Karens Gone Wild
Though there may be a lot of talk on the internet about the entitled Kens and Karens of the world—those people who ask to speak to a manager before we can even open our mouths at the cashier’s counter—it can be hard to meet one in real life. Well, these Redditors don’t have that problem. They saw Karens in the wild…and these Karens WENT wild.
1. At The Tipping Point
My mom is a Karen. She was always finding coupons for restaurants, and that decided where we would eat. My family was not poor. One day when I was about 15, she and I had lunch at a Tex-Mex place with a buy one get one coupon deal. The total bill ended up being around $11. My mom tipped $1. Oh, but she got what was coming to her.
The server ran out to the parking lot and handed it back to her saying, “You must need this more than me”.
2. All Yolked Up
Once, when I was working at this insanely popular breakfast joint, this seemingly adorable old couple walked in. After I ran them through our specials at their request, the woman ordered the duck hash, and the man ordered two boring poached eggs on toast. All was good…until I brought them their food. The guy started freaking out, and when I asked him what was wrong, his response made my blood boil.
Apparently, he was upset that I didn’t bring him a tablespoon for his eggs. Granted, he didn’t ask for one, but according to him, everyone knows that poached eggs are supposed to be served with a tablespoon. I’ve been a waitress for nearly a decade and I’ve served many poached eggs—yet I never heard this rule. Nevertheless, I apologized profusely and told him I would go grab him a spoon.
I thought that would be the end of it, but I was wrong. He proceeded to yell, “No! My breakfast is ruined now!” Then, he threw his plate of food at me and stormed out. His wife gave me a sympathetic smile as she slinked out behind him. I had to work the next eight hours with egg yolk stains all over me.
3. Clinging To The Vine
I worked at a vineyard where we got the occasional limo full of sloshed people. We do not allow them in because we are not a bar and do not serve trashed people. Occasionally, the manager is away from the door, and that is when these people will attempt to sneak in. I had to approach one of them and tell them politely that their party had too much to drink and had to leave.
Well, turns out she was the Karen of all Karens. Her answer made me clench my fist: “I’m not going anywhere”. I assured her that my staff would not serve her, so it was pointless to insist on staying. I told her if she didn’t leave within five minutes, she would be escorted out by an officer. She didn’t believe me, so I called the local officer we have on-call right in front of her.
I said, “He is on his way. I suggest you leave if you want to save yourself the embarrassment”. As I was going out the side door to get the number off the limo’s plate, she followed me into the back office. Her next move had me livid. She pushed me into a filing cabinet and said, “WE AREN’T LEAVING”. Then, her group came back, grabbed her, and they sped off in their limo.
The officer arrived a minute later, and I gave him the plate number to give them a little scare. All this for a glass of vino. It happens at least three to five times a year.
4. Border Brouhaha
My mother is a Karen who also happens to be totally fluent in Spanish. We were at the Mexico City airport flying to Juarez. We were bringing back a bunch of plates and stuff my mom got while we were there. They were in this huge box. When we got to the check-in counter, the guy said she needed to have the box wrapped. My mother became deeply offended by that.
She yelled, “WELL, I’VE NEVER HAD TO DO THAT BEFORE!! I BRING STUFF FROM MEXICO CITY ALL THE TIME, AND I’VE NEVER HAD TO DO THAT”! Her screaming caused some bewildered stares in her direction. This was a very white woman arguing angrily in absolutely flawless Spanish. That in itself was intriguing enough.
The guy again demanded that she needed to go get the box wrapped with tape, and that would be an extra charge of about 200 pesos (around $10). Instead of doing that, she stormed off, leaving a massive, unidentified box completely unattended—just what airport announcements always tell you NEVER TO DO. My dad and I had already checked in and made it through security while this was unfolding.
My mom joined us at the gate in a huff, regaling us about this slight against her honor. Just as she finished, karma came for her. Five security officers walked up to her—AR-15s at their sides—and asked her to confirm her name. When she did, they yanked her up and started dragging her away. My dad—an attorney—had a “holy cow” moment.
We went running after her. My dad did his lawyer thing; she didn’t get taken in for terroristic threats, and we somehow made our flight. We also managed to get that box of plates back home as well. I make fun of her every time we use them.
5. Tossed Out Of Target
When I had just graduated college, I did a stint at Starbucks as a manager. We made this woman’s iced tea wrong. It was a silly mistake and it would have taken all of thirty seconds to remake it. Instead, she reacted in the most appalling way. She threw it back across the counter, turned to her daughter, and said in the nastiest, never-worked-a-day-in-her-life, soccer mom, “trophy” wife voice: “See, this is why we finish high school”.
Being the manager, I refused her any further service. She thought she had me by the hair when she went to get the Target store manager. She didn’t know that the Starbucks I was working in was inside the Target I had previously worked in. A number of other customers backed up my story, and she was removed from the store altogether.
6. She Was An Endless Stream Of Problems
When I was working at an ice stand, I had a lady come to the window with her two children. It was busy, and the line was long. I took the order for her daughter, and then her son said he had to pee. So, she took her son to the side of our building and had him pee there even though there was a perfectly good tree about a few feet away…AND we had a bathroom that we allowed kids to use.
She was taking a long time, and the line was wrapping around the building. So, I took the next customer while she allowed her son to let loose all over our building. She then came back and stepped in front of the lady, saying she was ready. I asked her to give me a minute since I was almost finished with the customer that she had just stepped in front of. That’s when she went into a deep red rage.
She started to yell really loud about how unprofessional I was and how I had terrible customer service. I then explained to her that while she had her son pee on the side of the building, I decided to try and get the next person out of the way. She went on to deny her son peeing on the side of the building and she said she would like to speak to my manager.
I gave her his number and wrote down my name for her to tell him, which angered her even more. She waited to get her stuff— screaming the whole time as I was making it—then huffed off. The people behind her each apologized for the way she acted, and they all told me I was doing a great job.
7. Film Freak Out
Back in the mid-90s, my mom rented Clerks for the family at the rental store inside the Kroger’s we used to shop at. Meanwhile, she had no idea how raunchy the movie was. She was so offended by it that, the next day, she went back to the store, seeking vengeance. She started screaming at the manager, saying how outrageous it was that they would carry such an offensive movie at a family rental store.
She then demanded that they permanently take it off the shelf. Here’s the crazy thing. They actually obliged her. They never carried the movie Clerks at that location again.
8. All Work No Play
I teach drama, and I once had the displeasure of meeting the most terrifying Karen I think I’ll ever know. So I directed some of the kids in my school’s middle school division in a play of Treasure Island. One day, when we weren’t allowed access to the theater, we did a rehearsal at one of the girl’s homes. Her mother had invited us to come over.
At first, I was wary as something always seemed a bit “off” about her. She was always in an insane rush to get her daughter home after all of our regular rehearsals. However, they had a very large house, and I didn’t want to give up the space, so I agreed to rehearse there. Once we were there, the mom politely greeted us. But something was wrong from the start.
She said the girl was holed up in her room. I asked if she could come and join us, but her mom kept insisting we start the rehearsal without her. I explained to her that her daughter was one of the most important parts of the play, and it would be hard to practice without her. She just kept saying that her daughter had work to do and wasn’t available.
Finally, after about half an hour, the girl came out to meet us, but her crazy mother told us that she could only stay for 15 minutes and then she had to return to work. The girl then turned to her mother and said, “I don’t have any work”, to which her mother responded, “Yes, you do, sweetie”, in the most passive-aggressive way I’ve ever heard someone talk to their child.
I decided to stay out of it, and we started rehearsing with her. I then opened my laptop to show the kids a video of what they did. The mother happened to be walking past at the time, and she ran over and slammed my laptop’s lid down, shouting, “No Media”! But she didn’t stop there. She then lifted up my laptop and ran away with it somewhere.
Since it was my computer, I followed her and asked for it back. She carefully explained that they were a “no media” family and that it was important that the girl wasn’t exposed to that. She then said that her daughter should get back to work anyway, but I said we needed five more minutes. When I returned to the kids, the girl said, “Isn’t my mom so annoying”?
I wasn’t sure how to respond. That’s when I found out the truth. It turned out that this girl wasn’t allowed to watch TV, go on any computer, or even listen to music on an iPod. She was just supposed to do her schoolwork and read books that her parents had already read. She was in sixth grade, so she didn’t have that much work to do.
Nonetheless, her mother would make her study her notes from the day every day and would frequently make her do homework again as it wasn’t long enough. I finally decided I needed to do something and told the mom that she shouldn’t put so much pressure on her daughter. She responded by throwing me out of the house.
9. Don’t Mind Me
When I was in college, a student came in and sat in their chair, leaning back, taking that standard “don’t care” posture. Meanwhile, another woman in her mid-50s came in and sat next to him. No one took any notice at first because, again this was college, and everyone could attend at different times in their lives. But it got weird fast.
Usually attendance wasn’t taken, but it was the first day of a 101 class, so the professor wanted to make sure everyone who was supposed to be there was. The woman had a notebook out but wasn’t on the class roster, nor was she someone who was waitlisted. The professor asked her if she missed the waitlist announcement, to which she replied, “No, Don’t mind me”.
The professor frowned and asked, “Why not? What are you doing here”? Her answer blew our minds. The woman replied, “Taking notes for my son. Like I said, don’t mind me”. The professor stood there stunned. He stated in a confused voice, “Lady, he is in college”. The woman nodded and replied, “Yes, but notes are hard for him”.
The professor asked, “Does he have an IEP? If so, we have a program for that”. The woman said, “No. Like I said, Don’t mind me”. The professor told her, “I do mind. You have to pay to be in this class”. The woman persisted, “I’m not learning anything. Just taking notes”. The professor was left dumbfounded by that. He pointed her to the exit at that point.
He just said, “No. You’re gonna leave the classroom because your son isn’t 12 anymore and can darn well take his own notes. You didn’t pay for classes, so you’re not allowed to be here. Goodbye”! The woman still had the nerve to say, “Well! I will complain to the head of your department”. But the professor still had one more trick up his sleeve.
He told her in no uncertain terms, “I am the head; now leave”.
10. A Recipe For Disaster
I worked part-time as a busboy when I was in high school. We had this family that would come in—a man, his wife, and their two small kids. They seemed like the most ordinary family, but they were actually the destroyers of tables and they always left a disaster. There would be fries everywhere and stuff all over the floor. I sat and watched as one of the kids put the salt and pepper shakers into a glass of milk.
