OPINION: Rise of the Raging “Karen” an Embarrassment to Billings
Let me preface this story with the following:
- A) Being a "Karen" is not limited to one gender. Men/they/them can absolutely have selfish, angry, entitled attitudes as well. Fatherly.com came to the conclusion that a male Karen is likely a Greg, Terry or Ken. A Reddit user apparently analyzed 70 years of birth data to determine that Ken is the male version of Karen. Regardless, every human appears to have potential Karen-ness lurking in their heart.
- B) I'm sorry if your name is Karen. You're probably a great person and it's unfortunate that your namesake currently evokes less-than-pleasant connotations.
Why do customers suck so much lately in Billings?
I've seen multiple posts this week on the local "community" pages around Billings regarding completely uncalled for and disgusting behavior from customers. One instance involved the Spectrum store in front of Walmart. The likely understaffed store had closed their doors for an hour to give the two employees a late afternoon lunch break. The person who posted the scenario described it like this,
At 2:55 the disgruntled group pressing themselves against the glass was the picture of “first-world problems” - especially the older woman whose main complaint appeared to be that she discovered her cable package includes a Spanish-language channel - which she wanted removed post haste, or she was canceling her subscription (and was coming in person because some of the people on the customer service lines have *accents*).**
Let me reiterate... This Karen was furious that her cable package included Spanish language channels. Instead of simply not watching them, she demanded they do something about it! Incredible. Not only does she sound completely entitled, she's also veering directly into the "I'm a blatant racist" territory.
Another post revealed an awful Karen encounter at a sandwich shop.
My friend Kristina shared a post about her recent encounter with a Karen at a local sandwich shop. Here's how it went down,
We didn’t know what to order, so I stood back to let a woman go ahead of me. She proceeded to be absolutely nasty to the poor guy taking orders/cutting meat. Asking him “do you even know what a number 1 is?!?!” And just beyond rude. She was rude to the woman putting toppings on, and then during payment. I stood back in shock. The employees were polite and professional, but I could tell they were even taken back by this customer’s attitude.**
The comment section for this post (and the Spectrum post) had dozens of comments from employees around Billings who shared their own horror stories of dealing with awful customers, saying they had been screamed at, told they should die, and all kinds of other nasty things. As I kept scrolling and reading the comments, it honestly made me sad. What have we become?
When did Montanans become huge jerks?
Politicians love to blab about our "Montana way of life" and our "Montana values" (which, whatever). But when did those start to include treating everyone like crap? Aren't we better than that? I wish we could blame the nastiness on all the newcomers flocking to our state, but let's be honest... it's not exclusively out-of-staters treating our retail and customer service workers like garbage. It's just not. May I suggest a quick refresher on the Golden Rule and these additional bits of advice?
- Practice patience. Everyone is understaffed
- Show some empathy.
- Think of someone other than yourself.
- Don't be a dick, Karen.
- We're all tired of COVID. Don't take it out on employees.
Please show me we can be better, Billings.
**Note: Permission was granted by both individuals to include their posts in this article.
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