back on, go back behind the counter, and finish what I was saying about the movie.
The other two baristas didn't know what to say and kept warning me about how I'm going to get fired. Nothing ever came of it, no real manager ever talked to me about it, and I never heard from her again. I felt bad about it, as I'd never been that angry and have never gotten that angry since.
It wasn't even what she said to me that set me off, but how she talked to the two that did literally nothing wrong. I realize now I'm not sorry for it and she really deserved to be thrown out of the store. Most of the time it's not worth it to react that way, but man sometimes you just have to stand up to Karens.
82. In The Privacy Of Your Own Truck
A truly awesome supervisor had my back when I was threatened on the job. I was a pretty meek young lady at the time of this story, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still, but I've grown a bit. The management at this establishment was pretty awesome in general, honestly.
So I was working a truck stop swing shift. It was a hot summer afternoon, and I was on the side dealing with large semi-truck pumps. Note that I actually like this side better since other than the occasional jerk, the truckers are normally more polite than your average general customer, believe it or not.
So one of my co-workers is doing perimeter garbage pickup and comes to the desk to tell me someone is on one of the truck pumps peeing in a bottle. Not in his cab, oh no. This guy is going in full view of RVs with families in them. He is on one of the closer pumps, so it's maybe two minutes at a crawl to get to the bathrooms inside the store.
If he'd been in his truck, who cares, it's not the most disgusting thing someone's done in a truck, trust me. But no, out where God and everyone can see him. As is the procedure when someone is doing something frowned upon at a pump, I get on the PA system for a GENERAL UNTARGETED announcement.
I do not say pump numbers. I do not give descriptions. "I would like to remind all customers there are restrooms inside the store for your convenience, and that you are on camera on the pumps". Just that. No identifying information. Could have been anybody. Little did I know I just put myself in the line of fire.
Sure enough, about 60 seconds after this, a big guy comes strolling in, belly hanging out of the bottom of his barely fitting tank top, and is SCREAMING at the top of his lungs at me behind the desk: "HOW DARE YOU SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT!? YOU EMBARRASSED ME! I HAVE A BLADDER PROBLEM! YOU MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT LIKE THAT AGAIN AND I’LL MESS YOU UP!"
My supervisor is standing right there. Note that he is about a foot shorter than this trucker and sure as heck, he looks right up at him and says clear as day, "No, you're going to remove yourself from the store immediately".
The blubbering for a solid 10 seconds was priceless before the guy started flipping us off and yelling that he'd never come back as he left. I never said anything, though I dearly wanted to say that nobody embarrassed him but himself, since nobody would have known who I was talking about if he hadn't screamed it for the whole world.
Oh well. AJ, you're awesome, hope you're doing well. And PSA: Don’t pee in a bottle where everyone can see you, please. I would like to make it clear I understand bladder issues are a thing, and sometimes emergencies are NOW not two minutes from now, but he had a perfectly good truck cab right there with a sleeper unit for all the privacy in the world.
83. Record Scratch
I was a loss prevention manager at a retail store. Part of my job was to be the "no" guy. If there was a customer we were not able to help and they started becoming hostile, I was the one who went to defuse the situation. That’s because if it escalated, I was the only one certified to touch a customer if it came down to safety and security issues.
At this particular time, a Karen was at guest services with her small child in a shopping cart. Karen was super frustrated with my employee, who was trying to tell her that she could not return the DVD she had purchased for multiple reasons. She didn’t have a receipt, for one. She could have used an ID to return it, however, the DVD was also opened and had a scratch on it as well.
I can already hear her screaming as I approach, so I had an idea of what was going on already. She immediately begins yelling at me about how my employee doesn’t know the store policy and that she just wants to return the DVD. I explained to her that it was not only store policy, but also a copyright law involved since it was an unwrapped, open, and apparently used DVD. Despite all that, she still wouldn't let go.
She said, "Ok well I got home, opened it, and there was a scratch on it, so now what?" I told her in that case within our policy and the law I can of course exchange that for the same item, however, I would have to open it before she leaves so that no laws are broken and she doesn’t try to return it elsewhere.
After more screaming and cursing in front of her child, she finally says, "Fine I don’t want to return it anymore you can just have it!" Then she winds up and frisbees the DVD past my head. Here’s the best part. She leaves kicking and screaming, and about 30 minutes later I get a call from guest services, and it’s the same lady.
This time she says she talked to her husband and there was a misunderstanding, and she would like her DVD back. I "sadly" had to tell her, "I’m sorry ma’am we have already added that to the trash compactor". If I really wanted to, I could have done something to help her for only $10, but with the way she was acting, there was no way I was doing anything to encourage that behavior.
84. Driving Me Up The Wall
I was the general manager of a company renting moving trucks. At the time, the equipment we rented consisted of F-150 pickups, E-250 cargo vans, and box trucks from ranging 10 to 26 feet.
