It’s pretty normal to have a coworker who we become a little more familiar with, like a work friend who always has our back.
But that doesn’t include doing someone else’s work for them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Ok-Appearance-866 was becoming frustrated with her husband, who worked from home alongside her and their toddler.
But when he expected her to help him with his communications, in addition to her doing her own work and caring for their child, the Original Poster (OP) felt increasingly overwhelmed.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for my husband missing a meeting while I was babysitting his laptop?”
The OP helped with her husband’s work, so he could get more sleep.
“My husband routinely has issues with his sleep schedule.”
“We both work from home.”
“On mornings when he needs an extra hour or two, he asks me to grab his laptop, log on, and monitor his email and Skype until he wakes up.”
“Mind you, I do this while doing my own work and caring for our toddler. And I manage to wake up and get online even if I only get 5 hours of sleep.”
On a busy morning, the OP didn’t check all of her husband’s accounts.
“One morning, I grabbed his computer for him, but he asked to be woken by 9 am.”
“I was logging on after a week of vacation and had a couple of high-priority items to tend to in my own work.”
“I forgot to check his email.”
A missed meeting led to an argument.
“He woke at 9 am but didn’t come to get his computer until 10:30.”
“It turns out, he had a 9 am meeting that he completely missed.”
“He started yelling at me and cussing me out for not checking his email.”
“I told him it’s not my responsibility to do his job, and he said it’s OUR job, because our livelihood depends on both our jobs.”
“He said I am not a team player.”
“Am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors had a lot of problems with how the husband was treating the OP.
“There’s no ‘I oversleep and you do my job’ in ‘team.’ NTA And stop catering to his computer.”
“If someone realizes that, you might both have a problem. What if his employer called yours?” – Ambitious-Battle8091
“Getting up right at 9am when you should be ready to work (let alone actually have a meeting at 9am) won’t give you enough time to get ready. Not to mention not even looking until 10:30am.”
“I think his sleep schedule needs to be fixed because he can’t function with how he is and OP sounds like she is going to get burnt out with some of the minimal sleep she gets and caring for their toddler in the mornings by herself.”
“OP, I recommend for your husband’s sleep cycle:”
“Get him to talk to his doctor about a sleeping pill if he has insomnia/hard time sleeping/not restful sleep.”
“Look into sleep apnea if he snores a lot, can cause not restful sleep.”
“Look up healthy sleeping routine (like no caffeine after a certain point in the day, usually none after 12 but I used to go til 3 and no further, no electronics past a certain point before bed, regular bedtime and wake up time for routine, etc).”
“No napping during the day.”
“OP, you are taking care of your toddler by yourself and your husband’s lack of sleep hygiene and routine isn’t your fault. You can’t be responsible for his job and yours on top of toddler care.”
“Does he help you at all with your job, OP? He isn’t being a team player by not pulling his weight and that’s not your fault. He is just taking out his frustration about him getting in trouble with you when it’s his fault.”
“You need to not do it for him anymore and make him take responsibility and say you are being a team player and have been pulling more weight than you should be and you won’t be waking him up anymore so he can start setting alarms and getting up and be prepared for work when work hours start.” – TheoryAddict
“OP’s husband is an example of why so many companies don’t trust people to work from home. It sucks for every one of us who works hard and doesn’t take advantage while working remotely.”
“OP, your husband being a functioning adult and a dependable employee is solely his responsibility. His inability to get his ass out of bed for a 9 am meeting is his fault and his alone. Any consequences he faces for being a s**tty employee who has his wife cover for him are his alone.”
“Don’t let him put this on you. Stop covering for him and stress the importance of him stepping up and taking care of his s**t.” – Obtuse-Angel
“His reaction is completely unfair and irrational. He is an adult, you’re not his mother and his time management isn’t somehow your job. It’s his responsibility.”
“Also, he literally woke up at 9… how is it YOUR fault that he didn’t keep an eye on the time and go retrieve his laptop when he was up?”
