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Nipped a Karen in the Bud

Years ago, I worked in local news in a small southern city that was a popular tourist spot, especially among folks from the northern US. As this was a few years after the Great Recession and hospitality was the only real industry in the city, we did a lot of stories on tourism business, flights, etc.

I was at the airport one day preparing for a live shot and shooting some b-roll with my camera. It had the nationally-recognized TV network symbol and the word “NEWS” emblazoned on the side. Additionally, I had a stick microphone with the same logo attached to my belt. I was in a shirt and tie, but had my sleeves rolled up and tie loosened. For reference, all airport employees were wearing polo shirts with the airport logo on them, as well as very visible ID badges.

A group had just arrived at the baggage claims. I was making conversation with one person when a lady seems to literally part the crowd of people to head straight for me. This was nearly a decade before Karens were a thing, so I’ll dub this lady “Proto-Karen.” She was in her 50s, but dressed like she was 20 years younger and was wearing an overly bedazzled cowboy hat. She looked as though she had lived, laughed and loved her whole life, leaving a trail of mangled managers in her wake.

She moves over to me like she has a purpose and slinks one hand on her hip. She looks at me smugly and says in a forceful tone “Do *you* work here?!?”

I say no, and it’s almost as though she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She sits there for a moment, staring at me, blinks twice, mutters “oh…” and just sort of dissolves back into the crowd.

To this day, I wonder what she was about to demand or complain about, because she clearly had an axe to grind. The only thing I can guess was that she had not enjoyed her flight, as a few people at the baggage claim complained about turbulence. But I’m not sure what she expected an airport employee to do about warm air rising and causing turbulence.

TL;DR: A woman prepares to chew me out, only to learn I don’t work at the airport and slinks away, deflated.



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29 replies on “Nipped a Karen in the Bud”

>She looked as though she had lived, laughed and loved her whole life, leaving a trail of mangled managers in her wake.

Well done, OP. You had me laughing there for quite some time.

And also well done for shutting down that piece of work. Sadly your efforts couldn’t stop their evolution completely.

> This was nearly a decade before Karens were a thing

Karen’s have existed since the dawn of time, only their name has changed.

Lol I had an exact flip of that happen. We had a lovely neighbour who’s son had some issues with drugs and mental health. The Mum was sweet, everyone loved her and her son , when he was doing OK, was sweet too. Like our family, they had lived in the neighborhood since the 70s so I grew up with them.

One day , the son had a very violent, very public breakdown that ended up involving about 10 cop cars, an ambulance, and the crime scene folks. (Who , BTW , do NOT wear tank tops and chinos like the TV show lmao) The entire street was blocked off for hours. Anyway the next day, a crew from the local news showed up with Karen dressed in overpriced designer knockoffs toting a microphone. She went to one neighbour trying to pump for juicy stories – neighbour told her to sod off. She spied me leaving my house and skuttled over and shoved her mic in my face with a simpering smile – what can you tell us about the shocking events yesterday!

I glared at her. – how dare you come here trying to dig dirt about a family tragedy. They are good people and well liked by everyone! You can try and dig dirt all you want but NOBODY in this neighbourhood will say a single word against that sweet lady or her son! Take your cameras and your people , climb back into your truck and get the hell out of here!

After a few gasping fish faces – from her and snickers – from her crew, she slunk to the van and drove away. Story never made the news.

My ONLY issue with this story is saying she dressed younger than her age. Unless she was wearing baby clothes, clothing doesn’t have an age, nor should it.

Otherwise, lovely story, well told, great quips with the live, laugh, love, and proto Karen!

> She was in her 50s, but dressed like she was 20 years younger and was wearing an overly bedazzled cowboy hat.

Yup, Florida. Sounds like Fort Myers

This is the first time I’ve heard a story of a woman in her 50s believing that you don’t work there and not bothering you after

‘Leaving a trail of mangled managers in her wake’ is by far the funniest sentence I’ve read all week. Thank you, OP!

>The only thing I can guess was that she had not enjoyed her flight, as a few people at the baggage claim complained about turbulence.

It’s a well known fact that pilots love to piss people off by hitting the “simulated turbulence” button, don’tcha know!

I don’t know how you managed to make the most boring story I’ve ever heard actually engaging and interesting but you did it. No wonder you ended up working for local news lmao.

lol dude no vague description of the agency you work for? *fainted* lol but seriously man like how come she wasn’t able to notice a microphone on your belt? Since it’s pretty large, I am surprised no one would notice, but then again, she is a karen in the making.

At least she knew when to quit. Most Karens don’t bother to ask, and when you try to tell them you don’t work here, they insist you must be lying because “Why else would you be here?” Because you’re trying to get the same goods and services they are, maybe? This one actually asked and then walked away when she realized she was wrong. This is a breed known as the “humble Karen”. They’re not as bad as the wild ones, because they are better listeners and actually believe it when someone says they don’t work somewhere.

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