in , ,

Guy Balks After New Coworker Reports Him To HR For ‘Suggestively Eating A Banana’


The workplace is a hotbed of drama.

Everyone is relating on eggshells.

No one knows how to talk to one another or relate or… eat fruit without worrying about offending someone.

Case in point…

Redditor bananamunchee to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for refusing not to ‘suggestively eating a banana?'”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m a (36 Male) and I work as a programmer in a medium sized office with probably around 20 people in the office at one time.”

“One of our older employees retired this year and Human Resources brought in a young woman to work.”

“I often enjoy eating a banana for a quick break if I’m working on something and don’t want to leave my desk.”

“Yesterday was one of these days.”

“I ate my banana, threw out the skin and went back to work.”

“Today I was hauled into Human Resources’ office.”

“Someone has made a complaint that I was making aggressive and unwanted sexual advances towards them.”

“I’m baffled, I asked who and when this happened?”

“Sure enough, it was new girl and they said it was yesterday.”

“I tell Human Resources I left my desk twice yesterday to go to the bathroom but I had no contact with new girl.”

“I haven’t spoken to her in about a week.”

“Then Human Resources tells me that she has accused me of making suggestive gestures and inappropriately eating my banana in her direction.”

“She wants me fired or she will sue.”

“I’m outraged. I tell them I have done NOTHING wrong.”

“I ate a banana at my desk, like a normal person would eat a banana, there was nothing inappropriate about it.”

“Human Resources suggested I write a letter of apology to new girl and refrain from bringing bananas to work.”

“I refused as I’ve literally done nothing wrong in my opinion.”

“Human Resources said I need to consider the potential hostile work environment I’m creating if I continue to bring bananas to work.”

“I thanked them for their time, left the meeting and started asking around about my banana eating habits.”

“Everyone I know doesn’t see an issue with it but a few people have said if I’m making her uncomfortable,

“Maybe I should just stop.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

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

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“I’m in H[uman] R[esources].”

“What I would do is flip this around and file a complaint against her for sexualizing you.”

“She took an innocent act and made it sexual.”

“NTA. Stand strong on this.”  ~ BlueBelle2019

“My thoughts exactly!”

“‘It makes me extremely uncomfortable that I’m unable to eat a banana at my desk without being sexualized and harassed by my co-worker.'”

“‘I’ve been in the habit of doing this for (x months/years), it has never been an issue until now.'”

“‘And I would like something done to address this blatant sexual harassment.'”  ~ talldarkandpantsless

“I want to add on to this to do the usual.”

“Send a follow up email to HR documenting that convo.”

“Bcc your personal email or save a copy there.”

“And document document document anything that occurs relating to this incident.”

“I’ve seen a ton of posts where people get fired over sh*t like this.”

“And it follows them around when they’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Your lawyer can’t have a field day and laugh all the way to the bank if you don’t document EVERYTHING.”

“Also NTA obviously.”  ~ goddessofthecats

“Definitely do this.”

“It’s not even a stretch; she IS creating a hostile work environment for you and sexualizing you while you simply eat your food in your own space.”

“I also like the suggestion elsewhere that moving forward you eat your bananas with a knife and fork.”

“Do NOT apologize or accept blame for anything.”  ~ MyDarlingClementine

“NTA. I would literally video myself every time I ate a banana from now on.”

“Maybe even cut it up and eat it with a fork.”

“She’s going to make some ridiculous allegation about someone else next and HR will see that she’s the liability.”

“I would absolutely refuse to write an apology as that would admit wrong doing.”

“I’d also refuse to interact with her without another person present.” ~ BaconEggAndCheeseSPK

“Take it seriously, dude.”

“Do not have any interaction with the complaining individual that is not observed by a third party.”

“If they try to have a private conversation, immediately leave or begin recording.”

“Do not admit guilt or apologize under any circumstance.”

“Do not sign anything admitting guilt.”

