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She Who Shall Not Be Named

, , , , | Right | October 26, 2020

I am working at a coffee shop when a middle-aged woman orders a rather simple drink. She steps aside to let the next customer, also a middle-aged woman, give her order.

Customer #2: “Hi, can I have [same as Customer #1]?”

Me: “Sure, can I have your name, please?”

[Customer #2] provides her name. I write the name down on an empty cup. When the drinks are ready, I have them out behind the plastic barrier. I hand the two women their drinks separately. The second woman looks at the drink in her hands and frowns.

Customer #2: “Excuse me, but that’s incredibly rude of you!”

Me: *Confused* “Sorry?”

Customer #2: “You d*** well should be! I haven’t been snappy, or rude, or anything but polite to you and you call me this?

She almost slams the cup against the plastic, spilling some of the drink. I immediately see the problem and I start to explain.

Me: “I’m sorry if you see it that way, but—”

Customer #2: “You should be sorry! There is no excuse for you to even suggest being so stereotypical just because I happen to be a white, middle-aged woman!”

[Customer #1] is clocking on to what the woman is saying.

Customer #1: “That was my drink.”

Customer #2: “Your drink?”

Customer #1: “Yes. My name’s Karen.”

Note that she pronounces the name “Car-run’ in the Scandinavian way rather than the English “Ceh-ren.”

Customer #2: *Smugly* “No, sweetie. It’s ‘Ceh-ren’ and this b**** was insulting me. There’s no need to make excuses.” *To me* “I want to speak to your manager!”

Customer #1: “For heaven’s sake, I’ll pay for your stupid drink!”

She slams a fiver onto the counter, which more than covers the cost of the first customer’s drink.

Customer #2: *To [Customer #1], rather crossly* Thanks.”

Facing me, she pointed the tips of her fingers to her eyes and then back at me, scowling at me as she left.

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