Karens Vs. Managers

November 21, 2023 | Scott Mazza

Karens Vs. Managers

“Let me speak to a manager”—these are six words that no retail employee wants to hear. Only—plot twist—these managers were more than ready to deal with whatever Karens came their way. In fact, they were so victorious, these people took to the Internet to document their glory…and, okay, some of their failures, too.

1. I’m Like A Bird

By sheer circumstances, I was the only one on duty that evening, effectively making me the stand-in manager. Just as the day was winding up, a woman stormed in, aggrieved that we were out of decaffeinated coffee. 

She wanted to vent to a supervisor. Well, that was me since it happened to be a one-man show that day. Plus, the coffee equipment was all tidied up for the night as we were packing up.

Her response knocked me off balance. Hurling insults at me, she proclaimed that she would find an 'actual' manager and have me dismissed. She even splashed me with an unappealing cappuccino machine residue, seemingly on the verge of vaulting the counter. 

Clutching a concealed hammer in anticipation, I kept urging myself to stay calm. I acted as though I was about to dial law enforcement, and that made her leave. The door was promptly locked once she was out.

In a surprising twist, she returned momentarily, only to tragically collide with the glass door, akin to a disoriented bird. Quite a sight that was. What a fool, honestly.

The Dumbest Customer Questions EverShutterstock

2. That’s What They Call Owning

This was, hands down, the best interaction I've ever had. A customer, Karen, started complaining about not wanting to pay the price we had quoted for her computer repair—the very same price she agreed when she dropped it off. Then, she asked to speak with the manager. So, I fetched him from the back.

The manager patiently listened as she rattled off why she believed she was entitled to a discounted rate, which clearly made no sense. The manager made eye contact with me from over her shoulder. I kept my cool. Then he firmly stated that no, the initial quote was final.

She was clearly unhappy and declared it unacceptable. Even threatened to voice her complaints to the owner, whom she claimed was her good friend. But what she didn't know was a bit funny. 

The manager casually pointed out that he must not be such a good friend if she didn't recognize him, because the owner was him—the same person she had been talking to right from the start.

The look on her face was priceless and truly made the entire ordeal worth it!

Embarrassing StoriesShutterstock

3. Cheesed Off

Here's a story from my time working at Steak 'n Shake. A customer wielded a coupon for a burger, fries, and a shake at a given price. The small print on the coupon clearly detailed a 39-cent additional charge for cheese on the burger, despite featuring an image of a cheesy burger. Still, nothing could've braced me for her extreme reaction.

She created quite a scene in the restaurant, accusing me of unfair treatment and false advertising. I explained that while the picture may be misleading, the cost of the cheese was clearly noted in the fine print, but sadly, I didn't have the power to change it. I tried highlighting that we were arguing over a bare handful of pennies.

A woman dining nearby had overheard our conversation. She got up, placed 50 cents on the table to cover the cheese cost, and said, in a nutshell, "I'll cover the cost of your cheese, just quiet down.”

But her action only made the first woman angrier. Sensing the unfolding drama, my manager intervened. He took the cheese charge off the bill. Honestly, what on earth, Karen?


4. A Slight Overreaction

The squad and I were running the joint, and no one had any clue our ketchup pump was as empty as a hermit’s address book. This kiddo, about 10 years old, was hammering the dispenser trying to score some ketchup—zip, nada, nothing was coming out. Seeing the kid whack the heck out of the ketchup, I figured it was time to step in.

I was like, shoot, we're out of ketchup. I’ll fetch a new bag straight from the kitchen. Bear with me a couple of minutes, and we'll be back in the ketchup business. I seized the empty dispenser, got it cleaned up in the kitchen, loaded it up with a fresh bag and headed back. That's when she showed up—the ultimate Karen.


Me: "The ketchup was a goner, so I replaced it.”


Me: "Ummm, sure. Hold on a sec.”

Walked a couple of steps, pirouetted, and bam! There I was—the manager!


Me: "Lady, mind your volume. The ketchup was out. Told your boy I'd be back in a jiffy after refilling it”.


Me: "Lady, please. Tone it down. You were nowhere around. Your boy was trying his luck with the out-of-order ketchup”.


Me: "No idea. Ma'am, you need to gather your stuff and vamoose.”


The other customers were clearly peeved off. At this point, I was totally fed up—so I called in the fuzz. The Karen spewed some gibberish while the cops quizzed me. I spilled my side of the story too. She claimed I used force against her son, shoved him away, and relocated the ketchup beyond his reach.

I defended myself and proposed to present CCTV footage (complete with audio) as concrete proof. They gave it a look, thanked me, and walked out to confront Karen.

Officer: "Ma'am, who can take care of your son"?


Officer: "Alright. You are under arrest for threatening and filing a bogus report”.

More screeching, threats, and waterworks. She was finally pinned for the phony report (minus the threats) and was issued a lifetime eviction from not only our restaurant but the entire mall it's situated in.

I couldn’t help but feel terrible. Not for the Karen, but for her poor kid. He surely deserves better...

"My Thanksgiving Was Ruined!"Pexels

5. Do You Know Who I Am?

During my time working at a call center, I often engaged with clients who had a high-demand nature, almost as if they believed they were the center of the universe. They'd typically demand to speak with a higher authority, not me. I always made it a habit to check their account's history to review what actions had been done previously.

Shockingly, they usually got what they wanted, regardless of whether it was warranted or not. I found this approach frustrating. It seemed as if we were only feeding their sense of entitlement by always giving in to their requests. 

I remember once, I explained to a lady that if she didn’t pay her bills within 60 days, her services risked interruptions. Her response was totally unexpected.

With an indignant tone, she shot back something along the lines of, "Excuse me? I am a respected client and I won't be treated that way". Frankly, it was absolutely extraordinary.

Chilling Night Shift EncountersPexels

6. It’s Never Enough

Listen up folks! I once was a manager at a well-known BBQ joint—let's call it "Famous Charlie’s". There was this character who we named “Nacho Lady” for reasons I’ll soon explain. Picture this: a bit on the heavier side, passionately into alternative health and essential oils, married to a serviceman. 

The type who converses with her two-year-old as if they're an equal because, well, she's convinced her child will change the world. This lady had the iconic "Karen" vibes from head to toe. We all grew anxious every time she rolled in. We gave her the nickname Nacho Lady due to her peculiar takeout order: our nachos. 

Doesn't sound earth-shattering right? And it wouldn't have been, except she wanted everything on the side. Now, I get why as nachos can turn to mush pretty quick, especially for takeaway.

However, the thing some folks don't realize or like is getting a visual of the actual portion sizes. Two ounces of anything isn't a lot. That's the standard for cheese, chili, beans, nacho sauce, the whole nine yards. 

Even if it's all portioned out equally, some customers, like our Nacho Lady, aren't happy with what they see and that's when trouble brews.

She didn't appreciate our portion sizes and insisted on more for free. Thankfully, our takeout pros were apt at standing their ground and following rules.

Unsurprisingly, she didn't accept this and demanded to speak to a manager. That'd be me or one of my two counterparts depending on the day. She would also order two kids’ meals, pork sandwiches, and fries. Again, not an issue, but she had very specific requests.

The pork needed to be dry (sans BBQ sauce) in a separate container. The kids’ buns toasted, a rarity for us. Additionally, she demanded we drop the fries as soon as she entered, ensuring they’d be crisp and hot for her long journey home.

Her meticulous demands resulted in only managers taking her orders and reviewing them with her. This was undoubtedly the most nerve-wracking part, as she concertedly checked everything on the waiting table in our takeout area.

Also, her attitude was very much...Karen-like. That’s when all the problems arose. The fries were never up to her standard, so I’d have to send them back for a redo. Same went for kids' sandwich meat, cheese sauce, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips.

To add further tension, she somehow procured a stash of undated, unsigned “free kid’s meal” coupons. A coupon is manageable, but typically you only use one per transaction. Instead, true to her Karentraits, she insisted on using two, essentially getting her kids' meals free of charge. 