“If asked to do so, tell them you will have your lawyer review it first.”

“Do not talk to them unless directed to do so.”

“Talk to a lawyer.”

“Not saying you need to do anything, but dropping a couple hundred bucks to find out the laws of your jurisdiction could save you a lot more money.”

“IT is a small world, and word gets around fast.”

“You do not want your career destroyed over a friggin’ banana.”  ~ ExcitingTabletop

“She’d get on your tail for the licking.”

“If you’re really committed to the malicious compliance, get yourself a little cardboard divider to put up specifically for when you eat your bananas.”

“’Caution: big banana’ should go quite nicely in big, bold letters.”

“Get a banana coffee cup.”

“Banana sticky notes.”

“I’m so sorry someone is so desperate to be relevant that she’s making stuff up about you.”

“NTA and prettiest please update us on the follow-up!” ~ Melliemelou

“Peel it completely and eat it from the middle, starting with a big banana smiley face.”

“Go with a mustache the next day. Walrus teeth after that.”

“In my much younger days (I’m F[emale] 55 now), a guy in my office who was 20+ years older than me made a crude innuendo about a banana I was eating at my desk.”

“I didn’t get HR involved though.”

“A withering glare and a disdainful ‘grow up’ put a stop to it.”

“Some people are just puerile a-holes.”

“It’s possible she encountered one somewhere along the line and is projecting a prior experience on you.”

“Doesn’t mean she’s right to do so though.”

“To be honest, it seems more like she’s the one creating hostile work environment for you.”

“If she’s not only observing you closely enough to care about your snack choices but also turning you in to HR for it.”

“You might remind HR of that and suggest that, if its that big a deal to them, they need to announce a company wide banana-ban due to some people finding them offensive rather than singling you out. NTA.”  ~ VTMaid

“I’m petty enough that I would be finding all sorts of new ways to eat a banana at work (like corn on the cob, with knife and fork, skewered like a kabob, smashed with a fork, etc).”

“Then, if new girl doesn’t get over herself.”

“You can ask HR why she should get to dictate your eating habits and diet?”

“Because clearly then if it still offends her so deeply, then it’s the banana’s existence that does it, not how you eat it.”

“And you can’t control the fact that a banana’s existence bothers her (nor should you be expected to).”

“But then, I’m petty. NTA.”   ~ juststoppinbytosayhi

“It’s not even her eating the banana and her coworkers sexualizing it… cuz that would be harassment.”

“She’s the one sexualizing someone else eating a banana not even making eye contact with her and minding their own business.”

“Maybe he should be the one filing a complaint about sexual harassment since he’s the one being sexualized.”

“I’m seriously baffled by her assumption.”

“Like what if OP decided to have an ice cream cone or a popsicle on a hot day?”

“Is she gonna complain about that, too, being too sexy?”

“Can nobody eat a hot dog?”

“Are all phallic shaped foods now banned unless blended into a smoothie and drank instead? NTA, OP.”  ~ fzyflwrchld

“HR here. Call the bluff.”

“Hostile work environment is defined legally as what a reasonable person could tolerate.”

“This isn’t remotely close.”

“Tell them you’re uncomfortable that new girl is sexualizing your snack/eating habits.”

“Obviously staring, analyzing and obsessing.”

“Tell them she is actually creating a hostile environment… for you.”  ~ Legitimate-Tea6613

“Making blatantly false accusations of sexual harassment is not allowed in any employee handbook I’ve seen.”

“Which is clearly what this is.”

“She completely made this up expecting them to give her some cash.”

“NTA. If HR wants to prevent lawsuits, they need to get rid of the full time lawsuit seeker, not you.”

“If she does sue them as a result of them ruling ‘eating a banana does not violate any company policy.'”

“I’d love to meet the attorney who would take the case.” ~ JuliaX1984

OP… Reddit understands your plight.

You might want to be proactive in your own favor.

Time is not on your side.

Good luck.