Stand Down, Karen

I’ve been pondering collective nouns. A Parliament of Owls, A Congregation of Crocodiles, A Murder of Crows. I wonder, what is the collective noun for a group of Karen’s. I’ve decided it’s a Complaint. A Complaint of Karens.

I fairness, you rarely see them in groups. Two Karen’s in room will more likely Face off against each other rather than work as a team. After all, the manager can only deal with one person at a time; they can’t both be first.

The defining feature of a Karen in their sense of Entitlement. That certainty that they (or their family) are the bright centre of the universe. Their anger rises from the fact that no one else acknowledges their specialness.

They are the bane of retail workers, restaurant and coffee shop staff, receptionists; Basically anyone with a public facing service job. Karen’s are also noted for their tendency to punch down. That generally means demanding more from a server than in actually in the job description. I work a retail job. I am used to people demanding they be the first delivery of the day, and calmly explaining why we can’t promise that. It’s escalated lately. People are now demanding (Not asking for, demanding) out of hours service. Some want their delivery at midnight, or 6am. Others expect us to stay open later so they can shop. Sometimes this manifests in the person who figures if they get to the shop before closing, they can stay as long as they want. Others phone ahead, telling us they are on their way and we should wait for them.

When exactly did people stop respecting opening and closing times? That’s a silly question, because it’s not about the clock hours. The more correct question is; When did people stop respecting other people, service industry staff or otherwise?

It’s really unfair that they are called Karen’s, both because I know and have known some absolutely lovely women named Karen. They are now unfairly maligned. It’s also Unfair we use a feminine name when the defining behaviours are just as prevalent in men.

A story pulled from recent headlines to illustrate:

Senator Ted Cruz Threw A Perfect Entitled Airport Temper Tantrum

Apparently, he missed the check-in time and expected the airline to accommodate him anyway. He even used the classic but very dangerous line “Don’t you know who I am?” You run the risk if the person responding with either “No, I don’t”, which indicates you aren’t as famous as you think you are; or the response “Yeah. And…” which shows you aren’t as important as you imagined.

Male Karen’s have been around for ages, for as long as we have been hearing about the InCel movement. The Involuntarily Celibate men who blame women for depriving them of sex. It’s much easier to make misogynistic comments online about women who aren’t attracted to you than it is to shower, shave, get a job and become a more interesting person.

And honestly, what was Jan. 6th 2021 if not a massive Complaint of Karens demanding to see the manager of the election because they didn’t like the result they got. I know it was an attempted coup, but it was based on a lot of adults, from Trump on down to the Q-Anon Shaman, whining that they didn’t get their way so it wasn’t fair.

A worrying aspect of a Karens penchant for punching down is that ir seems to be leading to actual punching.

Flight diverted after ‘out of control woman slapped other passengers’

The Jet2 flight was forced to land in Vienna after reports the woman became aggressive, began shouting in people’s faces and slapped at least two other passengers. 

This was a recent headline, but it’s not an unusual one. Flight diversions used to happen when drunken passengers got too rowdy. Now the combatants are stone cold sober, or possibly drunk on rage and entitlement. maybe it was Mask rage, maybe it was a fight over who got the window seat. The level of rage is almost always far out of proportion to the seriousness or triviality of the inciting incident.

Sometimes I wonder; have we all been spending so much time online that we’ve forgotten certain facts about the real world? All these games, like the Sims or Animal Crossing, where you can create your own reality. If you don’t like interacting with someone on Facebook or Instagram, you can block them. That doesn’t work in the real world.

Everybody needs to take a deep breath and repeat after me:

“Other people are People. They are not characters in your story. They have lives of their own. You need to treat people how you want to be treated. Input=output.”

If that mantra is too complicated, try this one:

Take a deep breath and chill.

1 Comment

  1. Robert Power says:

    One word “WOW”. Well done.


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