I was already annoyed at that point, but when the dad called me over, I almost lost it. He asked me: “Hey, can junior have a new milk? He had a little accident”. They would scream the entire time with zero reaction from the parents. It was chaos for the entire hour they were there, every time. I had to clean up after them over a dozen times before the hostess asked them not to return. They threw a fit but at least they didn’t come back.
11. Enough, Mom
My mom was a Karen. Every time we would go out to dinner with her, it would be an absolute nightmare. She would complain about everything—her fork was bent, her dish wasn’t as spicy last time, the waitress didn’t address her first, her food was cold, it’s been too long since we’ve seen our server even though we don’t actually need anything.
The list went on. She would voice each of her complaints arrogantly at the server and would follow it up with, “I was a waitress, and we never had these issues”. She was a part-time waitress in the early 90s at a pizza joint. I can’t eye-roll hard enough.
12. Master Of None
A colleague of mine at my school had the most helicopter parent I had seen in my eight years of education. I didn’t think people this nuts existed. This mother felt that each school and grade level should vote for a child to be “master of their peers”. She felt that her kid would one day be the president of the United States and that their early elementary public education should reflect so.
She thought her kid should be voted upon to rule the rest of the grade level, delegating responsibilities to his peers. Her son had just turned five and had skipped kindergarten based upon parent request despite his kindergarten-level formative assessment levels. She forced her child’s teacher to have him present PowerPoints each month on complicated issues such as segregation and photosynthesis.
She would come in on those days to videotape the presentations that were clearly done by her. She would keep him after school three times a week to make sure his reading points not only met what was expected but were ten times what was expected. She left the district with her children in search of a private school where a second grader could be voted as the “master of all grades K-6” to learn how to lead his peers.
13. Mint Moocher
I had been in the industry for over 15 years and I have seen a lot. However, my favorite incident occurred when I was the manager at a steakhouse. My host at the time was a smart-aleck 20-year-old who had a good sense of humor. As a customer was leaving, he scooped at least 50 mints in his arms, so the host said, “Enjoy the mints”!
This infuriated the guy, and he started yelling and cursing. I heard this from the front of the restaurant. As I was walking up to see what was going on, I saw a guy dressed in business casual attire holding a bucketload of mints two feet away, yelling at this kid. My host just had a huge smile and was saying, “No, I’m not apologizing”.
I calmly asked if I could help the gentleman out while being completely lost as to what was going on. He yelled that he wanted me to make the host apologize. I asked him to please calm down and let me talk to the host to see what happened. The host told me, “I told him ‘Enjoy the mints’”! I then turned to this guy, and his face was priceless.
It was now completely red, and he was so mad he was shaking. The mints were practically falling out of his arms. I just couldn’t take it. I was trying so hard not to laugh in his face, and all I could manage to say was, “Sir, please enjoy your mints”. Needless to say, he left in a hissy fit, called corporate, and then I had to explain it to my boss.
We got written up, and we had to give this guy and his wife a free meal.
14. Paying The Price
I worked at a high-end store, so it was common to see customers with a sense of entitlement. At Christmas time, I had a customer who was being absurdly rude to me and my co-worker. I had already told him quite clearly that there was a line and he would have to wait for his turn like everyone else. Once he got to the register, he called my manager an idiot.
This was after he had to re-ring something in, that was it. Little did he know karma was coming to him. Another customer behind him who was about half his size tapped him on the shoulder and said loudly, “Would you mind shutting up and letting these people do their jobs? You are seriously ticking us all off”.
I magically found a 50 percent off coupon for my new favorite person.
15. She Was Whining For No Reason
A lady and her husband came in. Before sitting down, they told us that she was highly allergic to white wine, saying, “If you feed me white wine, I will die”. So I ran around double- and triple-checking recipes, ensuring the kitchen was ready so that her food would be safe when she ordered. Her husband ordered the special.
I made sure to tell her not to eat any of his meal because it was dressed with a beurre blanc sauce that was made with white wine, and I would like her to survive her dining experience. I brought out their food, and the first thing she did shocked me—she took a big ol’ forkful of her hubby’s special. I cried out in dismay as she shoved it in her mouth.
While chewing, she said, “Oh, one bite won’t hurt”. She also single-handedly weeded every server on the floor by forcing them into inane, inappropriate conversations while they were trying to take care of their busy sections. She also cornered another guest in the tiny corridor leading to the bathrooms to aggressively tell him that he was being too loud.
16. Obey Your Commander
My buddy and I were at a movie and these dudes were talking about how they had just gotten out of basic training. They then proceeded to bash the movie, making rude comments out loud and ruining everyone else’s experience. My buddy told them, “Pipe down”. They flipped him off but obliged. After the movie, we were at the front of the pack, right behind the six or seven guys who were being rude.
My buddy said, “That was really rude, how you were behaving”, and one of them—the loudest guy—whipped out his ID and said, “Yeah, well, I’m a Marine, and I fight for your freedoms”. All my buddy could do was smirk. He just so happened to be an officer, so he whipped out his ID and said, “I’m a Marine officer, and just because you have the honor of wearing a uniform doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk”.
Then he made them stand at attention right at the door of the movie theater and apologize to every patron exiting.
17. She Was A Mutton For Punishment
I waited tables at a country club. I had a couple come in once, and as they were sitting down before I had even introduced myself, the woman was already complaining that they had to wait five minutes while we reset their table. She started off by telling me every time she gets the filet mignon, it is awful and cooked wrong. I suggested she try something else, but she declined and ordered it again.
I gave the kitchen a heads up to make sure it was perfect, as to save us all a headache. Her steak came up, and it seemed fine. I dropped her plate in front of her, and I could see she had a smirk on her face indicating she was not amused. She grabbed her butter knife and hit the top of the steak with the flat part three times. At that point, I knew she was about to go off…big time.
She hadn’t even cut into it or tasted it before saying, “This is disgusting”. She had me take it back and bring her a new one. So, of course, we did, and she got her new one. She ate half of it and took the rest home. Before leaving, she wanted to talk to a manager. She complained profusely and got her whole meal free, along with a dessert, and left me a garbage tip.
18. No One Could Hold A Candle To Her
My aunt was a Karen. I was visiting her, and she needed to stop by Walgreens. She had a newspaper ad that stated some candles were 50% off, so she bought ten of them. She got charged full price and flipped out. The cost was a dollar per candle instead of 50 cents. The cashier and I both showed her that she was holding an old newspaper.
The ad even said that the offer had expired a week prior. Then, she shifted to “Well, you could have told me more nicely” and kept complaining. I just kept telling her we needed to leave. Once I finally got her out into the car, I said I had forgotten to grab a pack of gum and went back in and apologized to the poor guy.
19. I Broke It Down For Her
I used to work in the toy department of a retail store. The Leap Frog laptop had just come out, and they were REALLY expensive. I was straightening shelves and I noticed a kid just wailing away on one of these laptops. The mom was nowhere to be found. I approached the kid and asked him nicely, “Is that how you play with your toys at home”?
The kid gave me a sheepish “No” and placed it back on the shelf. I was feeling pretty good about myself…until the kid’s mother came out from nowhere. Her next move took me aback. She very rudely told me that I had “NO RIGHT” to speak to her child that way. I calmly looked his mother in the eye and proceeded to tear into her.
“Ma’am, your son was about to break a $150 toy. Our store has a you-break-it, you-buy-it policy. If you would like me to give it back to him so he can continue hitting it, I would be happy to ring you up at my register for the damages”. She then gave me a dirty look, grabbed her son, and walked off.
20. Fired Up On The Home Front
I was at a parent-teacher interview. A mother came in and said that she was concerned that her daughter was failing. I explained to her that although I thought her daughter was capable of passing, she would have to put in more work at home. After all, she hadn’t completed basically any of the homework assignments. Big mistake.
I then spent the rest of the interview listening to her rant about how I wasn’t allowed to suggest what she should spend her home time on. She told me how I should focus on teaching her daughter more than the rest of the class during lessons just because she was struggling. I politely explained that I couldn’t do that because that wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the class.
The mother then stood up in the middle of the hall and yelled, “YOU ARE THE WORST TEACHER EVER! I’M GOING TO THE PRINCIPAL, AND YOU WILL BE FIRED”. Spoiler: I wasn’t.
21. Fight Or Flight
I’m a pretty mellow guy who travels for a living, and I don’t really let small things get to me. However, a couple of years ago, I was on a flight that was running 30 minutes late. I was already thinking to myself that the connection was going to be tight and it would most likely require me to run or briskly walk for a mile or so through the airport.
I was one of the last passengers to board the plane, and I had to check my bag since there was no more room. The four or five people behind me did the same thing. I worked my way down the aisle, and there was a guy asking people to shift their bags. He was trying to get his oversized bag to fit, and there was no room. He called for the flight attendant.
She walked up and said, “Sir, we are out of the room. You will have to check your bag”. That was it for him. He went OFF on her and started yelling, “This airline sucks. I’m a million-mile member. I want your employee number and name”, and so on. At that point, I pretty much mentally snapped. I felt horrible for the flight attendant.
She was just doing her job, and this guy had spent five minutes making an idiot out of himself and burning up time. People were gawking, cringing, and just hoping he would stop so they could move on. I just yelled, “SHUT UP. SHUT THE HECK UP”! I was shaking with anger. Then, I truly couldn’t hold it in any longer and I went off.
I said, “Take your bag to the front of the plane, check it in, and stop with this insanity. You are what is wrong with air travel. Your sense of entitlement makes me want to puke. If you are a million-mile flier, you know the rules of flying. You should know how this works”. He started spluttering and looking all flustered but didn’t say a single word. And then the best thing happened.
Somebody at the back of the plane started clapping. Soon the whole plane was applauding me. I just sat down and waited while everyone clapped, and this guy took a long walk of shame to the front of the plane. The flight attendant thanked me, and so did everyone else. I didn’t mean to do it, but I just can’t stand people like that.
The best part was I had free drinks for the flight, the attendant gave me a stack of free drink cards for my next couple of flights, and one of the passengers gave me a voucher for free WiFi that he had won. It was very satisfying.
22. Things Got Pretty Heated
I had a parent complain that we unfairly sent her kid home after he was running a 101-degree fever and vomited right in the middle of the cafeteria. She really took it to an unhinged level. She insisted that every witness—in the whole cafeteria—was lying about the vomiting and insisted that the 101-degree fever was caused by her child wearing a sweater.
This mom was not called away from a job to pick up her sick child. She was a stay-at-home mom. She was literally at home when the school nurse called her home phone number.
23. She Had Me Tongue Tied
I worked at a quick-service restaurant, and my store location was near some sort of convention in Ottawa, Canada. The city is pretty bilingual, but not everyone is. I am most certainly not—I grew up in the prairies, where French is NOT a mandatory subject. Anyway, during one of my shifts, a woman was trying to order but she was speaking French.