This escalated to the point of having to call our General Manager, even on his days off. He always gave in, but this started to impact our finances.

Having her as a regular wasn't worth it anymore due to the amount of waste and resources her orders required. Thankfully, my co-manager, Billy, a lady who wouldn't take nonsense from anyone, took a stand and banned our Nacho Lady despite the GM's reluctance.

The day it happened, we all congregated in the back office, glued to the security tapes as Billy stood up to her. I'll never forget that day. I've since left restaurant management due to the stress, but I’ll always cherish my own "Karen" tale from that time.

Sir, This Is A Wendy's: Perplexing Customer Service MomentsShutterstock

7. A Bunch Of Suck Ups

I work at a shop that fixes vacuum cleaners. It's surprising how few people keep track of their vacuums. More often than not, when someone comes to pick their vacuum up, they'll claim, "This isn't my vacuum" or "My vacuum didn't have these scratches".

Usually, I'd respond: "It really is your vacuum, and it did come in with these scratches". We had this happen so frequently that we started taking snapshots of the vacuum with its serial number and the owner's information. 

We'd hand them a copy of the serial number and ask them to bring it back when they came to collect their vacuum. We hoped this would solve the problem—but unfortunately, it didn't.

In spite of the proof we had, I recall a woman practically sobbing because she was convinced we'd lost her vacuum cleaner. Even though we had photos of it, as well as her personal information, and the matching serial numbers, she just didn't think it was hers. 

It seems like people believe we're part of some complex scheme where we swap the details on vacuums just for kicks. It really goes to show that people should keep an eye on their things!

Ideas That Backfired factsShutterstock

8. Having Her Cake And Eating It Too

I used to clock in part-time at a bakery nestled within a grocery store. As you can imagine, I had my fair share of difficult customers. We had a binder that was brimming with laminated copies of nearly 100 different designs that our skilled decorators churned out on a regular basis.

Customers would flick through the pages, select a design they fancied, and share the specifics like when they wanted it, the size, the flavor, and any modifications in color, etc. Our decorators would start their day early at 7 AM and remain on duty until they finished all of their assignments located in our order queue.

Typically, they'd clock out by early to mid-afternoon. The bakery and the store both wrapped up for the day at 9 PM. One evening around 8:15 or 8:20 pm, a lady popped in with a request for a cake. I initially thought she must be interested in the cakes that were readily available in our cooler for those who needed a quick and unfussy option.

I pointed towards the cooler and asked her if she liked anything she saw. That's when the it hit the fan—every retail worker's worst fear. Apparently, I must have cracked her up because she bursts out laughing and corrects me by saying, "No, honey, I need a wedding cake”. 

Not to worry, I thought. I pulled out an order form, jotted down her details, and inquired when she would need it".


Considering the time and our closing hour, even if I had the prowess to decorate a cake, I couldn't attend to her needs. So I politely informed her that our decorators had clocked out for the day, but assured her that the cake would be ready to pick up first thing the next day. While she wasn't thrilled, she muttered that it'd work.

Continuing with her order, I asked her to specify the size she needed. Our bakery wasn't exactly high-end; our pricing was reflective of this, and nearly all of our items were delivered to us frozen. We had a standard set of sizes for our cakes available.

She pulled out her phone hurriedly and thrust it towards me, saying "Whatever that is”. The image of the cake on her phone was breathtaking—pristine white frosting, 7-8 tiers, adorned with fondant decorations and blown sugar.

Before moving any further with her order and letting her down when she saw the end result, I explained to her that recreating this masterpiece was beyond our capabilities. This wasn't a denigration of our decorators' skills—they were extremely talented self-taught bakers who didn't have professional baking or decorating education.

I kindly suggested another chic bakery that I knew could cater to her sophisticated needs better than us. And, as expected, she demanded, "Can I speak to your manager"? At that time, having worked at the bakery for well over a year, I was entrusted with the responsibility of closing up the department single-handedly.

Given this, I was the only one around. I conveyed this to her but agreed to jot down her contact details for the manager to reach out to her the following day. "Alright. Get me a store manager”. On any given night, the grocery store would have between 1-3 store managers supervising the store and its departments.

So, I used our store phone to request a store manager to come over to the bakery. While we waited for the manager, she was shooting me death stares. But she would stop that behavior soon enough—a manager I was quite chummy with arrived at the counter in no time and inquired about the issue.

Before she interacted with the customer, I briefed her. Upon reaching the customer, the lady began weaving fabrication about me, accusing me of being dismissive and refusing to accommodate her. I tried to contest it, but the manager advised me to just focus on my duties in the back.

She returned after 10 minutes, shaking her head and massaging her temples. "Man, that lady was a piece of work.” Ah, the joys of customer service...

Most Cringey Slip-Ups FactsShutterstock

9. Thirsting For A Fight

I'm a part-time server and about a month ago, I had a family of three‚mom, dad, and their ten-year-old son—as my customers. They appeared ordinary initially, but things soon got ugly.

As usual, I took their order, served the drinks, and attended three other tables that had arrived slightly earlier. Five minutes later, after noting down a large group's order, I headed towards the first family where the mother—let's call her Karen—was flagging me down.

Despite her glass being half full, Karen complained about needing more water. I assured her I'd get it when I could and then attended to the other two tables for their orders. Then, unexpectedly, I heard Karen angrily shouting at one of our carryout staffers. On approaching, it turned out the issue was my inability to instantly fetch her more water. 

As a swift solution, I returned with a full jug, given her apparent thirst.

But it didn't end there. Karen's anger continued as she didn't have a Sprite refill for her son, even though they hadn't asked and his glass was nearly full. Apologizing, I fetched the Sprite and alerted my manager about the ongoing issue.

When I was away, Karen's husband levelled up the scene by insulting my manager face-to-face. The worst bit? They didn't calm down despite our exhaustive efforts. They even got their meal on the house and a gift card, and all this chaos was over a simple glass of WATER.

Once they had quieted down, I apologised to my other tables for all the commotion. Fortunately, they were sympathetic, even apologising for the unreasonable family's actions.

I left with a lingering thought—what must this kid go through if he ever doesn't satisfy this pair's whims?

Rudest CustomersShutterstock

10. Being Extra

I'd have to chuckle at those customers, let's just call them 'Karens', who assume that they can pile up their plate without pulling out their wallet. No matter where you go, getting additional servings of meat, queso or guacamole isn't free. This one time, I was serving a couple who had ordered a salad. They wanted extra meat, followed by a generous helping of queso, then more queso.

I politely informed them that each additional scoop came with an extra charge. The woman seemed stunned and reacted rather roughly, using strong language to express her disbelief over our pricing policy. She was upset that she was being charged for extra servings. 

She questioned our costs compared to the other branch, as she claimed they never impose such fees. I had the perfect comeback, though. With a wide grin on my face, I casually dropped the fact that I was, in fact, the general manager of that other branch, so I was very aware this wasn't the case. 

Additional food would come with a charge, like it or not. She then demanded the store owner's number, as well as the number for corporate.

I explained to her that I could not divulge personal contact numbers and asked her to leave the premises. I had to ban her from both the stores after that. She did lodge a complaint, but can you guess who reviews them and responds back? Yup, that would be me. Then, when I returned her call, she promptly hung up on me.


11. Cold Cash

Simply put, I'm just a regular Joe. Once, while I was working at a movie house, a lady wanted to buy four tickets. Back then, that would set you back about $26. Instead of using bills, she dumped a bag of loose coins on my counter.

When I asked her if she had counted it already and she replied no, I pleasantly told her that I wouldn't count it for her and recommended that she tally it herself. But, instead, she protested that it was my responsibility to do so. This banter went on for a bit until she insisted on speaking to my boss.

I upheld my stance and repeatedly told her no. Eventually, my manager showed up because she could hear the lady's commotion. When the lady complained about my rudeness, my manager supported my decision and stated, "We aren't required to count such a large sum of unsorted change".

