In this story, a toy store employee tells about their experience with an entitled parent that was definitely a Karen!
“So this was around Christmas 2017. I was working at a toy shop in a VERY wealthy neighborhood. As you can imagine, entitled people were everywhere. Now, I was pretty prepared for entitled people. I usually had to deal with the usual ‘What do you mean you’re out of this gift wrap?’ or ‘You don’t have it in the back? I drove __ minutes to get here!’
Christmas Eve comes, and as you can imagine, being in a toy shop in Christmas Eve was hectic. It was my last shift before my seasonal placement ended, so I was getting a lot of farewells and hugs from my coworkers. I was kept pretty busy at my register and was in a fantastic, Christmas-y mood until I met Karen. We’re gonna call her Karen because, well…. she was a Karen. She was white, with a short haircut (brown hair, not blonde) with two kids and a huge, lazy husband.
Karen comes in with her two awful kids and her husband. She’s shopping, not watching her kids and her husband is doing God knows what somewhere else. Neither of them even look at their kids. The older one is a boy of maybe about 8 or 9 and the youngest is a girl that looked about 4 or 5.
I notice they start playing with one of the display kid-friendly dartboards. The dartboards in question are Velcro and the darts don’t have a needle point, so it’s really safe and has basically the same effect.
Karen glances back at her kids for a brief split-second and just as she does, her son throws a dart at the board which almost nicks his sister in the face on its way.
Karen totally lost it. She gasped dramatically and started yelling at her son. I figured it’s their problem, not mine. But I was wrong.
Karen comes stomping over to my register and says, ‘My son almost threw a dart at his sister’s eye!’ Like that’s my fault or something. I politely mention how it’s a kid-friendly dartboard and that it’s very unlikely there would be any harm done. But, that didn’t satisfy her. She glared at me with a look I can only describe as ‘pure murder’ and says in a very slow voice. ‘You’re telling me that if I threw a dart at your eye, it wouldn’t hurt?’
Was this hag threatening me?
Y’know I almost lost it on her, and I wish I had, because it was my last shift after all. In fact, I only had about an hour left at this point. What were they gonna do? Fire me?
Then she suddenly switches from the look of death to a polite expression and says, ‘Can you watch my kids for me while I shop?’ I was a bit taken aback by that because…. well…. no. No, I can’t watch your kids for you. That’s not my job for one. And also, your husband is off somewhere, get him to do it.
I politely told her ‘no’ and apologized. Then she tries the whole ‘but they’re really good kids!’ thing. Like look, I just watched him nearly miss his sister’s face with a Velcro dart. Clearly, he’s not paying attention to his surroundings, and that worries me.
I declined again, saying ‘We can’t do that, we have customers to take and we’re very busy.’ Then she got the look of death again. I basically knew what she was about to say so I just went, ‘Do you wanna talk to my manager?’ To which she replied, ‘yes, please.’
Well, at least she said please.
Now at the time I thought, ‘Good luck, she’s worse than I am. I’m being nice to you’ I brought her the manager, who was indeed not very friendly and she chewed out this customer right in the middle of the sale. I didn’t hear the full conversation, but I did make out my manager saying, ‘We aren’t a daycare service. Watching your kids is you and your husband’s job.’ I didn’t hear the rest of it, but by the look on Karen’s face, I assumed my manager was winning.
Karen still stayed around to shop, surprisingly. I took a few more customers, bought a few gifts, and went home. That was the only time in my two months there that my manager had stuck up for me. It felt great. But forget you, Karen, wherever you are.”