Although I can get the gist of things if I hear certain words, she spoke rather fast, so I was having trouble. After a couple of minutes of back and forth trying to answer her questions, I turned to a bilingual co-worker and asked her to help me out, for the love of God. That’s when the woman gave a response that made my face turn red.
She said, in totally PERFECT English with as much disdain as she could muster: “This is Canada. We speak French AND English”. My mouth dropped. Not only because of the comment but because SHE UNDERSTOOD ME THE WHOLE TIME AND DIDN’T TRY TO HELP. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why someone would do that. All I could do was stare at her for a few seconds and walk away.
24. Missed Photo Op
Teacher here. I had a parent complain that their child wasn’t in a group picture from a field trip. She inferred that I clearly didn’t like their child and made him sit out of the picture. The real story was outrageous. In actual fact, their child wasn’t at school on that day, but the parent insisted that his child was there because he got a sticker from the place we visited.
Well, nope. The kid had received a sticker because I went out of my way to get him one since he wasn’t on the field trip. I told him that he could take a look at my attendance book to prove that he didn’t send his preschooler to school that day.
25. A Chili Reception
I had worked at Chili’s for about five years. I had so many experiences with rude people that I lost count, but one was by far the worst. I was waiting tables around graduation time and I had a party of 25 call ahead at about 7 pm, saying they would be arriving in 30 minutes. We set the table up for them and were anticipating their arrival.
They actually showed up about an hour and a half later than they said they would. We had since broken up the big table and seated other smaller parties there. When they arrived, they were angry that their table wasn’t ready for them. The really soft-spoken, sweet hostess who was working that night simply explained to them that we thought they had chosen somewhere else to go since they hadn’t come sooner. That’s when the Karen came out.
The lady who was speaking to the hostess immediately burst out, saying that we should have known that they were still coming. She then said out loud that she knew Chili’s “was a terrible idea,” and that we were all terrible at our jobs. Almost in tears, the hostess said that we would set up another table for them in a closed section and that I would take care of them.
These same people would always come in, be rude to everyone, NEVER tip, and constantly complain so they could get free food. When I waited on large parties by myself, I always started everyone with water just because it takes some time to get everyone’s drink order and get it out to them. I figured it was better to at least have some water available while waiting.
As soon as we got them settled in, several started complaining that they didn’t have water and that I was rude not to offer them a different option. I simply explained I would be bringing them whatever they would like and that the water was just to hold them for the time being. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for them.
They told me I was an idiot and said, “Get this mess out of my face”, referring to the water. Most of them ordered strawberry lemonade, so I made all of the drinks and brought them out to them. The group then started to complain, “This stuff tastes nasty”. They told me it didn’t taste anything like what it did last time.
I told them that we made it by the same measurements every time, but that I would be glad to make a new batch for them. I went and poured out what we had and made another batch of strawberry lemonade. I took it out to them, and they again complained that it was nasty. I offered to get them something else then if they didn’t like it.
They said, “We just want a waiter that isn’t an idiot and knows how to make strawberry lemonade”. I got the manager to explain that we made our strawberry lemonade the same way every time. They rolled their eyes and told the manager that I was being rude to them. Then, when they started eating their meals, they began to be even more disrespectful to me.
They started pouring their drinks out on the floor on purpose, throwing food at me and insulting me right in front of my face. I had a couple of other tables complain that this large party was being extremely loud, which they were. I went over and asked if they minded being a little quieter as they were disturbing the other tables in the restaurant.
One kid then yelled, “OH, YOU THINK I’M TOO LOUD”? They all started being even louder than before, and some tables even got up and left. That was the final straw. I yelled over them and told them they were no longer welcome at our restaurant. That shut them up. One kid told me that I couldn’t do that to them, like he was my boss.
I said, “When you start causing our other good paying customers to leave, I can do what I want, now get out”. They had the nerve to ask for boxes of their food that they hadn’t touched because they were too busy being loud. I told them that I couldn’t care less if they wanted their food and that they needed to leave. My manager and I stood at the door smiling, watching them all walk out.
One girl told me that I had ruined her graduation party. I informed her that she had no class and got what she deserved. A few of them stayed and talked to my manager, begging him to allow them back because it was their favorite place to eat. He told them they cost the company money when they came in, and they were never welcomed back.
26. Diaper Duty
It really is the worst when the Karen is coming from inside your own family. We were at a restaurant, and it was crowded. My mom attempted to change my sister’s diaper on the table. The waitress asked her to use the restroom, and my mom started going absolutely ballistic. My mom then had me change my sister’s diaper while she continued arguing with the entire restaurant.
27. Never-Ending Nightmare
I was a server at Olive Garden for two years. It was a typical busy night during our “never-ending pasta bowl” time of year. One of my first tables of the evening was a family of five—a mom, dad, two sons, and a little girl around two or three. They were all exceedingly overweight, and the daughter had on a dirty shirt and no pants, just a diaper.
When I checked back with them, I noticed an overwhelming scent of poo lingering around the table. I returned with some refills, and the odor was just as intense as before. On my way around the table to pass out beverages, I passed the high chair and noticed the little girl had her hand in her diaper. Her next move almost had me sick.
I watched her pull out her mess and throw it on the floor to join an even larger one that was already there, slightly covered by a napkin. I could not hide the disgust on my face. I don’t remember exactly the words I used, but I turned to the parents and said, “Umm, your daughter has a situation going on over here”. The mother was not impressed.
She just replied, “Yeah, I know I threw that napkin over it”, then continued to devour her third refill of never-ending pasta. I was in disbelief. Not only were there two pieces of fresh Honey Boo-Boo style poo on the floor, but the girl’s hands were obviously covered in it, and not one family member seemed to care in the slightest.
One of the brothers even asked me for another Dr. Pepper while I was standing there still in shock. I immediately told the manager on duty, and she didn’t believe me. I told her to go see for herself. She politely asked the mother to clean it up immediately and even gave her disinfectant wipes. That’s when mom blew her top.
She claimed it was not her job and she felt discriminated against that we would ask her to do such a thing. She demanded everything to be paid for. She picked it up, but she didn’t wash her hands, didn’t clean up her daughter, and continued to finish her meal. I thought it was over, they would pay and leave, but as I was dropping the check, the mom said, “Uh, it’s my son’s birthday. Don’t y’all sing and give us dessert”?
28. I Swear She Was A Kook
As a teacher, parent came in one time to tell me that their child had heard someone using swear words. The child was 16 years old. I thought it was a odd of an odd complaint, but nonetheless if a student, or worse, a teacher, had sworn at him, it’s not good. So I asked the parent, “Was it a teacher or someone else at the school”?
They said no, so I asked, “Ah, it was a fellow student then”? Again, they said no. I then asked, “So it was someone else in school? Did it happen on the school campus”? They said it did not. I continued trying to get to the bottom of it. “During school hours”? The parent again said, “No”. I said to them, “So you’re saying your child heard someone swearing outside of school grounds and outside of school hours, and that person had no connection to the school”?
They replied, “Yes, I want to know what you’re going to do about it”!
29. His Words Hit The Spot
My dad was driving around with his terminally ill friend. They needed to go to a pharmacy, and seeing as how my dad’s friend would become short of breath easily, they were hoping for a handicap spot. Unfortunately, none were vacant, so they had to park farther away. As they were walking up to the store, a squat, muscular man came walking out of the pharmacy.
He started to open up the door of his Ford F150 that was parked in a handicap spot. He clearly didn’t need to be in that spot, nor did he have a sticker. My dad’s friend was fuming when he saw him. He called out to him as he was getting in and said, “Excuse me? Is your handicap physical or mental”? The guy’s face went white as a ghost, and he quickly got into his truck and pulled away.
30. The Baconator
I used to work at Subway. There is one legendary customer that we only refer to as the “Crazy Bacon Lady” whenever we tell this story. She was an older woman who had come in one day and asked how much a six-inch BLT was. We told her it was $3.50 plus tax. She then proceed to yell at us, saying it was $2 when she had come in the day before…even though she hadn’t.
It was the first time she had ever even been in our store. Not to mention, the BLT was never at $2 in the three years I had worked there. She barked out her order the whole way up the line saying such gems as “I am a good Christian woman. I don’t deserve to be treated this way. For $3.50, that bacon better be fresh! The service here is terrible! I’M NEVER COMING BACK, YOU HEAR ME!”
But the absolute best one of them all was when she got to my co-worker who was manning the cash register. He told her that the total, including tax, was $3.68. She said, “You people are workers of the DEVIL”! She plopped down the exact change, snatched up her bag, and stormed out the door.
31. She Had Some Hang Up
A parent once called her daughter in the middle of my class to just “check in”. She then contacted my principal after I took the girl’s phone away mid-conversation and dared to speak with her about the importance of not interrupting her daughter’s learning time just to say “Hi”. I then hung up and kept the phone until the end of the period.
The girl was mortified, and I never saw the phone again. As a result, the principal shook my hand, and the parent refused to respond to any of my contacts about her kid’s progress for the rest of the semester.
32. They Were In For A Rude Awakening
While on my lunch break, I was at the grocery store. This older woman, who had some obvious mental and emotional problems, was walking up to a checkout line. She went to take her salad out and it opened up, spilling everywhere. She then started crying, saying how she couldn’t afford to buy another salad, and apologized for the mess.
A clerk and I went over and started helping her. The clerk told her it happens all the time and that they wouldn’t charge her, but the woman was still visibly upset. She continued to apologize and cry. Then, I heard two middle-aged women—hair all done up, expensive clothes, etc.—giggling and having little laughing outbursts every time the old lady said something.
I was appalled, but it was about to get so much worse. To my amazement, they started to openly mock her, loud enough so we all could hear. At that point, I stood up, grabbed my basket, walked over to them, and quietly said, “Come on, quit it”. They both stopped laughing and got beet red with anger. One of them said, “Excuse me? Who the heck are you”?
I calmly replied, “She’s obviously upset. She can hear you over there, and it’s embarrassing for you and for her”. That was when they both lost it. “Who the heck are you? Who the heck do you think you are? Don’t ever talk to me like that”, etc. To which I replied, “Listen, I know you’re both really unhappy because you married a man for money, and now he’s cheating on you with a much younger woman, and your kids probably don’t like you or respect you because you’re obviously a terrible person, but you don’t have to be mean to strangers”.
They were shocked, and it was so amusing to watch. They said, “We’re not paying for this”, and just walked out, leaving their food behind. Then the checkout clerk started laughing, and the guy behind me went, “Oh, yeah”. I kind of think I did a bit of an overkill, but I was really shocked at how mean they were being.