Even after my boss left, the lady persisted, so I sternly warned her to depart or risk getting the cops called, though I had no intentions of doing so. She dismissed me arrogantly and demanded I collect her coins for her. My reply? I wished her a pleasant day.

Infuriating Shutterstock

12. A Magical Appearance

Oh, this takes me back. Once upon a time, as a young man, I used to work as an assistant manager at Blockbuster Video. For those who don't know, before the days of Netflix, you had to physically go rent a movie at a video rental store and pay them actual money for it. These movies even came on these clunky things known as VHS tapes.

One night, as I was working my shift, the store phone rings. A woman I'll refer to as 'Karen' was on the other end. She had received a call in the day about her overdue movies and was not happy about it. A quick look at her account on our system confirmed that three movies were overdue and should have been returned a week ago.

This information merited a very heated response from her—she literally screamed at me over the phone. She insisted that her daughter had rented those movies, and they had been returned after her sleepover. I checked the return bin, but they were not there. I even checked the shelves to see if they had been misplaced, but no luck.

She then tore into me accusing us of trying to swindle her. She warned she would tell her husband, a lawyer, who would sue us all. I continued with my shift, unaware of what awaited me. An hour later, 'Karen' barged into the store.

She stormed to the counter and slapped down a stack of VHS tapes, berating the clerk in the process. From where I was checking in returned movies, I could see that they were indeed the ones her daughter had supposedly "returned". But it didn't end there.

The following day, I was greeted by a man in a suit. A friendly guy, he asked to speak with the manager. As I approached him, he revealed that he was 'Karen's' attorney husband. He had come to apologize for his wife's behavior. You won't believe this, but he said, "We're trying to get her under control. The doctor just prescribed her Xanax.”

Customer Isn’t Always Right facts

13. It’s Never Enough

I once grabbed a bite at a good old dive diner that's been serving up frozen meat dishes since the 1950s; only the coffee and eggs are fresh. It's a place where you know exactly what to expect.

A family of four, two parents and their boys around six or seven years old, walked in. The mom made a fuss over wanting a specific table right in the middle of the room that was just vacated, despite there being plenty of booths and other tables available.

She wasn't too thrilled about waiting for the lone busboy to clear out the table, despite the manager bringing him over immediately to take care of it. Since they were situated right next to us, I couldn't help but overhear.

Their orders ranged from appetizers to steaks, and shakes for the kids. Their server, who was also juggling a handful of other tables, served coffee and pie to an elderly couple who arrived later. This set the mom—let's call her Karen—off. She had a major meltdown, complaining about other customers receiving their orders first.

As coolly as possible, the manager explained that it takes longer to cook certain meals compared to serving already-made coffee and pie slices. Karen simmered down, but not for long.

Once their meal arrived, Karen started eating, but her boys weren't allowed to get their food from the buffet until then. The children struggled to reach the buffet, so a server from another section tried to lend a hand. But that pushed Karen's buttons once again. She angrily questioned the server's right to interfere with her kids' meals.

The manager intervened, asking the teary-eyed elderly server to step out for a while. In a bid to pacify Karen, the manager offered them complimentary birthday balloons.

While all this was happening, Karen's husband and their kids were pretty quiet. The children seemed embarrassed, and the husband didn't seem too surprised by these outbursts. When the husband's steak arrived, Karen once again chided the manager for a poor quality meal, demanding replacements—twice.

Remember, this isn't some fancy restaurant, it's a casual diner known for its greasy grub. You'd think people would manage their expectations, but I guess not everyone does.

The manager maintained her composure throughout, repeatedly apologizing for their less-than-perfect dining experience but didn't go overboard with her appeasement attempts. When Karen announced they'd never return, the manager simply wished them a good evening. What a pro!

Disrespected employeesShutterstock

14. Onto Bigger, Better Things

About 15 years ago, I worked as a manager at Little Caesar's. My schedule typically included three or four late shifts per week and one morning shift. Back in those days, we had a $5 pizza promotion, which ran specifically on Wednesdays.

Throughout the rest of the week, we'd offer deals like "two pizzas for X dollars". One such night, a difficult customer—let's call him a 'male Karen'—ordered over the phone and came to pick it up. He initially ordered a "two pizza" deal, but once he arrived, he also wanted bread and sauce.

Unfortunately, he didn't bring enough money for the additional items; he only had enough cash to cover the pizzas. I apologized and explained that there wasn't anything I could do. His response was heated; he argued that his kids wanted the bread. Irrespective, I explained again that I was unable to help.

As a manager, I couldn't give away food for free. I was in hot water if I did, especially with numerous customers present. Had he been the only customer, I might have considered it. However, his reaction was extreme: he had an explosive temper tantrum, insulted me, declared, "This isn't over"! and left with the pizzas he'd purchased.

The following day, I discovered he'd exaggerated the incident to the store manager, resulting in the manager berating me over the phone. This customer claimed I had scorned him for not affording bread for his kids and publically humiliated him.

In truth, I was apologetic and careful to avoid trouble by giving away food for free. Regardless, the manager disciplined me for supposed poor customer service skills and compensated the man with a free $40 order.

When the man visited again the following day, both the store manager and I were present. Despite myself attempting to be polite and even apologizing for any misunderstandings, he remained curt. He took every opportunity to imply that I was part of an irresponsible younger generation with a poor grasp of customer service.

While frustrating, his visit also gave me a chance to implement a strategy. I prepared his pizzas conscientiously, but then deliberately created a bit of a mess in the process. With this, I informed the store manager that I would no longer tolerate working in a place where employees were treated poorly.

After two years of employment, I quit on the spot, advising the man to enjoy his pizza on my way out. Shortly after, I landed a 9-5 manufacturing job at a local family-owned firm. It was refreshing to experience how a company can treat their employees with the dignity they deserve.

Drive thruWikimedia.Commons

15. Nothing Comes For Free

I used to be a manager at a popular, mid-level handbag store. Picture bags that would be loved by the average "Karen", priced between $200-400. Most of our clientele were wonderful. However, there was this one woman who really stood out. She was a tall, well-built, red-haired lady with quite a striking physique. 

She stomped in one day, wanting us to fix her two-decade-old bag for free. When we couldn't fulfill this request, she insisted that we swap her heavily worn, even rather smelly, old bag for a shiny new one, absolutely free of charge. Now, our policy had recently been updated and this service wasn't free anymore. 

A free repair was usually only provided within the first year of a new bag purchase... not a bag that was 20 years old. So, I explained this to her. At that time, I was quite young for my position, so she refused to accept my explanation and asked to speak to a manager. 

When I told her that I was indeed the manager, she turned the same shade of red as her hair. She started to rant and threaten to call corporate, even swore she'd never step foot in the store again! Honestly, it didn't feel like such a loss. 

After all, we were losing a customer who refused to pay for the repair of a 20 year old bag and hadn't made a new purchase in the same amount of time. My response to her was a polite customer service smile and the phrase: "I'm truly sorry, but it's the company policy.” Demanding our company’s contact number, she intended to follow through on her threat.

So, I gave her the standard customer service number that anyone can find online. She cluelessly accepted it and stormed out, leaving her keys behind on the counter. On realizing her oversight halfway out, she turned a deep shade of red and came back to grab her keys, all while I wore a smile on my face.

The entire scene was absolutely comical. And imagine my surprise when she returned months later, working with a different team member and completely ignoring me.

Flirting or Being Friendly FactsShutterstock

16. Agree To Disagree

A lady named Karen wanted to return an open, clearly used board game, but she didn't have a receipt. I suggested that she take store credit, but she wasn't happy with that and demanded to speak to my manager. After hearing her out, my manager stepped in.

As the discussion got heated, she pulled out that classic line: "Back in my day, the customer was always right". My manager, looking thoughtful, responded, "I've never really believed in that mantra". In the end, we could only offer her store credit.

People working at a hardware store.Getty Images

17. Faking It

Once a fast food employee, I had an interesting encounter with a man exhibiting typical "Karen" behavior. He attempted to pass a counterfeit $100 bill through the drive-thru window. It was clearly fake, but standard procedure required me to confirm its invalidity with the security features on our cash deposit machine. 

