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Guy Asks If He Was Wrong To Deny A Promotion To The Mother Of His Younger Sister’s Bully

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When working closely with others, even in a professional setting, personal differences can come up. When crossover happens it can be uncomfortable for all involved.

After an incident at his sister’s school involved a coworker that worked under him, Redditor chiverisliver638899 turned to the Am I the A**hole (AITA) subReddit to see if her being passed over for a promotion afterwards put him in a-hole territory.

He asked:

AITA for not giving a bully’s mom a promotion?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained their conflict at work:

“I am a 27 (male) that works for a mid sized company in my home town. After college I moved back home to help my mom get back on her feet after my dad passed away, and I was hired on with my current company and rose up fairly quickly through the ranks.”

“Last year my younger sister was having some issues at school with some girls bullying her, and my mom was going through the school trying to get it to stop. One day things got out of hand and one of the girls tossed my sister’s clothes into the shower room during gym and then turned the showers on.”

”I left work to take my sister some clothes because my mom was at a medical appointment and I saw a co-worker at the school. When my sister got home she told me that the bully always has something mean to say or do.”

“It turns out the co-worker had also left to pick her daughter up because she was the one who tossed the clothes in the shower room.”

”She saw me leaving with my sister and approached me the next day at work to apologize. I sent human resources and my boss an email regarding the incident and didn’t think anything else from it.”

“We had a position in management open up three weeks ago and she along with two others were up for the job.”

“I interviewed two out of three as HR didn’t think it would be wise for me to interview her, and I agreed. At the end of the week my boss and I got together to see where we stood on the decision and he asked why I couldn’t sit in on her interview.”

“I reminded him of the last incident and that was that.”

“We ended up going with one of the other employees, and my boss remarked to me that her ‘failure in her home certainly didn’t help.’ I guess I should feel bad about that, but honestly I don’t.”

”The woman approached me after work while I was going to my car and asked if her daughter’s past action was an issue in the deciding factor and I told her she should speak to our manager and HR if she felt it was a biased interview, but gave her a little grin after.”


Redditors were asked what they thought by declaring:

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

Redditors quickly reached a consensus telling OP YTA or “you’re the a**hole.”

YTA and the fact that you your boss are both males and making comments about this woman’s ‘failure at home.’ Is beyond sexist IMO. If it was this girl’s father, would you all even respond the same way?”~heyitsta12

YTA. Based on the post and your comments, you probably shouldn’t have participated in the hiring process at all.”

“It seems like a foregone conclusion that the bully’s mother wasn’t getting the job. Kids are complicated and act out for many reasons.”

I doubt the mother encouraged or taught her daughter to bully others. She even came to you—the brother of the person being bullied, so not even directly involved in the situation—to apologize for her child’s actions.”~MiaouMiaou27

YTA and so is your boss for remarking on her ‘failure in the home.’ It sounds like her kid acted in a really awful way, but she also apologized and furthermore you don’t know anything about what’s going on in her home.”

”What happened outside work should have nothing to do with what happens at work. Your ‘little grin’ when you were talking to her was petty and immature.”~Allaboutbird

“This right here. Your boss made it clear to you that they were biased in the interview process and you are complicit for letting that happen.”

“It would seem you blame mom for the incident and have acted entirely out of spite, evidenced by your ‘grin’.”

“YTA and I hope she sees this post and takes legal action.” ~ sweetie-pie-today

“YTA and I’m guessing your boss wouldn’t have said the same thing if it was a male colleague.”~hanabanana-11

YTA because of your petty little grin. She approached you, perfectly reasonable given the circumstance, to apologize for her kid’s behaviour. Then you reported her to HR, for…apologizing?”

“I also just want to say, I find it bizarre that you were allowed to be involved in the interview/hiring process at all. If you couldn’t be impartial for all candidates, you should not have had anything to do with it.”~GreeneyedSigma

After a slew of YTA judgements pointing out the sexist tone, OP commented justifying his problem with the child despite his coworker’s effort to apologize.

He said:

”I accept your judgment but… she tossed her clothes in a shower… didn’t even apologize.”

He went on to add an edit to the post. 

I didn’t want this to go on for long so I won’t be replying anymore. Like so if you said, the adults here agree with me other than my grin.”

“I can accept that. I think the best action here would be to have her transferred to another position under someone else.”

”The hours are similar so that way it stays fair. Thanks for your time and feedback.”

Kids can be cruel and bullying is not ok. It is an adults responsibility to teach them better and how to get through it appropriately. However, in this situation OP reacted by becoming a bully himself.

Written by Heidi Dockery

Heidi Dockery is a Maine artist & nature enthusiast with an affinity for libraries. She studies Criminal Justice with a special focus on psychology & sociology at the University of Maine. When not studying, painting, or re-reading the works of Terry Pratchett, she volunteers & enjoys various activities most would label nerdy.