33. Not In Your Wildest Dreams Lady
I’m a teacher, and I was organizing a graduation dinner. One mother came in and demanded her daughter perform her music. I informed her that the grad class had picked someone else other than her daughter. But then the hilarious truth came out. She got even madder and corrected me that she wasn’t even talking about her daughter who was graduating.
She was talking about her other daughter, who had graduated years ago and was now trying to launch her music career. I laughed and professionally informed her it would never happen. A couple of days later, she called the conference center and tried to make all the meals kosher and a bunch of other stuff. She was a wild lady.
34. Looking For Trouble
I waited tables for three years, and one time, I had customers who seemed to be enjoying themselves. I was nailing my job with promptness and politeness. When I inquired how things were going, they responded with pleasure and thankfulness. Halfway through the meal, when I had left the table, one of the customers went and sought out a manager to complain.
More than that, they complained specifically about me. What she asked the manager to do was awful—she requested that I be fired. Her reasons were inconsequential lies. She used her own experience in the food industry as her support. There probably would have been severe consequences for me that evening if the “cool” manager wasn’t working.
Her meal was comped, and she stiffed me. I still get upset when I think about it. It was as if their mission that night was to go out and get a waiter fired.
35. Her Behavior Needed To Go
I used to work at Walmart. When it was slow, cashiers would be sent out to the floor to tidy up the store and help out the people working in different departments. One day, I was helping out a friend of mine in the children’s section when a woman and her two kids came into the department. One child was still an infant, but her daughter looked to be around 4 or 5 years old.
The woman was looking around, completely ignoring her daughter, who kept trying to tell her mother that she had to go to the restroom. The kid wasn’t whining so much as saying, “Mom, I have to go”. The mother kept ignoring her and absentmindedly telling her to hold it. Finally, the little girl let it out: “Mom! I! Have! To! GO”! which woke up the little one.
The baby started crying. The mother finally addressed her daughter by yelling at her for being a pain in the neck. My friend and I were listening to this, looking at each other as if to say, “Man, what a moron”, but there wasn’t much we could really do. I couldn’t believe her answer. Then the woman screamed, “Will you shut up!? I wish you had never been born”!
I was stunned. I couldn’t believe anyone would say that to their child. My friend literally dropped what she was doing and said, “What did you just say”? The woman started to say something about minding our own business, but my friend cut her off by launching into one of the most frightening displays of righteous anger I had ever seen.
She tore into this woman, telling her that it was apparent that the little girl needed to go to the bathroom because it was all she had been saying for the past five minutes. My friend finished telling this woman she was a failure as a parent by saying, “You’re the reason birth control should be mandatory. Take your kid to the bathroom”.
I could have clapped; it was so perfect. The woman left without saying a word. Apparently, the woman complained to management on the way out because my friend got hauled into the office shortly after that. She said she was completely justified in what she did and would do it again. The manager told her that he agreed with her, gave her a warning, and told her, “Good job”.
36. I Slammed Back
One day, I saw a woman slam her car door several times into the car that was parked next to them because “they parked too close.” I went off at that very moment. The lady doing the door slamming was parked over the line, and the car she vandalized was right in the center of its spot. I took down her license plate number, went into the store, found the owner of the other vehicle, and let them know.
37. The Shrill Of Defeat
I worked for a local computer shop. We were located less than a half-mile drive from the school in the center of my city. Every once in a while, we would get a call from the tech support guy there with a semi-advanced question or simply something he didn’t know. The school became acquainted with us well enough that either me or my boss—the only two who worked there—would sometimes be called in as sort of subs for their tech guy.
The board knew us, the administration knew us, and I became really close friends with the SINGLE janitor this entire high school of more than a thousand kids had. I was substituting for their tech and got a call from an irate mother about her child. I was really curious at first, but then the principal came in and signaled for me to hang up NOW.
However, I kept listening. Apparently, her kid got a 79 on a test, and she wanted him to retake it. As lenient as this school was, it was a state exam, and I knew that because I had gone to this school. My explanation didn’t appease her in the slightest. She began screaming in the most high-pitched voice she could. I sat there, shocked.
I had my phone volume at one, and the principal was able to hear it from a good eight feet away. The principal leaned up against the wall, and at this point, we were waiting for her to stop screaming. It suddenly ended, and I could hear that she was out of breath on the other end. She was panting like a dog but wheezing like a pig getting slaughtered. Well, she’d messed with the wrong person.
I gave a good ten-second pause and asked, “Would you like fries with that”? A foul word came out of the phone, and she screeched. There was no annunciation, no vague dictation, just a loud, piercing screech that permanently damaged the phone’s speaker. Then a click. The principal and I never laughed harder in our lives.
He said, “Thank God you don’t work here, or I’d have to fire you”. All that fuss because the kid got a 79.
38. O Holy Nightmare
I had to deal with the worst stage mom ever. One mother threatened to yank her daughter out of the school if the student was not given the starring role in the Christmas concert to sing “O Holy Night”. The girl had made it perfectly clear to me, the faculty, and her classmates that she realized she wasn’t musically qualified for the part, nor did she want to do it.
It was entirely her mom, who was determined that her daughter should be “the star” of the school, no matter what.
39. Stand Up And Deliver
I was at a 7-Eleven making a purchase when some yuppie lady interrupted my transaction. She angrily told the cashier that her coffee wasn’t hot. He apologized and told her that he could make another pot right away. She said, “No, I’m way too busy to wait for that”! The clerk offered her a refund, and she responded, “No, I don’t want a refund! I’m busy, and I want a hot cup of coffee RIGHT NOW”!
I felt so bad for this clerk who, judging by his accent, hadn’t been in the country for very long and was shocked by her rudeness. I just snapped right then and there. I said, “Listen, you stupid yuppie. What the heck do you expect him to do? The only way for him to comply with your request is to get a time machine and brew another pot before you get here.
She just stood there, shaking. I couldn’t tell if it was rage or fear, but after what seemed like an eternity, she ran out of the store and took off. All the people in line clapped for me. The clerk was also shocked at my outburst but told me, “It’s good to know that some people will stand up for strangers in this country”.
40. Crying Over Fried Rice
I was a waitress at a gas station/restaurant. I had a trucker get upset because his rice pilaf wasn’t made with white rice. He took his reaction to an entirely new and unnecessary level—He yelled at me, my coworker, and the cook, and caused a huge scene in front of a full house. He screamed at my coworker the most because she wouldn’t put up with his crybaby nonsense. He asked for two bowls of rice and he was upset about both of them.
This could’ve easily been solved by giving him a new side of rice. However, it seemed like he just wanted to yell at the cook about “serving food that does not look good” while we were busy with other customers. I just ignored him the rest of the night and let him pout and glare. We discounted him and at least he did leave me a tip. However, I was embarrassed to be this grown man’s waitress.
41. A Smile Was Worth A Thousand Words
I’m a teacher, and usually gave homework that was basically practice because I didn’t like to overload my students. I sent one of my brighter students some difficult homework just to see how he would do. I put a sticky note with a smiley face on it that said, “Michael may need a little help on this one”. The dad came in the next day—I couldn’t believe his insane reaction.
He threw the note on the principal’s desk. He was furious because the smiley-face was me being a smart aleck and saying that he didn’t help his son with his homework. The principal was politely incredulous, and the guy’s wife came in later, rolling her eyes and apologizing for him. My principal let me explain the situation, and he chilled out.
But still, a smart-aleck smiley face?
42. Her Entitlement Got Knocked Out Of The Park
I worked as a nanny and frequently took the baby to the park, where we did the normal “make friends and play” routine. There was a mom I frequently saw whose youngest child we would play with. One morning, we were playing, and when I looked up, I noticed that I was alone with two toddlers and her older pre-school-aged child.
I called for her and looked around for 15 minutes before calling the authorities. Twenty minutes later, I still didn’t see her, but the authorities and a social worker arrived. They took my statement, then left with the abandoned children. As I was walking down the street, about a block from the park, the mom came running up to me and pointed to the park.
She asked where her kids were. I told her what happened, and an argument ensued. I couldn’t believe what she was saying. She was enraged that I didn’t just sit and wait at the park with her kids while she ran to the store because I was a nanny. Apparently, I should be able to handle extra kids, even though they weren’t my charges.
I proceeded to tell her— as calmly as I could with the baby present—what kind of mother she was and how much she endangered her children. I also gave her a general earful about being an irresponsible, expectant, idiot. There was some kind of court hearing after that, where she claimed I was babysitting her kids. However, when she couldn’t provide the judge with my name or contact information, I was in the clear.
I was not privy to how it worked out for her and the kids, though.
43. The Proof Was In The Puddin’
I was an assistant school counselor at a high school. We had a furious parent call us several times and accuse us of turning her son gay for some reason or another. There was just one problem. Meanwhile, her son was cutting a swath through the school’s entire female population. Their calls came to an abrupt halt after he managed to get a classmate pregnant.
44. Trouble Was Brewing
I worked in a pretty busy restaurant, where weekends were a living nightmare with over 250 guests for dinner. We would be packed until close. We had a system where every waiter had his own area. One of them was larger than the others and had two waiters servicing that area instead of one. One Saturday night, we were understaffed.
My manager decided to put me in the large area by myself, as the others couldn’t handle it. It had happened before and was usually not a big deal. There were two round tables in that area, one with six and one with four seats. Both tables had families seated at them. As the evening went on and the restaurant got busier, so did my area.
Therefore, my service slowed down a bit, and the tables had to wait longer for their food. I apologized and explained the situation to every table. They all understood and told me not to worry about it…except for the father at the round table. He had been drinking quite a bit already and was obviously buzzed. He started getting angrier every time I walked past.
At one point, his table was waiting for dessert, and his next move made me lose it. He stood up and poured his full glass of brew all over me as I was serving the food to the family at the table next to them. At that point, I had no idea what had just happened, so I didn’t know how to respond. Luckily for me, one of the bartenders saw this happening.
They stormed toward the guy at the speed of lightning to kick him out—almost literally. The only positive thing that came from this was that all the other tables felt so bad for me they didn’t mind about ticket times at all anymore.
45. Toilet Trouble
Within a few days of my school year, it became clear that one particular student had no idea how to use the toilet without assistance. This was a class of five to six-year-olds. My friend contacted the student’s parents. Eventually, it came out that the child was only out of Pull-Ups a few weeks prior, and the parents hadn’t taught her how to use the toilet because they didn’t want to put “pressure” on her.