Predictably, the machine rejected it because of its glaring inauthenticity. The gentleman did not appreciate my implied accusation. In response, he parked his car and stormed into the restaurant, mounting a tirade and throwing insults my direction over the issue of his rejected bill. 

He demanded to speak with a manager and I swiftly retreated to the safety of the staff room, eager to escape the absurdity of the situation.

Genius LoopholesPexels

18. Talking The Talk

Here’s the funny thing: My boss was really named Karen. Shockingly, she was quite hypocritical, even favoritism was evident in her actions, and she had this quirky habit of nervously laughing after every sentence she spoke. It was as though her strange laugh highlighted how silly her comments could sometimes be. 

Her conversations would go like this: "I believe, ha-ha, we might give this approach a try, ha-ha. It could possibly, ha-ha, turn out more efficiently". Exactly! She had this unique manner of speaking.

Reason I Was FiredShutterstock

19. Aw, Muffin

I enjoy letting disgruntled customers vent their frustrations for a bit before I calmly ask, "Would you like a cookie"? Then, right as they're about to lose their temper, I gesture towards our bakery display and say, "It's on the house! Please have a complimentary cookie while we sort this out".

Most customers are taken aback by this unexpected change of pace and feel embarrassed about their outburst—whether they accept the cookie or not. Those who take the cookie usually find it challenging to stay angry while enjoying a free treat. 

Most of the time, I'm able to resolve their concerns by offering a simple solution, such as a gift card or a discount voucher.

Bad parentsShutterstock

20. It’s Never Enough

I recall an interesting incident from a few years back. I was working for a cellular service company, and they decided to offer free, unlimited data to everyone for about a quarter of a year. The idea was to essentially test our network capabilities, but since everybody was getting free data, there didn't seem to be any room for complaints. 

Or that's what I assumed. Surprisingly, we had a customer who reached out, demanding to speak to a manager. Her request was ridiculous. The free, unlimited phone data wasn't fulfilling her needs—she desired the same unlimited access for her hotspot too. 

She even went to the extent of threatening us with job loss because we didn't provide her with free hotspot data—a service we didn't offer to our paid customers at that time either.

Despite her constant complaints, we managed the situation by escalating her concerns to various levels of management, about five, till she eventually gave up.

Scariest ExperiencesShutterstock

21. Would You Like Fries With That?

I once had a job as a manager at a sandwich shop where we had a rule for all takeout orders—we wouldn't prepare the fries until the customer came in. This ensured they got fresh and hot fries. It's something we always communicated to customers over the telephone.

One day, a difficult customer phoned in her order and asked if we could prepare her fries straight away so that she wouldn't have to wait for them. I explained politely that wasn't possible, as if she didn't pick up her order within about five minutes, the fries would be cold and soggy. She seemed to get the point.

However, you won't believe what happened next—she arrives around 45 minutes after placing her order and starts shouting at me because her fries weren't ready.

I calmly explained to her that if I'd made her fries when she initially placed the order, they'd now be cold and unappetizing because she took 45 minutes to get to the shop. Despite this explanation, she didn't seem to care. She carried on expressing her outrage, mentioning that she was a nurse and didn't have any time to spare for waiting on fries.

I told her that her only options were to either wait for the fries to cook, which genuinely only takes a couple of minutes, or to leave without them. She decided to wait. What a difficult customer she turned out to be.

Karens vs employeesPexels

22. Something’s Fishy

Back in high school, I worked at a supermarket and decided to return last summer for some extra work. We had a promotion that offered ten items for $10, and the 11th item was free.

Though we were open around the clock, our markdowns only activated at 6 am. We couldn't modify this on the checkout system earlier than 6 am, as per the policy clearly highlighted on the flyer's cover page and our mobile app—this detail is crucial. Sometimes, I'd cover the night shift if they needed an extra hand.

One morning, around 4 am, a lady came in with a shopping cart brimming with tuna cans—around 300 to 400, she'd basically emptied our display shelves. However, when none of the items rang up as discounted, she began yelling at the cashier. 

Despite clarifying our sales policy, the lady accused us of false advertising and demanded the discounted price. To diffuse the situation, I stepped in, but that simply reignited her anger. I pointed out the stated policy in our flyer that discounts didn't begin until 6 am—this made her turn livid. 

She barked, “ARE YOU REALLY ARGUING WITH A CUSTOMER RIGHT NOW?!” I calmly explained that I wasn't arguing, just sharing what the promotion indicated. But she demanded to meet the manager.

The manager repeated the same information we had already given her. Furious, she commented about why she even bothered shopping with us. After that incident, I decided not to return to that job the following summer.

Waiter's ValentinesShutterstock

23. What A Dough Head

As a head cook at a pizza restaurant, we're sometimes faced with a regular customer who tries to get free pizza by complaining. Every time we reject her attempts, she threatens negative Yelp reviews or vents at whoever gets stuck answering her calls.

One of my most memorable interactions with her was when she ordered a gluten-free pizza and then complained that the crust was "too doughy", insisting we give her the pizza for free. 

But, as anyone who's made gluten-free crust knows, once it comes out of the oven, it has a satisfyingly crunchy texture. It's almost on par with a cracker, even when we're making it.

It's nearly impossible for our crust to turn out doughy, even if for some reason it hadn't been baked properly in the oven. The following week was filled with laughter as we would tease each other, saying, "Don't let it come out too doughy"! whenever it was time to make a gluten-free pizza.

Disrespected emoloyeesPexels

24. Meet Dave

So, what's the male equivalent of a "Karen"? Could it be a "Dave"? I'm just going to call him Dave. I was setting up a customer service center overseas, and we had this customer, Dave, who refused to talk to anyone who wasn't American. Now, I'm American, but I was working at the overseas location during that phase of the project. 

So, when Dave's call is escalated to me, his first question is, "Are you in the U.S"? I had to answer honestly—no, I was not in the U.S at the moment. Dave didn't take this well at all...he was LIVID.

So, he hangs up. But, that's not the end. Dave spends the next three hours repeating the same pattern—he would call, demand to speak to an American, get transferred to me, ask if I was in the U.S, and then hang up. So, we kept repeating this loop for three hours.

Calm People Lost Control And Snapped factsWolf Leaders Academy

25. Off The Deep End

Once, a woman named Karen tried to return a pricey purse that was clearly already used. Karen accused me of calling her dishonest and became continuously more upset, pacing restlessly by the cash register. Things escalated, and rapidly so.

Karen then threatened to call some men to "deal with me" after my shift. All throughout this incident, I was calmly asking Karen to leave the store. Looking back, though, I suppose my firm requests might have aggravated her. In a burst of anger, Karen snatched the purse and swung it at me, lunging over the counter.

Right around the same time, my co-worker—who hadn't clocked in yet, and hence appeared like a regular customer—saw the whole ordeal. They came to my defence, shoving Karen into a wall and upsetting a glass shelf holding about 30 bags. Karen sprawled on the floor, the bags piled around her. 

She got up, surprised by the turn of events, and hurried out of the store.

Babe Paley FactsShutterstock

26. Doing What’s Right

I work at a Barnes and Noble cafe. About an hour before we close, a lady that we'll call Karen walks in, and I proceed to take her order. She isn't a regular customer but even so, she develops an attitude when I ask her what she wants and if she prefers it hot or cold.

In a notably arrogant tone, she requests an iced mocha. I get to work, make her drink, and hand it to her. I wish her a good night and then turn around to chat with the other two folks at the counter. Suddenly she exclaims loudly that her drink is incorrect and insists on getting another one.

Her grievance is that her drink is cold but she wanted it warm. I apologized and prepared another one even though I had verified her order in the first place. As I got busy making the new drink, she started issuing broad criticisms about younger generations not having respect and nitpicked on minor, personal matters.

After about two minutes of this, I hit my limit. I finished her drink and walked it over to her. But as she was taking it, she uttered a brazenly offensive remark aimed at one of our African American baristas. That was the last straw. I took the drink back, tossed it in the bin, and took off my apron.

