Is the Fear of Being Called a “Karen” Making Subpar Acceptable?
I’ve noticed a trend lately. Every time somebody complains about something, even if it’s a valid complaint, somebody calls them a “Karen”. The whole idea of a “Karen” was that it was a person who felt more entitled than they have the right to feel. And I get that. But if somebody has received bad service and complains about it, that’s not being a "Karen".
Not long ago I wrote an article about my experience at a new fast food place in Poughkeepsie. There wasn’t a long line, but it still took 41 minutes to get 2 burgers. And then they screwed up my change. 41 minutes at a fast food restaurant that is not crowded is unacceptable. Yet, everyone called me a “Karen”. They said I was whining. Are you kidding me? If that happened to anyone they would complain. They should, in fact, complain. The whole reason for a drive-thru fast food restaurant is for it to be fast.
Anytime one of my coworkers writes an article about a negative experience, it’s the same thing. And I’m talking about valid complaints. We are all just as likely to write about our positive experiences, and I think pointing out problems is actually key to more positive experiences for all of us. To say it’s okay to wait for way too long is not okay. To say it’s okay to be treated poorly by a business is not okay. And pointing out problems that could and should be corrected does not make one a “Karen”.
If somebody is not doing their job, or if they’re doing it poorly, maybe pointing that out will help them do better. Maybe they’ll learn that doing a good job is important. Important to the customer, important to the business, and important for their own self-esteem.