To the Karens and Rogers

By Haley Bartlett, Editor-in-Chief

The customer is always right: that saying plagues every retail or customer service worker as they simply try to make it by while on the clock. Now it’s become a joke to act like a “Karen”or “Roger,” but the amount of times I have wanted nothing more than to tell a customer how wrong they are has exceeded the amount of fake smiles I have handed out. 

I got into the service industry when I came to college as a Starbucks barista on campus before transferring to a location at Erlanger. Some would think that college students and even medical professionals would be understanding individuals, but baristaship has offered some of the worst experiences I’ve dealt with. The amount of times I have been cussed out and berated over things either out of my control or just downright ridiculous demands accumulated to the point that I even had to start a Twitter series of my “Horrors of a Starbucks worker.” 

From almost being reported to my manager for calling a woman “ma’am” to having F-bombs dropped on me for new protocols based on our life in a pandemic, I think it’s time we normalize telling customers when they cross the line, even if it costs the business a sale. Because the way I see it, nine times out of ten, the customer doesn’t know how to do your job. I once had a woman tell me my portions were wrong on her berries in a refresher because she didn’t like the color it made. I also had a man tell me something should scan when he overheard me asking my co-worker how to look the product up because it in fact didn’t scan. 

I understand that we live in a capitalistic society where monterey values rank over those of people, but I would give everything to be able to tell the doctor who ordered 20 drinks without tipping and then got mad about the wait time off, or to even be able to explain to the woman who was upset that her latte contained milk and demanded we provide the ingredients to our drinks that latte literally means coffee with milk. I would also give anything for these examples to be made up as if to pretend like other people could actually act with some sense of decency.

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