I emerged from behind the counter and reprimanded her for her unacceptable behavior. I reminded her that her mere purchase of a five-dollar drink gave her no right to treat us disrespectfully. I pulled out five dollars and some change from my own pocket, threw it down at her feet, and vehemently told her to leave.

I wasn't a manager, but I felt it was necessary. Karen seemed shocked. She eventually regained her voice and delivered a harsh warning before storming off and driving away. I then tossed her discarded shoes into the trash, straightened a chip stand she'd hit and casually returned to my prior movie chat.

My two fellow baristas were shocked and warned me about getting sacked. However, no consequential actions took place, and I haven't seen Karen since. I did feel bad for losing my cool, yet I'm not sorry for standing up against her behavior. 

It's quite uncommon for me to react so aggressively, but I guess sometimes you just gotta show Karens their limits.

People Prove Karma ISN'T RealShutterstock

27. In The Privacy Of Your Own Truck

My amazing boss definitely had my back when I encountered a difficult situation at work. At that time, I was a timid young woman, and while I'm still somewhat timid, I've grown a bit since. I must admit, the leadership in the place I worked was rather supportive overall.

Here's a little background: I used to work a shift at a truck stop. It was a hot summer day and my task was to manage the large semi-truck pumps, a duty I surprisingly preferred, as the truckers were generally more respectful than average customers.

On this particular day, a fellow worker, who was picking up trash around the perimeter of the stop, approached me and reported that a truck driver was urinating into a bottle right by the pumps. And mind you, he wasn't being discreet inside his cabin, he was in plain sight of families in RVs. 

Despite the restrooms being a mere slow two-minute walk away, he chose to relieve himself in the open. Now, if he had done it within the confines of his truck, it wouldn't be a big deal, as I've seen worse things happen in a truck. 

But no, he chose to do it in plain view. As per the rules whenever someone does something inappropriate at a pump, I got on the PA system and made a GENERAL NON-SPECIFIC announcement.

I didn’t mention any pump numbers or provide any specifics. I simply said, "A friendly reminder that we do have restrooms in the store for your convenience, and all activities at the pumps are on camera”. I unknowingly stirred up trouble that I was about to face.

Barely a minute later, a large man strutted in, abrasively yelling at me behind the counter. As he raged on about being shamed and threatened me for his assumed public embarrassment due to his bladder issues, my supervisor, who is notably shorter than the truck driver, stepped in. 

Looking straight into the man's eyes, my boss said with an unfaltering voice, "You need to leave the store right away". The man was speechless for a moment before he launched into a tirade, flipping us off and vowing to never return. 

And while all this was going on, I bit my tongue although I was itching to point out that he had brought the embarrassment on himself. No one would have known who I was referring to had he not thrown a fit about it.

Well, anyway, shout out to AJ, my awesome boss. I hope you're doing well. My advice to everyone: please refrain from inappropriate actions when in view of others. I do realize bladder issues are real and sometimes urgencies cannot wait, but he could have found privacy in his cab. 

True Crime Cases factsShutterstock

28. Record Scratch

I used to work as a loss prevention manager in a retail store. I was often the "bad cop" when disputes occurred. One of my tasks upon the eruption of an argument was to attempt to calm the situation down. If things got physically tense, I was the only staff member authorized to physically interact with the customer in the name of safety and security issues.

One distinct incident involved a disgruntled customer—let's call her Karen—who had come in with her young child to the customer service desk. Karen was livid as she was unable to return a DVD she had previously bought from us. Among the reasons for our refusal were her lack of a receipt and the DVD's condition. 

It was visibly used, both opened and marred with a scratch. By the time I walked up to the escalating dispute, Karen was already in full cry. She instantly turned her torrent onto me, claiming my employee didn’t know our store protocol and insisting upon the DVD's return. 

I clarified that both our store's guidelines and copyright laws prevent the return of an open and evidently used DVD. Despite my explanation, she was adamant—and I could tell things were about to get bad.

She tried to argue that there was a scratch on the DVD when she opened it at home. In light of our store policies, I suggested an exchange—assuring that the DVD was opened in-store in order to disillusion any thoughts of its return elsewhere.

Her rage escalated until she eventually yelled, “Fine, I don’t want a refund anymore. Just take it!”. She then hurled the DVD past me like a frisbee in sheer frustration. Unbelievably, Karen called back half an hour later, regretting her outburst and hoping to reclaim her DVD. 

Sadly, the DVD was already “discarded," I informed her with polite indifference. While I could have negotiated help for the sake of $10, I refused to entertain such unruly behavior from any customer.

Accidental ComebacksWikimedia Commons

29. Driving Me Up The Wall

I worked as a chief manager at a moving truck rental business. We had a fleet of F-150 pickups, E-250 cargo vans, and box trucks ranging from 10 to 26 feet. We owned the box trucks outright while the other vehicles were under a special lease agreement.

Our policy required stricter regulations for the leased vehicles due to an increased theft risk. One day, a difficult customer—I'll call her Karen—visited the store to rent a cargo van.

I informed her that to do so, we needed both her driver's license and credit card information. Karen refused and insisted on a $100 cash payment. I remembered this was going to be trouble.

Our policy allowed cash deposits for box truck rentals, with a minimum deposit of $100 unless the pre-rental estimate exceeded this amount. As for the vans, we initially required a $1,000 cash deposit, a policy that was eventually overruled.

Karen's response to the $1,000 deposit was outright refusal, explosion even. We suggested the alternative of a credit card authorization for the total rental estimate. She refused again, stating she only had $100.

In a bid to help, I suggested renting the 14' box truck, which required a $100 deposit with a slightly higher mileage charge. Karen wouldn't hear it, insistent on the van.

After several discussions explaining the different policies each vehicle had, I gave Karen a printout, highlighting the rules. I also informed her that violating these policies would cost me my job. However, she didn't seem to care much about my situation and continued insisting on renting the van with her $100 cash.

At this point, I stopped being friendly and refused her request outright. Offended, Karen stomped out of the store towards her car which was parked upfront, conveniently allowing me to watch her next move.

While this drama unfolded, another customer needed some propane. As I helped the new customer outside, Karen and her boyfriend started checking out the 14' box truck I had suggested earlier.

The situation escalated when Karen returned to the store, insisting I serve her first because she had initially arrived before the new customer. She then attempted to rent the van, this time publicly to manipulate the situation with a potential witness.

Refusing to fall for this tactic, I reiterated with the same calm and composed explanation that the van required a hefty deposit or credit card authorization. I suggested again the 14' box truck which required a minimum $100 deposit.

The rejection stung her, and she tried to pull a sympathy card with fake tears. However, I remained unmoved, repeating for clarity's sake that I genuinely could not break the policy.

Finally, Karen relented and decided to rent the box truck. Expecting her driver's license again for processing, she deliberately made the process harder by not fully handing me the card. I requested to hold the card for reference and completed the transaction.

Towards the end of our interaction, I discovered that Karen did not have the full $100 deposit. When I inquired about the remaining amount, she erupted again, demanding my supervisor. I calmly explained that I was the general manager and any problem she had would be lodged to me by our corporate office.

Frustrated, Karen finally left the store, forgetting her license in the process. After she left, I went about blacklisting her from our company.

The new customer who had involuntarily witnessed the whole ordeal felt deeply sympathetic towards me. In response, he asked if such incidents were common. Jokingly, I said, "The fun never stops..".

It's important to note that my job required me to rent vehicles to anyone, regardless of race or gender. So long as the customers understood and respected our protocols, they left satisfied.

My Ex Lost ItShutterstock

30. One For The Money

Here's an amazing anecdote from my time as a worker at a virtual bank. My workstation was, quite unconventionally, located inside a grocery store as a kind of kiosk. It was not your regular bank. No doors, no cash handling. 

People would have to go to the nearby outdoor ATM for cash transactions but I would assist with any other banking issues.

A woman in her forties approached me because her spouse had died recently and she had to straighten out his accounts. It was heartbreaking to see her sobbing continuously while we worked things out and it bothered me that we were rather in the open for everyone to see.

