Classist comments should be called out, but are you under any obligation to be “nice” about how you do it? Does that obligation change when you live with the person you’re calling out?
Classism is prejudice against or in favor of people belonging to a particular social class. For instance respecting a medical doctor, but being disrespectful to a janitor just because of their social standing.
Reddit user “CelloBae11” found themselves in this sort of awkward situation, so they turned to the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit to get their thoughts.
“AITA for snapping at my classist roommate?”
Before we get into the story, we need to explain the AITA subReddit and how it works. The Reddit posts here are devoted to those grey moments in life where you can’t be sure if you were the bad guy or not.
After all, sometimes there is no clear right or wrong.
The original poster (you’ll see them called “OP” a lot) kicks things off by telling their story. Other users share their thoughts and votes in the comments.
Voting Options Are:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
So let’s get back to this Redditor and their roommates.
“I live in a house with 3 other people (all students).”
“Last week one of our toilets got really clogged up, to the point that we could not fix it by ourselves and had to call a plumber. The plumber came and was working on it for an hour, for which he charged us 50€ (~ $60).”
“Since then, one of my roommates won’t stop making comments about how expensive that is and that a plumber has no right to charge so much since he didn’t go to college.”
“The last comment on a long list of them was ‘if you can charge 50€ an hour for fixing a toilet why are we even studying?’ “
“After this I couldn’t hold it in anymore and finally snapped.”
“I told her:”
“‘I think 50€ is a more than reasonable price to deal with your literal shit. You can start working as a plumber right now if you think it’s such a great deal, nothing is stopping you’.”
“Now she won’t speak to me because apparently I disrespected her, and my other roommates insist I should apologize because that was unnecessary.”
Multiple users made comments that maybe the roommate is just out of high school and legitimately did not have the life experience to know any better, but OP clarified the classist roomie was actually nearly thirty.
Reddit wasn’t exactly overflowing with sympathy for the classist roomie.
“NTA – if she is only realizing now what people with a trade earn, she has led a very sheltered life.”
“They have a different education, not an inferior one. People who work with their hands doing essential services are what keep our world ticking over and the sooner she realizes it the better.” – liefieblue
“Giant NTA – your roommate needs a reality check, people deserve a fair wage regardless of their academic achievements. She sounds super bitter and entitled.” – comparativeanatomist
“Trade school and/or apprenticeship is an often overlooked career path. Craftsmen and women earn a good living and do essential work.”
“Maybe she’s just jealous that someone with zero student debt earns as much or more than she will with her degree.” – Pocket-or-Penny
“So he was skilled enough to do something y’all couldn’t but doesn’t deserve pay? Aren’t doctors, pilots, electricians paid for their skillset?”
“And what is miss high and mighty studying? Hilarious if its something that’s just gonna have her working at Starbucks anyway with just student loans to show for it.”
“Nta and don’t you dare apologize.” – SnarkyBish03
“NTA – she needed this reality check.”
“She reminds of a team manager at a place I used to work at, I was in facilities and was assisting our on site engineer. This manager made some snide remark about being on minimum wage to the engineer, he retorted :”
” ‘I took home 75k last year after tax how much did you take home?’ “
“She went beetroot and walked off.” – Scribb74
“NTA. Just wait until she has to call an electrician, her head will probably explode! And heaven help her if she has a car that ever needs work done!”
“She’s extremely out of touch if she’s just now learning that skilled trade work is expensive. It’s been a literal punchline in standup routines for DECADES.”
“50 Euro is what, around $60? Here in the US most of the country would kill for a reliable plumber at that rate.” – TriscuitMeniscus
“NTA. I’m a doctor, and very competent at diagnosing/fixing people.”
“Completely and utterly incompetent with house/car problems. Plumbers/electricians/mechanics etc have trained and studied just like I have!” – sleepy_felines
“Yeah. I was thinking oldest 23. At that point she should at least know of bills being that high.” – BecomingAMurphy
“Your roommate needed a reality check and you gave her one. She looks down on ‘service people’ and she thinks that tradesmen are not supposed to make money because they don’t have ‘an education’ and she’s dead wrong.”
“Blue collar workers are necessary for a society and companies to work well. She’s mistaken about janitors, blue collar workers, and trades people education and earnings.”
“Also, perhaps she thinks ‘poor’ ‘uneducated’ people don’t deserve to make a living wage. Don’t apologize and don’t coddle her.” – dystopianpirate
“NTA. When my dad was earning his licenses, he was had to learn the complex equations that dictated WHY a certain type of pipe could withstand a certain amount of pressure. It was practically engineering.”
“That was in addition to learning local zoning laws so he could pull permits. It’s years of study and apprenticeships to learn the hands on portion of the job.”
“Factoring in having to buy and maintain equipment/tools, travel, and administrative tasks on top of the skilled trade, 50€/hr is practically a steal.” – sincerelycjones
“NTA. If the toilet clogs again have your roommate fixed it within an hour for 50€. Let’s see if they can fix it.”
“She’s a pathetic excuse for a person and she’s supposed to be the educated one. Plumbing needs education too!”
“Plumbing engineers are the reason why our cities have have water and you’re not drinking your toilet water.”
“Every job is important, and insulting them reflects on what kind of person they are. your roommate probably never experienced any hardships in life to look down on people at such an age.” – Horror-Perception-50
“NTA. One day at work (in a print shop), our sink clogged up. The plumbing created such a stench we had to evacuate the building.”
“We all agreed wholeheartedly the plumber totally deserved the flash new car he was driving, just for being able to cope with the smell. And that was just a clogged sink!” – TheRealKnittingand
“NTA Technically you’re wrong that she can start working as a plumber now, though.”
“Plumbers have to be apprenticed and certified. They may have to go to trade school, I don’t remember, but it does require a lot of training. Like you don’t want just anyone taking your pipes apart and making things worse.”
“But if she’s that jealous of someone who deals with sh*t for a living, she can quit school and start training to be a plumber.” – VRcraftauthor
Based on these comments, we don’t think that roommate is going to get the apology she’s hoping for.