Sunday, September 20, 2020

Karen's quirky narcissism, or good riddance Bloomberg Karen

I've worked with several people who live to sabotage their coworkers, over the course of my career, but in the past year I've worked with a woman who was the worst of all and on top of that she was the living embodiment of the Karen meme.

And her name is actually Karen.

I was forced to work with this woman as part of a three-person team, but unfortunately she didn't understand what it meant to be a member of a team. She would demand that the other two of us obey her arbitrary commands and if we did not, she would run to our manager to complain.

Within the first weeks of being forced to work with her (remotely thanks to Covid 19) she was asking to speak to the manager. The first time it wasn't about me, it was about someone else who had declined to do her bidding on command, but I rightly anticipated she would eventually find an excuse to snitch on me.

She seemed completely incapable of understanding how human social behavior works. She would reprimand coworkers one minute and then suggest we have a virtual cocktail party the next. The other team member and I did not want to associate with her in our free time, but suspected if we didn't she would find an excuse to retaliate. 

She revealed her true character at one of these virtual cocktail parties, complaining about a homeless man, and telling us she wanted the police to turn a hose on him.

And on top of everything else she was the most narcissistic person I have ever met. She touted herself as a model and used to give the rest of us regular reports on her latest outfit for her latest photoshoot, which nobody wanted to see. Her personal web site is full of images of herself. 

Although unlike the quintessential Karen "can I speak to a manager" haircut, this Karen's hairstyle is a mullet. A florescent red mullet. She seems to think this is quite attractive.

I was watching old reruns of M*A*S*H recently and I was struck by how much her character is like that of Frank Burns, who was constantly barking orders at coworkers and snitching on them when he didn't get his way. Although at least Burns had a higher rank than those he wanted to boss around. Karen was a co-worker who only thought she outranked us.

And the worst part was that she really believed herself to be superior to the two of us. She once barked at me "I'm not your mother!" and it took me awhile to realize what that bizarre statement meant: she actually thought I was asking her for help rather than questioning her approach, on a death-march project.

She made my life absolutely miserable and so I found a new job. 

My life is much better now.