While I was with her, a customer I'll call Mr. Foolish experienced issues with the ATM and decided to yell about it. He was well aware that I was preoccupied, yet he chose to interrupt. The machine had swallowed his debit card, which can happen due to various reasons. 

But most commonly, it's because someone tries to insert a damaged card into the machine, despite the plentiful signs warning against it. I informed him that we could replace his card but it would take a while. I then returned to my priority task—assisting the mourning woman. However, my troubles weren't over. 

Another customer, let's call him Mr. Unreasonable, suffered the same fate with the ATM and decided to cause a scene. Even though it was apparent that I was busy assisting someone visibly distressed, he started berating me.

Feeling sorry for the woman, I apologized to Mr. Unreasonable and promised to put up an 'out of order' sign on the ATM once I was free. He seemed placated for the moment and went shopping. After putting up the sign, I returned to helping the widow.

Soon, Mr. Unreasonable returned and decided to vent some more, blaming me for ruining his day and even accusing me of making the bereaved woman upset. The woman let out a heart-wrenching cry then rose to physically confront him.

Next was a moment I won't forget. Mr. Unreasonable stumbled into his own cart from the woman's push and ended up hitting the back of his head. The crowd that gathered, including the store manager, heard him blame the woman for his fall, which was when I stepped in".

Dude, you slipped," I defended the woman, who was so worried about my job that she later recounted the entire episode to the store manager. As far as repercussions for me were concerned, I was working at a grocery store banking kiosk, not my dream job, so I couldn’t have cared less.

The next day, I was told by co-workers that Mr. Unreasonable had returned to complain but was sent away by the store manager after he reviewed the CCTV footage and saw his fall was a result of his own clumsiness. The manager threatened to call the authorities and charge him with trespassing if he created disruptions again.

I never heard from the store manager about it and life moved on in the banking kiosk.

Instant Karma factsShutterstock

31. Bird Brain

Back in the day, I used to run a shop in a neighborhood pet store chain. Despite my youth, I was in charge, but many underestimated my role. One evening, a lady strolls up to me clutching a standard $30 parakeet cage, asking if we could include some additional perches, food, and other extras at no cost if she purchased the cage.

I courteously explained that I couldn't simply give away merchandise, but I did propose a discount on her whole order. Instead of appreciation, I was met with an explosion of anger and a tirade about how she worked in retail and was well aware that customer happiness should be my priority.

Her rant continued unimpeded for some time, with no opportunity for me to get a word in. Finally, she dropped the cage and stormed out of the shop. There was a general chuckle from myself and nearby customers after the commotion, with people expressing their sympathy for dealing with such encounters.

Roughly thirty minutes later, my cashier alerts me to an irate woman on the phone, undeniably the same cage lady, insisting on speaking to the boss. The moment I introduced myself, she launched into a reenactment of her ordeal, adding wild fabrications to the narrative. She accused me—the "rude kid"—of lobbing ferrets into their enclosure from a distance, as if playing "ferret basketball"! This was plainly untrue.

She further claimed to have politely inquired about a bulk discount because she intended to purchase a "luxurious parrot cage" and other pricey essentials for her "high-end parrot," projecting her spending to exceed $500. Every single aspect of her story was fictional.

Her tale allegedly ended with the "rude kid" rudely suggesting that if she could afford such pricey items, she should be able to pay the full price. I managed to bite back laughter and allowed her to finish her rant, before suggesting she contact our corporate office with her complaint.

Her response was a defiant refusal, insisting she merely wanted me to know the type of employees I had and suggesting who should be axed. When I asked for a description of the culprit, she detailed myself to a tee. I admitted, "Ma'am, I'm actually the “rude kid” you've been describing. None of your allegations are true, but you might still want to call corporate since our store has 24/7 security cameras. On their request, I can provide the footage of our encounter.”

Her response was an infuriated yell, “You're just a punk!” before slamming the phone down. Although we didn't really have any cameras, my bluff seemed convincing enough. It was indeed a moment of sweet satisfaction. I've experienced plenty of "Guess what, you're talking to him" situations in my pet store career, but this one took the cake for its sheer absurdity.

People fired factsShutterstock

32. Do Not Touch

A senior executive ended up indefinitely shutting down an account and barring the related address from receiving any services. The account-holder—a woman—experimented with different possible solutions to restore her services. She even asked to speak to a manager after learning it was impossible.

To say she was persistent would be an understatement—just to give you an idea, big issues usually only get escalated up to a management level that is three steps below a senior VP. I was astonished when I read the case notes and account history—she had reached out for service more than half-a-dozen times each month for over three years.

It appears this woman was frequently in touch with the company, demanding compensations citing a lack of service. The company not only blocked her address but also left a warning note. The note stated that if the services at this address were resumed under any circumstance, the employees responsible will lose their jobs.

The Most Satisfying Revenge StoriesShutterstock

33. More Than She Bargained For

As the deputy manager of a well-known ladies' fashion outlet, I had a rather interesting experience. One day, a lady walked in with some items she wanted to return and a gift receipt. According to our store's policy, refunds for items returned with a gift receipt are provided in the form of gift cards instead of cash. This, predictably, didn't go over well.

This customer, let's call her Karen, was so agitated she had to depart. But not before she made a dramatic exit—in a classic Karen manner, she slammed our glass door violently enough to break it. Fortunately, we had her contact details from her receipt, so we were able to send her the repair bill for the door.

Strange lawShutterstock

34. Do You Know Who I Am?

Imagine being a cop and having to deal with a woman like Karen. "Can you guess who my husband is"? "Don't you dare lay a finger on me. My husband is Mr. Important". Sure thing, ma'am, please just share who your hubby is while we head on over to the jug. 

Or picture Karen as the wife of a military officer: "My husband is a captain. I'm waiting for my salute"!


35. Some People

One of the worst experiences I ever had was while working at a café where I used to be employed. We had a lady who had Down Syndrome working with us for three days a week. She was a delightful and helpful person, who we considered a friend of our family. 

Given the high number of tourists we serve during the summers in our town, I've come across all sorts of people.A couple came in and they ordered a smoothie and an iced americano. Being a trained barista, I am aware that an americano is not the same as a regular coffee. 

But often I refer to it as "coffee" as a lot of the time, customers aren't really bothered about the intricacies of their caffeine intake. However, when I called his order a "coffee", the man corrected me specifying it was an americano and not brewed coffee. 

I reassured him that considering we only had an espresso machine, it would inevitably be an americano. Meanwhile, I completed his wife's smoothie order which I gave to our Down Syndrome coworker to serve to the lady.

However, she returned with the smoothie shortly. When I asked her why the customer didn't accept it, she was uncertain. I then went to the lady and asked if something was wrong with her order. I was shocked with her frank response of feeling uncomfortable with my coworker serving her, essentially due to her special needs.

I sternly informed her that our coworker was proficient and an integral part of our team. With this, I set out to prepare her husband's drink. Habitually, I called out "iced coffee" when the iced americano was ready. He didn't respond immediately, so I had to repeat "sir, your drink is ready", with bits of frustration seeping in due to his wife's behavior.

When he came over, he reminded me that he had ordered an iced americano and not an iced coffee. Somewhat perturbed by him, I told him that it was indeed an iced americano. 

He went on to school me about the difference between espresso and brewed coffee, despite me having explained earlier that we only use an espresso machine. In response, I told him with a stern look "this cup contains two shots of espresso, water, and ice”.

He responded with a simple "uh huh" and then insensitively asked if my coworker with special needs had prepared the drink. I replied, unapologetically, he was welcome to take the drink or leave it, but he would have to leave our café if he couldn't show common respect. 

I was later spoken to by my manager for using strong language during this encounter.

Related To A KarenPexels

36. I’m The Only One Who Matters

As a former House Manager at a bustling performing arts venue, I crossed paths with one obnoxious lady that I can't forget during a Saturday night performance of The Book of Mormon. To this day, merely thinking about her makes my blood boil. 

