"This was about four years back when I worked at a shoe store. It was near closing time, nearing ten at night, and that meant the late-night scammers were on their way. We get at least one scammer a night, and tonight was when we had our usual couple of scammers. This mother and daughter walked up with the shoes they were going to buy, and we did our usual check of the shoes, making sure there were no hidden socks in the box. While I was ringing them up, they pulled out their phone, telling me they had an online coupon. Not to my surprise, it was the exact same code they had used last week and the week before that. Nonetheless, I proceed to scan like it’s different. The same result happened, I got an error on my screen that said the discount had already been used.

I told them it was not working and they wanted to check the screen, so I showed them the error message. They asked for the manager, so I radioed her, and my manager came to see what the issue was. She’s dealt with these people before, and instead of declining their purchase, she told me to just bypass it and give the discount. They’ve done this trick two times already, and now the third time they’ll be cleared just because our manager didn’t want to receive a bad review online! But whatever, orders are orders. So I bypassed the error and gave them their 50% off. They left with a smirk, knowing they had won again.

Fast-forward exactly one week later, and they came in just on time. The mother and daughter once more brought up a pair of shoes, and I graciously did my usual inspection and began to ring them up. And just like clockwork, they showed their coupon. I scanned it and got the same error, and I explained to them I got the error and the same dialogue occurred. Little do they know we have a new manager now who doesn’t take any nonsense. A different manager came, to their surprise, and my new manager looked at it and asked several questions. Their faces turned so red. They started screaming about how this was nonsense. Before they left, we were sure to put them on a watch list, so that whenever they came inside, any employees wouldn't take anything from them.

Another Karen encounter happened when an associate radioed me this customer was being super difficult. I walked over to assess the situation, and the Karen was arguing she wanted the price that was exactly on the sign. I told her that we wouldn't be able to do that because sales tax was automatically added once the item was rung up. The absolute price isn’t listed on the sign.

She said, 'I can’t believe that! That’s hogwash! Come with me, I don’t think you know what I’m talking about!' so we walked to the shoes she wanted to get.

I told her, 'Yeah, that’s not the price that anyone gets it for. Sales tax is added once the item is rung up.'

She was visibly distraught as we walked back to the counter to proceed with the item. She was still going to pay for it, and then she saw my manager and called her up. My manager came and told the Karen exactly what I told her. Then! She said this, 'I've, never had to pay any taxes here in America!' and, 'The customer is always right!' out loud for everyone in the general area to hear, somehow thinking she’d get someone to support her.

She merely received total silence. People eventually snickered and laughed, and she only turned red as she paid. She left with her shoes and came back a week later, much more humble when buying a new pair of slippers. Working in retail was an experience. So many Karens and so many stories. Some people will outright lie and scam to get their way. Others will whine and complain. And others will act as if the rules don’t apply, then get mad when they’re hit with the rules."