Working in the healthcare system is demanding, whether there’s a pandemic going on or not, especially around the holidays.
Surely everyone would like to be able to enjoy the holidays with their families, so it stands to reason coworkers would take turns covering holiday shifts, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Despite this logic, Redditor Caffeinated_Tragedy was pressured to give up her time with family because she was childfree.
When her coworkers with kids started giving her the cold shoulder, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was selfish to keep her time off.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not agreeing to work Christmas for coworkers with children?”
The OP was excited to spend Christmas with her family.
“I’ve (23 [Female]) been employed at my work for about a year now. I got hired on right after I graduated. (I work in healthcare.)”
“Our holiday schedules switch each year, meaning employees are scheduled to work every other Christmas.”
“I worked last Christmas (the 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th), meaning this year I’m scheduled to be off for Christmas.”
“I don’t have children, but I am very close with my family and so I was looking forward to not having to worry about work and spend Christmas time completely focused on them.”
Coworkers came forward, asking to trade shifts.
“Our Christmas schedule has come out, and this has led to annoyed parents of small children because they have to work Christmas this year.”
“I was approached by a few coworkers about me working their Christmas shifts (Employees are able to do shift exchanges, meaning you can ‘trade’ shifts) and they would work shifts of mine before Christmas.”
“Everyone knows that my boyfriend and I (25 [Male]) don’t have children as of yet, so I tend to be one of the people that get asked the most for shift exchanges.”
“I declined the coworkers that asked if I would work their Christmas this year, and I could tell there was annoyance about this.”
“The thing is if I agreed to work this Christmas I would almost definitely be working three Christmases in a row because I doubt I would be able to find anyone to switch with me next year if I tried as obviously Christmas is a time where no one willingly wants to work.”
The OP felt conflicted.
“I may not have kids but my family is very close, and my grandparents have medical problems so I try to enjoy every moment with them I can.”
“I was also looking forward to not feeling exhausted during family time.”
“Seeing the annoyance of coworkers when I declined made me feel both bad and frustrated.”
“I understand that everyone obviously wants to be with their kids during Christmas, but I want to be with my family too.”
“So I’m wondering… AITA for saying no to working Christmas if I don’t have kids?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP already worked her holiday hours.
“NTA. You worked it last year and your vacation plans are just as important as those with kids.”
“You did your part and now it’s someone else’s turn.” – Hi_Im_Dadbot
“The only thing I don’t think is fair about how this place is handling this is that it’s tradable at all, which leads to exactly the problems OP is dealing with, with entitled a**hole child-having employees trying to pressure childless employees out of taking certain holidays with ‘but think of my kids!’ and similar sentiments.” – calliatom
“I have three grown children, but when they were little (barring accidents or emergencies) I would NEVER try to pull something like this off!”
“It is so very selfish, especially when those coworkers HAD Christmas off last year! Change jobs if you don’t want the possibility of working holidays, but again, NOT OP’s problem!!!” – JipC1963
“Those co-workers should also be aware that this is life in healthcare. Holidays are shifted to an alternate day, or celebrated alternate years.”
“I’ve done this for nearly 30 years, it’s not that hard, I’m just glad to get a day off now and then.”
“And OP’s parents want to see their kid on the holiday this year.” – Zhoenish
Others said the OP wasn’t obligated to take every turn just because she was childfree.
“You said, ‘Everyone takes turns working.’ That is the important part. If it is shared around then no problems. But a lot of companies like OP’s seem to expect those without kids to ALWAYS deal with it, and those with kids to NEVER deal with it.” – WelschBluebird1
“The company policy is that Christmas time off rotates yearly. The company is dealing with it fairly, by going halves on the Christmas holidays. Coworkers should switch jobs or companies if they can’t deal, and not be mad at the OP.”
“Also, everyone who thinks their time more important because they have children is an AH.” – Cr4ckshooter
“Where I work, the rule is you work Christmas one year and the following year you work New Year. It’s understood by all that we all have plans and we all have families/pets/plants that we want to spend Christmas with so we all have to take our turn.”
“It’s so selfish to demand Christmas off every year just because you have kids. Get a different job if you’re not willing to do your fair share.” – Dashcamkitty
“OP, you are NOT the a**hole. Why is it that you are less of a person just because you don’t have kids?”
“It annoys the h88l out of me that people expect others to just roll over because they don’t have kids. Your life matters just as much, and h**l, you’re someone’s kid too! How would they feel if their kid’s co-workers asked them to stay so they could be with their kids.” – The SouternRose
Though the OP thought she might be selfish by declining to cover for parenting coworkers’ Christmases, the subReddit didn’t think so. The OP had already taken her turn the previous year, and even if she helped one of her coworkers, wouldn’t the others be bitter that she didn’t help them instead?
This hardly seems like a winning situation, compared to what all the coworkers could have done if they’d simply planned ahead once the schedule had been released.