The Worst Sort Of Person
You’re probably familiar with both pizza and Karens. In this day and age, these two things are commonplace. But what do they have to do with each other? And what makes a “Karen” really? Turns out it’s everything to do with terrible entitlement, but also an incredible lack of common sense. This is to be expected, but there’s always a twist worth waiting for.
“Charlie” was an assistant manager at a pizza place and had experienced his fair share of disgruntled customers. However, he felt that to be a “Karen,” a customer had to meet certain criteria. Plenty of folks came in wasted and would become belligerent if they did not get what they thought they came in for. Someone who came in and their attitude “seemed prompted by advanced inebriation rather than inherent pettiness,” wasn’t necessarily bad enough to be considered a Karen. No, that honor was saved when “the wickedness came soberly from the core as a terrible human being.”
You had to be the worst sort of person to be a Karen. Charlie compared it to the characters in the Harry Potter series. If you have ever read the Harry Potter books, there were people who did terrible things when under the influence of a curse, “but only the truly bad, following a dark murder-snake-man of their own volition, earned the title ‘Death Eater.’” Here, we just changed the name a bit. Now, this all sounds very dramatic, I know, but sometimes it really feels like some individuals make it their life’s mission to inconvenience others and cause chaos. Now there’s something we can all relate to.
Charlie encountered one woman, in particular, this fateful night and she seemed straight out of the Karen Handbook. She showed exactly why Charlie had such a unique perspective on whom he called Karen. On this night, Karen met her match.
Order For Pickup
Karen called and made an order for pickup. She paid over the phone and all seemed well. Except something was a bit strange. Not that Karens ever need a reason to be outrageous. But this lady ordered “some unlikely number of pizzas.” These were not your average large three-topping pizzas. Karen ordered five in the biggest size they could make. “These pizzas were ridiculously large, rectangular affairs, coming out at only a little under one square meter of pizza each.” And because they were so ridiculous, “they were accordingly expensive.” They were about $30 per pizza and that was just for cheese, nothing extra.
Now it is fair to assume that Karen was making this order on behalf of a large group. Nothing seemed too out of sorts except for the obscene amount of pizza. Who was she feeding? A whole college football team?! Oh well, it didn’t really matter as she had already paid for it (something she may have regretted later on). We just have to believe that she had a purpose for all this za.
When she placed the order, she “specified her desired pick up time” which was for an hour after she made the order. The pizzas were ready on time and were waiting patiently to be eaten, but where was she? Half an hour passed without any sign. Maybe she caught some traffic on her way? Maybe her phone died and she couldn’t call to say she would be late?
“ [About] 45 minutes after that, the pizzas were still being little troopers and waiting with puppy-like eagerness to be ingested by terrible people.”
How long was too long to let ginormous pizzas wait? I wager this was way past the point of no return, but Karen didn’t show up until two hours after she said she would pick up her order. Again, this was no cheap thing. Then she was there ready for battle. Karen was about to unleash a whole mess of attitude on Charlie.
Two Hours Late
If you have ever interacted with someone like this, you have probably already guessed some of what crazy Karen said, but it is still mind-blowing that people act this way.
Karen, who got there two hours late, said, “These pizzas are cold.”
Wow, what an astute observation! It’s a wonder she even made it at all, how was she allowed to drive with these investigational skills. Charlie replied, “That’s true, yes.”
Of course, Karen had to be unreasonable and reply with, “I didn’t order cold pizza. This is unacceptable.”
Charlie was prepared to handle this and stated, “The pizzas were quite warm two hours ago when you scheduled your pickup time, ma’am.”
So far, Charlie had been nothing but polite and had shown the predator no weakness. However, Karen was not in any mood for this. She probably had plenty of training in this arena and was not going to back down in the face of a challenge.
Karen exclaimed, “Something came up. You should have held off on making them until I could get here.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. We didn’t realize something had come up. Did you call to change the pickup time?” Charlie undoubtedly asked with the most genuine customer service sympathy.
Why do Karens always dig a hole for themselves? She replied snottily with, “Of course not! You should have called me to check that I was still coming.”
I think she must not understand how restaurants work.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the staff to both handle orders and reconfirm orders that have already been made.” Charlie stated, ever the problem solver, and as a gracious manager continued, “I’d be happy to heat up the pizzas on our low-setting oven for a few minutes for you, though. It’ll affect the texture a bit, but they’ll be warm.”
It probably should have just stopped there. Karen should have cut her losses. After all, this was her mistake. She was the one who left the pizzas there to wilt and die. After paying for this much food, one would expect timely pick-up. Everyone knows za is best when fresh or maybe the next day as fridge-pizza. However, we know the shoulda-woulda-coulda’s, and Karen was not that type of person.
