Being careful about people’s allergies is an important task that could have life or death implications. Which may be why people react so viscerally on both sides when someone claims to have an allergy but doesn’t.
Redditor claireofication discovered her own coworker had been lying about being allergic to onions. Upon this discovery, the original poster (OP) decided to react to the situation in a way that caused her coworker to call her “disrespectful.”
OP has been left wondering if she went too far in response, and decided she needed a more objective perspective. So she asked the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about what she did.
And OP is surely not going to change.
“AITA for Ignoring my Coworker’s fake allergy?”
But maybe she went too far?
“I have a coworker who HATES onions. She claims to be severely allergic, so much that no one can even bring onions into the office or she could be at risk.”
“However, I recently saw her at a restaurant and overheard her telling her date that she only tells people she is allergic because she hates the smell and taste (she did not see that I was there).”
“I love onions, so I have reintroduced them into my work lunches. I am empathetic to her preference, and I make sure to eat with my door shut and if I need to microwave my food, I go to a different floor.”
“Just today, she confronted me and told me not to have onions. I told her that I knew she was making it up and that I was willing to make reasonable accommodations for her preference, but I was no longer going to entirely eschew a food I enjoy for her sake.
“She is angry, and called me disrespectful. Am I the A**hole?”
over this situation?”
OP doesn’t want to give up eating one of her favorite foods, but was willing to do it when she thought it was for someone else’s health. Now that she knows it isn’t, she’s not holding back on what she eats at work.
But should she be more considerate of her coworker?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for eating onions after finding out her coworker lied about an allergy by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The overwhelming number of comments decided that OP did nothing wrong. The coworker lied, and when caught in a lie, could only insult OP.
On top of that, her lie endangers others. It makes people less likely to listen when someone has an allergy. If someone decides they’re just lying, it could prove hazardous for their health.
OP is NTA and the coworker is beyond wrong.
“NTA. As a person who actually has multiple quite severe allergies, I’d go as far as to say that you should tell your collegues the truth.”
“That would teach her lesson about respect” – Mark_Albarn
“NTA. Tell HR.”
“She’s not allowed to control what people eat and to use allergy as her excuse is abusing the system and beyond manipulative.” – VixNeko
“As someone who has food allergies (including onions), she makes it harder for people with real food allergies to be taken seriously.”
“I carry an epi-pen since I can go into anaphylactic shock.”
“As an example: I was at a restaurant and I had specified my food allergies in advance of ordering, literally asked them what I could eat on the menu (and asked the server to talk to the chef), ordered said recommendation based on the info received and accommodation made. I took a bite and knew they hadn’t and my throat began to swell shut and had to pull out my handy epi-pen.” – catgirlnz
“As a mom to a kid anaphylactic to milk, she’s the one being disrespectful.”
“She’s being disrespectful to every other person she tries to control. She’s being disrespectful to every person with genuine allergies that gets brushed aside, especially in the food industry, because of people like her pretending.”
“She’s being disrespectful to any eating establishment She’s lying to because they have to unnecessarily partake in allergen protocol for her food.”
“NTA and I’d honestly bite into an onion like an apple in front of her face if I liked them that much.” – BTanalyst
“The last line has to be one of the best things I’ve read on here. I would love to see someone do that. Thank you for making me laugh hysterically LOL” – Electrical-End7868
“NTA. If what you eat isn’t hurting anyone else outside their misplaced self importance and pride eat what you like.”
“You’re def going above and beyond still trying to compromise by eating with your door [shut], going to a different floor, etc.”
“Honestly you don’t owe her that although if she’s convinced everyone she’s deathly allergic and she’s as manipulative as this post sounds, I can see her also vilifying you in the office.”
“She should be ousted for faking an allergy and let everyone eat what they damn want” – Able_Contribution802
“NTA. I’d bring an onion bagel for breakfast every morning and toast it. My lunch for every day after that would be French onion soup that has to be microwaved.”
“I would CYA and go to HR or management and let them know that you were out and overheard her say that she lies about it and you told her you knew she was lying.” – holisarcasm
“NTA. I worked with a wonderful older lady who had legitimate food allergies. She never asked us to stop eating them, just that we don’t close to her.”
“She was so kind and didn’t want to affect others. I asked her where she kept her epi pen in case we had to respond to an issue.” – NarwhalExtra1892
The conversation was particularly important since allergies are more common than people think. Keeping people from something that can kill them is important.
And a lot of the commenters couldn’t abide the coworker’s actions.
“People like this are the reason people don’t believe real allergies are serious.” – Vccccccccc
“Thank you. It’s super frustrating when people don’t take my allergies seriously.” – Meh75
“I know the feeling well. Especially when you have more than 1. Lol my restaurant reviews are based around how well they deal with my allergies.”
“The 5 star places the chef comes out with the recipe to talk to me.” – Vccccccccc
“At our place we try to take allergies as serious as we can. Got a whole new procedure and everything to deal with it. Then you have AHs like one guy that put a gluten allergy alert on his ticket.”
“We made the necessary adjustments and he complained that we changed the tortilla he wanted. He legit told the manager he wanted to seem cool.”
“Bro, what? It’s why I try so very hard to help direct people.” – babySporkd00
“If you know her allergy is fake, then no, you’re NTA. I have an airborne allergy to peanuts and it pisses me off that people would lie about something so inconvenient and debilitating. People like her make it so none of us are taken seriously.” – sanslumiere
“NTA. Assholes like your coworker is why my partner’s niece went from working as a structural engineer to a lying in bed as quadriplegic who can’t speak.”
“She’s allergic to nuts, but her MIL didn’t believe her and put peanuts in the chocolate-banana nut bread she brought to Christmas brunch.”
“Why wouldn’t she believe her, you ask? Because MIL’s coworker lies about her ‘peanut allergy’ when it’s just because she doesn’t like it, and ‘SHE eats my banana bread all the time and SHE’s just fine.’”
“Well, even with an epi-pen, sometimes it takes too long for the ambulance to make it up the mountain in the snow, and seven minutes without oxygen is absolute hell on a brain.
“F*** her AND your coworker. Microwave your lunch all you want and prance up and down the hall in front of her office with it.” – POAndrea
“NTA. I am severely allergic to all seafood if it comes out of the water I can’t eat it or be near it cooking, and yet work in kitchens so I am around it frequently.”
“I would never ever demand that they stop serving seafood products, or demand that my coworkers give up a food they enjoy.”
“I might ask that it is kept away from me, and that I don’t have to cook it or be near it cooking but would never ever demand others change their diet for my allergies.”
“In fact I would say that she is the AH for lying about an allergy. People like her are why some people don’t take my allergy seriously and try to slip it into my food or push it in my mouth/face.” – Whatever22190
OP should run things by HR before continuing, but if she has confirmation, she has nothing to worry about. The coworker should just be up front that she doesn’t like onions and most people will be accommodating.