“I can help who’s next!” I call out, wiping the last of the PIN pad down with a brown paper towel covered in disinfectant spray.
I look up to see a Karen approach the counter; white and oh-so privileged, walking with her nose up high and a stick up her ass, staring at me like I don’t got a degree. She has a cart full of clothes, a bag full of returns, and an attitude burning through her visible nostrils because of course, she refuses to properly wear a mask.
I turn around to throw the paper towel in the trash, praying to dear God I don’t get fired for reaching out under the plexiglass and shaking her to death. I silently ask the Lord to give me strength as I turn back around and ask Karen how I can help her out today in my best customer service voice, interlocking my hands so I resist the urge to clapback and throw hands.
It’s not a lie when they say everyone should work retail. I certainly believe it needs to be required by the state to do so. In fact, there should be a law that states “every single human being must work retail in order to achieve any ambitions, live a successful life, and/or retire.” Yup, I’m calling my representative as we speak.
I have dealt with Karens in retail too many times to count, and I have so many stories to tell that I could ultimately write a full-fledged, 200 paged book—a New York Times Bestseller—if I’m attempting to be modest, of course.
If this comes out as a rant, I sincerely apologize (that’s a utter and complete lie), but like my coworker says there are only so many Karens I can take.
The disrespect in retail is uncanny.
To be yelled at, talked down to and belittled every day by customers, specifically Karens is beyond absurd.
Treating workers like crap just because you don’t have a life shouldn’t be allowed. Treating workers like crap just because you want to save two dollars or 48 cents when you used the entire coupon to purchase the item shouldn’t be allowed. Treating workers like crap because you want to argue that the blanket is on clearance when it’s clearly not and was already marked down shouldn’t be allowed. Treating workers like crap because we can’t throw away cardboard boxes anymore due to the PANDEMIC and accusing us of going to your house and giving you the box ourselves, shouldn’t be allowed. Treating workers like crap because we don’t have whatever you want in stock due to the PANDEMIC shouldn’t be allowed.
You asked a question, Karen, and I gave you the correct answer, the most accurate information told to me by my manager. But oh no, let’s discredit me by telling me I’m not the supervisor and would rather talk to the supervisor because you don’t like what you heard.
Yes, Karen, yell and shout to the rooftops that you will never shop here anymore as if we actually care. Give me an attitude why don’t you as I try helping you and figuring out if we have the size you want in the store. Go ahead and throw a fit because you can’t return something from literally two years ago. Oh, I’m so sorry you believe you paid more than what you are getting back from the return, even though it’s clear that you didn’t pay the original price with all these discounts you had shown in our system, but maybe if you had the physical receipt and didn’t rip off all the tags and waited for months, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
We are living in a pandemic.
People are sick.
People are suffering.
People are unemployed.
People are dying.
And here you are, screaming at an innocent retail worker and being passive aggressive because you are not getting what you want, because you feel entitled on saving less than a dollar on your purchase, because you are so privileged that you can’t move your return to the side, because we can’t take your items out of the bag, because we have to wipe down the counter with a disinfectant (that of course, doesn’t contain bleach) for your safety and ours, because our fitting rooms aren’t open.
Cry me a river, Karens.
I really could care less.
It’s not the workers’ fault for whatever problem you have with the new policies and changes made by corporate because of Covid-19.
Take. It. Up. With. Corporate.
We just work here.
We just do what we are told.
We are just like you, trying to survive in this world, trying to stay safe and healthy, trying to provide for our family members, trying to afford to go to school, trying to save up and provide a better life for ourselves.
I am lucky to have a job. I am lucky that I am not in the hospital fighting for my life. I am lucky to be healthy, that my family and friends are safe. I am lucky to be alive while unfortunately, many are not.
So this holiday season, to all the retail, grocery, and essential workers working their asses off, I would like to give a shoutout to each and every one of you. I appreciate and love you for coming to work and putting up with all these Karens every single day. Your presence and work doesn’t go unnoticed. You honestly deserve hazard pay.
And to all the Karens of 2020, well, I hope you know…we talk crap about you five seconds after you leave. We know you’re not sorry, and trust me when I say, we definitely aren’t either.
Do with that what you will.