BEAR ROCK, CALIFORNIA — An irate manager at a local retail establishment is currently locked in a heated exchange with his own employees, demanding to be allowed to speak to the store’s Karen. The incident is taking place at a business in town called “Jack’s Lumber, Hardware, and Vintage DVDs.” The location specializes in selling lumber, hardware, and old DVDs of network television shows. Manager Mick Johnson has been running Jack’s Lumber, Hardware, and Vintage DVDs for fifteen years, and the locals who come into the shop for a hammer, some wood, or a DVD copy of “Golden Girls” all have come to know him and appreciate the work he does.
However, once in a while, Mick tells us he has to “get into it” with the store’s Karen. Once a month or so, Mick says that local resident Karen Tomjilloway comes into the store and causes some kind of ruckus. Sometimes she complains that she needs a receipt to return a DVD, sometimes she insults the store’s selection of screwdrivers. Mick says that usually he can handle Karen’s issues without getting too upset himself. However, today it appears he has reached his boiling point.
At issue — whether Karen is entitled to a refund on a purchase of six boxes of three-quarter inch long screws she bought from Jack’s Lumber, Hardware, and Vintage DVDs more than nine months ago. Even though the store’s employees told Mick that they’d handled the situation, he tells us that this morning he reached his tipping point, and he simply “had to put Karen on blast.”
“She once called the cops on the store because one of my black employees asked her for a receipt for a return,” Mick said to a local reporter during a break from the heated argument. “She’s always being a right, royal pain in the chooch. I guess I’d just reached the end of my rope, and it was time for me to let her have it.”
But his store employees, at first, balked. They like Mick, and they don’t want him getting in trouble with Jack McLumberHardwareandVintageDVDs, owner of Jack’s Lumber, Hardware, and Vintage DVDs. Jack and Mick usually agree with each other, but every now and then the two can’t come to an agreement, and they’d all hate to see Mick leave over something Karen started.
“She’s a douche. A total and complete douche,” a store employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, told us. “But this is a capitalist society, and that means retail employees have to put up with utter garbage from terrible people so we can earn the platry living we sustain our barely livable existences with. So…here we are…face to face…a couple of silver spoons.”
It’s unclear at this time exactly when Karen and Mick’s argument will end. The two have been going back and forth for some time. While Mick has stopped short of outright banning Karen from the store, he has repeatedly told her she’s “tap dancing on the line.”
“We have rules here, Karen. I’m not your husband, you can’t just browbeat me into submission,” Mick said. “The customer is always right, sure, but not when you’re entitled prat who can’t seem to figure out the world doesn’t cater to her every whim.”
“Excuse me?! What will you do if my take my business elsewhere,” Karen demanded.
“I don’t know, get along with the revenue generated from literally every other customer who doesn’t pull this crap on us,” Mick retorted. “I’m just asking you to think before you accuse and scream at us, Karen.”
The bickering has yet to cease, but business has gone on for the most part unabated. Staff reports that a copy of the “Friends” DVD box set was sold, and that quite a large number of pipe fitting were sold to a local plumber, William Terwilliger Jones, known locally as Billy.
“Yeah, they’re yelling at each other something crazy right now,” Billy said, “and I feel bad for everyone involved. But sometimes we humans need to work our shit out in a messy way. Guess this is one of those times.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because they have a definition of hate speech that includes “calling Ann Coulter the C-word.”