Most of us go out of our way to avoid conflicts with our co-workers, but there are some situations where it’s unavoidable—like if a co-worker is creating an unsanitary work environment.
Resolving those conflicts can often be difficult and uncomfortable, especially if there is the possibility that someone could feel discriminated against.
That’s part of why reddit user “justwantacleantoilet” isn’t sure how she should handle a male co-worker whose mess is not only unsanitary—it’s getting her in trouble.
She asked the “Am I The A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit a hypothetical “Would I Be The A*hole (WIBTA):
“Will I be the A**hole if I tell my manager that my coworker is using the wrong-gendered restroom?”
Before we get into the details of her story, let’s talk about how the subReddit works.
First, the original poster (OP) tells their tale as a post. Then, other reddit users share their thoughts in the comments and cast their votes.
Voting options are:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’e The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Time to get into the bathroom brouhaha.
“Throwaway for obvious reasons.”
“My coworker (40sM) and I (26F) are the only two people in our workplace on the overnight shift. He is biologically male, identifies as male, but insists on always using the women’s restroom because he’s gay.”
“I have absolutely no problem with him using the women’s restroom – we are the only two people on shift and there are bigger things to worry about in this world than which toilet someone uses.”
“He regularly leaves a huge mess behind when he goes to the restroom. He won’t flush the toilet, urinates on the floor, leaves coffee/toothpaste residue on the sink, huge water/soap puddles on the counter/floor, paper towels everywhere except the bin, etc.”
“I’ve asked him multiple times to please clean up after himself, but he hasn’t. I usually just clean the restroom myself, because I don’t want to cause trouble, but some days I get too busy with my normal job tasks to check the restroom before I leave.”
“Our manager (40sF) inspects the restrooms after we leave for the day. As I am the only female employee on my shift, the manager naturally blames me for the mess left in the women’s restroom.”
“I want to tell her that it’s him leaving the mess and not me. I’m only wary because of the current climate around issues like this.”
“I don’t want to be labeled as homophobic or transphobic or anything – since that could easily ruin my career prospects… All I want is a clean restroom. I don’t care who uses it.
“So… will I be the a**hole if I tell my manager that my coworker is using the wrong-gendered restroom?”
Reddit … reddit is passionate about bathroom cleanliness.
“NTA. He’s not using the women’s because he’s gay, he’s using it because if he makes this mess in the men’s he’ll get the blame.”
“He’s deliberately throwing you under the bus here, so you shouldn’t hesitate to throw him to the wolves in return. Stop covering for this slovenly waste of oxygen.” – AnselnaJonla
“NTA, tell the boss the guy is the mess-maker & do not make it about using the ‘wrong’ room.”
“ ‘Actually, boss, Joe leaves that mess in the bathroom, not me. Sometimes I’m too busy to check the restroom before I leave and frankly I’ve had enough of cleaning up after him. I’ve asked him to clean up after himself # times, but he refuses.’ ”
” “Boss: why does Joe use the ladies room?’ “
” ‘You: shrug shoulders.”
” ‘Please instruct him to clean up after himself. I’ve really had enough’ ”
“First I was reading it and thinking ‘being gay and wanting to use the women’s washroom isn’t a thing – why is he doing this?’ Then got to the point where he was a messy slob and it clicked.”
“He just doesn’t want to have to be outed as a messy ass bathroom user and take responsibility for maintaining hygienic and responsible care of his bodily fluids and needs. That is super gross and NTA his ass needs to be reported.” – LeadingJudgment2
“NTA. This has nothing to do with your coworker bring gay. Leave that completely out of your discussion with your manager. Stick to the facts.”
“ ‘Manager, Bill is also using the women’s restroom and leaves a disaster for me to clean up (give examples here). What can we do about this?’ ”
“That’s really all you need to say.” – imholot1981
“NTA. How much you want to bet the real reason he uses the women’s room is so that he can make a mess in there and then he doesn’t have to worry about cleaning it up because you will.”
“Report him. Being gay isn’t a good reason to use the women’s room, especially when he absolutely trashes it.”
“The only exception would be if he was being harassed by other men, which he obviously isn’t during your shift.” – IggyPiggy503
“Hey, gay and trans person here, just want to make this super duper clear: there is nothing even remotely homophobic or transphobic about the idea that self-identified cisgender man should use the men’s room.”
“The only way that would even be possible would be if this was the weirdest possible build-up to coming out as trans, and even then he’s still being a huge ass.”
“Rat him the f*ck out immediately, NTA.” – Slavaa
“NTA. When your manager brings it up again, state clearly and emphatically that you are not the only employee using that restroom during your shift and leave it at that.”
“If your manager has any logic skills and can do basic math, that leaves one other employee on shift making the mess. They can address further concerns with him.” – awill237
“NTA definitely tell them.”
“I’m suspicious about him.insisting on being in the women’s bathroom. He is creeping me out. Are you sure he is even really gay (and not a straight weirdo putting in a camera)?”
“You said he identifies as male, so there is no trans controversy here. There are no other males working while he is there so what is his issue with going in the men’s bathroom???”
“It is completely unnecessary and inappropriate for him to be in the women’s bathroom. If he used a urinal, maybe he wouldn’t be so messy…….” – SnooAvocados6720
Reddit definitely had some strong feelings about cleaning up after other people. The OP can rest assured none of their fellow Redditors will think they’re the a**hole if they turn their coworker in.