The customer isn’t always right. Especially when they assume someone is an employee… at a store they don’t even work at. Of course, nearly everyone has mistaken a stranger for a staff member at least once, even though nobody likes to accept it. But it’s how you handle the next moments of the conversation that truly defines the level of embarrassment you’re about to feel.
One shopper, however, showed her true colors after she approached a fellow buyer, lashed out, and just couldn’t admit her fault. This scenario comes from Redditor RainbowSprinkles4, who recently shared her encounter with an “Old White Lady” radiating powerful Karen energy at Joann fabrics and crafts store. As she detailed in a post on the ‘I Don’t Work Here Lady’ subreddit, she was browsing the shelves on Halloween when she heard someone shouting at her.
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The rude lady addressed her with an accosting “you work here?”, and you already know it’s gonna be good. She started bombarding the woman with commands to get her fabric cut, but the user picked the perfect weapon to respond — humor. Read on to find out how the situation unfolded, as well as our interview with the Redditor, and be sure to share what you think of the whole exchange in the comments!
One lady had mistaken a stranger for an employee and lashed out at her in the store, refusing to accept the fact she doesn’t work there
Image credits: Kahyap Pictures (not the actual photo)
So the customer decided to have some fun and share the encounter online
Image credits: RainbowSprinkles4
Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)
We got in touch with the author of the post who was kind enough to chat with us about the encounter. RainbowSprinkles4 explained that her boyfriend, who’s really into Reddit, inspired her to share the post online. “I texted him the story as soon as I left the store because I was basically in shock. He mentioned this subreddit, and I had been lurking on the site for a while and decided to give sharing it a shot,” the Redditor told Bored Panda.
The ‘I Don’t Work Here Lady’ online community is the perfect space for stories like this one. The forum, which is essentially a “derivative of subreddits like Tales From Retail” was created 8 years ago to offer a platform for people to share “stories about folks that go into other businesses and have irate customers mistake them for employees.”
The woman was shocked to see the story blow up on the platform to the extent it did. “For the most part, everyone has been commiserating from their own Karen experiences and getting a good laugh out of it. I love making people laugh, so those responses are my favorite. There have been a few people who thought I made it up, but honestly, who could make this up?”
We were curious to learn how the situation unfolded, and RainbowSprinkles4 was more than happy to give us an update. “Basically she kinda snarled at me, I don’t know a better word for the sound she made. Just a loud, ‘ugh!’” After this confusing exchange, the lady stormed off, “literally just left her cart in the middle of the store. It was really anticlimactic, but I’m kinda glad it didn’t escalate.”
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Later on, the user joined the discussion in the comments to clarify some details
Still, the motivation behind the lady’s actions remains a mystery: “Who knows why anyone acts the way they do?” Redditor asked. “There have been a few people who have mentioned that it sounds like the effects of some kind of lapse in mental ability, and I hope it’s not that cause I would feel really bad for being so snarky.”
But the woman, who is currently working several jobs — “one as a teacher and one in food service” — has noticed a significant upswing in entitlement lately on all fronts. “I think we’re all feeling that rush and pressure, and it gets taken out on whoever causes that hiccup,” she added.
Emily Zitek, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, told us in a previous interview that researchers debate whether entitlement in our society is getting more severe. “Some people think the data indicates that entitlement is going up, and others think that entitlement is staying the same.”
But why do people behave this way? In essence, “entitled individuals view themselves as unique, and they believe that they should receive rewards and benefits, such as more money, better grades, or preferential treatment, regardless of their performance or effort in comparison with others,” Zitek explained.
Psychological entitlement makes people more selfish, follow instructions less often, and make them more likely to believe that things that are unpleasant for them are unfair. And as many of us know from personal experience, dealing with such individuals is challenging. “People who have to interact with entitled people report lower well-being and burnout.” So if you ever find yourself in such a situation, you “should remember that this person’s claims are not based on merit and that if [you] reject this person’s request, the person will likely get angry or upset.”
This seems to be exactly the case here, and the author of the story shared her biggest takeaway from the whole experience. “The best answer is a witty answer. Sure, cussing someone out is cathartic, but there’s no better feeling than being devastatingly clever.”
Readers applauded the way this person handled the situation and chimed in with their own experiences