HutchCC students tired of ‘Karens’

By Tabitha Barr / Editor in Chief

In this day and age, college students need to work to afford college. It’s a must, as college can put students in debt for years.

Businesses that hire college students are usually ones that are entry-level food and retail service. That means that the customers that come in are vast. With the range of people that come into our jobs, there are bound to be those who think their service is the only thing that matters. Today’s youth has named people who are rude to entry-level workers for no reason “Karen.”

According to Dictionary.com, Karen is defined as “a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being a nagging, often divorced mother from Generation X.”

Karens don’t always have to be a woman or one that follows that physical appearance, but it’s the stereotype that’s been set.

Matt Watson, Topeka West sophomore, said that Walmart was a prime place for Karens. He had one situation where a woman tried to convince him that a product was priced differently than what it rang up with.

Watson couldn’t believe what happened next as she turned around and said to the customers behind her, “Watch this,” and then turns back to him and says, “Let me talk to your manager.”

The classic line that makes it known that “Karen” is not going down without a fight. The manager looked into it and said that the price stated was the one that was presented and that they wouldn’t change it for her. She then proceeded to say she was never coming back and left.

Anytime a “Karen” says she’s never coming back or that “you just lost my business,” it often means nothing to employees. It just means they don’t have to deal with the rudeness ever again.

Alyssa Ibarra, a dual-major earning a second degree, said that a “Karen” pulled into the drive-thru 10 minutes before closing while Ibarra was the only one at Subway.

“My headset had died,” Ibarra said. “I was doing the dishes and so I didn’t know it had died.”

Since this “Karen” couldn’t get any service at the drive-thru, she pulled up to the window. She proceeded to pound the window to try and get someone to help her.

“I get scared, and I’m not going to the freaking window,” Ibarra said. “I’m terrified.”

After not having anyone answer, “Karen” gets out of her car, opens the drive-thru window, leans her body inside and screams, “Hello, can I get some service, please?”

Ibarra realizes it’s not a robber, just a “Karen” and tries to calm her down by apologizing and telling her that the headset had died without her knowledge. “Karen” persisted in her rant, called Ibarra stupid and that she would be calling her manager to get her fired.

The next day, Ibarra found out that she had already called and her manager didn’t answer because “Karen” was being unreasonable.

With the term “Karen” being a stereotype that was introduced in today’s world, not many people who are the age of a Karen know about how rude they can be. Visual Media Design Professor Amber Brawner didn’t know what a Karen was until informed. This lack of understanding could be why a Karen thinks they can get away with doing what they want. Brawner agrees that someone who acts like that is completely overreacting and rude.

“Karens” wouldn’t be “Karens” if they understood college students are working for not much more than minimum wage and should be treated decently.

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