The company owns all the box trucks, but the vans and pickups were part of a weird lease deal.
Because of this and the fact that they were more likely to be stolen, we had different rules for those vehicles. A Karen came into my store and requested to rent one of the cargo vans".
No problem. I need to see your driver's license and a credit card"".
Oh, no. I just want to pay the $100".
I already know this is going to suck. If you want to pay cash for a box truck rental, you pay a $100 deposit unless your pre-rental estimate is more. We did once accept cash deposits on the vans, but it was $1,000. This didn't last long. A few months after this story, no cash deposits were accepted for the vans or pickups".
I'm sorry mam, the vans, and pickups have different rules. I can take a cash deposit but it would be $1,000. Or—" I explained".
$1,000!!!!! Do I look like I have $1,000 cash on me!?!??" Karen interrupted".
Or," I continued, "we can authorize a credit card for the estimated rental total"".
I only have $100 cash," yelled Karen".
I understand. I'm sorry, but my system will not let me do that. I can do the 14' box truck with the $100 deposit. It has the same daily rate and is only $0.10 per mile more". I say this as I gesture toward the box truck outside the window".
That's too big. We are just moving a couch a few houses away. Just give me the van" Karen says as she slides what, at a glance, does not appear to be $100 worth of small bills across the counter.
I push the cash back to her and again explain that the rental requirements for the vans and pickups differ from the rest of our motorized fleet. This time I print out and highlight the pertinent sections of the differing policies. I emphasize that releasing a vehicle to her without following the policy would result in my immediate termination.
If there haven't been enough flags this far into a conversation, this is my go-to shibboleth to distinguish the desperate from the despicable. Essentially, if I tell you doing a thing will cost me my job and you still insist on it, you are a piece of garbage. Upon failure, I know immediately what to do. I tend to immediately change tact with these people.
No smiles, no friendly service. You get cold, curt responses and if you insist again, I might boot you from my store.
Karen immediately failed. "I don't care about all this. I only want the van. Just take the cash"".
No". In my head, I said the word in a way that didn't convey a negative response so much as it implied that I wished Karen found herself underneath a moving bus.
Karen scooped her cash and license from the counter and waddled toward the door in a determined fashion. She threw the door open, stepped one foot out, turned, and yelled, "I'm going to talk to my boyfriend". She attempted to slam the door but was foiled by the hydraulic damper.
Because she had parked in front of the door instead of a parking spot, I could see her as she approached the open passenger window of the small green sedan she had arrived in. Karen began to yell and gesticulate, arms waving in wild abandon, at the occupant in the passenger seat.
I watched as a new customer crossed the lot, turning his head to avoid eye contact as he passed her on his approach to the door. Once safely inside and the door closed behind him, he stopped, shook his head, and approached the counter".
Hey man, I just need some propane," the new customer said. He turned and nodded toward the door. "She's having a day, huh?"
"The fun never stops," I replied as I reached under the counter for our mobile credit card device. I mentally braced myself for re-entry into Karen's audible radius. Mercifully, I was spared. Her prescribed boyfriend had exited the vehicle and the pair were making their way across the lot near the cargo van.
Seizing the opportunity, I led my new customer out the door and toward our propane dispenser. This consisted of a small area surrounded by yellow-painted steel bollards, a steel pump cabinet, and a vertical 3000-gallon tank extending some 20 feet in the air. The new customer and I stood wordlessly, occasionally casting glances in Karen's direction.
The pump is very loud and generally drowns out conversation anyway. With the new customer's tank filled, I shut down the pump. As he loaded it in his truck, I entered the sale on the handheld device. In the background, Karen is following her boyfriend to look at the 14' box truck I suggested.
The handheld device decided to refuse the sale. Restarting the device took about five minutes so I advised the customer that we should just run it inside. This turned out to be a horrible idea. A commotion from Karen's direction drew our attention as we crossed the lot.
The boyfriend was walking toward the car. Karen was waddling toward the door. A new customer and I made it inside with just enough of a gap to justify not holding the door open. As we reached our respective positions at the counter, Karen erupted through the door. I knew it was about to get crazy".
I WAS HERE FIRST" she bellowed.
The new customer threw up his hands and backed away from the counter. Karen maneuvered into the space, flashing what could charitably be described as a smile at the other customer and then to me".
I want to rent the van". She stated with a tone of forced civility, depositing the cash onto the counter. Ah, the witness gambit. She may be a Karen, but I had already served more than a decade of my sentence in customer service. The assumption that I would suddenly bend to her will now that she had an audience was an amateur move.
Many try it, often raising their voice to attract as much attention as possible. I smile through her and adopt the tone a bank teller would use to inform someone that their account is overdrawn...by several thousand dollars".
