Karen and Chad are Ruining Restaurants with Their Rudeness

Some of you forgot your mama's manners, and it shows.

Some of you yell at young people for simple mistakes and problems out of their control.

Some of you think it's acceptable — even called for — to make a kid cry for screwing up your food or coffee order.

More and more people are losing their minds at high school and college kids because they're being mildly inconvenienced at a fast food restaurant. They get so angry when the line is a little slow, or the restaurant is out of an ingredient.

Some of you are yelling at children, and you're the reason people don't want to work at those places anymore.

You complain that "no one wants to work anymore," when the truth is, they don't want to be paid minimum wage to have some mouth breather scream at them about how their "sammich ain't got no pickles."

My kids all work for fast food restaurants, and they come home with horrific tales of them and their coworkers being yelled at by rude, entitled people, also called Karen and Chad. My daughter reported that two different Karens shouted at high school students because the kids were having trouble with the mobile ordering system.

Or how a Chad swerved in the drive-thru line to try to run into a worker because he couldn't redeem a coupon for a free sandwich.

And I've lost track of the number of people who yelled at the counter staff because they were out of their favorite sauce.

These are so-called adults yelling at fast food workers because they had to wait for ten minutes during the lunch rush. They bellow at baristas because the mega-corporate coffee chain raised their prices. They shriek at their server because there is a national supply chain crisis that meant they couldn't get cheese.

Let's be clear, Karen and Chad. You're yelling at children. You're grown-ass adults with jobs, families, and mortgages, and you're yelling at children because you're mildly inconvenienced.

Now, if you're reading this in a newspaper, you're likely an adult because teenagers don't read newspapers. If any teenagers are reading this online, let me say that newspapers are news websites that are printed on large pieces of paper.

But if you're an adult, think back to your first job and how nervous you were. This may take a little longer for some of you; I'll wait.

Think back to your worst customers. Your own Chads and Karens who were rude and unhappy no matter what. The morons you rolled your eyes at, like the ones who tried to order a hamburger at a roast beef sandwich restaurant. The blonde who "found a hair in her food," which turned out to also be blonde.

Remember the woman whose three screaming kids made a big mess, and she did nothing to stop them? The guy who sat in a booth for three hours nursing a cup of coffee? The guy you all called "Merv the Perv?"

Nothing has changed since then. It's the same people causing the same problems. The names have changed, but the characters are still the same.

Now it's some of you. Not all of you, but some of you.

If you've ever yelled at a kid at a fast food joint, you're the problem. If you've ever made a server feel bad because the kitchen screwed up, you're the problem. If you've made a barista feel bad because the store ran out of oat milk, you're the problem.

You know who you are.

Are you proud of yourself? Did you go home and brag to your family, "Hey, I made a 16-year-old girl cry today?" Did you tell your friends, "I tried to get a college kid fired because he didn't comp my lunch after I yelled at him?"

People don't want to work in food service because of you. You've created such a toxic environment that people are quitting to go into something uplifting and fulfilling, like parking enforcement or rodeo clown.

During the pandemic, the country called food service workers "the real heroes." They were told they were just as important as healthcare workers and first responders. Until they ran out of dipping sauce.

The next time you're unhappy with a particular restaurant and want to shout at someone, don't. If you feel you must "speak to the manager," save it. Your problem isn't that serious, and you're not that important.

Just cut the kids some slack. They're overworked and underpaid; they're certainly not paid enough to deal with you. Your problem is not their fault. And if it is, they feel terrible enough already. They don't need you, Karen or Chad, to pile on and make it worse.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat restaurant servers. And if you yell at someone over a mixed-up food order or a slightly longer wait, then we know everything we need to know about you.

So if you can't be civil, then just remember the golden rule of restaurants: don't yell at the people who are alone with your food.

Photo credit: Alex Green (Pexels, Creative Commons 0)

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.