May I speak with your Manager?

I swear, even though I am a privileged, mid-30s, white lady, I’ve never asked to speak to a manager for a negative reason.

You know why?


I studied classical voice in college. I soon realized that I would rarely, if ever get positive feedback from my professors. Not because I was bad (though sometimes I was), but because they were using our valuable time to point out areas for improvement.

When I began teaching, I felt I understood both sides of this. Yes, we don’t have time in a one hour lesson to gush about how each thing you’re doing correctly. But it can be exhausting to only hear criticism, no matter how valuable it is. So, I often failed at this, but I did try to include positives mixed in with suggestions for improvement.

Good News

In 2009, I made a different goal for each month. I think this only lasted about four months, because I got married that year. Here’s what I remember:

  • Volunteer each week
  • Support my friends in their artistic endeavors (the way I hope they’d support me!)
  • Make a point to offer positive feedback

The last two are habits I’ve tried to keep up since then. When I have a good experience at a store or restaurant, I try to remember the employee’s name. I call, ask to speak to a manager, and tell them what a great job that person did.

I swear, I’m a Sarah!

What’s this lady’s name?

I was pondering my own Karen-ness recently. And I thought, what would happen to make me ask to speak to a manager? I think perhaps if an employee made me feel unsafe, I would talk to the manager about it.

I’ve heard someone say that calling someone a Karen is a sexist term. I suppose that’s true in the sense that it’s a label only for women. But, really, it’s more making fun of entitlement than the gender as a whole.

I don’t love name-calling, even if I agree with the name. I am not inclined to call someone a “Karen” or a “Chad” or a “pig” or a “bootlicker” or a “Nazi” (unless they are a part of the Nazi party, I guess). I’d rather describe their behavior and why it’s problematic.

And if someone calls me a Karen, that’s an opportunity for me to look at myself and see if I’m acting entitled.


What do you think of the term “Karen”?

What name have you been called? Is it true?

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