“He asked you to watch it while he slept, and you did that. When he woke up, it was time for him to collect his laptop and he didn’t.”
“Instead, he missed the meeting because of his own error and then blames you. Doesn’t even make sense at all.”
“Also, his decision to verbally abuse the mother of his child was wrong and unhealthy behavior.”
“You shouldn’t have to be the one to wake him up like you’re his mother requiring their child to adhere to a sleep/wake schedule. You already have a kid, why is your husband acting like one too?”
“He can set an alarm like anybody else in the world.”
“He can go to bed earlier. If he has trouble sleeping, he can get some assistance for that.”
“He can download whichever e-mail app he uses onto his phone and can set notifications for his work e-mail.”
“Your sleep and well-being should be of his importance too. To even expect you to do all of this is unfair and unkind.”
“His job is not a ‘we’ job. It’s not your burden to bear the monitoring of his work, be his alarm, do your work, and care for your guys’ child all at the same time.”
“That is not ‘teamwork.’ It’s you laboring away and on his behalf, while he gets his beauty sleep and lets you endure alone. Then berates you in the morning because he missed his meeting.”
“He needs to take responsibility for his life instead of putting it all on you!” – emsfc
“My reaction in the OPs position would be, ‘Me monitoring your computer is a courtesy, and if you’re going to try to make missed meetings my fault, I’m not signing up for that courtesy anymore. You’re on your own.'”
“Every dual-income couple’s livelihood depends on each person being competent and not being fired from their job.”
“That doesn’t mean each person is responsible for two jobs’ worth of responsibilities. That’s just insane.” – 91901bbaa13d40128f7d
Others were worried about how this could hurt the OP’s career.
“As a WFH (work-from-home) manager of WFH staff, I would probably have to take husband down disciplinary with plans to fire him for this scenario.”
“I would at least put him on a personal improvement plan and that included having to call someone on the team at x time each morning to prove he started work, along with random check-in calls every so often. I wouldn’t trust them with important tasks and that effectively stalls their career.”
“I am unbelievably trusting of my team and (I hope) am rewarded for this and they don’t take the piss. But if I knew someone was I would have to ramp it up to 11 immediately for this reason. It hurts me and it hurts the team.”
“I don’t know how I would react if I knew someone on my team did as OP did covering for her husband while paid to work for us. I think there is a lower standard of duty, but I would guess I would probably have to go down a disciplinary route too as it shows symptoms of potentially a wider problem.”
“For this reason, OP may be putting her own career at risk even if they are different companies and also not competitors (I would think it is an instant dismissal if they were).” – Babylon-Starfury
“There is likely a policy violation happening with his wife accessing his company email and messaging.”
“She’s firing up his laptop in the mornings so he can sleep in. Is it a company laptop? Does she have his corporate logins and passwords? Or is he leaving his business programs open and accessible 24/7?”
“Either way, finding out someone was giving their spouse or household member access to our company communications and apps would be instant termination on my team. No PIP (Performance Improvement Plan), no warning. Just a do not pass go, no severance, violation of our information security and system access agreement policies GTFO (get the f**k out) package.” – Obtuse_Angel
“If he’s working on an hourly position where emails are considered to be work and he’s having his wife do emails while he sleeping, he is, in essence, committing time theft and making his wife do more unpaid work. Both of which can lead to serious consequences.” – SmartassMouth87
“Sadly, I think he has her conditioned to believe certain things. I mean, she’s asking if she’s an AH because she thinks there’s a possibility she might be the AH here.”
“The only AH thing she can do is continue to allow this behavior. She needs to stop it now (regardless of the tantrum he is sure to throw) or she has to accept the responsibility and the blame going forward.” – DeeList814
While the OP wondered if she might have been in the wrong for being involved in her husband missing his meeting, the subReddit argued that she was only wrong for being involved at all.
Not only was she risking serious burnout with carrying responsibilities from two jobs, a child, and likely a home, but she also was risking trouble at work, due to privacy laws and time theft.