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Woman Claps Back After Single Coworker Berates Her For Always Getting Gifts From Her Husband

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Everyone has slightly different feelings about how they would like to be treated by their partner in a relationship. Some really enjoy receiving gifts, while others would prefer to save for a trip.

But some people will openly look down upon others’ demonstrations of love, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor fpsholly had a special arrangement with her husband, but she was dismayed when her office mate didn’t appreciate it.

After having a verbal altercation with her coworker, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she could have handled the situation better.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my coworker that it’s not my fault that she’s single when she said it’s not okay for my husband to send me gifts at our workplace?” 

The OP received something from her husband at work every day.

“My (26 [Female]) husband (50 [Male]) sends me gifts at work every day since we started dating.”

“He usually sends me a rose and a coffee with a note wishing me a good day or just a note telling me that he loves me, sometimes he also sends me chocolates or food from my favorite restaurant, etc.”

The OP’s coworker was incredibly frustrated by it.

“He’s a very romantic and attentive man and I love that, but my coworker (40’s [Female]) doesn’t like it at all.”

“Yesterday he sent me some croissants and a coffee with a note saying he loved me, and when my coworker saw it, she said I should tell him to stop, that it’s not appropriate to receive gifts every day.”

“Another coworker told her that she was being bitter and that it’s nice to have such a loving husband, that since I’m pregnant it was understandable that he spoiled me so much.”

“But she insisted that it is not appropriate in any way and that if he doesn’t stop, she will talk to our boss. She said she will tell him that she feels uncomfortable and that I’m not being professional enough and that she wants another officemate.”

The OP was furious.

“And that made me so mad because I’m professional enough, the things my husband sends me don’t bother anyone, and they’re not a distraction to me either, but according to her, they are.”

“So I told her that it is not my fault that she is single and does not receive anything from anyone, and that maybe if she were not so bitter, someone would send her at least a coffee.”

“She got angry and now she told everyone that I was rude and that if I don’t apologize, she will talk to HR to see ‘what they can do with me.'”

“When I told her that I didn’t think of being single as a bad thing, I only said it because she sounded like an envious person, that’s all, but apparently what I said hurt her.”

“AITA?”

The OP clarified how she received her daily gifts.

“I think I should clarify that he does not show up to my work to deliver the gifts in person, he usually sends me breakfast because I can’t have breakfast early in the morning.”

“So when he goes to work, he stops by my favorite cafe and he orders what he knows I like and tells them where the order should be delivered. The owners are his friends so he gives them the notes to be delivered with the order.”

“And last but not least, I receive the order at the entrance, nobody receives the order for me, that’s why I don’t understand what bothers her so much.”

The OP said the coworker was also bothered by other things.

“Also, it bothers her that I put photos of my children and my husband on my desk, which doesn’t even make sense, because those photos are on my side of the office.”

“Sadly, this is not the first time she’s said that I am being unprofessional (for her, having photos of your children in the office is not professional), so I don’t know how I should act to please her.”

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 didn’t have to escalate the situation.

“I might get downvoted for this but ESH.”

“Honestly, I know y’all think that when someone is mean to you, the best thing to do is be mean back to them, but why would you make your life harder than it already is?”

“I mean was all this: ‘So I told her that it is not my fault that she is single and does not receive anything from anyone, that maybe if she were not so bitter someone would send her at least a coffee’ really necessary?”

“You’ve made things 100x worse for yourself and yes, she was the instigator and yes she’s an AH, 100% but seriously, why give her ammunition? Why give her more reasons to report you to HR? I know it’s tempting to fight back, but isn’t it just easier to ignore people sometimes, or be the bigger person?”

“People think that being an AH to someone who’s an AH to you is always justified, but it really isn’t.”

“She should have minded her own business, and maybe she did have it coming to her, but your ‘sick burn’ is going to cause more problems than it will solve, and you would have been better off just letting her comments slide and letting the bosses handle it, especially since you already had another co-worker on your side.”

“ESH. Her for obvious reasons, you for escalating the situation and making your own life harder.”Downtown-Law-3133

“ESH. Sending stuff to work every day is honestly a bit try-hard and unprofessional. Why can’t he get you flowers at home? Because then you wouldn’t have a command audience for your Grand Romance. I would roll my eyes as your coworker too.”

“She should have ignored it… and when she said something you could have been less snide about her single status.”

“I worked with a woman whose husband sent jewelry and ginormous florals every major holiday… no one minded. She was pleasant and got her work done and wasn’t smug.”Dezzys2

Others disagreed and said the coworker sounded jealous.

“How is going to the entrance to pick up a cup of decaf coffee (which is not available at her workplace), breakfast for a pregnant woman, and the occasional flower delivered with it (either by the coffee shop or delivery service, not the husband) excessively disruptive?”

“How is it any different than her ordering it herself? He’s not showing up at her workplace making a scene. Delivery drivers aren’t wandering through the place looking for the recipient.”

“I could maybe see it if she was bothered by her eating at her desk every day, but that doesn’t seem to be the issue. Or if she was tired of OP going on about how kind and thoughtful hubby is. But then she’d have just asked OP to shut up about it.”

“Combine her dislike of the family photos on display and that her actual issue seems to be that she’s bothered that the husband actually wants to send gifts to his wife screams jealousy.”mcolt8504

“I feel like everyone doesn’t understand that there are different types of giving and receiving love. I’d love to have something like that if my husband could afford it because it would put a smile on my face while I sit at work miserable with that bitter AF coworker griping about being single all the time.”ellie_alexander_

Some didn’t understand why the coworker thought this was such a big deal.

“She can’t leave her job to go get coffee during her shift, so obviously she didn’t walk to the coffee shop and get it. But she can walk to the entrance and accept a delivery and might come back carrying a card or a flower. It’s not like he’s sending a bouquet each day to be delivered in the office. It’s no different than DoorDashing your lunch at work.”seniort**t

“It’s not exactly like she’s standing on a balcony screaming, ‘MY HUSBAND LOVES ME AND YOUR SPOUSES ARE SCRUBS!’… if the coworker had to ASK to find out?”

“If that’s the case? Then it’s 99% NTA in my book… 1% for the bad comment to the coworker, but it’s somewhat understandable to get angry at that attitude.”

“And pictures on the desk are unprofessional? Since… when? Literally, every office I’ve ever been in has desks with family photos… THAT is indicative of something wrong with the coworker – take in conjunction with getting mad after having to ask where the coffee comes from?”wernercd

“She literally picks the order up herself how is that disruptive to anyone else? And her comment came after a lot of patience and ignoring her bitter coworker. She’s NTA.”thegrandbudapests

“I was thinking Doordash, which makes coffee and croissants just thoughtful and not an over-the-top claiming display.”

“If it was daily bouquets and giant teddy bears (like Valentine’s gifts in high school that are primarily a public performance of affection), then I could see it being distracting and unprofessional. But that doesn’t sound like what OP is describing.”alainebot

The OP tried to defend her reaction, but the subReddit believed she may have backed herself into a corner. Some agreed that the coworker sounded jealous and definitely out-of-line, but the OP also messed up by criticizing her coworker. Some also took issue with the frequency at which she received gifts and food, even if she did pick them up at the front door.

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.