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Coffee Shop Owner Berated By Her Brother For Firing His Girlfriend Over The Phone

Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

You know what they say, mixing family with work or money isn’t always the smartest plan.

These combinations have a way of getting complicated, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Loose-Background-630 learned this the hard way when her brother started one of her employees.

When the employee started using this to her advantage, the Original Poster (OP) felt she had to do something to protect her business.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for firing my brother’s girlfriend over the phone?”

The OP’s suffered after her brother started dating an employee.

“I (35 [Female]) am the owner of a coffee shop.”

“Linda (23 [Female]) is one of my employees who joined six months ago.”

“Four months ago, she met my older brother (37 [Male]) and they started dating.”

“Ever since they started dating, Linda has been acting like she owns the place. She never comes on time, and treats my other employees rudely.”

“Every time I scold Linda, I end up receiving a call from my brother telling me not to pester his girlfriend.”

The OP had to do something.

“Recently, I’ve had enough. She’s been shirking her responsibilities lately. Even after the holiday period ended, she chose not to show up.”

“I called her up today, and she told me that she didn’t feel like coming in.”

“I told her that I’ve had enough, and that I was finally going to fire her. I told her we only needed diligent employees here, and that she was clearly not one of them.”

The rest of the family didn’t appreciate the OP’s actions.

“Hours later, my brother stormed into my house, cursing and yelling at me for firing his girlfriend.”

“My husband kicked him out of the house, and I was honestly so annoyed.”

“My parents think I’m the AH for firing my brother’s girlfriend and for kicking my brother out of our house.”

“AITA?”

The OP also received new information after posting:

“I received a call from my brother, who is very p**sed as Linda has dumped him.”

“He says that had I not fired Linda, he wouldn’t have gotten dumped.”

“To a certain degree, that may be true. However, if I hadn’t fired Linda, that would have only been disadvantageous for my coffee shop business.”

“I think this makes things (Linda’s motivations) very clear now.”

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 were certain Linda was using the OP’s brother to secure her job.

“NTA. In my cynical mind, I was thinking she got with your older brother to secure her position. As I read on, I saw more and more that was likely the case. I hate that I can be right at all with this thought process.” – 13arbarianlibrarian

“NTA, and I wonder if she started dating your brother because she thought that it would mean she could do what she wanted and not get fired.” – ElsaAzrael

“Is it your business or a joint business? I ask because if she thought it was a joint business, then it sounds like she saw your brother coming and was attempting to gold dig her way in.”

“If just yours and she saw him there, she probably still thought it was his as well so the same comment goes.”

“Either way, you as the boss have a right to hire and fire (for cause or reason) whomever you choose. It has nothing to do with your brother if he has nothing to do with the business and certainly nothing to do with your parents.”

“The fact she dumped your brother straight after being fired means she finally realized that you make the decisions and no one else.”

“Totally NTA” – Shorty2940

“NTA.”

“I can see why your brother got divorced and hasn’t had a relationship since. I wonder if he told her that he was a co-owner, and when he couldn’t get her job back, she discovered that he had lied to her.”

“That would explain much of his behavior.” – Kahlessa

“An obvious NTA and I highly doubt, that they met by accident. There is this type of employee who uses sex as a career ladder, even in the 21st ct. She would date you if you were single (and man, most probably).”

“And it was obvious before the update, the update makes it only beyond reasonable doubts. Additional yikes about your parents.” – BertTheNerd

Others thought this also reeked of Golden Child problems.

“Ummmm sooo can we just briefly touch on the fact that there is a 14 year age gap in that relationship? I’m not against age gaps but given the behaviors of the two parties, my spidey senses to be a-tingling.”

“I don’t sense that a 23-year-old has developed the maturity of a 37-year-old unfortunately. If you won’t carry your weight, you get fired.”

“I can’t begin to tell you the number of stories I’ve read on here about employees who only got the job because of nepotism and made the workplace h**l because they were untouchable. You are protecting your business. It’s not worth backing down over a 4-month relationship.”

“Also, I’m just going to assume your brother was babied or coddled for most of his life, correct?”

“It seems that he hasn’t grown out of the tantrum phase and the fact that everyone just says you’re the problem makes me think they got tired of trying and found it easier to appease him than put a stop to his toxicity.”

“NTA, by the way.” – kaimonst3r

“You said, ‘Every time I scold Linda, I end up receiving a call from my brother telling me not to pester his girlfriend.'”

“I was wondering… when you got those calls, did you tell your brother to mind his own d**n business and keep his nose out of yours? Because what goes on with Linda at your workplace was never any of his business.”

“NTA, and good riddance to Linda.” – Caddan

“NTA. You HAD been lenient with her because of your brother. But she overplayed her hand and now he’s pissed that for once he can’t swing his ego around to get his way.”

“You also said, ‘My parents think I’m the AH for firing my brother’s girlfriend and for kicking my brother out of our house.'”

“And now we know why. Has your brother always been the golden child?”

“Tell your family that you run a business, not an employment program and they’ve got no say in you firing a shitty employee. And given how she immediately dumped your brother after he couldn’t protect her anymore should show them just how s**tty this girl was.” – Kempeth

“What about your parents? Sounds like he’s the Golden Child and you are the scapegoat. How do they expect her to keep her job and him not to be thrown out of your house with the way they act?”

“Do your parents know the truth or just the lies your brother has told them? If they know the truth and are still excusing his and his GF’s behavior and blaming you, you also have a parent problem.”

“First, it’s none of their business how 2 adults deal with their conflict, second, sounds like they excuse your brother for his behavior and his girlfriend too, just because she’s with him.”

“Be very aware here. Golden Children have Golden spouses and children whereas scapegoat children have SG spouses and kids. Keep your eyes open, google this damaging family dynamic, and make sure it doesn’t spread to the next generation.”

“Your brother got the idea that he could crap all over you, and by extension, his GF could too, from somewhere.”

“He feels he is entitled to come to your home and abuse you, abuse you on the phone, make you employ his GF when anywhere else would have fired her, and that didn’t come from nowhere.”

“Now your own parents are blaming you? And you think it’s your fault? Very bid GC/sg vibes here, live your life accordingly.” – CJSinTX

Conflicted because of her family’s reaction to the news, the OP thought she may have taken things too far by firing her brother’s girlfriend. But the subReddit stated it was important to protect her business, even if that meant a relationship ending.

If the relationship couldn’t last through someone being fired, that should have spoken volumes.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.