‘That Ain’t Karen. That’s Muriel’: ‘karen’ Berates Store Employee After Not Being Able To Exchange Used Underwear

A viral TikTok video shows an elderly woman dubbed a ‘Karen’ losing it inside a California retail store after two employees wouldn’t allow her to exchange used shapewear.

One of the store employees, Chanel (@chaneljalice), recorded the video while the other employee dealt with the customer and tried to have her leave the store. As of Saturday, the video had reached 7.4 million views on TikTok.

In the video, the woman is seen trying to reach over the store’s customer service counter to grab a pile of clothing that she appears to be trying to exchange some other clothes for. The second employee snatches the clothes away and adamantly asks the ‘Karen’ to leave.

“Leave my store, goodbye,” the employee says. “Leave my store, ma’am. I’m telling you, I’m not the one you want to do this with.”

The customer tries to go around the counter to grab the clothes, but the employee blocks her. She continues to tell the ‘Karen’ to leave.

“You’re too old for this, just leave my store,” the employee says. “You’re way too old for this. You’re way too old for this.”

Still refusing to leave, the woman tells the employees to call security, adding that she’ll tell them what the employees are doing to her. After the second employee tells her to leave again, the customer reaches over the counter and tries to grab the clothes again. At that point, the second employee begins recording the ‘Karen’ as well, and the woman slaps her phone away.

The two employees eventually herd the customer out of the store, even as she makes a final attempt to grab the clothing out of the second employee’s hands.

In a much-requested “story time” video, the two employees explain that the ‘Karen’ was a problem from the moment she entered the store. They claim that the woman knew what she was doing and did not have dementia or Alzheimer’s, as some viewers had previously suggested. The second employee says that she helped the ‘Karen’ the first time she came to the store, to buy the Spanx that she was trying to exchange in the viral video.

“You can not return underwear,” the second employee says in the story time video. “Do you go to Victoria’s Secret and try on underwear and put it back? No, that’s nasty.”

By then, the elderly woman was acting erratic, and the store manager had told the employees they could kick her out or give her store credit. The second employee says that “out of the kindness of [her] heart,” she still decided to give the ‘Karen’ store credit for the item she wouldn’t allow her to exchange.

As soon as she got the store credit, the woman was “fine” and shopped around the store for an hour and a half, Chanel says. But she was rude the entire time, making “righteous” remarks about some of the items in the store. The TikToker adds that the employees had to read the size and price of every item to the woman because she didn’t bring her glasses.

Eventually, the Karen got in the second employee’s face and threatened to call the police, she says. That altercation prompted Chanel to start recording the first video. Chanel says that the two did call security, but they took 30 minutes to get to the store, which is how the situation escalated.

Some commenters questioned the employees’ diagnosis that the ‘Karen’ was mentally sound.

“While it doesn’t excuse the behavior, dementia is still a high possibility. Still not okay to treat people like that and retail workers really do not get paid enough for what they deal with,” one viewer commented.

“People who have dementia can have lucid moments where they are totally normal. Then nothing. It’s pretty crazy so I’d say that’s a possibility,” a second commented.

A third wrote, “Maybe she’s GETTING dementia [sic] lmao I can’t explain this behavior any other way in my head. Holy hell. Crazy!”

But other viewers said the possibility of dementia shouldn’t be used as an excuse for the ‘Karen’s behavior.

“Sometimes old people are just mean. The lady don’t need an excuse because of age. Y’all handled it. Period,” one user wrote.

Several users jumped to the woman’s defense, saying the employees should have shown her more compassion.

“Remember we are all going to be old one day. You could have called security earlier and had someone “help” her on out of the store,” one viewer said.

“Honestly understand your frustration but I think everyone should have more compassion for the elderly,” another viewer wrote.

In the employees’ defense, one user commented, “It’s the people mad at y’all for calling her old and crazy. She was old and acting crazy …. Point blank period it’s not y’all problem.”

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