Often, co-workers band together to provide support in the face of higher ranked employees who have more power than them.
But at what point is it time to let go of the loyalty and do what you need to for yourself?
That was the question on one woman’s lips as she posted on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Busy_Ad1718 on the site, laid out the moving parts in the title.
“AITA for not telling my coworker she was being replaced by me and leaving it up to HR to do it?”
OP kicked off with some key facts.
“Okay, so I [32-year-old female] work at the biggest hospital in my area. I have been working here for almost ten years now.”
“I started out as a contracted, full-time employee but then had my daughter [4-year-old female] and asked to be switched to per diem, which allowed me to work less hours and have more flexibility.”
Then OP introduced a key character.
“Now, one of my coworkers at another wing of the same hospital is Dani [38-year-old female].
“Over the years, I have heard comments about her not putting in the work or slacking off, but our specialty is very much in demand in our area and I guess that’s why she never really suffered any consequences.”
“Dani also works per diem, as she has a contracted part-time job elsewhere.”
A little while ago, a big shift took place.
“Almost two years ago, she got pregnant.”
“She told me she intended to stay home with her son for the first few months, and asked me if I would cover her shifts at this other wing so they wouldn’t bring in someone else.”
“Since it was only going to be about 6 months, I said yes.”
It proved to be a little more complicated than that.
“The thing was… Her baby was born, six months passed, and while she went back to her other job (being a contracted employee, she had to), she kept telling me to hold on just a little longer because she was ‘adjusting’ to getting back to work.”
“A few more months passed and she kept telling me the same thing.”
OP needed more than that.
“At this point, I had already adjusted to working that many hours again and was okay with it, but I don’t deal well with uncertainty and the not knowing was really wearing me down…”
“…so I told her that I hadn’t signed up for subbing for her for this long, that I needed to find something more stable and long term for myself and that I was going to talk to HR about getting someone else to replace her if she didn’t come back.”
OP eventually knew what she had to do.
“She said she would come back ‘soon.’ She didn’t.”
“So I went to HR, let them know that I wanted to go back to my old wing only, and they let me know that they thought I had done a really good job and were interested in keeping me long term.”
Then they talked brass tacks.
“They ended up offering me a contract to work both this new wing and my old one and when I asked what about Dani, they told me that she would be welcome to take up any shifts that arose upon need, but that she probably wouldn’t have as many hours as she used to.”
“They talked me into believing it was her fault for leaving me (and them) hanging and I ended up accepting the contract.”
Then came the time for diplomacy.
“Now here’s where I might have been TA: I asked them to talk to her about it and didn’t tell her anything myself.”
“I thought it was their responsibility, since it hadn’t been my initiative and I had solely accepted their offer.”
Of course, there was a snag.
“It took her a couple of months to contact me again, letting me know she was coming back, and I realized immediately HR hadn’t talked to her.”
“So I told her to talk to them.”
“Not even one hour later, she calls me absolutely fuming and calling me all sorts of names for blindsiding her and asking me if I was the “b****” who had her job now.”
OP was left to process it all.
“I feel really bad for not telling her now, but I truly thought that they would talk to her back then so I never thought about it again.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors told OP they weren’t the a**hole. For them, it was an open and shut case.
“NTA. Why would it be your responsibility to tell her? That’s absolutely on them.” — bisexual_fool
“NTA. You gave her months of warning, and when this didn’t work, you approached her and gave her even more warning. When she failed to do this, you went to HR. Then, HR failed to do its job by informing her, leaving you in an uncomfortable situation”
“It feels cruel to say, but the fact is, no matter what sort of post partum she may be suffering from, it’s your job – you can’t do much to help.” — dolphin_penis
“NTA. It’s 100% HR’s role to communicate with people. I’m guessing because of her contract type they didn’t need to let her know when you were first appointed into the role. Don’t feel bad!”
“Plus Dani strung you along around when she would be back at work. Something had to change for you.” — xpotential31
Some even had it out for HR’s role in the ordeal.
“NTA. HR changed your contract and thus, hers. It’s appropriate for them (or Dani’s supervisor) to have the conversation, not you.”
“Additionally, did you document the conversation with them and when you asked them to tell her? I would get the exact date and summarize this for them, letting them know their inaction put you in an uncomfortable position and how your former colleague reacted.”
“Dani sounds like a huge liability tbh but they put you in a position for retaliation. Protect yourself!” — intheblankies
“NTA! What an aweful, entitled and lazy person she is.”
“A good HR department should have made a MLOA contract with her, forcing her to return after a specific period if she wants to keep her job.”
“I guess that the lack of a contract made her exploit both the workplace and YOU. and you can lay assure that you were a very very good friend to someone that doesn’t deserve it.” — edebby
So if Reddit is at all convincing, OP will go to work at her new job with her chin up.