When working in food service, one has to deal with a wide array of customers. While some may be pleasant, others draw the ire of people in the industry. For example, a server may find themselves having to explain basic math to customers or attempt to process a refund for a sandwich that was made and consumed a day prior.
As a worker at Taco Bell, TikTok user Caleb (@caleb_lennon) has had to deal with a lot of bizarre customer interactions. Recently, he shared one of those interactions to TikTok, where it quickly accumulated over 163,000 views as of Sunday.
For some background, Caleb was working during his Taco Bell’s Happy Hour, in which medium drinks are only $1 from 2pm to 5pm.
“Anytime someone asks for a small drink during happy hour, we have to recommend them the medium $1 drink,” Caleb explains. Little did Caleb know, this discount would lead to issues for him down the line.
“One day when I was taking orders, a lady asked for a small Baja Blast, which would be much more expensive than the medium during happy hour,” he recalls. “So I said, ‘Hey, would you like to make that a medium for only $1 today? It is cheaper.’”
“And I guess she thought I was insulting her because she said, ‘Um, I can afford the small one,’” he continues.
While Caleb tried to respond to her, he claims she pulled up to the window and demanded to speak to a manager. As a manager himself, Caleb heard her many complaints.
“She started complaining that I shouldn’t be telling her what size to get and how much to spend, and it’s her decision what to get,” Caleb shares. “And just like at the speaker, she didn’t even let me respond. She just pulled out and left.”
@caleb_lennon I was just trying to help this Karen! #tacobell #tacobellstory ♬ original sound – Caleb
“Would you consider this person to be a Karen?” Caleb asks in conclusion.
In the comments section, many users agreed that, yes, the woman in question was a “Karen.”
“The audacity to let them know they can save money!” said a user.
“Ppl just love being mad,” stated another.
“You weren’t telling her what to get, just suggesting,” detailed a third. “These Karens need to calm down.”
Caleb has previously gone viral and sparked discussion after explaining the difference between large and regular nacho fries, showing how to save money on nachos, and offering details about Taco Bell’s truffle fries.
The Daily Dot reached out to Caleb via Instagram direct message and Taco Bell via email.
Update 4:18pm CT, Dec. 11, 2023:
In an Instagram direct message exchange with the Daily Dot, Caleb speculated about how this situation came about.
“[She was] definitely just having a bad day or a rude person in general,” he explained. “I didn’t have enough time to mention every little detail in the video but she was rude before I even offered her that drink.”
Rude customers, he says, are generally treated on a case-by-case basis.
“…Usually we just put on a fake smile and give them whatever they want because ‘the customer is always right,’ but our [General Manager] understands if somebody is being too crazy we will just tell them they need to leave,” Caleb stated.
Still, his takeaway from the experience is positive.
“It’s fairly common we get people like this, but try to remember everyone has their own battles and struggles and try to be kind to others!” he concluded.