Karens in the workplace are far too common. They are evil, lazy, and bring out the absolute worst in the other employees. The real kicker is, that workplace Karens never seem to hit the road. Despite every other employee wanting them gone, Karen always knows just how to stay. In fact, nobody knew workplace Karens better than our good buddy, “Steven.”
Our friend Steven worked at a hospital data center in the network operations group. Sounds like a job for a smart person, right?
Steven was great at his job. He strived to make the workplace better for both himself and his co-workers. However, Steven and his supervisor weren’t able to get on the same page about workplace expectations. Her name was “Crummy Karen,” or Karen for short. Karen was a mean and lazy person. Plus, she didn’t care about the patients at the hospital.
If you ask me, Karen sounds like the worst!
Karen held seniority at the hospital. Getting her fired from the data center was nearly impossible. Despite being the worst employee the hospital had, she remained the head honcho in the data center. It was a terrible situation for both Steven and his peers.
One glorious day, Steven became promoted to supervisor in the data center. With his newfound ranking in the workplace, he devised a plan to give Karen the boot once and for all.
“You Are Going To Fail Miserably”
Steven previously worked in a hospital data center. He specifically worked in the network operations group. He and his co-workers mainly kept an eye on the servers, monitored the computers for alerts, and changed tape backups. Working in the data center was hardly a technical job.
Many of Steven’s co-workers had been in the data center for years. It was impossible for them to find a job elsewhere. The data center used specialized hardware and software on their computers. This made it difficult for employees to apply their skills in different ways. Workers in the data center believed the job was completely dead-end. Most of Steven’s co-workers weren’t the most tech-savvy. The hospital didn’t provide continuing education to employees. The data center was only as strong as its weakest link.
Yikes! Steven needed to make some changes at his job.
Speaking of the weakest link, Steven got a new supervisor. Her name was Karen. Karen worked in the data center for the past twenty years and received a supervisor promotion solely based on her status. Steven thought Karen was a sociopathic narcissist, and she was truly one of the worst people he had ever met.
Only months after Karen’s promotion, she was demoted to shift lead. Well, her position didn’t last long!
As shift lead, Karen worked directly with Steven and his co-workers twenty-four-seven. She didn’t know how to properly do her job, and Steven’s responsibilities in the workplace diminished. What was once a productive data center, turned into a chaotic, problematic, workplace.
After a couple of years on the job, Steven was promoted to supervisor. Let’s go, Steven!
After Karen found out about Steven’s promotion, she angrily screamed at him, “You are going to fail miserably!”
Steven knew it was time to show Karen who was really boss.
“Karen Was A Soulless Maniac”
Although Steven could try as hard as he could to get Karen fired, she had a powerful tool at her disposal; the hospital bureaucracy. Also, it was nearly impossible for someone to lose their job unless they had repeated violations or showed up to work on substances. It was going to take Steven a lot of effort to get Karen fired.
In this situation, Steven was fine putting in the work if it meant Karen would be gone for good. I mean, she was absolutely awful at her job!
One of the most important tasks at the data center was monitoring the computers for alerts. There was a procedure the data center employees had to follow in order for data to be sent out. If they didn’t do the procedure, nurses wouldn’t receive their lab results back. One time, Karen saw an alert on the computer and totally ignored it. Apparently, browsing the web was more important to her. Because of her mistake, a patient in the intensive care unit passed away because a nurse didn’t have their lab results. No matter what, Karen didn’t get fired! She didn’t feel the slightest bit of remorse, either. Karen was just a complete soulless maniac.
Going forward, Steven ensured he kept a paper trail of Karen’s fumbles. Steven wasn’t being nitpicky about Karen’s mistakes either. The job presented literal life and death situations.
Steven first gave Karen a verbal warning, which she disregarded. Next, Steven gave her a first, second, and final written warning. Finally, he gave Karen a termination notice.
Steven was close to getting Karen fired, and revenge had never tasted so sweet. But unfortunately, he would run into another roadblock along the way.
Steven’s Sneaky Scheme
As Karen’s day of reckoning approached, she told the human resources department about how Steven was harassing her.
Harassment? Okay, Karen!
