Interpersonal relationships can be challenging to navigate even under the best of circumstances.
When you factor in the added stresses of travelling and work, those relationships can become very frayed indeed.
So, what happens when you realize that a co-worker isn’t treating others appropriately, you take a stand against it, and that coworker takes offense?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Hot-Equivalent964 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for not going out to eat with coworker anymore because she embarrasses me?”
OP explained a little bit of the background.
“Right now I’m working on a travel project where I’m a surveyor.”
“Our assignment right now is 100 percent travel so we’re staying in hotels, going out to eat alot more than normal.”
“My current partner is Sam.”
“We share a company car at the location for now and she is a nice woman who is good at her job and generally pleasant to be around.”
Everything was fine, until…
“However, whenever we go out to eat she turns into a mega karen and can be really obtuse towards waiters/staff.”
“I’ve gone out to eat with her many times over the past few weeks, and every single time there has been a problem with her meal/drink.”
“She always sends stuff back for no reason, or for the dumbest reasons.”
“Is always demanding a discount at the end because she had to send stuff back or demanding additonal items.”
“If the server refuses she always demands a manager and gets very curt and direct.”
“I always just stare at my plate because im kinda embarrassed. And no joke, this happens at every meal when we go out to eat.”
“I told her I wouldn’t be joining her for dinner anymore and she asked why, I avoided it but she wanted an answer and I told her that her behaviour was embarrassing.”
“She got really mad and our work relationship is now strained.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out how Sam’s behavior could ruin the experience.
“Stuff like that is really embarrassing, it is one thing if there is a legitimate problem, it’s completely different if something is literally always wrong.”
“At that point they are trying to get a free meal or something which is just not fun to be around” ~
Others suggested that Sam had ulterior motives.
“Generally, when you travel for work, you submit receipts for things like meals.”
“But I’m guessing that OP’s company does it differently and just gives them a per diem. Then, if she gets most of her meals for free, she gets to pocket all of the per diem.”
“So very tacky.” ~ lotus_eater123
Commenters were concerned about this becoming a larger problem.
“Which is extra concerning.”
“These people are trying to make an honest living while she tries to dishonestly save a few extra bucks.”
“If she’s willing to do it over a small(-ish) amount, who will she throw under the bus for an ever bigger payout?”
“And how will that reflect on the company?” ~ RikkitikkitaviBommel
“If she is ever identifiable as that company’s employee, she’s going to absolutely trash their reputation in any case.”
“And the hotel staff will definitely know for which company the a**hole-customer works.”
“EVERYONE who works in any type of service both remembers, and gleefully discusses, those customers who exceeded the usual Customer A**holery quotient.”
“All those staff (and likely their friends/family too) will avoid OP’s company.” ~
Of course some shared personal stories to commiserate.
“NTA, Years ago at an old job a bunch of us would go out to Sushi every other Friday.”
“There were 4 of us that always went and usually had lunch together on other days.”
“It wasn’t a secret we went to Sushi on those Fridays and people would ask to join us, no big deal.”
“Everyone would pick a roll or 2, then we would all just split the bill.”
“When it was the 4 of us it was never an issue. Even when had more people join it wasn’t an issue…Until Mike started joining us.”
“Well Mike liked to eat.”
“Where everyone else at the table would order 1 or 2 rolls he would order 4 or 5, and he made sure to get more than his fair share of those extra rolls.”
“So our bill went up for getting to eat the same amount of food.”
“Then he invites his wife, and doesn’t want pay a full share for her ‘because she doesn’t eat much'”.
“That wasn’t even the last straw, what finally did it is everyone threw in their money and we had left a decent tip.”
“He pulled money out of the tip and tried giving everyone 2 or 3 dollars back.”
“We all said we were happy with the tip we left and to leave the money there.”
“Well he pulled out the extra 3 dollars or what ever for himself.”
“And that was the last time we did Sushi Friday.” ~ Mono275
“I once had someone leave me <10% on their bill when nothing was wrong and she had the nerve to leave me her card for her realty business.”
“She’s out of her goddamn mind if she thinks she will ever make a commission off me or anyone I know.” ~ PlasticRuester
“I see you met my mother. Although I can’t really image her leaving a tip, but she would leave her realtor card.”
“And she thinks ‘everybody here loves us’. No, no they don’t.”
“I have tried to be the opposite.”
“We went to a restaurant last week and have a friend that works there.”
“We happened to be sitting in view of the kitchen and he was working.”
“We waved, when he had time he came over and we talked a little.”
“At the end our server said since we knew ‘Bob’ they gave us a 20% discount.”
“Didn’t expect that and used it to leave a bigger tip.” ~ JohnNDenver
“When I travel internationally for work, our per diems for meals and incidentals are quite generous, and I do try to pocket some of it (we get it no matter what).”
“I don’t do it at the expense of our waitstaff! I just generally suggest going to cheaper restaurants that will be fabulous, but affordable.”
“If coworkers want to go fancy, I just join only occasionally.”
“Honestly, I’d rather go to a great dumpling house than a 5-star on most nights (I just worked a 10 hour day…do I really want to throw on a dress to have a fancy meal? No I don’t…I want something filling and fast so I can crash and do it again tomorrow!).”
“I have enjoyed the occasional 5-star experience, but only once or twice in a 10+ day trip!” ~ JoDaLe2
Commenters commended OP for their good character.
“You’re a good person for calling her out on her abuse of waitstaff.” ~ StAlvis
“Good for you for calling her out!”
“I wouldn’t want people thinking that I thought that kind of behaviour was appropriate.”
“If she wasn’t horrible to servers then she wouldn’t be embarrassed” ~ gibgerbabymummy
Others mentioned alternatives.
“Oh, no… go out with her again with the bet that she can’t order her food without complaining about it.”
“If she does, she has to tip 30% on the original bill AND pay for your food. ;-)”
“If SHE goes without complaining to the staff, YOU will pay for her meal.”
“You’ll get a ton of free food out of that. Or, she’ll straighten up.”
“But something you DO need to do.”
“If your business ever involves eating out with clients for any reason, tell your higher-ups that she can NOT be part of that and why!!!!!!” ~ maroongrad
Commenters doubted Sam was a good person.
“She’s not a nice woman who is generally pleasant to be around.”
“She fakes nice with people who have any power over her or that she considers equals, and abuses anyone else.”
“If she can be cruel and get away with it she will.”
“And you’re seeing that.”
“If she causes any problems at work, speak with HR.”
“But she’s not a nice woman.”
“Next time you go out to eat with her (if ever again) flat-out tell the waitstaff when you order that the meal will be sent back a few times, and that YOU will be tipping, so they can ignore the problems of your coworker.”
“Get up, walk over to them, and warn them that she’s a terrible customer.”
“I know that I would have asked the manager to take care of that table.”
“But NTA, at all, for refusing to eat with her AND for telling her why.”
“She kept asking and pushing?”
“Common sense says she wouldn’t want to know the answer.”
“But, since you now know she’s like this…keep an eye on how she acts to subordinates at work. I bet it’s not pretty and they’d appreciate the backup from you.” ~ maroongrad
“She may behave politely when she has to but underneath, she is someone who ENJOYS bullying others. Given any opportunity to be mean, she will take it.”
“Write down your recollection of where you dined and what she complained about each time. You may need it if she tries to complain to HR about you being ‘hostile”‘. ~ Catacombs3
The way we treat people who have no power over us is a fantastic indicator of the type of person that we are.
Be sure to surround yourself with the type of people you’re proud of, and call out those you aren’t.