Sometimes it’s best to keep work and family separate.
One woman figured that out after having to fire her sister, who had been complaining about her as a boss and gossiping about her personal life online.
The Redditor asked:
“[Am I the a**hole] for firing my sister after seeing her blog and not rehiring her without an apology?”
An old friend sent her a link to her sister’s blog, hoping to confirm her identity.
“Basically what happened is [I] read my sisters blog. It was sent to me by a friend of mine who was asking if one of the ‘characters’ was me. Spoiler alert, it was me.”
“Its couple years old and really popular. She doesn’t use our family’s real names but they are very similar and use the same first letter. So think real names: Katy, Julia, Marissa and Brad then the fake names being: Kathy, June, Marnie and Bob.”
“It’s descriptive enough of our lives and what we do for work that my friend identified me from it.”
The Redditor explained how the blog contained explicitly personal details from her life.
“Its mostly about her and her life but there is still a lot about us.”
“A year ago I had an abortion. It was during the lowest point in my life so far and only she and my husband knew about it. She swore to me that she would take the secret to her grave. Yeah, she dedicated a whole entry to it.”
The blog also includes important details about her business and her sister’s experiences working there.
“A couple months ago she and her husband got laid off due to world events. I run my own business that wasn’t really affected and I offered her a job there to help her out.”
“She’s not qualified in my field so I essentially made up a position for her so she could have a steady paycheck. She basically does data entry and other random tasks online from her home.”
“Her blog since then has basically centred on how much she hates it.”
“She called it demeaning work and says a bunch of bulls**t about how I obviously don’t respect her intelligence.”
“I say this is bulls**t because 1. She would need years of training to work any of the open positions [and] 2. I told her what she would do when I offered it and she gushed about how grateful she was and that I was really helping her.”
The Redditor reached out to her sister and confronted her about the blog.
“I called her and told her what I had read and how hurt I was.”
“Her defence is that the blog is her online diary where she vents and that I should know not to take any of it personally.”
“She actually had the gall to tell me that she is hurt that I read it! Apparently the right thing to do was ignore it??”
Her sister calling it an “online diary” wasn’t enough of an explanation.
“I told her off for telling the internet my secrets and dragging me online where I could be, AND WAS, found by people who know me.”
“She just said she did all her due-diligence by changing the names and it wasn’t her fault my friend found it.”
“We argued for a bit, it got increasingly heated, and I fired her.”
“I told her that if she couldn’t apologize or see how she was wrong here, then she wasn’t who I thought she is and she could find a job where she felt more respected.”
It’s been a week since the argument, and the Redditor is being pressured to give her sister her job back.
“It’s been a week and I haven’t spoken to her at all. Her husband has been contacting me on her behalf trying to get her job back as they need the money. He claims she is sorry but I think if she was, then she could tell me herself.”
“My own husband is telling me I am overreacting and that she’s family and I should just forget it. I don’t agree.”
“Am I the a**hole here?”
Fellow Redditors responded to the OP’s (Original Poster’s) situation, using the following scale:
- NTA: “Not the A**hole”
- YTA: “You’re the A**hole”
- ESH: “Everybody Sucks Here”
- NAH: “No A**holes Here”
The comments were resoundingly in the OP’s favor, given the nature of the blog, how easy it was to uncover her identity, and the fact that the internet is, well, not a private journaling space.
Some stressed how much this blog could potentially risk the future of her business.
“Your sister hasn’t just “vented some stuff online”, she’s caused some very real and very alarming potential risks to you and your business, and she can’t even see it. You were absolutely right to fire her for doing what she did, OP.” – SSTrihan
“Just replying to the top comment (NTA btw). I just want to say that there is a HUGE difference between complaining about your job to your friends and coworkers who are in the same situation, and telling the whole world about it.”
“I don’t know what business you are in but if I read that your employees cared so little about it I would seriously think twice about doing business with you.”
“Because you can be identified your sister ABSOLUTELY has hurt your business and she refuses to acknowledge that. I would say as an employer you are well within your rights to terminate her. As her sister, you should hire her and then fire her again because family is held to higher standards, not lower ones.”
“Edit because I forgot to mention JFC the damage to your business is insane but the fact that she was also talking about an abortion is a massive invasion of privacy.” – Mizeov
Others were surprised how ungrateful she was for the employment opportunity.
“NTA… i am a teacher and I teach my students one rule for employerabilty…. never trash talk those who pay your wage.”
“You learnt an important lesson never mix business and personal.” – rleaky
“This. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” – readinngredhead
“NTA – she took your secret to the internet instead of the grave and constantly b*tches about her job. A diary, if intended to be private, isn’t posted online for the whole world to read. For her to claim it was private is some next level delusion.”