I'm so sorry mam". I dart my eyes to the new customer and back to ensure he can hear me, "As I explained before, the cargo van requires a $1,000 cash deposit or a valid credit card authorization for the estimated rental amount. The policy is firm and any attempt on my part to circumvent it would result in my termination".
The new customer raised an eyebrow and I continued, "I am happy and willing to rent the 14' box truck on a $100 deposit. The move you described before should be well within that amount and the remainder would be refunded during the return".
What ensued was a scene that was painful to endure. Karen, sensing the round was lost, changed strategies for the counter-attack. She began to cry".
But...but that other truck is too big. I'm scared. Please give me the van" she blubbered through crocodile tears. My riposte was ready immediately. "For the third time, ma’am, I cannot do that. I would lose my job. The box truck is based on the same vehicle chassis and is just as easy to drive. If your boyfriend has a valid license and would be comfortable with it, I can add him as a driver".
Karen's expression flattened, abandoning the fake crying faster than she had started it".
Fine". She grumbled through her teeth".
Excellent, may I see your driver's license please?"
Karen rummaged through her worn purse, produced the card, held it up for about three-quarters of a second, and thrust it back into the depths from which it came. She smiled like a child in a game of keep away. The new customer rolled his eyes but said nothing".
I'm sorry, I misspoke. I need to hold the license during the contract process. May I have the card please?"
Determined to achieve new heights of unpleasantness, Karen crossed her arms and barked "WHAT FOR?"
Equally committed to maintaining a contrasting demeanor, I replied, "I need different information at different points in the contract process. I need to hold it for reference. We also inspect the license itself to make sure it’s not fake". I added that last line with a faint, suggestive, smirk and extended an open hand above the counter.
Karen, looking as if she might try to bite it, instead made a point of slamming her license down on the counter near my hand. She then pulled the card back toward herself before releasing it. I leaned forward and retrieved it.
The rest of the transaction took the form of precisely worded questions, curt responses, and clarifying questions where required. Nearing the end, I gestured to a small display on the credit card machine that was now featuring the breakdown of her rental estimate".
This is showing the estimated rental charges based on the mileage you told me. The $100 deposit is due at this time".
Wordlessly, Karen pushed her cash to the center of the counter. I picked it up and sorted it by denomination. My suspicion from before was confirmed. She was short. This was perfect. I counted each and every note with a running total".
I'm sorry mam, I counted short of $100. Do you have the difference?"
"That's all I have. It's more than the estimate. Just finish this so I can go"".
Oh, I'm sorry mam. Policy requires the full $100 deposit". I said this with a smile.
Mount St Karen erupted. She clawed at the now neat stack of cash and pulled it away and screamed".
I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER!" She yelled.
I tugged at my name tag and pointed it at her".
I am the general manager of this location"".
GET ME YOUR SUPERVISOR!" The tears were coming back".
My direct supervisor is not available at this location. His office is 40 miles away. I'm happy to try to resolve any issues, or you may call our corporate number. An operator will take any relevant notes, open a case, and forward it to me for resolution".
I usually didn't mention that complaints made to corporate about me ultimately get forwarded back to me to resolve. Sure, sometimes someone else might look at it but as far as the company was concerned, problems at my store were my problems. In this case, I found satisfaction in clarifying the situation.
Karen turned to the door and waddled as fast as her legs were able. I let her reach the door before completing my revenge. "Ma’am, your license?" This was a petty move, I admit.
Karen paused before turning and scrambling back toward the counter. I set the card gently in the center and steered my eyes back to the screen. By the time she was on the other side of the door, I was nearly finished filling out the form that black-listed her name and license from our company.
The new customer approached the counter, wide-eyed at the interaction he had the misfortune to witness.
Dropping back into my normal speaking voice, I nodded to him and said, "Sorry, I just need a few seconds to finish this form".
He returned the nod and leaned against the counter—but we had relaxed too soon. Karen now threw the front door open and screamed".
YOU WON'T RENT TO ME BECAUSE I'M WHITE AND I'M A WOMAN!"
Forgetting her earlier struggle with the door damper, she repeated her attempt to slam the door and nearly fell. The new customer was unable to suppress a burst of laughter and covered his mouth. Karen steadied herself and waddled to car.
A moment later, we heard the characteristic noise of a starter motor grinding against an already-running engine. This time, I cracked a laugh as well.
Karen's little sedan set off with a pained chirp from one of her tires".
Oh my God," exclaimed the new customer, "that lady has problems"".
Dunno, man. Sorry about the wait". I replied".
Do people act like that a lot?" Clearly, this new customer never did time in customer service".
The fun never stops…"
Not that it matters, but I'm also white. My job had nothing to do with age, race, orientation, or whatever. My job was to take your money. I rented to nearly everyone from everywhere in that job. As long as your poops were in a group, you got what you wanted.
85. Nowhere To Go But Down
I’m the head of a complaints department for an international chain, and Karens are basically my bread and butter.
