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Asian Woman Accused Of Embarrassing New Coworker Who Asked Her If She ‘Eats Dogs’ As A Joke

Photo by Jorick Jing/Unsplash

It is 2022 and we are in the throes of a cultural shift.

Everyone is learning their footing when it comes to how we act and react around one another.

One place these issues are most fraught is the workplace.

Sometimes what one believes is a “joke” leaves an unfunny or even offensive impression.

Case in point…

Redditor OwlClear6724 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my co worker that I eat dogs??”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Hi All…”

“I recently started a new corporate job.”

“It’s my first big girl job so I may have messed up, but here is my story:”

“Today, I was introduced to a co worker who asked me if I ate dogs.”

“So I told him ‘yes, I do. As a matter of a fact, I eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are basically my food staples so don’t mind me if you see me eating a dog during lunch.’”

“I said all of this in a neutral tone and with my pokerface.”

“For your information, no I do not eat dogs.”

“I have never eaten dogs and I would not eat dogs.”

“Well, my co worker wasn’t impressed to say the least.”

“His face started turning red and stated that my sarcasm was not appreciated and that it was a light hearted joke.”

“I feel like if he didn’t want to get embarrassed in front of everyone he should learn some manners and realize that his ‘jokes.'”

“Are racist and distasteful.”

“In my defense, I feel that if you don’t nip light racist remarks right off the bat it progressively gets worse.”

“I told my boyfriend this and he told me that I shouldn’t have said that .”

“And I should’ve just laughed it off because I’m a new employee and I should be on my best behavior regardless of negative remarks.”

“I thought maybe I could be TA because I embarrassed him.”

“I am aware ignorance is not an excuse but I never worked at a professional job before so maybe I should’ve not said anything.”

“AITA because I embarrassed my co worker in front of everyone??”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“Ew, NTA at all. Would he have preferred you went straight to HR instead?”  ~ Substantial-Ice-7340


“People hate on HR because many HR people are useless slugs.”

“But if it were my company, I would want to know because that question is a signal of other issues.”

“Racism affects productivity and hurts the company when employees are mentally distracted by unwanted and illegal actions like this.”

“You deserve to do your best work without racist comments, you deserve to learn and advance without being distracted by racism.”

“You deserve better.”

“But really just hammering this from a company perspective, a good company would want to know about the incident.”

“This isn’t the first or last time this employee will pull something like this, but the next time might be catastrophic for the company.”

“That and you just shouldn’t have to tolerate that at work.”

“You deserve better, you have value as an employee and person, don’t forget that.”  ~ pauladeems

“Honestly, I tend to think that even ‘HR is there to protect the company’ is too generous in a lot of cases.”

“For many companies, HR is there to protect the most important people at the company, specifically.”

“And ‘most important’ is subjective – it might be the most well-liked people.”

“It might be the most-feared people.”

“It might be the highest-paid people.”

“It might be the people they think will make their lives the most difficult if they try to discipline or dismiss them.”

“It’s entirely down to their interpretation of who should be protected and who’s disposable.”

“The reputation and financial health of the company come second, if they show up on the priority list at all.”

“So OP’s experience with HR heavily depends on whether or not this guy is on their ‘protect at all costs’ list.”

“Worth a shot, nobody should have a policy of just rolling over and accepting racism.”

“But if HR cares more about keeping this guy happy than they do about whatever OP might do, she might want to have a plan B at the ready.”  ~ DiTrastevere

“Assuming this is in the United States, both race and national origin are considered protected classes.”

“Basically this kind of discrimination/racism leaves the company wide open to legal action.”

“Especially if it was reported to them and they did nothing.”

“It could be considered creating/fostering a hostile work environment.”

“Forget about the additional retaliation claims that would come if OP was let go after reporting this.”

‘So while yes, HR is there to protect the employer and not the employee so you should always err on the side of caution when talking to them, this is one case where their interests align.”

