If you work in customer service, then you have likely had to deal with rude and entitled Karens at some point or another. They can make your job feel like a real challenge.
Karens can be particularly demanding and try to take advantage of your kindness. While it can be challenging, here are some strategies for dealing with Karen effectively:
Rude and Entitled
Pop culture often refers to middle-aged white women as “Karen,” who act entitled and rude. She typically expects special treatment that she doesn’t deserve and often throws public tantrums over small inconveniences. Furthermore, she may possess a narrow-minded viewpoint, lack social skills, and attempt to push others away.
Karens have been around for some time, but their name is beginning to make headlines recently. The Central Park incident earlier this year is widely believed to have catapulted Karens into the public consciousness.
Though not humorous, the incident serves to demonstrate the growing racial connotations of the Karen name and how it’s being used to subjugate others. A Central Park Karen used her white privilege to call police on an innocent Black man, falsely believing he was threatening her life (with another similar story from a Plano woman taking it even further back before Alex Jones/Kanye was released).
According to The New York Times’ recent article, many individuals labeled as “Karen” have also publicly declared their anti-Semitism and called for the deaths of Jews. One person identified as Karen recently posted a screenshot of an anti-Semitic Facebook post on her website.
Karen has not only racial connotations, but her perceived entitlement has further fuelled this slang term’s rise to public awareness. This is an issue of grave concern and deserves serious consideration.
Today, rudeness and entitlement have become a global epidemic – particularly among middle-aged women trying to make it in the workplace or dating scene. It has become so ingrained in our culture that it has become accepted as normal behavior – which makes it important to address this issue head-on.
As a result, some cities are taking action to combat Karen’s behavior. For instance, Oakland recently passed an ordinance designating discriminatory 911 calls as hate crimes.
If this ordinance passes, it could be a positive step forward for Karen’s behavior and the safety of those she harms. But this legislation won’t be effective without tangible repercussions for Karen’s actions. Those who support it must reach out to local leaders and demand change be made.
This type of policy is essential, as it helps to deter Karen from committing such horrific crimes in the future. Furthermore, it’s essential to take time out to educate Karens on how these policies operate so they understand the potential repercussions their actions could cause.
Some cities, like Boston, are even installing signage to encourage the public to report inappropriate Karen behavior. Restaurants have begun posting signs saying, “Please leave us alone!” Furthermore, the city has banned using sexist and racist language in their parks and asked restaurant employees not to call themselves Karen or Kyle.
Although these rules can be difficult to adhere to, they have proven successful at curbing some of the worst Karen behavior around the country. But it’s up to us as citizens to uphold everyone else’s rights and put an end to such actions.
Entitled and Rude
Karen has become a byword for a type of middle-aged white woman who acts entitled, is rude, and loves complaining to store or restaurant managers. Usually with an unattractive haircut, Karen seems to believe that whatever she wants, she will receive.
Not long after Karens United was launched, the internet was filled with stories of its unfortunate use. This sparked support groups such as Karen is My Name and Karens United to fight back against such mistreatment of their name.
Karens often make unrealistic demands from minimum wage employees (particularly retail or food service workers), then become shrill, insulting, and aggressive if their demands aren’t met. Furthermore, Karens have a reputation for being rude to those who make simple errors or ask questions which should not have to be answered.
These individuals act with little consideration or empathy for others, believing they are entitled to special treatment that doesn’t exist. When they don’t get it, they throw public tantrums in an effort to gain the attention of those in charge.
Retail and food service workers alike face this problem, but also their customers. Many women are unaware that there are laws in place which prevent refund requests during fire emergencies or expired coupons from being honored.
They do not understand that they cannot demand a manager be called when someone has a bad day or ask to speak to a customer service representative about an issue they aren’t satisfied with.
People who try to lead normal lives without being disrupted by such behaviors must find ways of putting up with it. One Reddit user who lived next door to an obnoxious Karen had no choice but to move because she couldn’t take any more of his noise, arguments and disruption.
In 2005, comedian Dane Cook famously quipped “every group has a Karen,” leading to the term becoming associated with troubled white women. More recently this year, however, the term acquired an unfavorable racial connotation following an incident in Central Park in which a black woman was mistaken for being called “Karen” by another individual.
Though many may laugh at this behavior, it’s a serious matter for women who are affected. There are even support groups dedicated to this issue – one founded by author and educator Karen Gross who herself experiences constant online stereotyping.
She’s concerned about her career and the repercussions of her name. According to The New York Times, Karen doesn’t want her name being associated with negative press since the mocking Karen memes began in 2020.
As a society, we must unite to take a stand against the many instances where people are acting entitled and rude. If not, it will become increasingly difficult for us to get along in the future.