2020 has been a banner year for Karening. We've had Officer Karen McMuffin, sidewalk chalk Karens, Karens named Karen Karening about how they think 'Karen' is a racial slur... and now we have the and latest not-so-greatest, Uber Karen.
A Recently uploaded YouTube video shows an encounter between a Virginia Uber driver and his potential passenger, who might not be named Karen officially, but is certainly a Karen in spirit. So that's what we're going to call her.
The woman wanted an Uber to pick her up at a Manassas restaurant called Monza. So she whipped out her phone and called an uber ... but not to Monza.
Rather than telling the app where she actually was, she dropped a pin vaguely close to her location. She was actually about a block off with her pin drop and sent the driver to a different restaurant.
When the pair met up, the ensuing disagreement was downright bizarre, ending with a cancelled ride and the woman threatening to call the cops and then claiming "Honey, I am the cops."
Yeah. We know.
So things start off bad as soon as the pair meet up. Karen openly admits that she put her pin in the wrong place, but seems pretty intent on making it the driver's fault for not showing up at her exact location anyway. The condescension in her voice is audible, though we pretty much never see her in the frame.
The driver counters plainly that he isn't a mind reader, he can only go where the passenger tells Uber they want to be picked up. Her pick-up location was set at that second restaurant—not Monza, where she was actually located.
So he went to the location she set. That is, after all, his job.
Karen seems taken aback by the Uber driver's unapologetic stance on the situation. Turns out, the customer is not always right.
At this point, things aren't too tense. There are a few things she probably could have done to save the ride. The most obvious choice would be to stop treating the driver as thought her mistake was his fault, and apologize. "Being real" and hitting the reset on a situation can be a great way to diffuse and de-escalate.
Yeah, Karen didn't do that. Instead, she pulled the "insinuate that the other person is a potential threat to your safety" move. She even delivers it in a chastising tone—speaking to the driver the way you'd speak to a toddler.
Ah, classic Karen.
Karen: "Okaaay, well ... are you in a good mood?"
Driver: "Uh ... I was right up until somebody told me I was supposed to pick them up at a place where the address didn't tell me to pick them up."
Karen: "So, are you gonna get me home safely or are you gonna have an attitude?"
The driver explains that he always gets people home safely. Karen continues talking to him like a child, asking if he is good and if he can handle this.
There seems to be a moment where things are almost okay, but Karen lays out a sort of "terms of surrender" that hinge on the driver being at fault for going to the wrong restaurant—even though that's where she set her pick-up location.
The driver begins to speak in an attempt to, once again, explain how the system works and how he can only go by the pick up location she sets. Rather than let him speak, she cuts him off, telling him that it doesn't matter. She just needs to know if he is good or if he is going to have an attitude.
Every time the man tries to speak, or even show her his device so she can see where it sent him, she cuts him off and speaks over him. She repeatedly tells him that it doesn't matter and repeatedly implies that he has an attitude that makes him unsafe.
Eventually, the Uber driver declares himself done and cancels the ride.
Karen, aghast, calls the Uber driver "the first person ever in the history of time" to get upset with her for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Apparently this is a habit of hers?
The Uber driver quips back with a "There's a first time for everything."
Next, Karen tries a total change of tactic and essentially attempts to guilt-demand the driver into taking her to her destination. If he won't take her home as Uber, maybe she can badger him into giving her a ride home just because. She tells him "Yeah well, there's no more Ubers so ... you need to get me home" as if getting her home is his personal responsibility.
Needless to say, that gets her nowhere—he again tells her no, he has canceled her ride.
So she hits him with more condescension and tries to scare him with threats of the police... which backfires gloriously.
"Yeah, well. One, I'm gonna call the cops on your plate; and two -"
Now look, we're not even sure she really had a number two on her list of vaguely threatening consequences. She sort of seemed like she was winging it at this point.
We'll never know for sure, because the driver didn't give her the chance to get that far. Rather than cower at her threat to call the police, or even take her seriously, the Uber driver laughed in her face.
After a brief but literal LOL, the driver asks her what she could possibly call the cops over.
Realizing her threat has done exactly zero good, she retorts:
"Honey I am the cops."
The driver, caught off guard, stammers through "what?!" a few times while laughing. The woman, who we don't see in the shot for any of the encounter, gives up and walks away calling behind her about how "adorable" this is.
If you watch the left side of the video you can make out her striped clothing as she walks beside and then behind his car, presumably heading back towards the restaurant she initially wanted to be picked up at.
So what have we learned today? Honestly, not a whole lot. Most of us know how to use Uber and other ride share services and we know it's our job as a passenger to tell drivers where we need to be picked up and where we need to be taken to.