They felt she would tell them whenever she felt ready to learn how to use the toilet. They even suggested that a female staff member be on permanent standby to assist their child in the bathroom and to clean her up whenever she soiled herself. The sense of entitlement and pure laziness these people had was unbelievable.
He told the parents that if the child was not potty trained, she was no longer welcome at the school. The child was able to use the toilet without assistance within a week.
46. Do I Have To Paint A Picture? Your Kid’s Rude!
Some kid was in a restaurant where my mom and I were trying to have a quiet lunch. This kid started to throw crayons at my mom, literally from the next table. The kid’s mom was too busy talking on her phone to care. I tried glaring, but she couldn’t care less. In the end, I walked up to her to confront her, and she actually gave me the “one-minute finger”.
That was it. I picked up all the crayons that were on the floor, on the table, and from in front of the kid, dumped them on her lap, and sat back down. I think she was so shocked, she just left. The manager of the restaurant gave us a free meal. Apparently, that particular woman was known for just letting her kid run wild.
47. I Tried To Put Her In Line
It was a Friday at around 6 pm, and I was in line at a supermarket. The lines were longer than normal. This entitled late-40s soccer mom was in front of me, tapping her foot and getting all sorts of agitated. We got up to the register and the woman started going off about how slow the line was and how ridiculous the wait had been.
The girl checking items through was young and obviously couldn’t say anything, so I stepped up to the plate. I said, “Lady, you need to CALM DOWN. You aren’t the only one inconvenienced by long lines. Being nasty to this poor girl isn’t going to make your groceries slide through any faster”. Her jaw dropped as if everyone in her life just sat around, taking her verbal garbage wherever she went.
She shut up and continued through, glaring at me as she left. I sat back, looking satisfied with an “I don’t care” look. The female clerk smiled and said she couldn’t have ever done that. A week later, I saw the clerk again, and she told me that the woman came back in, talked to her manager, and she got in trouble for not telling me that I was out of line for calling her out!
48. She Made A Mountain Out Of A Molehill
My mother had a dreadful Karen moment once. She paid me a visit shortly after I moved to Switzerland. We went shopping for groceries together. Everything in Switzerland was at least twice as expensive. My mother proceeded to brutally embarrass me. She let the entire shop know how overpriced each and every item I put in the cart was while also insisting that we needed to buy bottled water because she couldn’t drink the tap water.
Meanwhile, she would drink tap water at home, and Switzerland had better quality water. So from everything she complained about, the $12 for four bottles of non-sparkly water was somehow completely fine. I never went shopping with her ever again after that.
49. Told Off In A Tiny Space
I was on vacation with my parents. My dad had planned for us to have this amazing dinner at a fancy restaurant. The restaurant was literally on the first floor of a small or medium-sized house. Seeing as the place was so tiny, all the customers had to keep their voices down so as not to disturb everyone else. We sat down for dinner and were immediately overwhelmed by a man talking loudly at the table next to us.
Not only was he basically yelling, but he was saying very inappropriate and prejudiced comments. He obviously had too much to drink, but everyone at his table looked too scared to say anything to him. My family and I tried to have our dinner and ignore him, but it was becoming very difficult. My poor dad, who had planned this great dinner, looked so crestfallen.
Whenever someone upsets a family member of mine, I snap. And that’s exactly what happened. I turned around and said very clearly and loudly, “Could you please keep your voice down. I can hardly hear anything besides your voice”. The guy was speechless, probably because I was an 18-year-old girl telling him nicely to shut up in front of an entire restaurant.
50. This Parent Spelled Trouble
My mom was a teaching assistant for a while when I was a kid. A student’s mom was irate because her son failed his spelling test. He got a zero, and the mom insisted that was impossible. She said that she had made flashcards, and they studied for an hour. The parent claimed that the real reason my mom failed her son was that she must be prejudiced.
The parent got so mad that she came down to the school to file a complaint against my mom, and almost every word was misspelled. She slammed his test on the desk, demanding that his answers were correct. But this actually led to a tragic revelation. Turns out that the mom was spelling at a level that could not pass a third-grade spelling test.
She was teaching her incorrect spelling to her son when he came home with a paper of the words to learn.
51. Read The Room—We’re Busy!
A 40-something-year-old, heavy-set woman was seated at my table. The first thing I noticed was that she was alone and had a really thick novel with her. I approached her in a timely manner and asked her what she would like to drink. The first thing she told me was that she was waiting for one more person, but she went ahead and ordered her cocktail anyway.
I let her know the bar was kind of backed up, so it may be a little longer than usual for her drink. Her drink came out, and I brought it to her. The other person still hadn’t arrived. She then asked me why her drink took so long. I apologized and said the bar was backed up with drink orders. I walked away to check up on my other tables.
About two minutes later, I came back to her table and asked her if everything was OK. But something just seemed off. She complained about the drink and wanted to order something else from the bar. She told me what she wanted and then said, “Please don’t let it take as long as the last time”. I calmly told her again that the bar was unusually busy.
Still, I would get it to her as quickly as possible. The other person still hadn’t arrived. I brought the drink out, and she got tired of waiting for the other person and placed her food order. Everything came out in a timely manner and correctly, so there was nothing to complain about. She then asked for the check, and I brought it to her.
She paid with a credit card and left. I looked at the credit card slip. She left $0.00 for a tip. So, I looked around the table for cash but couldn’t find any. However, I did notice that she accidentally left her novel. I came up with an ingenious revenge. I went to a secluded area of the kitchen with the novel in hand and proceeded to tear out the final chapter of the book.
I then walked to the host stand with a smile on my face as she was coming back to reclaim the novel. I handed it to her and told her to have a nice evening.
52. She Was Off The Rails
My parents went with me to the UK when I started boarding school, and my mom reserved our seats on the train. A girl was sitting at our table. We told her, “Hey, those are reserved”, and she apologized and moved across to sit with her family. But my mother wouldn’t let it go. She pulled out our tickets and started screaming at this family about how we reserved the seats.
My dad and I told her to sit down and shut up. It took some arguing because she then turned on us next. She started screaming at us during dinner—in the hotel restaurant with other people around—for not having her back. I was eager for them to leave when I moved into my dorm.
53. A Waste Of Space
I had a student who was a waste of a seat. He was lazy, manipulative, and arrogant. His mom was a single mom, and based on our first contact, it was pretty clear she was going to be a nightmare. By the end of the first nine weeks, I already had a folder in my email just for emails from her. Despite being a helicopter parent, her son never improved.
She would give me the standard, “We are going to study for the test on Tuesday over the weekend”. Then, he would come in on Tuesday unaware that there was going to be a test and then fail it. Naturally, he failed the first nine weeks, and his mom went berserk. For the next six weeks, not a day went by that I didn’t receive an email or phone call from her.
Finally, right before Thanksgiving, I had her come in for a meeting. I showed her my failures log. I kept a record of the day-to-day behavior of students who had chronic issues. I showed her what her son had been doing. She refused to believe it—just outright refused. After that, she transferred him out of my class and into another with the same results.
He had four English teachers during his first ninth-grade year.
54. Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese
I had a guest who ordered a cheese plate to go along with their vino. The cheese plate was pretty big with lots of different kinds of cheese on it, some rather expensive. So I set them down in front of her, and she asked me what they were. It was written on the menu card, but she seemed to want to hear it. However, I could only recall the names of some.
She rolled her eyes at my lacking knowledge and proceeded to ask if I at least knew where the cheeses came from and how they were made before insulting me for not knowing. But that’s not all—she then complained to the restaurant manager about my “not knowing what I serve”. I even went to the kitchen and asked the already furious cook, but he didn’t know himself either.
55. Dollar Dilemma
My dad was a bit of a Karen, but luckily, he never got too loud or obnoxious. He would just really, really pedantic. He once called Walmart and went into this whole thing about the strawberries being one dollar more expensive than what was advertised. I couldn’t believe that he would go so far over a single dollar.
56. They Got Served A Cup Of Courtesy
Years ago, I was at a Panera Bread around the holidays. It was full-on shopping season, and the place was close to some shopping malls, so it was extremely busy. This older couple ordered coffee, and the lady behind the counter gave them a to-go cup, saying, “I’m sorry, we ran out of clean mugs, and the dishwasher is running now, but I didn’t want to make you wait”.
She was very polite, but the lady got mad and started screaming about bad service. She actually yelled, “I need a FOR-HERE cup, not a to-go cup”! The poor girl behind the counter kept apologizing and saying they would be done in a minute, but the woman just kept complaining. Meanwhile, another employee came up to take my order. I saw my chance to get extra petty then.
I ordered my drink and said as loud as I could, “And a to-go cup is FINE with me. Unlike some people, I understand the drink will taste the same”! The old lady freaked about how rude I was while I waited for my drink. The manager came out and gave me a free loaf of their holiday bread “for being so patient”. The old people left, still angry.
57. Crowdsourcing Karen
My mom had a Karen phase for a few years. She literally told me, “You know, if I’m mean to people, they do things for me,” as if she had a revelation. So, she yelled at a cashier once because she didn’t read the signs that were plastered everywhere. The cashier had to call his manager to cancel her transaction. Then she said she deserved free booze from all the hassle he caused her.
She was actually looking around, trying to get the crowd to join her in her single Karen riot. I decided to step up and put her in her place. I told her—very loudly in front of everyone—that she needed to shut up because she was acting like a child. I said that no civilized adult would be acting with such a low IQ and as barbaric as she was acting. You can’t cause a problem and then get mad about it.
58. Pasta Prima Donna
I worked at an Italian family restaurant that was locally owned and basically a staple of the area. My very first day on the floor without a trainer was on Mother’s Day. A lady ordered gnocchi, and I wrote down her order. I got over to the computer and couldn’t find gnocchi anywhere, and for a good reason. It turned out we didn’t serve gnocchi.
I went back over to the table to let the lady know we didn’t sell that here. Her reaction was something else—she started screaming at me that I ruined her Mother’s Day, and the entire day was ruined because I didn’t know we didn’t serve gnocchi. I could understand her being a little irritated at me. I really should have known that, but she should have looked at the menu.
59. She Had A Long List Of Problems
It was Christmas, and I had a customer who wouldn’t accept that her three-minute-long order, which took a sheet and a half of paper, wouldn’t arrive before the drinks and appetizers. Not more than 10 minutes went by, and anytime I came near that table, she grabbed my apron, demanded to speak to a manager, or called me incompetent. Her poor family was quite embarrassed.
Things spiraled even further when her food arrived. She started pointing out all the things wrong with it. As I pulled out the page and half ticket this woman ordered for a surf and turf, I explained everything on her plate. She lost her mind and screamed at me to get the manager again while pounding on the table, then hitting her plate off the table. Her husband had to restrain her and drag her out of the restaurant kicking and screaming.