To speak to me, they have to have escalated their concerns through agents, supervisors, and managers, all of whom are empowered to resolve complaints.
Many a time the conversation has gone:
"Unfortunately Karen, we’re not able to meet your expectations. I do hope you find your next visit to be more to your liking".
"That’s ridiculous, I only want a holiday to the moon and the keys to Atlantis! I want to speak to your manager".
"I’m the highest level of escalation Karen, that’s our final answer".
"You’re not the owner of the company, I want to speak to them".
"No Karen, I’m the highest point of escalation".
Karen then hangs up and emails the CEO about me and my terrible attitude. The CEO forwards the email to me.
As per my previous email…"
86. Pie in The Sky Idea
I am new to retail at Target and got the job because I ran out of cares to give. One day, a lady came into the store and went to the Pizza Hut express. They were out of pan pizzas and closing within a minute of her arrival.
She wasn't convinced and came up to me at self-checkout and asked for a manager. I just shouted "manager" without stopping what I was doing and someone came. She explained that she wasn't convinced that Pizza Hut was out of pan pizzas.
The manager explained that they were. That's when she turned the reddest shade of red and said she didn't believe her. I casually mention that they're closed now anyway, so it doesn't matter. She expresses how much she craves a pan pizza, so a co-worker and I explain that there are at least three pizza places nearby, one of which was a full Pizza Hut, that was still open and served pan pizzas.
She REALLY wanted a Target Pizza Hut Express Pan Pizza, though. But she stormed off, saying she needed to pick up a prescription. None of us had the heart to tell her that the pharmacy closed two hours ago.
87. I’d Do Anything For Cheese
My worst Karen was a middle-aged woman who I caught trying to switch price labels around on some blocks of cheese. She found a $5 label for a multipack of chicken (it says chicken on the label) and tried to pull the plastic strip off the shelf to put the new label in place.
When I caught her and asked if she needed any help (pro tip, never outright ask a Karen what they’re doing) she pointed at the blocks of cheese which were $6, and said, "these were $5 the other week". I politely explained that they were not, it was a different brand of cheese.
She said, "Well why are they in the sale bin then?" They were not.
I again explained that the cheese was not $5 and she walked away muttering to herself. I thought that was that and carried on with my tasks. I was very wrong. I soon heard shouting coming from the till and my staff member rang the management bell.
I headed over, knowing it was her. It was. She was facing him and yelling that "the manager said I could have them for $5!" He was trying to explain that he needed manager authorization for that, so I approached and asked what the problem was. She immediately said, "you’re not the manager!"
I said I was and I had said no such thing about letting her have the cheese for $5. She then said "Listen! I’m a close personal friend of the managers and I…" and I immediately cut in with, "Yeah I’m going to stop you right there. Again, I’m the manager and I’ve never seen you before in my life". She left the store screeching that she was going to head office about my "incompetence" followed by our security guard.
The next morning there was a round-robin email from other branches in the area about a middle-aged woman trying to sneak a discount on blocks of cheese. She’d gone to every store in the area just to try to get $1 off some cheese!
88. The Cat Who Ate The Cream
I was working at McDonald's. This old lady would come every day and ask for a small coffee with ten creamers on the side. Ten. Then she would come back after a few minutes and complain that the coffee was cold and demand another one. With 10 more creamers.
We would oblige because she was a regular customer and looked lonely. One day, she came back three times complaining about her coffee. I told her to maybe not put 10 creamers in it if she liked it hot. She started screaming at me and insulting me, saying I was a stupid brat, that I can't make a coffee, that I was rude, the whole shebang.
She then asked for the manager. I don't really know what he told her but from that moment on she was very nice and polite and would only ask for five creamers. Crazy lady.
89. Look Who It Is
When I managed a movie theater, we had a couple who always came in, I’ll call them Karen and Boss. Boss was called that because he would always say "How you doing today, boss?" and things like that. It got to the point where we would see them purchase their tickets at the box office and we would begin to get their concession order ready right then and there.
They would walk to us and their food items would be ready just the way they liked them. I’d say that’s good service for a regular customer. But even so, Karen always found a reason to complain. Her methods were truly bizarre. Instead of coming to talk to a manager, she would email corporate.
We’d get the forwarded complaint and always have to give them free tickets and concession items. Now, we had another regular customer named Bob. Bob would cook for us, and I mean cook. He’d make full-course, fresh Italian meals. We all loved Bob and he was great to us.
He actually became a really good friend to the general manager and would have him over to his home for dinner too. One day, Karen and Boss walk in and Bob was standing with the general manager talking. The General Manager rolled his eyes and Bob asked him what happened.
The General Manager told him he’s just tired of Karen complaining all the time when we provide them with great customer service. Bob looks to see who it is and tells us it’s his freaking cousin. The General Manager printed the latest email from her to show Bob and Bob ran over and asked her: "What the heck is this?"
