Dairy Queen ‘Karen’ goes off on customer who asks her to wear mask
Would you like an ice-cold attitude with that Blizzard?
Brandon Trotta had his children in the car when he found himself in a heated exchange at the drive-through window of a Medford, New York, Dairy Queen with a staffer who refused to put on a face mask while serving customers.
Statements on social media from corporate headquarters have confirmed that the person has been “demoted” and “is being provided additional training.”
On July 4, as Trotta pulled up to the last window to collect the Blizzards he ordered, he noticed a Dairy Queen employee working without a mask, according to Storyful.
By Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate, all restaurant workers must wear a face mask during their shift as a pandemic precaution.
However, the woman — a manager, no less — refused, which prompted Trotta to call her “Karen” — a ubiquitous insult across social media that can be applied to any reactive woman who weaponizes her entitlement.
“You want me to be a Karen?” the manager, named Deb, asks in the video. “Because I’ll be a Karen, OK?”
Trotta then asked for his money to be returned, prompting Deb to order an employee to give him “his f–king money.” “Get the f–k out of here” and “don’t come back,” she said, then slammed the drive-through window shut.
“Put your mask on before you get your employees sick,” he said before he pulled away. The manager can be seen giving him the middle finger through the glass.
He shared the dispute, which he recorded with his smartphone, on Facebook that same day, and tagged Dairy Queen in the post.
“Thank you for bringing this serious concern to our attention, Brandon,” wrote the official Facebook account for Dairy Queen. “We share your concerns and are in contact with the franchise owner of this restaurant who tells us the crew member is on suspension pending an internal investigation, which will be of the crew member’s demeanor and review of mask use to ensure compliance with local government regulations,” they said, along with a directive to submit his complaint via DairyQueen.com’s generic “Contact Us” form.
They continued, “Know that Dairy Queen expects its franchisees and franchisees’ employees to treat every person they serve safely with both dignity and respect and we are sorry that wasn’t your experience. Thank you again for sharing your experience as it helps us continue to improve.”
Trotta quickly responded to their comments: “This is your response??!! Pathetic. This is the view my kids and I got as we drove away,” he wrote, next to a screenshot of Dairy Queen Deb giving the finger behind the drive-through window. “What exactly do you need to investigate??! Fire Deb now!!!”
Several pointed out that Dairy Queen operates as a franchise, so their HQ may not have jurisdiction over an individual location. Rather, it will be up to the owner of the Medford branch to decide.
“Dairy Queen expects its franchisees and their employees to treat every person they serve safely with both dignity and respect; we are sorry that did not happen in this case,” Dairy Queen wrote in a separate reply. “The franchise owners of this location shared that the employee featured in the video immediately was suspended and employees were retrained on proper mask use. Following an investigation by the franchise owners, the employee in the video was demoted from her management role and is being provided additional training.”
“Additionally, the franchise owners are providing new well-being services to better help their employees manage stress and self-care while working in a COVID-19 environment,” they added.
While some were equally appalled by the manager’s behavior, many who viewed the clip insinuated that Trotta’s complaint was frivolous.
“If you’re so concerned/scared about getting the virus, why are you going to a NON ESSENTIAL place and exposing yourself and your whole family?!?!?!” wrote one observer.
Acknowledging that the footage shows only the culmination of the argument — and not how it started — another commenter added, “He only showed his version.”
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