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Redditor Called Out For Saying ‘No Thanks’ To Helping Plan Coworker’s Baby Shower At Office

pregnant woman being applauded by coworkers
Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

In almost every office environment I’ve worked in, there has been some form of group or informal committee that handled recognizing personal or professional milestones for employees.

Things like birthdays, marriages, births or adoptions, a death in the family, promotions or retirements, mainly.

In offices that didn’t have these committees, someone would go around with an envelope and ask for donations. One problem with that was some people got parties while others got nothing for the same milestone.

And even 20 years ago, who had cash readily available? The office gossip also didn’t need to know who did or didn’t donate and who gave how much.

That’s all an HR nightmare waiting to happen.

With a committee, dues were paid monthly or annually by participants and rules were developed to make things equitable—like spending caps and uniform gestures.

Birthdays were usually a card on the day and a monthly communal cake to recognize everyone with a birthday that month. A death in the family was a card and flowers or an “in lieu of flowers” charitable donation of equal value.

It eliminated a lot of hurt feelings and office drama.

An office worker dealing with the chaotic version of impromptu office celebrations turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Kill_The_Dinosaurs asked:

“AITA for saying ‘no thanks’ to planning a baby shower for a co-worker?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My coworker Bambi is having a baby. I do not like Bambi. I am not even really friendly with Bambi.”

“I am professional if we need to discuss a work thing, but overall she’s just not my type of person.”

“Jessica decided Bambi needs a baby shower—mind you, 4 other employees have had babies and Jessica never thought they needed a baby shower.”

“Jessica texted me and another person saying we needed a time to meet to plan Bambi’s baby shower and I responded with:”

“‘I appreciate you reaching out, but I won’t be able to participate in planning it. I can help view department calendars and come up with a good date and would be happy to help with tear down and clean up the day of’.”

The OP added in their AITA post:

“The fact is that I am not able to, in good conscience, plan a party for someone I don’t like in addition to the fact that other people haven’t been celebrated for the same thing.”

“Jessica is not pleased, my boss doesn’t care, and a few friends think I just need to suck it up.”

“I might be the a**hole because it wouldn’t hurt me to help plan but I don’t want to so I chose to say ‘no’.”


The OP summed up their issue.

“The action I took that should be judged is saying ‘no’ to planning a baby shower.”

“It might make me the a**hole because it wouldn’t hurt me to join in planning.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Absolutely NTA. Just because someone asks you doesn’t mean you have to do what they want.”

“And your response was beautiful! You offered help that you were willing to give.”

“Apparently Jessica wants YOU to be her hands and feet for everything. It was Jessica’s idea, she can accept the help you’ve offered and fill in the rest if she feels it’s so necessary to have the party.”

“You give only what you want to give, everything outside of that is a ‘no’. Jessica is just upset because she couldn’t steamroll you into doing everything.” ~ IamIrene

“NTA. Especially if four other coworkers did not get showers in the same situation. This will lead to hard feelings and potentially to personnel issues.” ~ 2dogslife

Many noted the disparity in coworker recognition as reason to avoid this shower like the plague.

“NTA. Someone tried this where I used to work. Upper management wanted to have a baby shower for a lower level manager.”

“Myself—not management—and another lower level male manager protested because we each had a child recently and we were not offered anything by upper management. Party didn’t happen.” ~ Opening_Drink_3848

“NTA. I definitely agree. It’s all or none.”

“I know one of my offices would do ‘monthly birthday celebrations’ where everyone’s birthday that month would be celebrated with whatever treats they wanted.” ~ UCgirl

“NTA. I’m assuming you have a vagina, hence why you were asked to help. Having a vagina does not obligate you to throw a baby—or any other type—of shower.” ~ LeamhAish

“I still remember the time I was asked to contribute to a wedding gift for a colleague. I liked the colleague, but what bothered me was she had only joined our group in, maybe May, and was getting married in August.”

“So she’s been there perhaps 2 months and another colleague who was really close with her was reaching out to collect money.”

“I gave $10 because I liked her, but I did have words with the colleague collecting to say I didn’t think it was appropriate to do that for such a new colleague and where was she when others in the group had events over the previous few years? NTA.” ~ One_Ad_704

“NTA. Sort of similarly, I once got VERY heavily peer pressured to contribute to a birthday gift for our boss.”

“It’s strongly discouraged at work to solicit money and while the other admins were claiming it was totally optional and ‘just to show Barb howuch we love her!’, it was very much not treated as optional.”

“They were basically demanding to know when they could stop by to pick up my share, which was something frankly insane like $25 because they wanted to buy her some fancy set of heels.”

“Multiple problems with that from my end.”

“For one, I absolutely could not afford $25. I was the only source of income in my home and we were just scraping by every month.

“And two… I hated Barb, because she was genuinely the worst boss I’d ever had.”

“I finally snapped at one of them and asked if she was going to be buying me lunch for the next two weeks, since that $25 was going to mean I wouldn’t be able to buy enough groceries.”

“It was a lie because we’d already bought groceries, but it finally got her to shut up and back off. But they made sure that the group card was sealed so that I couldn’t sign it.” ~ ScroochDown

“I had the ‘party planner’ lady find out associate B was pregnant and she immediately started planning the shower because they’re friends.”

“Associate A was due for a baby in less than 2 months so I told party lady if she wants to throw one for B, she has to throw one for A.”

“There’s only 12 women total in our male dominated office, so you really are gonna play favorites when we’re already the minority? NTA, OP.” ~ Far_Reward4827

“Last year, someone in my office planned a ‘grandmother’s shower’ for one of our co-workers. WTAF? I opted out of participating because:”

“a) it is probably one of the more idiotic things I’ve heard of in my life”

“b) there are plenty of grandparents in our office and not one of them were given a shower”

“c) I barely know the woman who was being ‘honored’ and am not friendly with her”

“Thankfully, my office is hybrid, so it was pretty easy to side-step this one—darn, I wasn’t in the office that day—but there was a LOT of grumbling from the other grandparents in the office who were not similarly honored.”

“The whole thing was ridiculous. NTA.”

“And, disclaimer, this grandchild is NOT being raised by her grandmother—if that were the case, I’d understand a shower—and this child’s parents are easily able to provide for all the child’s needs.” ~ SweetIcedTea73

“I used to work for The Mouse. In our department, some people decided to throw a big retirement party for one person.”

“I was bitter and refused to participate at all because we did not have parties for others who had retired or transferred departments and it reeked of favoritism.”

“I didn’t mind the person we were celebrating, but it gave me an intensely negative feeling toward everyone who was making a big deal of planning it.” ~ BobySlap_0506

“NTA. You aren’t obligated to set up social occasions unrelated to your job during your work day, nor outside it. Where does Jessica get the idea she can assign that kind of chore to you and another coworker?”

“Good on you for recognizing the attempted manipulation, your encultured belief that you ‘should’ be agreeable and cooperative AND your very healthy resistance to having your limited time and energy diverted to non-work duties for Jessica’s convenience.” ~ curiousity60

I don’t know how many times it needs to be said, but “no” is a complete sentence.

If you ask someone to do something but then refuse to accept the answer “no,” you never asked them—you gave a command.


And this favoritism for Bambi is a workplace disaster waiting to happen. OP is best to steer completely clear so they aren’t associated with this blatant disregard for other coworkers’ feelings.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.