What was this lady's issue? The presence of a young veteran in a standard wheelchair sitting in front of her, accompanied by his elderly parents seated next to him in banquet-style chairs.

Allow me to give you some background. We used these banquet chairs for customers with mobility concerns. We employed a simple yet effective approach. Remove a small section of strategically positioned seats, making space for the mobility device, and fill the remaining spots with banquet chairs. 

This worked flawlessly as the heights of both seat types were the same. None of this mattered to this lady, who I'll refer to as Karen. For Karen, the only thing that mattered was her viewing experience which was being ‘ruined’ by this family. And moving to another vacant seat wasn't for her! Wasn't I aware of how much she'd shelled out on the tickets?

My refusal to reposition the other, equally valued ticket holders led to further outrage. Suddenly, money wasn't the matter at hand anymore. Her tirade became progressively vehement, grandly punctuated by her designer purse and gold-ringed fingers. 

For a solid 18 minutes during the intermission, she complained non-stop while I tried to peacefully get her to quiet down. At one point, I even had security ready on the sidelines.

Her piercing voice, as white and alarming as her pearly grin, could've put any whistle to shame. However, that wasn't even the worst part—her inconsiderate behavior made the family opt to vacate the venue. 

I tried my best to compensate them by offering free arrangements like tickets to another day or show or a refund. However, they politely declined and decided to leave. All the while, Karen resumed and enjoyed the rest of her show.

My lingering thoughts about Karen encapsulate sheer frustration. Somehow, karma always has its way, and I hope that this self-centered Karen is always compelled to walk out mid-way during any show she attends, for the rest of her unsatisfied and discontented life.

Disrespected employeesShutterstock

37. Being Extra

The part that really gets me is just how persistently argumentative these 'Karens' can be, typically about issues where they're clearly wrong or it simply doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things".

X should have strawberries"! But X doesn't; Z does though. Would you prefer Z or we could add strawberries to X for an additional $8. 

"No, strawberries should already be included with X". (Shows them the menu for validation) "I don't understand why the menu indicates that because X is supposed to have strawberries". So are you asking for X with strawberries? "X is meant to come with strawberries"!

Honestly, ma'am, I'm not sure what more to say. No amount of debating will make your statement accurate. All you need to do is either request "add strawberries to X" or "prepare Z". Just make a choice. In the meantime, could you kindly step aside while you contemplate your decision?

Related To A Karen factsShutterstock

38. A Slice Of Life

Once upon a time, while working at a cafe/bakery, our manager had a memorable run-in with a difficult customer. One of our team members, a young lad of about 18, was having a tough time at home. On this particular day, a middle-aged woman, around 50, walked into our bakery with a friend in tow.

Our young colleague was the one to take their orders. The woman was curt and demanding with him, but what really took the cake was how she inspected her pizza. She ripped it apart and complained, "This isn't even fully sliced! You'd think you'd know how to do this by now". I can still see my manager's face; he was livid.

I've never seen anyone so close to losing their cool, his veins pulsated as he struggled to keep his composure. Instead of causing a scene, he promptly asked the women to leave, informing them not to return.

They demanded to speak to the owner after learning he was the manager, but the owner backed him up. The women threatened to involve the police, but decided against it when we refunded their money.

To this day, I find it hard to comprehend how someone can be so lacking in empathy.

Are You Serious? factsShutterstock

39. Nowhere To Go But Down

As the head of a complaints department for a multinational corporation, I primarily deal with difficult customers, who I'll refer to as "Karens".

Before reaching me, these "Karens" must first communicate their issues to my team members, all of whom can resolve complaints. From agents to supervisors to managers, every level has the power to provide a solution.

Often, our conversations look like this:

"Regrettably, Karen, we're unable to meet your demands this time. We hope your next experience with us will be more satisfactory".

"That's preposterous! All I asked for was a ticket to the moon and the secret of Atlantis. I demand to speak with your superior"!

"Well, Karen, I am the final authority in these matters. There's no further escalation".

"You can't be the highest authority. I want to talk to the owner of your company"!

"Karen, I assure you, I'm the final stop when it comes to resolving issues".

Unsatisfied, Karen hangs up and proceeds to email the CEO about my alleged terrible demeanor. Naturally, the CEO forwards me the complaint".

Dear, Karen,

Referring to my previous email..".

HR NightmaresShutterstock

40. Pie in The Sky Idea

As a newbie in Target's retail team, I took the job because I was at the end of my tether. One day, a woman enters the store and heads straight for the Pizza Hut express. Unfortunately, they had run out of pan pizzas and were about to close in a minute's time.

Unconvinced, the lady approached me at the self-checkout station demanding to see a manager. Without breaking stride in what I was doing, I called for a manager. The woman expressed her disbelief about the pizza situation.

The manager tried to clarify that they were indeed out of pan pizzas. At this point, the woman became visibly upset turning a deep shade of red. Trying to lighten the atmosphere, I casually pointed out that Pizza Hut was already closed. 

She expresses her intense craving for a pan pizza, leading a colleague and me to suggest a few nearby pizza places she could try—one of them even being a full-fledged Pizza Hut, all of which were still open and serving pan pizzas.

However, she was fixated on getting a pan pizza from Target's Pizza Hut Express. After expressing her frustration, she exited the scene, mumbling something about needing to collect a prescription. We all held back from informing her that the pharmacy had actually closed two hours prior.

Customer not rightWikimedia.Commons

41. I’d Do Anything For Cheese

One of the most memorable "Karen" encounters I've had involved an older lady trying to trick my store by changing price tags on cheese blocks. She stumbled upon a $5 chicken multipack label and decided to shift it onto a cheese pack that was actually priced at $6.

I saw her sneaky maneuver and subtlely offered her assistance, curbing straightly inquiring about her motives. She raised an argument about the cheese being $5 in the previous week, to which I clarified that she was mistaken—the $5 tag belonged to a different cheese brand.

Her comeback was, "If not, why are they in the discount bin"? I had to correct her again—they weren't in any discount bin.

I explained once more that the cheese wasn't priced at $5. After that, she mumbled to herself as she walked away. I thought I'd managed the situation and resumed my duties, but boy, was I mistaken! A loud quarrel at the cashier's section indicated more drama from her end. My colleague then signaled for management assistance.

My gut feeling told me it was her, and alas, I was right. She was loudly arguing with the cashiers that "I had allowed her to buy the cheese for $5". As they were explaining the need for managerial consent for price changes, I intervened, asking about the issue. Instantly, she jumped at me, saying I wasn't the manager!

I confirmed I was the manager, and definitely hadn't promised her a $5 cheese deal. She then took another desperate shot, "Listen! I'm a good friend to the managers, and I…". I shut her down quickly, reminding her, "I am the manager. And I don't recognize you at all". 

She stormed out of the store, ranting about my "incompetence" and followed by our security guard. The next day, a group email was forwarded from other stores in the region about a mature woman trying to swindle cheese deals in numerous stores. 

She'd been hopping from one store to another, all in a bizarre attempt to secure a dollar discount on her cheese!

Tales from retailPexels

42. The Cat Who Ate The Cream

When I had a gig at McDonald's, I'd get this visit every day from an older lady. She had a very particular coffee order—a small size, with a whopping ten creamers on the side. Double digits! She'd disappear for a bit, only to return and voice out that her coffee had gone cold. Then, she would request another cup with, you guessed it, 10 more creamers.

Seeing as she visited us daily and seemed a bit lonely, we'd do as she asked. But one day she came back thrice to grumble about her chilly coffee. I politely suggested that maybe using fewer than 10 creamers would keep it hotter. Let's just say she didn't take it well. 

She flew off the handle, hurling insults my way, and even called me a 'clueless kid' who 'can't make a decent coffee', amongst other things. It was quite the spectacle.

Of course, she called for the manager next. Can't say for sure what he said to her. However, her demeanor changed drastically from that instant. She turned pleasant and courteous, limiting her creamer request to just five. Odd woman.