60. The Daily Grind
I had a sixth-grade student whose stepmother emailed me on a daily basis. He was a good kid, had an A in my class, and didn’t have any behavior problems. Even so, I had over 90 emails from her. They were usually completely unnecessary. I just wanted to ask her, “DO YOU EVER TALK TO YOUR SON”?! He could clearly answer 95% of her questions!
Yet, she would still send me emails asking things like, “What was the situation that caused my son to be marked tardy to your class”? And, “There is an assignment in the grade bookmarked with a 0/0. It’s titled Extra Credit Bonus Points. Please advise on how this will affect his grade”. She would also incessantly check his grades. It was crazy.
61. Priority Seating Is Just That
I was taking a packed train on my way to work. There was a group of college-aged people standing in the middle of the train, close to an old lady holding three or four bags of stuff. At one stop, a person who was sitting down in the elderly seating section got up. One of the obnoxious college girls sat down and continued to gab with her friends. I was not going to let that fly.
I looked at her and said, “Nope, get up”. She gave me this look like, “How dare you talk like that to me”, and didn’t respond. I told her she should give her seat to the elderly woman, but she still did nothing. So, I loudly said that she was selfish and should be ashamed of herself. She then got up, and the old lady sat down and gave me an appreciative smile.
62. My Mom Got Schooled
My mom went and harassed my elementary school so much over small things and caused such a big fuss that they didn’t let my niece—who they knew was my mom’s granddaughter—come back. They just didn’t wanna deal with her anymore, to the point of booting her out of the school. Luckily, my sister and I had already left and were in middle school.
Those poor teachers didn’t get paid enough to deal with her.
63. Negative Nelly
I had a parent complain to me about her child who was doing really well. Her grades were over 90%, and she showed consistent effort in her classwork and homework. When I told the parent that her daughter put a lot of thought and effort into her work, her mom’s reaction left me stunned. She asked, “She sucks up to you”?
I told her, “No, she wants to do well and be successful. That being said, we’d like to improve her grammar a bit”. Then her mom went bananas. She said, “I knew it. She’s stupid. She doesn’t do anything. She will fail”. I reassured her that wasn’t the case and told her that her daughter just needed a little more rigor in that department.
The mom responded, “She’s such a disappointment”. Every once in a while, I would get a complaint from her whining to me about her child. I couldn’t believe it. Her kid was a joy. I would always take care to affirm her efforts whenever possible and assure her that she was doing great. It may not offset the negativity her mother imposed on her, but the other teachers and I tried to make sure she didn’t doubt her ability to do well.
64. One Degree Of Separation
A customer at my store was being rude to me recently, so I gave her attitude back. This did not make her too happy. She aggressively said to me: “I’d watch out if I were you. I know your manager.” Without even stopping to think about it, I replied: “I know him too. So what?” She was completely dumbfounded and didn’t say another word after that.
65. Say Yes To The Dress, But No To The Karen
When I was wedding dress shopping, I invited my mom only because I knew she would be hurt if I didn’t. Ten years later, my friends still recalled how rude and obnoxious she was to the poor staff. My parents weren’t giving me a penny for the wedding, so it wasn’t like she was the one paying for the dress and had a say in anything.
Every time a staff member asked me a question, she kept talking over me and giving them wrong information. She was also just horribly negative about everything—the sizes that the store had, the dress details, the alterations, etc. She did all this in a loud fashion in front of the staff and the few other people in the shop. She even tried telling them not to bring dresses I had specifically arranged to try on ahead of time.
My aunt started distracting her as much as possible because it was so uncomfortable while my friends tried to lighten the mood. When I found my dress and went to order it at the cash register, the employee asked if I wanted to open a store credit card. My mom quickly piped up and said, “YES, she does”. I did, but it was not her choice to make, and I hadn’t discussed it with her, so she had no reason to think I wanted to do it.
I finally snapped at her and later apologized to the staff.
66. Request Denied!
There was a moment when my mom turned into a Karen. She wanted me to film her while she said something to a cashier at McDonald’s. I told her I wouldn’t do it, and she got mad at me. She apologized soon after, but her request honestly got me mad. People who work in retail or food industries don’t get paid enough to deal with an irate person who is yelling at them for accidentally making a mistake.
They certainly don’t get paid enough to be filmed and be embarrassed online.
67. Sue-Happy Hooligans
I taught in Korea. We were having a spelling test, and two kids would not stop talking. Seeing as we had no additional desks, I sent them to separate corners to finish the test on the floor. Immediately after the test was finished, they returned to their seats as normal. A couple of hours later, my boss told me one of the parents was upset and wanted to come in to talk to me about what happened.
I waited around for an hour after work, but the parents didn’t show. So my boss told me I could go home. Two hours later—at 10 PM on a Friday night—I was out to dinner with a friend when I got a text from my supervisor. I was shocked. It said the child’s parents were suing me and to call him immediately. At 10:30 PM, my boss picked me up, drove me to the parent’s house, and without even being allowed to explain myself, made me apologize.
The parents still decided they were going to sue me. Then, things took another twist. I learned the following week that another student was also trying to sue me over the incident, but they weren’t even involved in it. It was the best friend of the kid who was suing me. His parents decided to try and sue me because their kid was “upset” that his friend had been punished.
Luckily nothing ever came to fruition. The Department of Education watched the CCTV footage of my class. They also observed me teaching another class and determined I had done nothing wrong. My favorite part of the ordeal was that the parents of the kid who initially tried to sue were both teachers!
68. She Made Her Point
The very first class assignment was to have my policies signed and returned to me. It was worth four points. My approach was that late homework lost 20% each day it was late. A kid turned her sheet in late, so I put it in as one point off. I got an email the next day from the mom complaining that one point off was 25%, not 20%.
Technically she was right, but each grading period usually had over 2,000 total points. The kid apologized for their mom being crazy. I told them not to worry about it.
69. A Hair-Raising Tale
Way back in the day, when I worked in the food service industry, we once had a customer who got a salad and, when she was just about finished eating it, she intentionally placed one of her hairs in the bowl in order to try and get it refunded. Instead, she got the complimentary “I’m sorry” free bakery item to make up for it. This happened several times, and eventually, it got to the point where she was doing this every single day.
Finally, the store manager sat down at her table and told her this was her last day eating in the cafe, and that they would refuse her refund today and refuse her service in the future. She started to say something about the customer always being right—but he already had a brutal reply ready for her. He just put up a hand to cut her off. He said “You cause us to lose money every day. You’re absolutely not our customer. You are a liability, and you are no longer welcome here.”
Unfortunately, this confrontation took embarrassingly long to get to. I worked in training support and the issue came to light during an associate-level customer service class. They had been rolling with it for at least a few weeks, hoping she would just stop at some point on her own. I’m not sure if the managers all knew what was going on, but I called them after class and it was taken care of between the two of them by the end of that week.
70. Putting Two And Two Together
I work at a local bar. One night, a bunch of intoxicated people were making a huge mess, wasting our time, and harassing other tables. Finally, I went up to them and informed them that there was an issue. Me: “The manager has decided that all of you need to leave. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and your behavior warrants it.”
The loudest guy at the table: “Screw you. If you kick us out, we’re never gonna come back to this place.” Me: “That’s exactly the point. Please leave.”
71. It Was A Targeted Move
I was at Target. There was a shopping cart in the middle of a parking space. I was alone, so I got out of my car and moved it into the corral directly across from the spot I was about to enter. Then came an inconsiderate Karen—she pulled around my car and parked in my spot, the one I had just moved the shopping cart out of.
I went up to the window and told them they were welcome for my moving the cart. They started sputtering and lying about not having seen me. So I put thumbtacks behind the wheels of her car and left.
72. There Was No Bending The Rules
As a teacher, I had a parent come during back-to-school night and yell at me because we had classroom rules that her son was upset about, and she didn’t think they were necessary. They were simple rules like raising your hand to speak and keeping your hands to yourself. She pulled her kid out of the school the very next day when I refused to cave to her demand.
Then, I had the principal tell me that I needed to stop telling the kids to be quiet in the hallway because they were too young to understand. This was first grade.
73. Patience Wasn’t My Strongest Suit
I went to see the Wolverine movie in a very large theater. About halfway up the rows of seats, it had an aisle that cut across horizontally from one side of the theater to the other. Some idiot father was there with a toddler, and he let the kid run back and forth across the aisle, squealing the whole time. I put up with it for about 30 minutes.
Then, I finally had enough. I went down to the father and said, “Do you realize the entire movie theater can hear your child and that it’s ruining the movie for the rest of us? Please make him be quiet”. The father stared at me in complete shock, as if the concept had never crossed his mind. He immediately left with his kid. Several people around me said “thank you” as I sat back down.
74. An Arresting Development
My uncle was a teacher for 25 years at a fairly prestigious school. He had taught several grades and was teaching a sixth-grade class. There was a boy in the class who was very—for lack of a better word—stupid. This wasn’t uncommon in schools, but this kid was simply thicker than brick and couldn’t seem to grasp anything that was being taught to him.
My uncle had been teaching a chapter in history and was assigning homework for the day when the boy stood up and started yelling about how stupid history was and that my uncle was dumb for attempting to teach it to them. Needless to say, the boy was sent to the office for verbally harassing a teacher. While the boy was in the office, he began crying and started to fabricate a story about how my uncle had called him an idiot in the classroom.
He said that he retorted by saying, “No, I’m not a jerk”, or something to that effect. He then began requesting to speak to his parents. The headmaster obliged and let him call his parents and, at the same time, summoned my uncle to the office to discuss what was going on. Five minutes later—as my uncle had just finished explaining what had happened—both the boy’s parents burst into the office. What they did next was so bizarre, it’s unforgettable.
The father, who was chief of police, attempted to arrest my uncle with his wife—who worked closely with the mayor—basically spewing in my uncle’s face as she yelled at him. All the while, their boy was sitting there smiling and laughing as my uncle was taken from the room by the chief. It was all pretty absurd. With an entire room of witnesses—the other students—the actual story came to light fairly quickly.
However, instead of apologizing and trying to save face, the father began telling a tale of how my uncle had resisted arrest, reacted forcefully, and “struck” him as he was attempting to gain control over him in the office. Both the parents approached the headmistress after the fact and offered her an ultimatum to agree with what they were saying, or they would make her life a living nightmare.
All that, instead of simply admitting they were wrong. The father lost his job, and the wife was severely demoted to desk clerk after everyone found out she tried to use her position as leverage in the situation.