Karen never complained to corporate again.
90. A Walk Down Memory Lane
Storytime! Years and years ago when I was a poor college kid, I worked at a call center. We worked for an insurance company that had royally screwed up thousands of people's insurance, but our job was to take inbound calls for people and basically say that we apologize for the inconvenience but said the company was working to fix the issue, and then do whatever we could for them.
As you might guess, it was not a fun job, especially since the majority of customers were senior citizens calling in because they were having issues getting medication due to the insurance screw-up. Okay, so now onto Mr. Karen.
Mr. Karen calls, automatically screaming about how his medication hasn't been approved and that he cannot afford the cost out of pocket. At first, I don't feel right about thinking about him as Mr. Karen because he had a right to be mad.
But anyhow, I go through my lines of apologizing and trying to rectify the situation for him. None of my offers appeal to him. He was IRATE. After about 15 minutes of back and forth with him, he demands my name and ID number. He is going to have me fired.
I have personally ruined his life, etc. I give him my name. He demands to know my last name as well. I give him my last name, which happens to be a very unique last name. This is where it all changes. He stops. Silence. This old man then stutters, "Are you any relation to *insert very old, famous, yet overshadowed* baseball player? I tell him that yes, I am, he was my great, great, great uncle.
He played in the '20s. This grouchy old man suddenly becomes the sweetest man in the world; completely awestruck to be talking to me. Apparently, he had seen him play when he was a kid (the man was in the late '80s, early '90s in age) and somehow talking to me, a very late relative, put him over the moon.
He went from raging Karen to kid in a candy store in two seconds flat, asking me everything I knew about my great uncle (who, sadly, passed 10 years before I was born). It totally made his day, and mine too.
Of course, after that, he was no longer Mr. Karen, but I thought it would be a nice little story to tell within all the raging lunatic Karen stories...so, there you go...have a nice day.
91. Boxing Clever
I work as a mover. One time, we were doing a huge move. As in, two full 26' box trucks of stuff, which was mostly all artwork. I grabbed a painting and the guy says, "Oh that's one of the cheap ones". Well, the price tag on the back said $50,000. The move was from a huge mansion to an apartment in the city that spanned the whole floor of a building; the elevator opened right to the place.
We get to the unload and it's already dark out. It was a real struggle to pack this stuff. It was all heavy and expensive and the customers were hovering. They tried to get us to not take lunch because they were antsy and wanted to buy us pizza. No way, we needed food and we needed to be away from these people.
So first the woman—a total Karen—says the floor just got redone and we can't put any cardboard boxes on it because the fibers will get stuck in the wood. Then, as we bring in furniture, she is like a little this way, a little more, ok now back. As a mover, we don't normally place the furniture exactly. One guy almost quit during this process—but I had a plan. I said stay on the truck, I'm going to break this lady. First, I piled the cardboard boxes on the window sills. We blocked every single window in the place to the ceiling with boxes.
Then, we filled up the kitchen countertops and piled them to the ceiling also so she would have to undo it all to put the kitchen stuff away. Then, we covered the kitchen floor, then all the bathrooms. Anywhere without wood floors. All the while, every single thing I brought in, where do you want this? Here or here? Little over? Or here? All my crew had already taken breaks, but I kept going and going and going.
Finally, after like 14 hours of this job, I walk in with a dresser and say, where do you want this and she looks around...the place is full, there's stuff everywhere. She stutters for a second and says…screw it, just put it anywhere, I don't care anymore. And that's when I took my break.
92. Pool Party
I was working at a public pool in my town, and the rules are that you can't bring outside food or drinks into the pool. This rule didn't please Karen, who was very eager to let me know that she had just spent 12 DOLLARS on this coffee from STARBUCKS.
She argues with me by saying that the public pool in the next town over allows it. I keep saying the same rehearsed response, that it’s our policy that outside food and drinks can't come in the pool. I still can’t believe what she did. She dumped the coffee onto our computer, so I called the authorities. They arrested her, and the town prosecuted her to the full extent of the law.
93. Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish
I worked at an outdoor gear place for a while. One incident comes to mind though, which involves an ex-Marine who worked at our store fixing bikes. He had to run to the back to grab a part, and as he was going back to the bike shop on the other side of the store, a customer who was already being pretty loud and aggressive with everyone decided to grab my co-worker by the arm very aggressively and try to spin him around to face him. It worked out horribly for him.
His Marine training kicked in, and the next thing I know the angry customer man is laying in the remains of a display about eight feet away. Of course, he jumps up screaming and yelling that he's going sue us and get my co-worker fired, etc.
The manager comes out, hears the story, looks at the security footage, and tells the customer he is never allowed to grab employees like that. He said that he's welcome to call the authorities if he would like because she's willing to press charges against him for assault, and he was banned from our store.