Lawyers wish could forgetShutterstock

43. Look Who It Is

During my time managing a movie theater, we used to have a regular couple, who I'll refer to as "Karen" and "Boss". Boss earned his nickname due to his frequent use of the term "boss" in his conversations with us. In fact, we were so accustomed to their routine, that we would start preparing their food from the snack bar as soon as we saw them at the ticket booth.

By the time they made their way to us, their order was ready exactly as they liked it. I would consider that as excellent service for a regular patron. However, despite our efforts, Karen had a knack for finding something to complain about. 

Rather than addressing them directly to us, she chose a strange method—she would email the headquarters. Every time a complaint reached us, we'd offer them complimentary tickets and snacks. Amid all this, we had another regular visitor, Bob. 

Bob had a unique way of showing appreciation—he cooked for us, not just simple meals, but full, homemade Italian feasts. We all adored Bob, and he was genuinely good-natured.

In fact, Bob and our general manager developed a strong friendship, often sharing meals at Bob's house. One day, as Karen and Boss entered, Bob and the general manager were engaged in a conversation. Spotting them, the general manager sighed heavily, earning a puzzled look from Bob.

When the general manager told Bob about Karen's habitual complaining despite our stellar service, Bob was surprised to realize that it was his cousin being discussed. The general manager even showed Bob the latest complaint email from her. Without wasting a moment, Bob hurried over to Karen and confronted her about her complaints.

From that day forward, Karen never sent another complaint to headquarters

Could Care Less FactsShutterstock

44. A Walk Down Memory Lane

Once upon a time, during my cash-strapped college days, I worked at a call center that represented a certain insurance company. This company had made a massive mistake affecting thousands of clients' insurance policies. 

Our team's job was to handle incoming calls, issuing apologies and trying to sort out the mess while assuring customers that the company was on top of the situation.

It wasn't the most enjoyable gig, to say the least. A large chunk of our clientele were elderly folks experiencing difficulties acquiring their medication due to the insurance blunder. Now, let's get acquainted with a character I like to call Mr. Karen.

One day, Mr. Karen calls, his voice booming from the start about how his meds hadn't been approved and he couldn't afford them without insurance. Initially, I'm inclined to sympathize with him, given his situation.

But regardless, I stick to my script of apologies and attempts to troubleshoot the issue. He, however, isn't buying any of the solutions I propose and grows increasingly irate. After 15 minutes of tense conversation, he demands my name and ID number, threatening to get me sacked—as though I single-handedly brought about his misery.

I give him my first and last name—the latter being quite unique—and that's when the dynamics of our conversation change completely. There's a pause from him, followed by the question, "Are you related to *insert name of a relatively obscure, vintage* baseball player"? 

Surprised, I confirm that yes, the player was indeed my great, great, great uncle.

Yes, a player from the 1920s had turned our hotheaded Mr. Karen into a fanboy. It turns out the elderly customer had seen my relative play during his childhood, which would place him in his late 80s or early 90s at the time of our call. Talking to a distant relative of the player transported him to cloud nine.

Adding to the pleasant twist in our day, Mr. Karen quickly swapped his Karen mantle and became a curious, wide-eyed kid inquiring about everything I knew about my great uncle (who, unfortunately, had passed away 10 years before my birth). This unexpected interaction totally made both our days.

Afterward, Mr. Karen lost his title, but he left behind a heartwarming tale I could share among the endless accounts of furious Karens. So, there you have it, folks. Wishing you a great day!

911 CallsShutterstock

45. We Don’t Do That Here, Lady

One time, during a busy lunch hour, one of my supervisors had to patiently explain to a customer (let's call her Karen) why she couldn't remove the onion from the French onion soup.

Worst First Date FactsFlickr

46. The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

I dealt with an extremely angry customer in the first lane of the drive-thru who wouldn't stop shouting at me. I patiently listened until she finished, giving her a moment to cool down. Then I responded, "Ma'am, take it easy". Her reaction to my unexpected reply was pure surprise, leading her to simply drive away. 

The situation could have taken a different turn, but I'm relieved it didn't.

Tales From The Graveyard ShiftPexels

47. Boxing Clever

I'm a professional mover and one time we were undertaking a massive move. Picture two 26-foot trucks filled to the brim, largely with artwork. When I picked up one painting, the client casually told me, "Oh, that's one of the cheaper ones"—the "$50,000" price tag on the back begged to differ. 

The move was from a sprawling mansion to a city apartment that occupied an entire floor in a building. The lift opened directly into the apartment itself.

By the time we reached the unloading stage, night had fallen. Packing and moving all of their heavy, expensive items was a real challenge, especially with the clients hovering around us. 

They even attempted to dissuade us from taking a lunch break, offering pizza instead. But we needed real food, and also needed a break from their constant presence.

The woman, a classic Karen-type, stressed that the freshly-varnished floors couldn't have cardboard boxes placed on them in case the fibres got stuck to the wood. Unsurprisingly, when we started moving in furniture, she became overly particular about its placement—a task that's typically not a mover’s responsibility.

One member of our crew was ready to resign then and there. But I had a strategy. I told him to stay in the truck while I managed the situation. First, I stacked the cardboard boxes on every window sill, blocking every view from the apartment with boxes, right up to the ceiling.

Next, I covered the kitchen counters with boxes piled high, ensuring Karen would need to unpack them all before even starting to sort out her kitchen. Then, we filled up the kitchen floor, then every bathroom. We avoided all of the wooden floors, of course.

During this whole process, I constantly asked her about where to place every item. "Should it go here, or maybe a bit there"? My team had all taken their breaks by this point, but I tirelessly carried on.

Then, at last, after an exhausting 14-hour day, I walked in carrying a dresser. "Where do you want this"? I asked. She looked around at the clutter, and hesitated. Finally, worn out, she replied, "Screw it, just put it anywhere, I don't care anymore". That, my friend, is when I finally took my break.

Weirdest Rich People FactsShutterstock

48. Pool Party

I had a job at our local community pool, where they have a rule against folks bringing in any food or drinks from outside. So, Karen was quite ticked off when I told her this, especially since she just splashed out 12 BUCKS on a fancy STARBUCKS coffee.

She protested, telling me that the other town's public pool had no issue with it. However, I kept giving her the standard reply, stressing that our rules don't permit outside food or drinks at the pool. 

What happened next left me speechless. Karen intentionally spilled the coffee all over our computer! I immediately called the police. They took her into custody, and later on, she was penalised by our town's legal system to the maximum extent.

Disrespected employeesShutterstock

49. Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish

I used to work at a store that sold outdoor equipment. One memorable event involved a colleague of mine, a former Marine, whose job was to repair bicycles. He was heading to the back of the store to fetch a spare part when an unruly customer, who'd already been causing a scene, roughly grabbed him by the arm, trying to swing him around.

Well, that didn't end well for the customer.

My friend's military instincts surged forth. Before we knew it, the irate customer was sprawled amidst a destroyed display, a good eight feet from where he originally stood. He quickly recovered, started shouting threats about suing us and getting my colleague fired.

Our manager stepped in, reviewed the security tapes, and made her decision. She informed the belligerent customer that it was unacceptable to manhandle employees that way. In fact, she offered to contact the police on his behalf, ready to press assault charges, and served him with a store ban.

No one in the store mourned the loss of that customer. He had quite a reputation for being troublesome and constantly abusing our return policy.

Cruise Ship Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

50. Going In Circles

I had a telephone chat with a customer about a problem we were unable to solve. After a lot of back-and-forth, the customer expressed dissatisfaction by saying, "That's not good enough". Feeling a bit frustrated by now, I reminded her, "Just because you don't like the outcome doesn't change it".

She immediately retorted, "That's quite unprofessional". To this, I responded, "Your opinion of it being unprofessional doesn't alter the outcome, either". Then she demanded to speak with my supervisor. That's when I had my standout moment.

I confidently informed her, "I am the supervisor. It seems we're going around in circles. If you wish, you may email me with your complaint, and I'll assess whether it needs further escalation". She didn't sound too pleased when the call ended.

Tech Support TalesPexels


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