75. His Attitude Didn’t Cut The Mustard
My dad hated mustard. I remember one time he got mad at a lady at McDonald’s because there were pickles, onions, and mustard—all the toppings that he didn’t like—on his burger. He started yelling and asking for them to remake his meal. He then proceeded to tell them to be careful with taking orders and getting them correct because some people have mustard allergies, like him.
He didn’t have a mustard allergy. Then, from the front seat, I mouthed “Sorry” to the lady, and we drove away with his new plain burger.
76. Is The Cup Half Empty, Or Half Full?
I was once a witness to a silent owning that I still get giddy just thinking of. A buddy of mine was serving a table and the kid at the table was around eight or maybe ten years old. He gives her an adult glass for her apple juice. The dad pipes up and says he doesn’t want her to have all that sugar, so he needed to take it away and come back with a kid-sized one.
My friend replied that the glasses are all the same size, the adult size just looks bigger because they have thick bottoms. The dad responds that “the adult glass is clearly bigger and LIKE I SAID I don’t want her to have all that sugar.” My buddy is a jerk. He gives a super deliberate exaggerated nod, says nothing, and marches to our little service alley behind the bar.
That’s when he put his plan into motion. A few moments later, he re-emerges with a kids’ cup, sets it down beside the glass, picks up the glass, and pours the adult glass into the new one, lifting it progressively higher and higher until the last drop drips down into the glass, perfectly fitting into the kid-sized cup. He then darts the heck off to the kitchen without even looking at the guy, like he didn’t even exist. I exploded with laughter.
77. Staying Hydrated
Table of 10, Sunday brunch, fancy restaurant, I’m hungover. A crowd swarms in at the opening and my whole section is filled at once. I’m efficient and cool. I’m used to this. I get to the big table and preface that water is being brought as we speak. I then begin taking everyone’s drink orders. As I’m taking orders around the table, one woman blurts out that she wants water.
She then starts screaming not to forget the water, interrupting her friends and family as they make their meal requests. I acknowledge her each time until after the fourth time. That’s when I lost it. I told her: ‘If you ask for water again, I’ll make sure everyone here gets water but you.” She sinks back in her chair looking dumbfounded. I go put in the order, then head to the bar.
78. It Was The Same Old Story
Almost every year as an English teacher, no matter what book or theme I go with, I have at least one nutjob parent who thinks it is inappropriate for some reason or another. I had just finished teaching a unit on the Holocaust. I was not one to coddle students, so we went to the museum, saw a lot of documentaries, and read books and accounts that didn’t really hide or sugar-coat anything.
I was proud of how they handled it. Next, I started a unit on The Hunger Games. Parents tended to be afraid of any contemporary literature, so I sent home a note explaining the book and my justifications for teaching it over Christmas break. I asked the parents to contact me immediately if there were any issues. I didn’t hear anything back, so in February, I started the unit.
A week or so into it, I had a parent come and say that he thought the book was too violent for his sons, both of who were in my classes. I said, “Ok, well, we just learned about the Holocaust, which was much more violent”. Then he said, “Well, that’s OK because it really happened”. The funny thing was that I saw one of his sons with the sequels during independent reading time later in the year.
79. She Couldn’t Take The High Road
When I was a teenager, my Karen mom picked up my two best friends and me from the mall. While driving us home, someone cut her off when she was trying to change lanes. She went into total road rage and started screaming at the other car. Words were coming out of her mouth that would make a sailor blush. She swerved the station wagon so hard it banged into the yellow concrete dividers.
The tires scraped the sides and almost went over them. None of us said a word on the way to my house. We didn’t know whether to laugh or be scared, so we kept silent. The next day my dad was about to get in the car to go somewhere, and he noticed the tires on the one side were yellow. He asked, “Hey, who painted the tires yellow”? I didn’t want to squeal on my mom, so I said, “Boy, that’s weird. Heck if I know”.
80. No Time For A Dip
I went to a hotel one night for dinner. The hotel had a pool that was clearly only for hotel guests, as was indicated by the dozens of signs surrounding the area. Did this stop my mother? Absolutely not. My mother told my little brother and me that we were allowed to use the pool and even had us wear our bathing suits under our clothing so we could easily get changed after dinner. However, they had employees monitoring its use.
After we jumped into the water, security calmly walked over and asked to see our hotel room keys. Since we weren’t staying there and didn’t have room keys, we were politely asked to leave. My mother refused and insisted we were within our rights because we ate dinner there. A screaming match ensued, and there were hundreds of people staring at us.
Finally, the head of security had to escort us off the property before the authorities were called.
81. In The Heat Of The Night
At the store where I work, we have sweet biscuits with icing on top. Every weekend, this lady comes in and wants them fresh, with extra icing. But every time, something is apparently wrong with them. Her main complaint is them being “too cold,” which is usually probably due to the extra icing being added on top of it. We have told this to her repeatedly.
Well, this last time she came in, we gave her the biscuit, fresh out the oven, loaded it down with icing, and she still says it’s cold. The manager tells her the only way to get it any hotter would be to melt the icing in the microwave, which we refuse to do. The lady has a conniption, demanding to know why. My manager, God love her, says “Because sugar is hotter than the seven sons of the underworld when it’s heated up like that, and no matter how much you deserve it, I’ll be darned if I give you an excuse to have a lawsuit against us.”
82. I Went Karen Over A Hot Cake Craving
I had a Karen moment a few years ago. My poor boyfriend and my stepdaughter had to deal with my anger during the ordeal. We were going camping for the long weekend, and we got up early to head out. My boyfriend asked if I wanted to grab breakfast before we hit the road. I said, “No, I will be OK until we get to a town an hour away, and I will get hotcakes from McDonald’s”.
We rushed to get to McDonald’s in the town because it was 10:45 AM and breakfast was done at 11. I had a one-track mind, and all I was craving were their hot cakes. That was all I wanted to eat. When I got inside the restaurant, there were ten people ahead of me. So, I asked an employee if they were still serving breakfast. I got a yes from them, so all was good.
I would get my pancakes. I was three people away from the cashier, and the breakfast sign flipped to the regular menu. They announced breakfast was OVER! I just lost it! I freaked out and yelled—at no one in particular—for wasting my time in line and stormed out. I went outside, flipped out on my boyfriend, and pouted in complete anger for the next hour and a half in the vehicle.
It was NOT A PROUD moment, and I was completely embarrassed. I was still mad when we got to our destination and angrily cooked lunch after we unpacked our trailer. I am pretty sure my stepdaughter would have cried from embarrassment if she had come in with me inside the restaurant.
83. Driven Out
My dad once got banned from the Ford dealership, which was the only place where his car insurance covered the three-year late oil change that he needed. Why? Well, for the dumbest reason imaginable. They had a vending machine that sold Arizona tea for $1.25 while the can said 99¢. He didn’t even buy it or want to. He was just screaming at the front desk people because there was a discrepancy.
The vending machine wasn’t owned by Ford, and they were most certainly not in control of the prices. I have no idea what he hoped to gain out of that ordeal.
84. Mega Burger Mayhem
My mom was totally a Karen. One day, we were at a fast-food restaurant, and I asked for my mega burger without bacon. I’m not allergic or anything like that; I just don’t like it on burgers. My mom turned into a monster. She actually asked for the fryer to be heavily sanitized, and when they said no, she stormed into the back and tore the place apart.
I was a server at Applebee’s. One Friday night, just after the happy hour had started, I had one table come in—a father and daughter. Things took a bad turn real quick. I got their drinks, brought them to the table, and began to take their orders. The father ordered our Southwest steak salad—which only comes medium rare and is clearly stated on the menu—and the daughter ordered the same thing.
The daughter, however, asked if she could get the steak medium-well. I informed her that it was the restaurant’s policy that it only came medium-rare but that I would talk to my manager to see if I could make it happen. She said, “No, that’s alright. I’m good with medium-rare”. Her father then told her to shut up and began to ream me on how all of our food is pre-cooked.
He said that it’s ridiculous that we couldn’t further cook the steak on that salad. I took it like a champ, apologized, and told him that I would speak with a manager right away and make sure we got the steak done medium-well. I left and talked to the manager, who gave me the “okay” to get that steak cooked medium-well.
When I came back to the table to deliver the good news, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The father was now face-to-face with a gentleman—a regular—from the table I was serving directly behind them. They looked like they were going to come to blows. I ran over and tried to diffuse the situation, as it was not something we wanted happening right in the middle of the busy restaurant.
Apparently, the gentleman who was a regular overheard how the father was speaking to his daughter and told him he needed to treat the two of us better and with more respect. The father then got upset at this statement, fired something back at him, and the two stood up to exchange words and undoubtedly fists. The situation escalated quickly.
I tried to offer to move their tables and let them know that we couldn’t have them acting this way in the restaurant. Nothing worked. I ran to grab my manager. When we returned, the two were brawling on the floor. We broke them up, had to kick them both out, and I then had to finish the last three hours of my closing shift feeling rattled and out of it.
86. Lunchtime Loser
I was seven months pregnant and working at McDonald’s. Some customers would ask for orders to be brought to their table, which was fine. Some people are slightly disabled or have big orders and would rather watch their kids than wait for their food. I was carrying a big tray of food. That, along with my belly, meant I couldn’t see my feet.
There was a small stool in the middle of the floor that I didn’t see. I tripped and fell and partially landed on my belly. As I slowly got up in shock, my colleagues ran to make sure I was okay. However, the customer had a more disturbing reaction—she stood over me and berated me for dropping her lunch and insisted I personally pay for a replacement.
87. Garlic Lovers Surprise
Every so often, this woman and her sister would come into the pizza place I worked at. They always started off the phone call with how much they loved our food, how fantastic the service was, etc., then would say that we also never put enough garlic on the crust. There were five minutes of buildup just to tell us she wanted extra garlic.
I told her we would make sure to put extra garlic on the crust. They came in, got their food, and left. Five minutes later, they were back. She started grilling me on how there was almost no garlic on the pizza. I took a look at it, and there was considerably more garlic than average on that cheese disc. Not only did she get a free pizza, but she kept the one she complained about!
This happened a few more times, each time with more and more garlic. She got about three free pizzas total. I remembered the name that came up whenever they ordered, so a month later, when they called, and I saw her name come up, I prepared myself. I took their order, went through the garlic spiel, and ended the call. My manager and I were both fed up with her by that time.
The garlic bottle needed to be refilled, but it still had enough garlic for about six pizzas. My manager said, “Hey, watch this”, and his next move made me gasp. He dumped the garlic on the entire pizza, not just the crust. It was an apocalypse of garlic. Lakes were forming on the pizza’s cheese, and the crust was stained a bright, sickening yellow-orange.