No one at the store was upset about losing that customer. He was kind of notorious for being a jerk and constantly trying to game our return policy.
94. Going In Circles
I was talking to a customer over the phone. After going back and forth on an issue we couldn't help with, the customer said something to the effect of, "Well that's not good enough". Being fed up at this point, I simply said, "Well, you not liking the answer doesn't mean the answer changes".
She snapped, "That's really unprofessional", And I said, "You thinking it's unprofessional also doesn't change the answer". And then she said, "Let me talk with your manager". That's when I executed my mic drop.
To which I got to say, "I am the manager, we're going in circles. If you'd like you can email me you can, in which case I'll review your complaint to determine if it needs to be escalated". She was not happy when she hung up.
95. Mother And Daughter Tag Team
I worked at a restaurant with my mom. I got the job when I was 18, and my mom had been working there for 25 years. She worked her way up from waiting tables to bartending and had been bartending for years by then. The first summer I worked there as a server, it was a typical, busy summer night. My mom and I had been there all day.
We had both been working double shifts, and it was coming close to 6 PM. The restaurant was set up with a bar side and a dining room side. I was in the dining room with two other servers; one was an older lady. I remember hearing a horrible scream. The older lady ended up slipping and falling right in front of the kitchen to the door. She shattered her elbow and her knee.
She couldn’t move, so at that point, we were all waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Dishes were stacking up, and no food was going out of the kitchen because none of us could get in. My manager that night had to take over all the tables from the server who fell had. Just before the server fell, I had a new table seated.
Apparently, the host informed me she saw the couple practically fist fighting in the parking lot before they came in. I greeted the table, and they seemed okay. They both ordered drinks, and I brought them promptly. They ordered their food and ended up getting FOUR entrees for the both of them. They were all expensive seafood dishes, and at that point, their check was over $100.
A couple of minutes after I put the food order in is when the other server slipped and fell. Therefore, the food for my table was taking a little longer. The food finally came, and my mom just happened to help me run it over. We put it down, and the woman goes, “FINALLY.” We explained that an older server fell in the kitchen and had significant injuries. There's no WAY they didn't hear it.
Then the man then said, “WELL, THAT'S JUST GREAT.” The woman started manhandling the lobster roll she got, complaining it was cold. I told her we could get her another one right away and asked if they needed anything else. The lady said, “Well, now I NEED another drink!” My mom was bartending and I had about five other tables going.
So, my mom made the drinks and brought them to the table. The woman at the table said to her, “Oh, well, you’re really good at your job.” My mom told her she had been there for 25 years, to which the woman responded, “Oh, so you have to pick up the slack for all the others?” My mom said, “No, we are a team and all help each other. Plus, your server is my daughter.”
The woman was looking to get a reaction, so she said the meanest thing possible: “Oh well, I’m really sorry about that.” Being a calm and collected person, my mom just said, “Well, I’m not. My daughter is pretty great.” The woman lost her mind and began screaming and cursing at my mother at the top of her lungs in the middle of the dining room.
The man at the table got up in the middle of the interaction and just went outside. My manager ended up having to comp all of their food. Other tables that weren’t even mine were coming over to me and apologizing because they had seen what happened. They even overtipped me because they felt bad about what went down.
96. Every Office Needs An Otis
A while back I was working in an office that allowed dogs. It was an open floor plan and since customers never came into the office, we kept the dog food and water bowls right by the front door, just because it was the most convenient space and no one else would see them but us who worked there. Of the six of us who worked in the main office area, I was the only one who didn’t have a dog and I always felt horribly left out.
To make matters worse, across the way was a doggie daycare. One day, a very frantic woman came in and she had an absolutely massive Basset Hound with her. Usually, the only people who came into the office were associates who had appointments with someone working there, but it was rare they brought their dogs. She ran up to me and said, “Do you work here?”
I said, “Yes, how can I help you?” And she said, “I wasn’t sure if you took walk ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer.” I didn’t know what she was talking about at that point and I said, “Come again? Who did you call exactly?” Thinking if I could just saddle her off to whoever she came to see, I wouldn’t have to decipher her problem.
She said, “Well it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes and I’ll be back in a few hours and—" At this point I wasn’t thinking of the doggie daycare. I thought maybe she was a friend of someone here. I said, “Well alright, can I get your name please?” And she said her name and then asked if I needed her to sign anything.
I was so confused at this point I just said, “Why would I need you to sign something?” And she left almost immediately. So I took Otis (the dog) to the back and showed him to my coworkers and no one knew the woman or dog. I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but at the same time, my wish for an office dog had been granted! And Otis was supremely chill.
All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of. He just loved attention from anywhere he could get it. At the end of the day the woman, thank God, came back. She said, “Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. How was he?”
I said, “He was a champ.” And was about to say “But why is he here” when she said, “That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity, I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?” It honestly took me this long to realize what had happened.
