Am I a “Karen?”

A view from a hike in Flagstaff.

This past weekend in Flagstaff my husband and I walked around Old Town, waiting for a text from a restaurant called Fat Olives that our table was ready. The restaurant had a 30-minute wait. My husband spotted a sculpture through a window of a shop. We are looking for a few pieces of art for our new house and he found something he thought would be perfect.

The front door of the shop was open so we started to walk in. An employee at the counter said “We’re closed.”

“I just want to check a price. I’ll be out in a second,” my husband said.

I noticed at least six customers in the store and several employees.

“Come back tomorrow,” the employee said.

“We won’t be here,” my husband said.

“We won’t be back,” I added.

We walked out but I turned around and saw the employee with fists up to her eyes doing a “wah wah wah” crying gesture and everyone in the store laughing. I flipped.

I walked back to the door and called out, “Are you the owner?”


“Are you the owner?” I repeated.

“I’m the manager,” she said smugly.

“Well I’m going to write to the owner,” I said.

“Come in here and talk to me,” the manager said. “Don’t yell.”

“I’m not yelling. I just want the owner to know how you treated us.”

“I’m following the owner’s policy,” she said. “We were supposed to be closed 20 minutes ago.”

Really? I wondered if the owner of the shop’s policy included ridiculing potential customers behind their backs? I doubt it. Also, it was 6:10 p.m. so it was a lie that she was supposed to be closed at 5:50 p.m.

I told my daughter this story and she called me a “Karen.”

She said I had no idea what it’s like to work in retail and how the manager is underpaid and abused by customers all day long. My daughter worked in retail for Lululemon and had customers throw clothes at her face. My daughter added that the manager was just doing her job and I was in the wrong.

I told her that the manager lost the store a big sale. But my daughter said the manager is probably an hourly employee and that means nothing to her.

So what do you think? Was I being a Karen? Also, have you noticed a lack of customer service lately? I’m old school. I remember a day when the customer was always right.