It soaked through the box and stained the table underneath it. It was truly an unhealthy amount of garlic for anyone. Had I seen it without context, I would likely advise not eating it. The woman showed up, opened up the box, and seemed satisfied. She paid for her order and left. I was dumbfounded. I was seriously concerned about her well-being. She hasn’t been back since.
88. Old McDonald Had A Farm
My brother was a waiter and was working with a really difficult woman. She ordered the salmon and asked when it got to her table if it was “farm-raised.” She got mad at him because he didn’t mention that the salmon was farm-raised when she was ordering, even though it clearly states that it is farm-raised on the menu. She ordered the chicken to replace the salmon, and my brother said “I have to warn you, it’s farm-raised”.
89. Just A Coke And A Smile
A man came in alone. He looked to be in his late 50s or early 60s, and he gave me a bad impression from the get-go. He snapped at me to get my attention, and before I could speak, he said, “Coke. With a lemon wedge”. We were a tiny little cafe without the funding for a machine or the attention for a sponsorship, so we didn’t serve soda.
I told him that, and he said, “I don’t think you heard me. I want a Coke with a lemon wedge”. I was pretty confused because I made it pretty clear we didn’t have Coke. It turned out he wanted me to walk next door, buy him a Coke, and then bring it in and serve it to him. I told him as politely as I could that this was absolutely not happening.
I was hoping that would be the end of it. His reaction made my jaw drop. He picked up the porcelain tea cups we put at each place setting and threw them on the ground, shattering them and cutting open my ankle just a bit. The whole cafe went very quiet. I just kind of stood there looking at the mess of broken china all over the place.
These were beautiful, rare cups that were impossible to replace, and I just didn’t know what to do as an 18-year-old facing up against an aggressive older man. Fortunately, just a few seconds after the cups hit the floor, a man got up from his table across the cafe and walked over. He then reached into his back pocket and showed the man his badge.
He was an off-duty officer. The guy did not get his Coke with a lemon wedge or any food, but he did get taken into custody and administered a ticket for making threats and breaking public property. He didn’t let up, yelling, “I JUST WANTED A COKE! IF THIS LITTLE GIRL KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT SERVICE, I WOULDN’T HAVE HAD TO SET HER STRAIGHT”.
90. Thinking Inside The Box
For context, I’m a female in my twenties working at a fine dining restaurant. This older guy kept giving me trouble all night. Doing stuff like ordering crudités and then calling it rabbit food and sending it back. At the end of the meal, he says: “Where do I put this comment card?” Me: “See that black box over there? Right in there!”
Guy, thinking he’s being incredibly witty and funny, when he’s actually being a total doofus: “Did you just ask me to stuff your box?!” Me: “Nope, mine isn’t black, sir. Bye! I need to actually help people now.” His friends started cracking up and his face turned bright red. I don’t understand people who make inappropriate comments like that in public.
It made the entire meal uncomfortable for the rest of the evening, and his friends were clearly not impressed by the way he was treating me.
91. Putting Your Foot In Your Mouth
My mom had a rule about no shoes in the house under any circumstances—but one day, it came back to bite her. My brother’s friend had prosthetic legs, so he always had shoes on. He came over one day and my mom got really mad and confronted him, yelling: “Why do you think you’re so special that you don’t have to take your shoes off in our house when everyone else does?”
He responded by lifting up his jeans and showing his Air Jordans resting in a pair of fake legs and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am. If I take them off, I’ll have to take my legs off, too”. My mom offered a half-hearted apology and went upstairs. She never commented on it again.
92. Life Is A Box Of Chocolates
This conversation ended with a customer throwing a large bag of Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion potato chips at my head. It was a woman who came into the store looking to buy a box of chocolates. But there was one huge problem. She didn’t have any money. So this customer proposed that she take the chocolates now and come back later to pay when she had money.
“Do you expect me to go all the way home and bring back the money?” she asked. I said, “Yes, because other than that it’s called shoplifting and we will call security.” “But I need these,” she pleaded. I just said no. That’s when the chips started flying.
93. 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.
94. Thanks For Playing
Last week, it was a glorious night. A party of six comes in…headed by a Karen. This Karen wants two four-seater high-tops pushed together. Our host says she can’t do it because the restaurant was too busy. Karen looks her up and down and says, “Let me speak to the manager.” She’s calm, just insistent, and it’s obvious she’s played this card before.
So I roll up. “How can I help?” “Can we push those two tables together?” Nope, I say. “You can have that table that’s for six in the corner, you can have that booth for six after we clean it, or you can have that table for six outside after they get up—in about 10 minutes.” All the while, I’m pointing to each table like I’m showing them emergency exits on an airplane.
“You can’t push those tables togeth—” “No, we will not be moving the tables. You can have……” and I point out the tables again. “You know what I think? begins turning to her friend You know what I think?” both of them together “We go somewhere else?” But I had the absolutely perfect response to this. At this point, I clap my hands together.
Then I say, “Thank you and have a great night,” and immediately turn around and walk away. The best part? The Karen stares at the back of my head for a solid two seconds before she shuffled out. I didn’t realize this until I watched the video of the exchange.
95. Sounds Wrong
My uncle is a deputy sheriff, and one time, he was at an airport speaking to my aunt over the phone in Spanish. Once he was done with his call, some nearby Karen who overheard him went up to him and started demanding to see his green card. Huge mistake. My uncle decided to mess with her and said he didn’t know what a green card was.
He told her he had never even heard of it. She became more upset and kept demanding to see it. He messed with her more and then eventually went, “Well, I don’t have a green card, but I have this,” then brought out his wallet and showed her his badge. She immediately walked away while my uncle just kept laughing at her.
96. Harpy 0, Karen 1
I work at a hospital as an ER nurse, which means when I start at 7 am, by 9 am all the patience I possess is gone, and by the end of my 12.5 hour shift I’m pretty much just done with people in general. So after a rather grueling shift, I stopped by the grocery store for dinner. I’m tired, and feeling super lazy at this point so even though I’m only grabbing a couple of things I use a regular cart—coz, you know, I can lean on it.
I do my shopping, pay for my goods and head out to my truck. Just to inform, no khakis were involved here. Store employees wear dark brown slacks, white collared shirts and ties. I was wearing an Incredibles scrub top—yes the animated movie, no you can’t judge me—and bright blue scrub pants. After loading my groceries, I, of course, return my wheeled crutch (ahem, shopping cart) to the corral.
I get back to my truck when a harpy with a resting witch face that would make Lois from Malcolm in the Middle proud screams across the lot. She yells, “Boy! I’m done you can take my cart now!” I’m like, “Huh?” I know I look young but, really? Boy? She continues, “Come over here and take my cart!” I say, “Yeah I don’t work here, sorry.”
She replies, “Just do your freaking job and take my cart!” I shoot back, “That’s gonna be a hard no from me, sorry.” I start (again) back towards my truck. The harpy, at this point, decides to thrust her cart towards me. It rolls (as carts with wheels are wont to do) and to me, it’s like a train wreck. I want to look away but I can’t. I’m mesmerized by the free range movement of this cart as it runs right into a Jaguar…a nice clean one…with dealer plaques still on where the license plates should be.
A woman who totally looks like a Karen (you know the type) is just getting out of it. The Karen obviously starts screaming and hollering, as only a Karen can. Harpy is trying to blame me for not running out to catch the cart. I’m trying very hard not to start laughing. I finally get back to my truck as Harpy is screaming at me to stop, because this is my fault because I should have collected her cart in the first place.
The last thing I heard before closing my door and driving off was the Karen screaming at Harpy about how, “He’s wearing scrubs! How could any idiot think he works here?” I think this was the first time I’ve ever rooted for a Karen.
97. 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.
98. She Took Matters Into Her Own Hands
I worked at a popular restaurant. During dinner service, we usually had 30-40 minute long wait times. People were told about this by the hosts. There was this lady who got fed up with the wait after 10 minutes. She stormed into the restaurant, stood next to a table of four people, and literally asked them, “Are you guys done? We’ve been waiting for a long time now and would like to have the table if you guys are just chatting”.
99. She Got A Doggone Sweet Surprise
I used to clean a local gymnastics facility on the weekends. The owner would rent out the place for birthday parties, and one of the coaches was always present for them. One weekend, I saw a car pull up about an hour before the party was to start. I was finishing cleaning the lobby, and we had no power as our lights were being replaced.
This woman came in and headed upstairs. About ten seconds later, she came STORMING down the stairs, got in my face, and started yelling, “WHY is there no power?! I’m supposed to set up for this party. HOW am I supposed to do that WHEN I CAN’T SEE WHAT I’M DOING?!” I was a little stunned and told her that, per the owner’s policy, she couldn’t be in the building until the coach arrived.
Her face went purple. She yelled, “HOW DARE YOU TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN NOT DO! THE OWNER SAID I COULD BE HERE WHENEVER I WANTED. I WON’T TAKE THIS GARBAGE FROM SOME STUPID KID!” I said, “Fine, but your power won’t be on for another 45 minutes. You might as well go wait in your car until the coach gets here”.
She stomped off, tried to slam the door, and proceeded to try and call the owner. When the coach finally arrived, I told her what had happened and how she acted towards me. I also left a note for the owner and called her to inform her. I left the gym and went home for the night. The following day, I went in to get paid. The owner pulled me aside and told me I did everything right in that situation. Then I found out the whole story.
I found out that not only was that lady completely nasty to the coach as well, but that she didn’t pay for the party, and she stayed a full hour longer than what was rented. Then, I got the best news possible. When the parents were all inside, her dog had gotten into the cake that was in her car and ate about half of it. Her reaction was deranged.
She then said, “Oh, we can still use it. We’ll just cut around the parts the dog ate”. 40 minutes later, she came running back into the gym, grabbed a bunch of paper towels, and returned to her car. Within the time that she brought the cake inside to the time she went back out, her dog had pooped and puked EVERYWHERE in her car—on the seats, floors, armrests, even the dashboard. This car was COVERED in poo and vomit.
100. What A Beautiful Sight
Over the course of six months, through countless phone calls to different union offices and the department of labor, I eventually got my supremely Karen boss fired for changing people’s time-keeping information to steal overtime from them. During those months I was treated like dirt by this guy, but I never actually did anything wrong so I couldn’t be punished.
At one point, management—against contract rules—denied my time off request to be at my best friend’s wedding and my boss brought me into his office and threatened to fire me. At this point, I had called the northeast district business associate on him, and I will never forget the look on my boss’s face when he realized I knew he couldn’t do anything to me.