I didn't want to do it.
I never envisioned myself doing it.
But, recently, I went full-on Karen on a poor, hapless assistant manager at our neighborhood grocery store.
(Hangs head in shame.)
It really wasn't her fault either. I kinda knew that at the time, but when you're mad, you're mad. Yelling always helps. Well, not really... Or does it?
Anyway, my local big chain grocery store was running a promotion, the kind they do so often. If you're a card-carrying "Rewards" member, this entitles you to special sales, promos, gimmicks, and all kinds of crap. This week, the featured promo was if you spend $65 bucks on groceries, you'll get 65 cents off a gallon of gas. In this day of inflation with $4.00 gallons, that's what I'd consider a SCORE!
So, I start piling unwanted junk into my cart. Lessee...gotta have those bacon-wrapped jalapeno peppers, can't live without stuffed mushroom caps, french onion dip I need to sustain. You know, all the essentials. Anything to get the cart to tally up to 65 bucks.
So, the old check-out guy rings me up. When I get my receipt, I notice my 65 cent gas deduction isn't on there. I think, no problem, an oversight, I'll go directly to customer service and have it corrected, not the first time.
So the young girl grimaces and says, "Did you ask for it?"
"Did you ask for it? You have to ask for it now."
Crickets. So many crickets.
"I've never had to ask for it before," I say.
"I know," she says, her grimace growing. "It's a new rule that just came down from corporate. You have to ask the cashier for the discount."
My crickets slowly morphed into rockets red glaring. "It wasn't advertised! If that's not illegal, then it's highly unethical!" By this time, I'm gaining quite an excited crowd of looky-loos. Surely I'm on YouTube somewhere.
"I'm sorry, sir. It's not my rule."
"I'm not happy about this." I thought, wow, those strong words will show her.
"I know, I'm not happy about it either," she says.
"Well, can't you give me a break this once?" Like I'm pleading with a cop to let me go with a warning or something. "Can't you honor the gas discount since it wasn't advertised?"
"I wish I could," she says. "But it's the new corporate rule."
"I'm not happy about this." I keep chanting this like some kind of delusional mantra from a crazed bag lady. "I'm not happy about this." I hang my head, shaking it in disbelief. The further I travel through the store toward the exit, the angrier I'm getting. I can feel my face simmering with fireworks rage. I start yelling and cussing, Karen gone wild. "Goddammit! Had I known about this I wouldn't have bought sixty-five bucks worth of this crap! You didn't advertise it! That's illegal! Bait and switch! I'm not happy about this!!! I'm not happy about this!!!"
I'm getting louder and louder, truly looking and sounding like a schizophrenic bag lady pushing my cart by this point, yelling at no one in particular.
By the time I get to the car, I'm shaking. Ten minutes later, I'm home and feel really kinda bad about the way I treated the poor, hapless assistant manager. I've been searching for her for a month now, hoping to apologize, but haven't found her. I hope I didn't cause her to quit.
Meanwhile, the corporate office still hasn't replied to my Karentastic ranting messages. I wonder why?
While on the topic of bad behavior, there's plenty on display (of the "normal" and supernatural sort) in my darkly comic suspense thriller, horror, mystery, satire werewolf extravaganza, Corporate Wolf. Give it a look-see and learn how not to compose oneself in a corporate setting. (And how not to eat your coworkers).