'Such a Karen': Netizens lash out at woman who ranted about the 'incompetence' and 'stupidity' of 995 operator

Kaur said she called the SCDF to provide information but she got angry with the operator.
PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore roads accident.com

[Update May 9, 10.30pm]

"SCDF is aware of a social media post highlighting the manner in which one of our personnel handled a phone call clarifying the location of a road traffic accident," an SCDF spokesperson told AsiaOne.

SCDF said they are currently looking into the matter.


When a traffic accident happens and someone's life is possibly hanging in the balance, you'd think that a battle of egos would come secondary to it.

However, in a post uploaded to Singapore Incidents' Facebook group on Sunday (May 8), Facebook user Pam Kaur complained about a 995 operator who allegedly hung up on her, because of Kaur's tone.  

In her post, Kaur explained that she had contacted 995 at about 2.40am after witnessing a suspected drunk driver weaving between lanes along the CTE before exit 8B, colliding with a motorcyclist.

"Having seen the entire thing happen, we naturally stopped to help and call 995," Kaur said on her Facebook post.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Singapore roads accident.com

Speaking with the operator, Kaur said she told her the nearest lamp post number to indicate the crash location.

However, Kaur said the operator soon called back to ask for the lamp post number again.

Infuriated at the need to repeat herself, Kaur posted that the operator stank of "incompetence", a "lack of urgency" as well as of "stupidity".

"By the time the ambulance arrives at the scene," Kaur chided on her post, incensed, "because you have a listening problem despite my clear instructions, the motorcyclist would have died."

At this point, the operator allegedly said: "I don't like your tone. I don't like the way you are speaking to me."

The operator then purportedly hung up on Kaur.

Her post on Facebook drew considerable ire from some netizens. 

"Even in an emergency a Karen will always be a Karen," one user lamented. "What's wrong with someone [trying to] re-confirm details? I guess your ego is more valuable than someone's life."

The term "Karen" has in recent years become a widespread label for an entitled woman.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Singapore roads accident.com

"Nothing wrong [with reconfirming] the details. Why are you such a Karen?" A comment said.

"Call centre might also be writing or relaying [information] live and called again to re-clarify as [the operator] maybe missed it," another Facebook user said. "Her sarcasm is the one which will cost [a] life."

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Singapore roads accident.com

Kaur's perspective on the matter was different, however.

"Yes, okay I snapped at you," Kaur admitted on that same Facebook post. "But aren't you trained to deal with frantic calls which may sometimes involve people losing patience with you? And how many times do I have to repeat my location?!

"Today, the accident was small. This country is even smaller. Tomorrow, the accident may be fatal," Kaur posted. "The country's small size will suddenly seem too big and every single second will count."

AsiaOne has reached out to the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Pam Kaur for comment.

READ ALSO: 'I don't need to listen to you': Woman yells at bus captain after being told to wait

khooyihang@asiaone.com