True Story©… A Christmas Karen


Okay, so Christmas is in a couple of days here…
WHILE we’re bawls deep in Christmas season and selectively filled with Christmas spirit in our second pandemic Christmas, life has to continue moving along as well.

In the course of “life moving along,” I find myself in Wal Mart more than any sane human being should ever comfortably be tasked with going to.  One of the benefits of my move is that I am no longer three blocks from a Neighborhood Market and now live less than a mile from a Supercenter.
So Monday afternoon on my lunch break, I ran down to grab a few things.  My trip, as far as my own items, was largely uneventful, but as I was leaving self-checkout on the way to the truck, I heard some kind of ruckus coming from the Customer Service Desk and decided to be nosey.

Lady Customer: “What do you mean you don’t know!?”

CSR: “I mean, I can’t check the stock from up here, you’ll have to ask in Electronics.”

Lady Customer: “Well can’t you, like, CALL them for me?”

CSR: “Ma’am, I’ve tried to call them three times and they’re not picking up.”

Sheeeeid, this woman is trying to muscle them into selling her a PS5!  Dis gon’ be gud.  I get my phone out in case I need to go live.

Lady Customer: “There must be SOMETHING you can do to help me here, I NEED this.”

CSR: “I wish there was something I could do, but I am just service desk, I can’t change or check stock of an item.”

Lady Customer (from henceforth to be ‘Karen’): “Look…  This is the one thing my son wanted and I can’t seem to get my hands on one ANYWHERE without paying a thousand or more.”

HA!  I knew it!

CSR: “…”

Karen: “So what are you going to do to help me?”

CSR: “I’ve done what I can here, it’s out of my hands.”

     Ever seen the moment just where a moment goes from gas to shit?  Well this situation was about to turn into a shart when a guy walks over from the in-store pickup lockers with nothing other than ONE PS5 digital in his cart, a receipt in his hand and a look on his face as if he had just hit the lick of the century.


CSR: “Ma’am--…”

Karen, bright red in the face: “Manager… NOW!!!

CSR (on the intercom): “I need manager assistance at the customer service desk.”

While waiting for the manager, she accosts the now-curious man trying to leave the store with a PS5 that I am QUITE sure he ordered and paid for almost three weeks prior.

Karen: “Sir, SIR!”

PS5 Dude: “Me?”

Karen: “Yes…  How’d YOU get a Playstation 5 and I can’t?”

PS5 Dude: “Lady, I ordered this online in November for in store pickup so nobody would steal the shit off my porch.”

Karen: “W-what?”

PS5 Dude: “I’m not saying that again.”

Karen: “So that means that there may be MORE in the back that people ordered that they could sell me, y’think?”

PS5 Dude: “I don’t fuckin work here.”

The manager on duty was approaching with the labored look on his face, standard for a retail store manager during this time of year.  Now PS5 guy and I are standing there witnessing this shit, my dumbass as if I don’t have to get back on the clock.

Manager: “How may I help you.”

Karen: “I’ll have one of the PS5 consoles that you have in the back?”

Manager: “D-did the website tell you that we had them in stock?”

Karen: “No, I didn’t check.  I just came over and checked to see if there were any.”

Manager: “…  and did you ask anyone in electronics if there were any in stock?”

Karen: “I tried to ask your employee to call and ask them after I went back and they had a line.”

Manager: “Well, ma’am…  The holidays are naturally our busiest time.  You’d need to wait in that line as well.”

Karen: “That is ridiculous.  You’re the manager, can’t YOU just go ask?”

Manager: “You know what?  I will.”

He walked down the aisle toward the electronics department.  About 5 minutes later he returned.  The grin on his face was noticeable.  Me and PS5 dude knew what it was.

Karen: “I take it someone is coming directly with my son’s Playstation?  I will wait at that register over there.”

Manager: “There are no unsold Playstations.”

Karen: “Well that guy there has one.  He said he ordered it online and picked it up.”

Manager: “I’m guessing he did.”

Karen: “SO I am to infer that there are MORE in the back waiting to be picked up.”

Manager: “I honestly can’t know that.”

Karen: “But you can go check, right?”

Manager: “I could, but anything waiting to be picked up is already paid for.”

Karen: “And I am willing to pay right now.”

Manager: “But ma’am--…”

Karen: “So my money is no good here?”

Manager: “I can’t take a paid-for item from another customer and sell it to someone else just because they asked though.”

Karen looks at me and PS5 guy: “Sir.  How does it feel to know you could have saved my son’s Christmas and did nothing?”

PS5 Guy: “I don’t know your son.”

Karen: “And what about you?”

Me: “I been trying to buy one since September and striking out.  I finally scored last week, but won’t have it til January.”

Karen: “What about me!? What about my son? How do YOU feel to be taking a Playstation from a kid who DREAMS about owning one?”

Me: “I am comfortably crass enough to speak for the three of us when I say to you…  Fuck dem kids.”

     There was a chorus of uproarious laughter from everyone who had now gathered around to witness this shit; customers as well as employees.  I dapped PS5 guy and said “I gotta get back to work” and began toward the exit.  She was now SCREAMING on the manager for having dared laughed at my response.  Some shit about how she would settle for a free PS5 waiting among the online pickups as a means of her not calling and talking to the regional manager and demanding his job.
I passed a security guy on my way to the door, quite obviously on his way to diffuse the situation and break up the crowd.

     Out in the parking lot and back in the truck, PS5 dude wheeled his cart to the car and loaded up.  He saw me and smiled as he chucked the deuces before gesturing toward the door.  Karen, STILL screaming and now PURPLE in the face and crying after obviously having been asked to leave, is backpedalling toward the crosswalk.  I drove past and waived and fake-smiled real big before I turned down the parking row toward the exit of the parking lot.  I noticed in the rearview that she was running after the Nitro, apparently to confront me about--…  Something.


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