Since Karen made harassment allegations against Steven, HR was required to start a six-month-long investigation to figure out what was going on. As expected, HR didn’t find anything against Steven. Everything in the office carried on as usual. This process would repeat itself every time Steven approached Karen about her termination. How annoying!
Steven and his co-workers were totally helpless. Nothing they could do would drive Karen away from the data center. Even the chief information officer at the data center couldn’t do anything about crummy Karen due to the hospital’s bureaucracy. Karen was a poor employee, a menace to the technology department, and she was universally disliked by everyone in the hospital. Even worse, she still had twenty years until retirement. Karen would be working at the hospital for the foreseeable future. The next couple of years of Steven’s career at the hospital was looking grim.
Suddenly, Steven thought of a genius plan to get Karen fired. As a supervisor, Steven could implement exams for the employees in the data center. Under the guise of developing skills relevant to the employee’s jobs, he could require everyone in the data center to pass a technology exam. The exam wasn’t difficult by any means, but it wasn’t exactly easy either. Steven was positive most of his time members could pass the exam. Everyone except for Karen.
By passing the exam, employees would receive a better job title and pay raise. Plus, the employees would also acquire transferable skills. This was great for the employees in the data center! The career would no longer be considered a “dead-end” job. Best of all, if Karen didn’t pass the exam, she would no longer be able to stay at the job.
Steven had a perfect plan to get Karen fired. He just needed to figure out how to put it into action.
The Priceless Master Plan
Steven spent the next three years attempting to enact his plan.
He held meetings with his director, the chief information officer, and the human resources department. Steven spent hours in meetings to tweak small wording in the data center job description. In total, he likely spent hundreds of hours in meetings.
The most difficult task he had to complete was getting the hospital to approve the pay raises for the data center employees. By no means was Steven going to require his employees to take an exam without some kind of reward.
One afternoon, Steven received a call from the hospital directors. The hospital approved the plan! Not only would the data center employees be completing the exam, but Steven would be, too. Just because he was the supervisor, didn’t mean Steven was going to allow his skills to lapse. Plus if Steven completed the exam, he would receive a sweet pay raise, too!
When Steven pitched the idea to his employees, everyone was thrilled. Not only would the data center’s employees be more marketable, but their job would be more interesting. Plus, the employees would be making over twenty percent more cash than they were previously.
Steven built time into the employee’s schedules strictly for studying for the exam. Additionally, the hospital paid for the exam, plus a second attempt. Essentially, employees got all of the necessary resources in order to pass the exam. If an employee didn’t pass, it was due to their own wrongdoings.
When exam day arrived, every employee in the data center passed. Except for one person.
Everyone passed the exam besides Karen. She didn’t even pass her second, third, or fourth attempt!
Because Karen behaved like a narcissist, she thought the exam was somehow all about her. She believed Steven created a mandatory exam just so she would leave. Karen made sure to inform the other employees in the data center about her situation.
Despite Steven’s plan working, he couldn’t have prepared himself for the following confrontation with Karen.
Karen’s Dreadful Demise
When Karen confronted Steven about the situation, he explained, “Do you know how insane your theory is? Not everything is about you all of the time, Karen!”
Karen’s bulletproof facade became stripped away from her, and she finally lost the battle. Typically, Steven wouldn’t be so happy to see someone’s livelihood disappear. However, Karen was an awful individual and a danger to patients and staff members alike.
The day after Steven fired Karen, the hospital employees looked at him as a hero. Upon walking into the hospital’s main office, the hospital employees met Steven with cheers and congratulations. Even the chief information officer was proud of Steven. Mainly, everyone was simply happy because Steven didn’t have to manage a truly terrible person anymore. Though in Steven’s mind, he believed everyone was congratulating him for pulling off a long-winded and elaborate plan.
In the following months after Karen’s disappearance, morale at the data center was high. They were able to learn how to apply their skills elsewhere, and a couple of employees were even able to get different jobs. Steven felt fine about employees leaving. They wouldn’t have found better careers if Karen kept her job as a shift lead.
The employees who did choose to stay at the data center received better pay and increased job security.
Though it took years for Steven to pull off his elaborate plan, he would do it all over again. He didn’t have any regrets.
Steven firing Karen was one of his greatest and most rewarding accomplishments to date in his career. If only he could put it on his résumé!