She thought we were the dog daycare. Now, I probably should’ve corrected her. But I loved my day with the office dog and I did want to get paid for supervising this strange dog all day. I just threw out the number that sounded fair and appropriate “That’ll be $20.” I said. She replied “Reaalllly?!” In this very high tone, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overshot or undershot.
But she paid me and left. My coworkers were laughing hysterically when they realized what had happened and we thought it would just be a good story for the future. Wrong. The next week...she came back! She said we were so much more affordable and less overcrowded than her other place, and that she was happy to use us. I was glad for the company so just took him.
I didn’t think there was any way she couldn’t have at least some idea we weren’t a dog daycare. The whole ordeal was so strange I just figured, “don’t question a good thing.” I was much younger and dumber then. Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.
One day, we took our office Christmas card photo and Otis was over that day, so we included him. In a Santa hat. It was pretty great. But it turns out Otis’ owner was friends with one of our clients who I guess happened to have the card out on her table or was kind enough to display it alongside her other holiday cards. Because one day, Otis’ owner came in holding the card and walked up to me and said, “I can’t even believe I’m asking this but... is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it.” I froze in my tracks.
She said it with a note of surprise, as though she was looking around and putting it all together for the first time. No coincidence that this was the first time she wasn’t in some crazy rush either. She was like, “Then who are all these other dogs?!” And I explained. I was terrified she was going to demand her money back, or worse, take some sort of action against us for misrepresenting ourselves as a dog care business, or complain to corporate.
Instead, she basically said, “Why didn’t you ever say anything!” And I explained we just really liked having Otis around. She stopped for a minute and seemed to be thinking and said, “Is that right?” And I said yes and told the story of how I was the only one in the office without a dog so loved the company. She seemed a little flummoxed or hesitant, understandably, because the whole thing was so weird.
She turned to my coworker and asked if I was telling the whole truth. I don’t know why she thought my coworker, also a stranger to her, was any more trustworthy than me, but hey. Strange times. Coworker backed me up. So she said, “Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00.” And she left Otis!
I couldn’t believe it! I said, “So he can stay?!” And she replied, “Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?” And off she went. Otis stayed my office dog until his family moved away, luckily right around the same time I took a new job.
97. No Connection
A very grumpy high-society woman came to the store saying her brand new 3,000-dollar Microsoft surface bought by her husband was defective because she could not get internet when she was on the move. I quickly realized she was talking about Wi-Fi, so I tried explaining to her how Wi-Fi actually works. Boy, was that a mistake!
I told her that she could not use her Wi-Fi outside her house, but that she could share her smartphone internet connection. She would have none of it. She said I was lying to her and making fun of her. She even asked to speak to my manager, who then proceeded to tell her the exact same thing, almost to the word. She left screaming.
98. It Just Looks Old
My husband’s mom is very ignorant and known to say really stupid things. Most recently, we were in Italy and she asked why they didn't just tear down the Colosseum because it looked so old. I was the definition of speechless. She wasn’t even physically there, she was just seeing it on social media! She doesn’t believe in leaving the United States because she thinks it is the best place, so she doesn’t need to see any other places. Honestly, everyone is probably better off that she stays where she is at!
99. That’s What Big Brothers Are For
When I was in the fifth grade, a lady grabbed my brother who was in the third grade by the neck. She picked him up and threw him three to four feet against the lockers. She was mad because he had pushed her child out of the way when her kid cut in line in front of him at the water fountain. I couldn't believe it. I just started going off on her.
I was calling her every name I could think of while following her out the door. I wasn’t using your standard fifth-grade insults. My dad was a Marine, and I was saying all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to have heard from him that I amassed over the years. I followed her and her kid out the front door and got to the circle where buses pulled in to pick up the kids.
Then, she turned around and came at me like she was trying to destroy me. There were no teachers around. They were all inside, trying to find out what was going on. It was just her and me, and I could see in her eyes that she was really going to hurt me. She grabbed me by the shoulders, picked me up, and shook me as hard as she could the whole time I was screaming.
Then I heard car breaks, and my mom football tackled her and beat the bejesus out of her. My mom had layers upon layers of that lady’s skin caked under her nails and bruised knuckles from punching her so hard. That night, I got ice cream for trying to protect my brother and was sent to bed early for saying the words I shouldn’t have.
100. HOA Karen
This happened over a year ago. I'm 29-year-old man and am a homeowner. I bought a house in 2019 from my uncle because he was well set and wanted to retire to his second home by a lake. Before buying the house, my uncle warned me that the neighborhood has an HOA, but it only affects those who joined it and my uncle thankfully did not.
Besides that, the price my uncle was offering was half the home's value. I couldn't pass up the offer. So I bought a house in an HOA neighborhood that wasn't a part of the HOA. I thought I was okay. I was so, so wrong. Right after I moved in, I got a knock at the door. When I opened it, I was greeted by an older woman with short greying blonde hair and a face covered in thick makeup.
