September 9, 2021

Mask Wars Continued: Coughing Karen just lost her Job.


Janene Hoskovec—better know as “Coughing Karen”—got fired after a video of her going nuts at a grocery story went viral.

Once again, we have to ask, “What’s wrong with people?”

What was Coughing Karen thinking when she went after two women for wearing face masks? As if it wasn’t bad enough that she decided to enter the story without a face mask, but insulting others for doing the right thing takes things to the next level.

After the video went viral, it didn’t take long to identify her as an employee of the German tech-giant SAP. The company reacted quickly, looked at her actions—and fired her.

One can only wonder how long it will take until someone screams, “Cancel Culture!”

Who knows, maybe Hoskovec will file a lawsuit against SAP, just like Central Park Karen. But before Fox News anchormen get the chance to shed any crocodile tears, let’s acknowledge that this was all her fault.

It’s not that she reacted to someone threatening her or was asked to share her opinions on face masks; she started this, and now, she has to deal with the consequences. That’s how adult life works, Karen.

What did she expect to happen after behaving like this in public? Did she really think that she would get away with this?

When we talk about misinformation around COVID-19 or folks fighting at school board meetings, we often run danger to sound arrogant toward less educated people—but not in this case.

I am actually surprised how “Coughing Karen” and “Central Park Karen” were able to get these high-paid corporate jobs in the first place. Looking at their behavior makes me wonder how they got along with colleagues? Is that how they act when under pressure? Does anyone really believe that these incidents were the first time they showed a lack of decency?

One part of me is happy to see that the “mask wars” are not a confrontation of educated and uneducated folks; it’s not about rich or poor—but another part of me is worried that there are probably thousands of Karens and Kyles running our economy.

As a society, we have to ask ourselves, “Where did we go wrong?”

What we see in these shocking videos is just the tip of the iceberg. Does anyone really think that these folks are decent people who just had a bad day?

“Coughing Karen” used the term “sheep” while embarrassing herself in public, “Central Park Karen” called the police on a Black man, and drunk men on planes blamed Joe Biden while getting arrested. These people did not spontaneously lose their sh*t in public. These actions are the result of what we see on social media and certain news outlets (I am looking at you, Fox News) on a daily basis.

Antisocial behavior is nothing new, but what’s new is that politicians, anchormen, and folks in upper management started acting like MMA fighters at a press conference before a fight. It’s one thing to question mask mandates and another to attack folks who wear face masks to protect themselves and others.

If that’s how so-called elites behave, how can we expect folks who are really struggling to do any better?

If that’s the type of person who gets a well-paid job in the corporate world, what does that tell us about corporate culture?

If these folks represent the most educated people of our society, what does that tell us about the educational system?

It’s not “Coughing Karen’s” or “Central Park Karen’s” fault that society is falling apart; they are just a symptom of that—and we ignored these symptoms for far too long. SAP did the right thing by firing Hoskovec, but it doesn’t solve the problem—it’s just a start.

This is not about someone having a bad day; this is about much more than that. I expect every corporation to be more mindful when hiring their staff in the future. There are enough decent people who would be more than happy to have a well-paid job—and human resource departments should start doing a better job in finding them.

This is not about Cancel Culture; this is about taking responsibility.





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