“OP doesn’t want to have to work with someone who thinks racist jokes are funny and the company doesn’t want to employ someone who thinks racist jokes are funny.”

“Now, this is assuming it’s an even halfway decent company.”

“But if they’re not then honestly OP is better leaving out now with a fat employment lawsuit settlement than working there long term.”  ~ Random-CPA

“NTA. And I bet you that guy never asks anyone if they eat dogs ever again.”

“Bonus if it was public so if he tries to retaliate go straight to HR and make racism noises.”

“Because he wanted to be racist in public and for you to go along with it and you shut that down brilliantly!”  ~ Xellos1542

“NTA – and your co-worker is a total a**hole.”

“There is a difference between a ‘negative remark’ and a downright racist creepy comment to a new hire.”

“I would also mention this to HR, so that he doesn’t victimize the next new hire with his ‘humor.'”  ~ RNH213PDX

“NTA. Your boyfriend is an asshole as well.”  ~ MaxSpringPuma

“Yes thank you!!”

“I scrolled way too far for anyone to point out this boyfriend is an AH too.”

“If I came home and told my husband someone asked if I eat dogs (I am Asian american) and told him I replied like OP did, he’d have been like ‘man f**k those racist dumb AH’s and bravo for what you said.'”  ~ ur-squirrel-buddy

“Seriously. He tells her she should have had ‘good behavior’ in the face of racism?”

“She makes a sarcastic joke, the coworker is straight up racist, and the bf admonishes OP.”

“Does he also tell op to smile/laugh it off when she gets catcalled?”

“Way to be completely unsupportive.”  ~ waitingfordeathhbu

“NTA. I fully approved if the use of dry sarcasm to gently correct racism.”

‘You could have done much worse and been justified.”

“You could have called him out as a racist dirtbag in front of everyone and filled a complaint with HR, but you didn’t.”

“You soft pedaled it. Don’t feel guilty at all.”  ~ velocipede80

“NTA. We all know that was a racist comment and your comeback was spot on.”

“Your boyfriend and at least one comment here said it wasn’t the best thing for you to say but I look at it differently.”

“It says a lot about the company and of the employees there that this guy felt comfortable enough to show his racism in the work place.” ~ curlyg1rl

“NTA. You should never just laugh off racist remarks like that.”

“Good on you for putting him in his place and making him feel uncomfortable.”

“Offensive and racist jokes should never fly in the office and consider reporting him or any other coworker to HR if this racism persists.”  ~ thelilbel

“NTA Even if it’s ‘casual”’it’s still racism.”

“F**k him for daring to even ask.”

“It’s a ‘joke’ but it was one of those, ‘haha I’m kidding unless…'”

“I think that you’re in the clear.”

“You can even report him if you want to despite what your response was.”

“The AAPI community has had enough of this bulls**t, especially recently.”

“Your response was great and I wish you luck in your new job!”  ~ ghoulsmashrr

“I’m assuming you’re Asian, correct?”

“Regardless, NTA.”

“And your boyfriend is TA for telling you to just laugh off racism. Uh, no?”

“You have every right to not tolerate racism.”

“You didn’t go off on the person. You simply responded with sarcasm.”

“He can make a racist ‘joke’ (which isn’t a joke, because jokes are actually funny), yet you can’t be sarcastic back?”

“Don’t feel bad he was embarrassed.”

“He should be embarrassed.”

“He’s lucky you didn’t immediately go to HR.”  ~ bee102019

“What a random question to ask anyone, regardless of their race when first meeting them.”

“I don’t care if he was joking, it’s inappropriate and he doesn’t know you well enough to know your comfort level on ‘light hearted’ jokes.”

“He’s a clown, but not a funny one. NTA.”  ~ craptinamerica

Well OP it sounds like you’re in the clear.

And maybe it’s time to have a chat with your higher ups and possibly evaluate the relationship with with you and your BF.

Good luck.