She was holding a welcome to the neighborhood gift basket. She introduced herself as the president of the HOA and asked to come in so she could help me fill out some forms. I knew what she was trying to do because my uncle warned me she did this to every new homeowner in the area who wasn't a part of the HOA. I quickly and bluntly stated I was not going to join her HOA. The change was frightening.
Her smile quickly disappeared and she started saying that I did not have a choice as all new homeowners are mandated to join. I told her I knew in advance that was a total lie, and that I will not be paying any dues or fines. I said will be ready to call a lawyer if I have to. She called me a thorn to the neighborhood at that point and said she'd be back.
We did not speak to each other for some time. I expected her to start sending me fines in the mail, but the most I usually got were letters stating that my grass was getting too tall, or my driveway needed sweeping. Those never bothered me because they are normal home chores and need to be done regularly anyway. But several neighbors that were on the HOA's side made it clear they didn't like me because I didn't join, just like my uncle.
I said that was fine. We're neighbors, but we don't have to be friends. They said that was fine too because I'm an outsider and they'll never accept me until I join the HOA. Later in early 2020, I got word from a friend that people were starting to buy a lot of disinfectant, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer in mass. I decided the best option was to order these things online.
I got eight big 12-packs of toilet paper, a case of 20 bottles of hand sanitizer, three boxes of disposable latex gloves, a couple of boxes of disposable face masks, and a case of 20 large cans of name-brand disinfectant spray. I set for the delivery to be signed for only me as I did not trust anyone not to take my packages if they were just left on my porch.
When the packages were delivered, several neighbors saw me getting lots of toilet paper and some other packages that contained the other stuff. And just because I'm a paranoid guy, I still bought more of the same stuff when I saw it in stores. Like those small cheap four-packs of toilet paper, or off-brand disinfectant sprays. I bought them because I had a feeling some friends or family might need some soon.
And I was right. As expected, toilet paper, disinfectant, and sanitizer pretty much disappeared from store shelves for miles around. And people were fighting over hoarding it. Meanwhile, I've got a very generous supply that I still haven't come close to using up. However, word of my supply got around fast when people started needing some.
A friend of mine ran out of toilet paper and had no hand sanitizer. So I gave him a couple of the generic four-packs of TP and a bottle of sanitizer at my door. A few family members ran out too, and I shared with them as well. They were all extremely grateful. But then came the downside. I ended up with several neighbors knocking on my door and asking to buy my supply or wanting handouts.
I refused and said I only gave some of what I had away to friends and family. They made it pretty clear to me before that we'd never be friends since I refused to join the HOA. Moreover, if I were to give some to one neighbor, they'd all want my supplies, and then I'd run out really fast. They didn't like this and harassed me several times from the sidewalk.
I just ignored them. Later the HOA Karen showed up at my door and told me several neighbors had run out of all the items that this post is about. It got ridiculous fast. She then said she wasn't asking, but demanding I share my stock with my neighbors to set a good example. I told her to buzz off because that had nothing to do with me. I may be a jerk, but I'm a well-prepared jerk.
Also, I've read her HOA bylaws online. So even if I was a member of her HOA, which I was not, I wouldn't have to give up my stock either way. She left while yelling at me that one day I'd regret not being a good neighbor or being a part of her HOA. Well, I did regret it. The next time I went to work I was notified around noon by the cameras I had at my house that there was a thief breaking into my home.
I could see video of them on my smartphone and it looked like a woman in a spandex suit with her face covered by a hockey mask. I called the authorities immediately and was allowed to clock out at work so I could rush home. Right around the time I got there, officers were walking HOA Karen out in handcuffs to a cruiser. She'd broken into my home by using a crowbar to force open the back door.
When they caught her, she was tossing all of my toilet paper and any other supplies she could grab out into my backyard, where her kids were picking it up and bagging it. I pressed charges and HOA Karen got six months in the slammer and probation. HOA Karen's husband called me to apologize for his wife and told me that he had been planning a divorce for a while because this isn't the first time she's been in trouble with the law.
CPS got involved too because she was using her kids to help pilfer me. So he was going to file for full custody in the divorce. HOA Karen didn't return and someone new was elected HOA president in her place. Her husband didn't move and I see him from time to time. There's no hard feelings between us. And yes, he did get full custody of his kids because his wife had a darker history with the law than I thought.
We're sort of friends now too as we've occasionally had a drink together and he helped me replace my back door that his ex broke. I'm making this post more than a year later because I just saw HOA Karen again. I was visiting some friends in another city and saw her working at the local supermarket there, bagging groceries. As soon as we saw each other she obviously recognized me because she scowled and refused to look at me again the entire time I was there. Karma is a real witch, isn’t it Karen!