Incel: Chapter One; Karma

There was a lot to hate about working at Wal-Mart, but without a doubt what he hated the most was dealing with Karens. Females over fifty with that ‘can I speak to your manager’ haircut gave him a headache on sight. Even working the closing shift, where three hours of the night was packing up the machinery and mopping the floors, he had to deal with, on average, half a dozen Karens a shift. Today was a special case though. He was currently staring down Karen number eleven, and yes, he had counted. The only thing that made a shift bearable was saving up stories of rude customers for that sweet reddit karma.

“Did you hear what I said?” the old hag snapped. “I said I need Boar’s Head brand Havarti. Are you stupid?”

Adam sighed and repeated himself for the fifth time.

“Like I already said, ma’am,” he said with forced politeness. “We don’t have that brand. Can I offer you an alternative?”

She rolled her eyes and gaped at him through her ostentatious aviator-style glasses. This one was a hip Karen, or one trying to be anyway. She pursed her heavily-lined lips. Adam would never understand why women over thirty even bothered putting on make-up. They looked old no matter what they did.

“Again, you are not listening. I need Boar’s Head.

She said this slowly, like he was some kind of idiot.

“We don’t have that brand.”

“Well, that’s the brand I need.”

“Okay, what are you asking me to do?”

She clicked her tongue. “Get me half a pound of Boar’s Head Havarti!”

“We don’t carry that brand.”

“Well, what can you do for me?”

“Do you want something else?”

She gasped and threw her hands in the air. “No! I want Boar’s Head Havarti!”

Adam grit his teeth together. “Do you want to speak to a manager?”

Her eyes bulged.

“How-How dare you?” she shrieked. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Photo by Brett Sayles on

“It seems like I can’t help you. We’re going around in circles. I don’t know what else to do for you.”

“Fine! Yes!” she spluttered. “Get me your manager. I want to tell him what an awful job you’re doing. No wonder you work here.”

Adam turned on his heel and walked away from her.

“Where are you going?”

He didn’t even bother to tell her that he was going to call a manager. If she had any brains in her head, she’d figure it out. He pushed through the swinging door next to the fryers and entered the kitchen.

Emily turned from her position at the sink to glance over at him. She smiled.

“Customer trouble?” she laughed.

Adam forced a smile onto his face, trying not to let his anger and embarrassment show. He hated confrontations. He hated when customers came in looking for a fight. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to provide good customer service. Some of them made it impossible though. They didn’t want a solution. They only wanted to be mad.

“It’s all good,” Adam sighed. He gave a shrug, as he picked up the phone to page management. “What can you do? Some people go through life looking to get mad. All they need is someone to direct all that angry energy at.”

Emily smiled again, before turning back to the sink.

“What do you always say? At least you get karma out of it?”

Adam chuckled, mostly because he wasn’t sure if Emily knew what reddit karma was. She could very well be talking about actual karma.

“Sure, I get karma. What goes around comes around.”

To be continued…

All feedback welcome. Didn’t like it? Lay it on me in the comments!


      1. It was definitely meant as a compliment. Charles Bukowski is one of my favorite writers. Here’s an excerpt from his debut novel ‘Post Office’ (which I highly recommend):

        ‘It began as a mistake.

        ‘It was Christmas season and I learned from the drunk up on the hill, who did the trick every Christmas, that they would hire damned near anybody, and so I went and the next thing I knew I had this leather sack on my back and was hiking around at my leisure. What a job, I thought. Soft! They only gave you a block or two and if you managed to finish, the regula
        carrier would give you another block to carry, or maybe you’d go back in and the soup would give you another, but you just took your time and shoved those Xmas cards in the slots.

        I think it was my second day as a Christmas temp that this big woman came out and walked around with me as I delivered letters. What I mean by big was that her a** was big and her t*** were big and that she was big in all the right places. She seemed a bit crazy, but I kept looking at her body and I didn’t care.’

        Liked by 1 person

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