“Meet ‘Karen’ . . .”

Happy Friday again, ALL!  How are y’all feeling about the world “we” live in today?!  Do you think “life is fair”?  Do you BELIEVE that you even “deserve” a fair life?!  I certainly hope you believe you do!  Keep in mind, you might have to “fight” for what you deserve in a most tactful way.  So, TGIF, then, will you?!!

Have you folks heard of the term “a Karen” by now?  It’s a word for a “white skinned woman” who feels that she is entitled to preferential treatment because of the color of her skin.  These “Karen” types usually seek an opportunity to utilize this psychological phenomenon that exists ONLY if the purported “privileged” and the subject of the “privileged action” BOTH agree on this fabricated phenomenon.  Let’s be clear, I don’t play that, and the ONLY thing that I will do when challenged is “represent my talents” to the fullest!  Be aware of who you decide to “disrespect” because that’s ALL that is … “disrespect”!  Let’s continue with “Meet ‘Karen’” from my perspective with the help of “The Wizard and his Wife”.

So, where I was living before here (people like to do 3-month agreements), I had asked the property owner for a copy of the agreement.  Cut to the chase, after weeks of unpaid dog-sitting WHILE I was working on my book and occasional UNPAID house-sitting for the electric/light company for the property owner and NEVER receiving a ‘thank you’ from this ‘property owner’, the “Bruja” produced a copy of the agreement … 2 months later.  It was like 8 or 9 in the morning and I was working on my laptop on the deck with my earplugs in when the “Bruja” came with a copy of the agreement and started to “talk”.  Mind you, no message was sent to me to ask me … that’s what I said … ASK ME if I have time to talk.  The rent of $850 was due for my last month and the “Bruja” also still had possession of MY $400.00 in the form of a security deposit.  So, I wasn’t about to trust a “property owner” who took 2 months to produce a “copy of an agreement” to return $400 of MY MONEY 16 days after I was to depart the last day – June 4th.  I had seen multiple examples of “tardiness”, lack of concern for me and more concern for her pets, and complete unprofessional rudeness as she displayed this same morning!

After I took my earplugs out and simply looked at her, she began telling me that here was the contract and I was to sign it and give it back to her …  It was ON!!  Not only does NO ONE simply order me to sign something, but NO ONE will get my WELL DESERVED PENSION monies without providing a “successful service” for ME!!  Basically, we went back and forth, her speaking in Spanish and trying to get the upper hand on MY MONEY until I took the contract, placed it on the deck and told her that I was not going to sign it 2 months later.  She, “la diabla”, got upset and started to make a case for me to “have to sign” this faulty, dishonest, property owner biased so-called “contract”.  The agreement had 2 clauses that I refused to acknowledge as they were LIES … and I don’t sign LIES.  One clause said that “ALL of the furniture was in excellent condition and that the leasee/or I would have to pay for ANY damages to the floor (which had several cigarette burns with one in the front doorway) or the furniture!  The lamp right next to my bed was a “second hand store” fixture that was clearly broken before I arrived.  The property owner aka “la Diabla” told me when I complained, “Oh, I won’t charge you for that!!” which brought me quite a “furrowed brow” and a look of disdain that could clearly be understood by ANYONE!  I laughed, put my earplugs back in and continued working.  I took a moment to tell her to “get away from me” while I was working.   “La Diabla” was shocked that I spoke to her that way just as much as I was shocked that she even “tried me” like that!! WT@!!

She left for the time.  Like a week before, I had met a gentleman that I will call “The Wizard” and “His Wife”!  This was no coincidence because “The Wizard” and his wife not only KNEW “la diabla” but had helped her by renting their second home to “la diabla” at a tremendous discount while she rented the same house I was renting but for $950.00 per month!!  “La diabla”, and I call her that because while “it” had a unique eye color, her expressions with me were sinister as she tried to “suck” my self esteem with her insistence on her being right and that I was in “her house”!!   Cut to the chase again … The next night, “la diabla” came back demanding that I pay her $850.00 and that I follow her instructions to get my $400 back!!  I refused, she entered the house and … “Meet ‘Karen’”!  She began to walk around in the house … yes “her” house with more than $2,000.00 of MY dollars having been paid to a negligent, rude and unprofessional property owner!  The conversation went back and forth until I told her again that I would ONLY pay $450 since she had $400 of MY dollars already so we were “good”!  I walked in to the bedroom and to my surprise, she entered behind me saying, “Es mi casa!”  She started looking for my possessions to touch and found my laptop case IN THE BEDROOM!!  “Karen” was trying to get me into as much trouble as she could.  Fortunately, the police in Costa Rica can’t get involved in domestic issues unless a “woman is physically touched and injured”!  This was a “landlord/tenant” issue which must be taken to court as I found out with the previous “property manager” that I had to put in check, too!  At this point, I exited the bedroom for my safety, walked into the kitchen and dropped a bowl on the floor, which got her attention finally.  “La diabla” exited the bedroom and headed for the deck to call the police.  “Bingo!” I thought.  When she walked out of the front door to the deck, I grabbed the door and securely closed it behind her … locked it in other words!!  She was in shock and immediately thrust her foot up and kicked the door!!!

In that short amount of time, I realized that this was out of control … “la diabla” in particular.  She called the police who came  half hour later.  One officer spoke with her while the other spoke with me on the deck of the house.  I explained what happened and the other officer spoke to “la diabla” for what seemed to be an eternity!!  Finally, since “la diabla” just likes to talk people to death, I told the officer assigned to me that if she would simply give me my $400 back, I would leave at the crack of dawn!  I had had enough of this and wasn’t looking to experience any “Derek Chauvin” tactics used on me in Costa Rica … Puerto Viejo, to be exact  Finally, it seemed that she agreed but again, did NOT give me back my security and the police are NOT authorized to get involved in ANY financial disputes in Costa Rica!  I called my new friends, “Mr. Wizard” and his “Wife” and explained to them what happened.  As I watched the police ride away both on motorcycles, I wondered who was supposed to get my money back from this creature!!  I agreed with Mr. Wizard that I didn’t need to spend another month in “hell” so we agreed that I would pack everything up and be prepared to leave when he arrived the next morning to do a “walk through” with “la diabla” and get as much of the deposit back as possible!  Mrs. Wizard had spoken with “la diabla” and tried to convince her to be more amicable in solving this “situation”.  I could care less about any freakin’ house … I wanted OUT!!

Mr. and Mrs. Wizard (now do you see why I call them that!?) used their “relationship” with this creature to not only help me get the deposit back … all except $90 which she claimed I owed her for 2 nights and the electricity bill which she never produced for the 2 months that I was there.  They had also spoken to the manager of this lovely bungalow at “Bamboutel” to reserve a unit for me!  The next morning went as planned and I was out with the help of Mr. Wizard who did exactly as he said, by midday!  His wife, “Mrs. Wizard”, had promised me that Mr. Wizard would “get my money back”!  They BOTH are pretty incredible!!  Thanks guys … “Good-bye, Karen!”

Enjoy your weekends, please, and beware of the “Karens” and “Chauvins” out there amongst us!


John I. Cook, Director

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