VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
The only thing more dangerous than an angry Karen is an employee dealing with an angry Karen. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're examining our picks for iconic times when rude and entitled folks at businesses received some sweet justice from a worker in one way or another. Our countdown of the times employees fought back against Karens includes incidents involving McDonald's, Lyft, Delta Airlines, and more!
Top 10 Times Employees Fought Back Against Karens
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re examining our picks for iconic times when rude and entitled folks at businesses received some sweet justice from a worker in one way or another.
#10: Sauce Scandal
Restaurant staff have it rough. Not only do they deal with the usual annoyances, but they also get the full brunt of a Karen meltdown every so often. In 2021, one unidentified woman decided to complain to Pizza Hut manager Sweets Williams. However, she wanted a refund on the pie for having “no sauce.” Except, that didn’t stop her from consuming a lot of it. Realizing she wasn’t getting the red-carpet treatment from Williams, the Karen pushed the pizza off the counter onto the manager before attempting a quick getaway. However, Williams was in hot pursuit and continued arguing with her. With Karen threatening to call the police, Williams pushed her multiple times, eventually causing Karen to fall on the ground.
#9: Angry Andrew
There’s probably no line of work that deals with more terrible customers than retail. So, just for a moment, we can all vicariously live through Andrew as he worked at a Home Depot store. In the middle of arguing, a Karen couple had seemingly asked for a price check on an item, then made a drama when Andrew asked them to take a photo of it. Eventually, the employee hit his breaking point, uttering curse words at the pair. The male Karen then tried to sound responsible but came across as patronizing as he reminded Andrew that he worked there. With another worker also taking the side of the couple, Andrew was done, and he angrily quit on the spot.
#8: Boiling Point
In 2021, Sondra Albert was having a bad shift at the Massapequa Diner in Long Island, New York. But in one moment, anyone who ever worked as wait staff got to vicariously live through her when one unidentified man was being a nightmare. On top of trying to hand his phone number to underage girls, he repeatedly uttered homophobic slurs. He also called Albert an explicit insult several times. Eventually, she had enough and asked him to leave, stating that no employee wanted to wait on him. As he was reluctant, seemingly acting as innocent as possible, she launched into a rant criticizing his terrible behavior. Reportedly, the police were called to the diner. At that point, the man eventually left voluntarily.
#7: One-Handed Justice
In one viral moment in 2022, Halie Booth became the coolest person on the planet. According to her, a group of people came into the Waffle House she worked at in Austin, Texas and were rude and demanding. After they were asked to leave, an argument began between them and the staff, leading to a brawl and objects being chucked around. One person flung a metal chair at Booth, who effortlessly caught it with one hand and threw it to the floor, immediately securing her icon status. After being written up for chucking a sugar shaker at one of the customers, Booth left that restaurant. However, she stated she was “blacklisted” by the chain from working at other Waffle Houses.
#6: Equal Opportunity
Sometimes, the best revenge is some amazing malicious compliance. In 2018, the owner of the Pizza Inn in Greenville, South Carolina, Amanda Cartagine, received a complaint from a customer. He approached a staff member and asked them to refill the lettuce section at the salad bar. The manager explained that the employee was autistic, and this wasn’t part of their responsibilities. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for the man. He suggested a sign warning customers about the restaurant’s special needs staff. Yikes. Cartagine agreed… sort of. Livid at the man’s horrid attitude to her workforce, she placed a sign at the entrance that clarified this was an equal opportunities establishment, and that they hired everyone.
The arrogance of some Karens who think they can do whatever they want and not receive comeuppance is always astonishing. In 2015, one terrible customer had gotten under the skin of an assistant manager at a Chevron station in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her rude behavior caused the employee to refuse her business at the gas pump. After being shown proof that her card hadn’t been charged, Karen slapped the manager before trying to make a hasty exit. Unluckily for her, the worker recovered quickly and grabbed the woman, putting her in a picture-perfect headlock as another staff member called the cops, who arrived later and escorted the menace from the business.
#4: Lyft Language
In 2022, driver James Bode’s interaction with Jackie Harford scored a ton of praise for handling a bad situation. Working for Lyft, Bode picked up Harford from outside her bar, the Fossil’s Last Stand, in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania. As soon as she got in, Harford expressed pleasure in Bode being white and a “normal guy” that spoke English. Yikes. With that, Bode told her to get out and criticized her comments. The man Harford was with got angry and threatened violence against the driver. He even uttered racial slurs. What a lovely couple(!) Sadly, no charges were issued by the cops, but they did condemn the pair’s actions. However, Harford’s business received many negative reviews online.
#3: Bat Man
When the pandemic was in its prime, many establishments had rules that required people to wear masks, regardless of vaccine history. But some folks who ignored this have been quick to play the victim when employees react. In 2021, Bobby Dixon and a friend entered Tweedy and Popp Hardware in Seattle, Washington. While the friend didn’t wear a mask, Dixon claimed he did. However, the video and the staff dispute this. After receiving hostile treatment, Dixon went to re-enter the store to complain to the manager. Instead, he was met with an employee armed with a baseball bat, telling him to leave. After a shove, resulting in the loss of the bat, a brawl erupted between the two.
#2: Delta Disaster
Some Karens are used to throwing their weight around and getting their way. This makes it cathartic when they finally meet an employee who refuses to cooperate with their demands. In 2018, Susan Peirez was furious on a Delta Air Lines flight at JFK Airport in New York after being placed near a baby. She name-dropped her work with then-Governor Andrew Cuomo and threatened the job of air staff Tabitha. At this point, Tabitha had enough and wanted Peirez off the plane. Immediately, the angry passenger backtracked, trying to apologize. But it was too late, as she was kicked off. Afterward, Peirez was placed on leave from her job at the Council of the Arts.
#1: Mayhem in McDonald’s
Every so often, some people like to abuse systems to score freebies. In 2018, Sabrinah Fontelar allegedly tried to get a free soda with a water cup at a McDonald’s in Las Vegas, Nevada. This caused her to argue with staff, including Erika Chavolla. After Fontelar spouted a load of abuse and lobbed a fry, Chavolla had enough of her and approached her. Fontelar threw a milkshake and smacked her with a tray, but nothing stopped the employee who grabbed her, threw her about, and hit her several times. Other staff and customers quickly stepped in to separate the brawling duo. Afterward, Chavolla wasn’t fired by McDonald’s for this action-packed altercation, while Fontelar claimed she was charged with battery.
Have you ever had a Karen appear at your work? Let us know below!