Working in a service industry stinks since people go into Karen mode and think you’re not only stupid, but also a nasty person in general. Furthermore, supervisors aren’t all that pleasant and will collaborate with Karen to make a normal employee appear terrible and feel under appreciated for adhering to the company’s or business’ regulations. Read the whole story to know how an employee deals with a rude customer and a bossy manager.
3 years ago I was working in a popular local cafe in the middle of a big city. Obviously, there were a lot of customers during rush hours. And of course, the usual Karens.
At the time of this story, I was just finishing my training to be fully hired. The manager, “Steve”, was an utterly obnoxious person who was overall very disturbing. He’d tell us to do something then change his mind while we were halfway through it. Anyways, he wasn’t exactly competent, but we were low on staff and the Owner desperately needed a manager.
So this one day, I’m just clocking in, and I see my first clients are a bunch of kids and their Karen of a mom. (Yes, she had the haircut.) The following conversation ensued.
Karen : What are your muffin flavors ?
Me : We have [naming all the muffin flavors]-
Karen, interrupting me : No no, I’ll just take one of those special edition muffins. Points to the back of the kitchen, like she’s expecting me to make them for her
Me : Oh, sorry. Those are limited edition muffins. We don’t have them anymore.
Karen, rolling her eyes : Yeah I know, just give me 5 of them.
Me, a bit louder thinking she didn’t hear me : We don’t have those anymore ma’am. I’m sorry.
Karen : JUST GIVE ME THEM ! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU !? GET ME YOUR MANAGER !!
Now at this point I’m pretty pissed because this woman is screaming at me at the top of her lungs and gathering all the attention towards her. So, I do as she asked and get her the manager.
Steve looks mad as soon as I disturb him. He goes to see Karen and comes back to me.
Steve : Just give her the muffins, now.
Me : We don’t have any of those muffins left, I already explained that to her.
Steve : There are some left, just find them.
Me : Where are they ? I’m pretty positive we don’t have any left.
Steve : I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINION, JUST FIND THEM ALREADY ! ASK OTHERS TO HELP YOU FIND THEM IF YOU’RE THAT DUMB. AND DON’T GO BACK TO THAT LADY OR ANY OTHER CLIENTS UNTIL YOU FIND THOSE MUFFINS !!
Me, thinking about what he just said : Ok sir. I’ll give her the muffins.
Steve : THAT’S BETTER !
So I go and try to find them everywhere in the store. Of course, there is none left as the muffins are seasonal items and since none arrived in stock, there IS NO SPECIAL EDITION MUFFINS LEFT.
Since Steve told me to “NOT GO BACK TO THAT LADY OR ANY OTHER CLIENTS UNTIL I FOUND THE MUFFINS”, I do exactly that. Since he ALSO told me to ask others for help, I make sure to let EVERY EMPLOYEE know my desperate need for help in finding the muffins. In the end, since no one liked Steve anyways, we all went searching for the muffins.
For several hours, clients kept pouring in until one of them dared to ask what we were all doing running around. I calmly explained that our manager sent us searching for something and we couldn’t work until we found it. I insisted that our hands were tied and we couldn’t serve them until our manager said so.
Every single client went banging on Steve’s door demanding to talk to him. As soon as he opened the door, everyone started yelling at him to let the employees serve them. Visibly confused by so many people in the cafe and in front of him, he shouted my name. I wasn’t allowed to stop searching, so I replied by yelling back too. He eventually came in front of me and asked me what the f was going on. The following conversation was priceless.
Me : Oh, I was just searching for the muffins.
Steve, looking like he was about to pass out : WHAT !? WHY !?
Me : Well, you asked me to find them and to get help if needed. You insisted I shouldn’t go serve anyone UNTIL I find them. Since we never found them, we never got to work again.
Steve, realizing he just lost hours of profits : SERIOUSLY ??? GO BACK TO WORK, NOW !
Me, with a smug on my face : But we didn’t find the muffins yet sir. Would you like to search with us ?
Steve went ballistic on me saying this was insubordination, that I had the IQ of a slug, etc. Meanwhile, Karen sent multiple complaints to the Owner about the manager. At the end of the day, the Owner personally came in to announce to Steve he was fired, and replaced by one of my coworkers.
We never had any other seasonal muffins after that.