Ask Amy: My Sister’s Name Is Karen, And She Gets Ridiculed By Strangers

dear Amy: My sister was baptized “Karen”. She works in a public service job that requires wearing a name tag.

Ever since the “Karen” meme became a thing, the abuse she has to endure from customers over it is pretty severe, especially from teens, 20s, and men, who make fun of his name and make jokes about it, even to his face.

It puzzles me how, in this supposedly culturally enlightened age, a person’s name can generally be used to define a type of bad behavior, especially when the use of the term is essentially offensive in and of itself.

Not all Karen are “Karen”, and it became humiliating for her to wear her name badge or even introduce herself to new people in social situations.

I suggested she use her middle name or another form of Karen, but she’s reluctant to change her name. After all, that’s the name our late parents gave him.

How would you recommend that she respond to people who react this way?

Sister:Until this meme-scape passes, your sister might reconsider changing her name tag at work, either to show her middle name, or maybe to “K”, “Kay” or something like that . If her workplace is suitable and her name tag is large enough, she could use three names: “(Not THAT) Karen”.

The reason for any modification is not to repudiate her beautiful and respectable birth name, but to oppose the “humor” of overgrown babies and fools who should know not to degrade her – during that it serves them, nothing less!

Of course, your devoted sister must always treat all customers well. Right now, she might be required to bear the burden of customers’ ridicule with grace. The way to do this is to maintain a neutral facial expression and quietly wait until a customer’s “comedy” has died down.

It’s the facial version of a slow clap.

Here’s my fantastic “comeback” suggestion, for when she’s frustrated: “Careful, mate. I could demand to see the director.

Fantasizing – but not delivering – this line could help him through these times.

dear Amy: My brother passed away suddenly during a major outbreak of coronavirus. His family and mine live on opposite coasts.

Some of them are anti-vaccine and think covid is ‘not that bad’, including my brother’s daughter, who is an ER nurse.

I was worried that if I attended the funeral they would follow covid safety guidelines so I made the difficult decision to stay home. When I called my brother’s daughter to offer my condolences and tell her I wasn’t coming, she freaked out.

She used the f-word to tell me I’m pathetic and said if my parents were alive they’d be ashamed of me. She hung up. I assumed that was her grief talking and that she would eventually come back and apologize. She did not do it.

She is now engaged. My whole family, including my adult daughters, will be invited to the wedding, except me. My daughters decided on their own to decline the invitation.

Here’s my dilemma: My younger sister told me that none of this would have happened if I had gone to the funeral. She wants me to explain my reasoning to our niece.

I shouldn’t feel guilty for prioritizing my health. I already explained my reasons, and she didn’t accept them.

I think the only way for her to come back is if she sees how her actions are going to affect her. There will be future family events, like my daughters’ weddings, that she will be invited to. What will she do? Didn’t come?

Excluded: The only thing I notice is that you never report asking if the funeral would be conducted according to coronavirus safety guidelines. You made assumptions and made your decision based on those assumptions.

Other than that, I see no justification for apologizing to someone who behaved like your niece.

I hope you find ways to keep in touch with other family members. This kind of drama is sometimes the trigger for prolonged estrangements.

Dear readers: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255, recently changed its name and made it easier to get in touch.

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is now a simple three-digit contact: 988. The website is

I urge parents and teachers to do their best to spread the word.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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