Can you imagine her voice at this point? Probably high-pitched and whiney. Simultaneously attempting to intimidate and yet trying to achieve pity to get what she wanted. The voice makes it all so much worse as she continued digging her Karen grave.
“I am not paying for reheated pizzas. When I order something I expect it to be right. You will make them again for me,” she raged.
She went on and on unrelenting to Charlie’s offers to reheat the pizzas. Karen had gone off the deep end completely and became completely delusional.
“Her demands escalated to include a refund of her original money paid for the pizzas already made, a discount for the prospective pizzas she was demanding, the firing of me and another member of the staff who ‘looked at her funny,’ and a written apology for her time wasted on ‘company letterhead,’” Charlie recalled.
A discount could possibly have been arranged if she had been nice right off the bat. Manners go a long way in the food industry. However, she was not a mannered person. How was asking for a full refund, not enough? It must have hurt to have all her ludicrous demands denied. The sting of rejection is strong. I don’t even blame the one co-worker who “looked at her funny.” I mean, she was acting a wee bit crazy. Besides, Charlie didn’t even know “what a pizza parlor’s letterhead would look like.” And he thought he should probably capitalize on the idea just for a situation like this. The Karen population would make him rich!
Does anyone notice something unusual about Karen’s demands though? I see something crucial missing from this whole exchange. It didn’t take long for her to remedy this, if you didn’t realize what it was that’s okay. Karen “pulled out Strategy K, i.e. asking for the manager.” Took her long enough! But I’m sure she wasn’t expecting this response. If she thought she was going to get her way, she should have thought twice.
Of course, Charlie happened to be the manager that evening. He was happy to help and told her so. Karen wasn’t having it, obviously, she felt like the situation warranted someone with more authority, so she asked to speak with the owner. What is that one thing that Karen’s say sometimes and it’s a total lie but they still do it because why not get in the coffin when you’ve already dug six feet under? Oh yeah, they say they know the owner. Karen must have aced her training courses because she assured Charlie she knew the owner “well and personally.” Charlie called this the “nuclear option.” Why do they do this to themselves? We know that you do not know the owner lady, you’ve probably never even met them! But that doesn’t stop them from spitting this out at employees and Karen was no different.
It’s hilarious that she really thought she was going to get what she wanted. And Charlie suspected that this wasn’t going to end well for her. The owner of this pizza parlor was “cheap, crass, dismissive, and a whole host of other negative personality traits bundled into the flesh of a short, funny man.” All this to say that “he was faulty in ways that were really entertaining to watch when matched against people like Karens.” If Karen wanted to speak to the owner she claimed to know so well, she was granted her desire, but she deserved what was coming to her. Charlie “called him up and put him on speakerphone, metaphorically grabbing a bag of popcorn.”
Not Today Karen!
It went down a little something like this:
Charlie answered the phone, “Yo, boss man, I have a customer in here that knows you well and wants to complain.”
“Boss Man” replied with, “You handle it. I’m almost at Jerry’s.”
For reference, Jerry’s was a nearby bar “run by a guy named Phil or Bill or something. There was absolutely no reason for it to be named Jerry’s, not that it’s at all relevant, just terribly interesting.
Charlie continued stating, “I tried, but she wants to talk to you about her issue with the five-party pizzas we made for her.”
“Fine, put her on,” Boss Man said. Imagine that typical managerial sigh and grumbling at being bothered by the mundane of a customer’s absurd complaints.
Charlie wasn’t sure exactly what Karen said at that point. It was all, “screeching noises that approximate human speech, complain-splaining the issues with him and the rest of the universe.” Remember the one worker that had looked at her weirdly? Yeah, I’m sure a few more were doing the same right about then.
Boss Man was not going to stoop to her level and just said, “Thanks for letting me know, Karen. Charlie, did you make the pizzas for her as she asked?”
After Charlie affirmed that the pizzas had in fact been made like she asked, Boss Man, asked, “And they were ready on time?”
Again Charlie said that they had been. And Boss Man said, “Okay, Karen?”
Karen went to that other dimension again where she couldn’t quite be understood but her “screeching gained a smug aura of exultation as she predicted that the universe would soon bow to her whims.”
Not so fast K-monster, today was not your day. Boss Man was done with her attitude and simply said, “Shut up and stop being a witch. Just take your dam pizzas and let my staff get back to work.”
Except of course with the real expletives in there. Altogether it was a worthwhile experience for Charlie as Karen was left “to sputter threats about calling the health inspector, the Better Business Bureau, and a few other places like that.” Of course, this wasn’t a fun time for him, but he got to witness Karen get called out by the owner she said she knew oh so well. There’s nothing quite like the “glow of satisfaction from hearing a Karen get told off.”
It’s safe to say that Karens would never be successful in the sneaky snakey endeavors at this pizza parlor. That’s one small step for the food industry and one giant leap for pizza places everywhere.