Most people want to try to make new coworkers feel welcome and included when they join the office team. But for one woman on Reddit, her new coworker’s comments about her disabled husband were so offensive, she couldn’t help but let her have it.
After her other colleagues got angry about the way she spoke to the new coworker, the Original Poster (OP), who goes by August2021467__ on the site, wasn’t sure about how she handled things.
So she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.
“AITA for my response when my co worker called my husband useless?”
“I F[emale] 36 work at a company and recently we had a new employee join our department ‘Pam’. Most my co workers are moms. They suggested that we gather at lunch break and start conversations with Pam and get to know her more.”
“Pam was friendly, We started talking about our typical day to day routine. When it was my turn I answered saying that I wake up at 6am. Clean up, make breakfast, Get the kids ready then take them to school then pick them up from school after work then do chores then clean then do laundry.”
“Pam interrupted me saying ‘wow!!! So your husband is one of those useless overgrown man children that women try to parent along with their children then’ everyone was like ‘hmm’ I was taken aback but said ‘actually my husband is severly disabled he can’t work or do chores or child care.'”
“She made a face and replied ‘Oh well, my point still stands that you’re basically living as a single mother except, at least your husband is not entirly useless in this case and does bring something to the table which is social security disability benefits I suppose? but I’m sure it doesn’t make up for him being an absent father and husband due to his disability'”
“I got extremely offended that she was talking about my husband, the love of my life and father of my children like that. The ladies were like ‘oh my God’. I said I didn’t appreciate how she spoke about my husband and she shrugged saying ‘well I wasn’t technically lying, right? With people like your husband there’s really no point of being married. If you’re acting like a single mom then might as well become one or go look for a real life partner'”
“I just lashed out asking what the hell she was talking about and explained the important role my husband still has in mine and my children’s life.”
“I called her rude and disrespectful for how she was talking about him and how she belittled him as a husband and a father and told her that her remarks about my husband could be nothing more than projection on her part. She laughed and said ‘huh! My husband is a doctor, that much is enough!! Need I say more?’.”
“I asked if her husband cooks and cleans after he gets home. Then looked at her eyes and said ‘the tiredness in your eyes suggest that all housework and child care fall on you alone, correct?’ She was red in the face she got quiet, looked around then got up and excused herself to the toilet looking upset.”
“The ladies said that Pam has her own believes/visions about disabled partners should be which is understandable and she was just giving her honest opinion but I took it too far by humiliating her and assuming her husband isn’t doing anything . But according to her reaction the answer was clear to me.”
“They thought I shouldn’t have spoken to our new co worker in a mean way and should’ve taken what she said with a grain of salt as it wasn’t personal. They wanted me to apologize but I said I won’t apologize for what I said even if I was rude.”
“My co workers argument is that they too received harsh comments from Pam but didn’t take it personally since they were venting about their husbands.”
OP then came back to add a bit more context.
“EDIT: Pam isn’t the first one to stay stuff like that about my husband. My own family did this as well as others so that’s why I wasn’t too surprised by her judgement but still got offended.”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Unsurprisingly, they were firmly on OP’s side.
“What do your coworkers mean YOU humiliated HER? Didn’t she say the EXACT same thing about your husband before she knew he was disabled? I think you did nothing wrong.” —Merlinia
“Ahh yes, Pam should be allowed to have her ableist, dehumanizing, why not lock them in asylums and just electrocute their brains because what else are they good for beliefs about disabled people, what’s so bad about that it’s just her opinion. (Can you tell that I too am disabled…)”
“Yeah. No. We don’t just ‘let’ bigots have or spout their bigotry anymore. And we don’t care about the feelings of bigots. Honestly, I’d report her comments to HR.”
“NTA But I think you know a little more about the other moms you work with and what they think of your situation.”
“Also, Pam is an idiot… your husband could have been away for work, could work night shift… did she even know you had one when she said that?” —LimitlessMegan
“So here’s what you learned about Pam today: Pam is an ablest, she’s also a judgmental hypocrite who likely has one by one destroyed each of your coworkers in one way or another so often that they just shrug and say ‘That’s how she is'”
“Here’s what you’ve learned about your coworkers today: Your coworkers accept judgmental behavior as “that’s the way it is” and protect her from being hurt. They have accepted her behavior to the point where she is ok to humiliate others (you) but if she gets embarrassed, they protect her.”
“I don’t consider what you said rude, and I wouldn’t apologize. Looks like karma has already found her but she didn’t learn” —No-Policy-4095
Hopefully OP can avoid any run-ins with Pam in the future.