“If it’s so awful, why the f**k does she want it back. Frankly, even if she really is sorry, would you put up with any other employee b*tching how much working for you sucks online? Or would you fire their a**?” – Alert-Potato
One Redditor pointed out that she needs to be able to trust her employees, and after this…
“A blog isn’t a diary; it’s on the internet, where it can be read by anyone with the URL.”
“She clearly didn’t change details enough to make the people unidentifiable because someone did identify you, and even if she had she doesn’t get to post about your own personal events without your consent and then be surprised you’re not happy about that.”
“At the end of the day, to employ her you have to trust her, and she’s shown you that you can’t do that.”
“She’s also being incredibly ungrateful for the opportunity when people would kill to have a job that readily available right now, so frankly she’s lying in the bed she made.”
“She also can’t really expect an apology to be taken seriously if she delivers it by proxy. If she’s truly sorry, she needs to come to you herself and say that.” – SSTrihan
Some were appalled that she took her secret to a blog instead of “the grave.”
“Your family knows about this blog right? Which means that your abortion that you worked so hard to keep hidden… Is now open knowledge to everyone in your fam. Has been for months. Likely if one person saw her blog they told everyone else.” – soccersprite
“Honestly, I know the abortion is a hugely private thing that you do not want shared. But it seems like your sister is incredibly selfish and doesn’t realize the harm she is doing to the people around her.”
“I would be tempted to tell your family or at least your other siblings and decide what to do as a group.” – attakburr
“Look, I used to think of my blog as an online diary. But I was 13 and it was an obscure blog that like 3 of my friends followed. By the time I became an adult I learned that if you want a diary where you can vent, it’s called a word doc (or a paper journal).”
“And also not to vagueblog about people. It’s petty, selfish, rude, and extremely toxic. Literally broke up with a girlfriend because she refused to learn that lesson.”
“Sister is a grade-A a**hole. Especially for posting about OP’s abortion in a public (and popular) blog. Honestly, f**k her.”
“OP is NTA here. Like not even close. Probably the furthest thing from an a**hole anyone could be.” – she_elf17
“I just wanted to say, OP, abortions are hard, and I am so sorry you went through a hard time with the decision. But you are not alone. It is something half of the population of our planet will have to deal with- whether it is pregnancy scares, miscarriages, planned abortions, or fertility, it’s part of us.”
“You have nothing to be ashamed of, and I am so sorry that that is one of the most traumatic things, and it is not being kept secret as you wished. But if others you know do find out, you are not alone and it is ok.”
“They may not understand, but it is your choice, and it sounds like you looped your husband in. It is no one else’s business, and your sister fucking sucks for writing about it. NTA.”
“Also. sounds like you should tell your parents they need to talk to her. Because the violation you feel is something they could feel too. Now would be the best time to let them know, instead of acting like this never happened. It’s a betrayal, and she made her bed.” – Lyssa545
“I had an abortion too, many years ago; and as I’m sure you know, it is the most horrific thing to go through, even if you choose to do it rather than it being a medical necessity. It’s also probably the most personal thing you can ever go through, and no one has the right to tell anyone else without permission.”
“I feel sick to the stomach even thinking about it. I’m so sorry for you. We all know that abortion is probably the one topic that people get extremely judgemental about, especially in more conservative countries; so you sure as hell don’t want your clients or business competitors finding out.”
“For this reason alone, you have to INSIST that your sister deletes any mention of you in the blog. Make sure you see her do it too, even the hard drive, so she doesn’t retrieve it later. She clearly can’t be trusted, even with an apology.”
“[If] she refuses to delete your details, you must see a lawyer and get them to send her a “cease and desist” letter. You can’t let her ruin your reputation and your business.”
“I feel your pain, and I’m so sorry that she can’t understand what this is doing to you.” – janefryer
The Redditor returned to the thread after receiving comments, still upset over the situation.
“EDIT/UPDATE: After reading a lot of the response I have become more and more sickened by this situation.”
“I sent my sister an email detailing how much damage this is doing to me emotionally and could do to me financially and professionally. In the email I am asking her to delete all entries in her blog that include private details about me, my business or our family.”
She also is giving her sister the choice between her blog and their relationship.
“I am giving her an ultimatum. She can do as I asked, delete the entries, and I will consider it water under the bridge. We can move on with our lives and try to repair our relationship.”
“OR She can continue to ignore me, keep her blog, and can consider me out of her life. We can see each other at family events and keep things civil but I will no longer share my life with her. She wont be an aunt to my future children or a real sister to me.”
Her sister responded.
“EDIT/UPDATE 2: She replied to my email asking me to facetime her tomorrow. She wants to talk to me after we both have had the night to cool down. I agree with her as I am pretty heated right now.”
“Will update after our talk. Thank you everyone for the support, has really opened my eyes to the gravity of the situation.”
It will be interesting to see what decision the sister makes after their talk and whether there is reason enough for her to get her job back.
She may also need a lesson in what is considered public and private on the internet.