As parents, we want to protect our kids.
We want to shield them from the harsh realities of the world and make sure they are safe and happy.
However, that protective instinct can turn into a challenge, even a hinderance, to the kids we try to protect.
So, what happens when an overbearing parent over-steps their bounds and gets corrected by someone outside their control?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) apartmentroublee when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for telling this college guy’s mom that her coming into his interview cost him the job?”
First, OP explained their position.
“I am a hiring manager at a tech company and I was hiring for summer internships a little while ago.”
“We had a guy, about 19 years old, applying for a summer internship between his freshman and sophomore years of college.”
“It was a virtual interview over Zoom because of Covid.”
Everything was okay, until…
“A minute or two in, when I was introducing myself, his mom came in and introduced herself and started talking about her son’s work ethic.”
“I thought it was a little strange. I said something polite about wanting to hear from him.”
“She just didn’t get the hint and kept coming into camera frame during the interview and interrupting her son to answer questions for him.”
“I asked a few technical questions which he seemed to answer well and then cut the interview fairly short.”
“I thought that was all over and done with until I’d gotten an email from a woman, a month later, asking about her son’s application, she seemed offended he hadn’t gotten an acceptance or rejection.”
“It bothered me, I felt bad for the kid honestly.”
OP explained they were familiar with this sort of behavior.
“Wayyy back when I was a teenager, my mom used to pull the same sh*t, but luckily she only did that when I was 15 and working for a day-camp, not when I was an adult applying for engineering jobs.”
“But I felt like this poor kid was getting his chances ruined because his mom wasn’t giving him the chance to apply on his own.”
“I sent an email back saying I was not at liberty to send information about an application to anybody but the applicant.”
“I also asked HR to send an email to the kid saying sorry but we were not making him an offer.”
“It is something we usually do, but his rejection email must have slipped through the cracks with all the Covid craziness.”
“Anyway, after we sent that, I got a phone call from his mom, she had a forwarded copy of the email, and she was demanding answers.”
“I said that I could not comment on the guy’s performance in the interview to her as she was not the applicant. If he wanted to reach out to me I was happy to give him some feedback.”
“However, I could say that regardless of his performance, her presence in the interview took him out of consideration for the position.”
“We were looking for an independent and self-driven person for the position, and for that reason, it is important to see an applicant speak for themselves, follow-up themselves, etc…”
“I also said that, as a piece of advice, every hiring manager I’ve met in my career who sees someone other than the applicant answering questions during an interview, following up on the applicant’s behalf, etc… Would also put their resume in the ‘do not hire’ pile.”
“Since, while the applicant may be skilled and motivated, they need the ability to demonstrate those traits themselves.”
“She f*cking blew up at me over that, kinda cussing me out to the point where I hung up.”
OP was left to wonder:
“AITA for how I handled this?”
“Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut way earlier”
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 this was more about the mother than the hiring manager.
“It’s probably better for the kid you told her directly, seeing as she clearly does not respect him enough to believe him if he disclosed she cost him the job.”
“She snapped at you because you gave her feedback that painted her in a poor light and she thought she did her son a wonderful favour.”
“You’re probably the first person in a while to stand up to her.” ~ Cat_got_ya_tongue
“You’re right, she needed someone to burst her freakin bubble.”
“Tho I kind of feel bad for that guy, bc he probably doesn’t want his mother to baby him like that, but he’s in a pickle bc he seemingly still lives with her.”
“NTA, but take that with a grain of salt, as in the end that dude was treated unfairly for things out of his control, maybe he should’ve been given some sort of chance.”
“(I mean, even his interview was cut short, so he had no way to make up for that).”
“EDIT: Just editing to add this, since I don’t want to answer 30+ comments.. “
“A lot of you probs don’t realize the extent someone like this goes to. Boundaries is not in her vocabulary.”
“Son asks her to leave -> screaming fit”
“Son tells her to let him speak -> DON’T YOU DARE TALK OVER ME”
“Son asks her to leave him alone for x amount -> THIS IS MY HOUSE; MY RULES!!!”
“If she’s that extreme, there’s nothing he can do until school/uni starts again and he can go back to the dorms.”
“Nothing.” ~ SenpaiRanjid
There were, of course, personal stories.
“Its easier to kick her out of in person at least.”
“Like during my undergrad orientation they specifically said a certain portion of meeting with advisor was student only and any parents that showed up where shown the seating area in the lobby to wait in.”
“Yeah would still look bad interview wise but at least can be like, we will not allow you into the interview room you can wait here or in car” ~ future_nurse19
“I used to run interview days for undergraduates and quite a few applicants would bring relatives with them.”
“It was fine if the relative just came in for the welcome talk and then occupied themselves for the rest of the day, but it was a nightmare when they hung around all day, meaning we basically had to babysit them.”
“We had one whose mother we found sitting in the toilets in darkness (she’d been there so long the sensor lights had turned off) bleeding from stitches.”
“She had had surgery the day previously then her daughter had insisted she drive her 3 hours to her interview.”
“We sent her to a walk-in clinic but apparently she ended up just renting a hotel room for the day so she could lay down somewhere.”
“But the worst was one whose mother basically brought her office with her and commandeered a settee in the cramped waiting room (which is supposed to be private so candidates can ask us questions in between tasks).”
“We had the door propped open because it was out of hours so it would lock automatically when closed, but she kept closing it because she was ‘too cold'”.
“We had to keep calling a maintenance guy to come and unlock the door for us.”
“THEN when we provided a buffet lunch for the applicants, she helped herself!! Her entitlement was astounding.” ~ RoofPreader
Some were more concerned about Mom’s behavior hurting the kid going forward.
“This. You did that guy a huge favor. His mom is going to ruin his chances and she needed to be told.” ~ mkchpk
“Yeah, he needs to know so he can take extreme steps if he has to, to keep her out of interviews.”
“Someone upthread said to clearly tell the mom to please leave, and politely ask the interviewer to reschedule when she refused… “
“I wonder how an interviewer would respond to that? A better option if possible would be to actively hide the interview from the mom… sigh…” ~ CrookedBird
Commenters hoped the son would find out.
“OP, let the kid know the reason as well.”
“I highly doubt the Mom will pass those information across to him.”
“He deserves to know the information about how this is handled (automatically put in the ‘no’ pile).”
“It may make him more likely to get out of the house and sit in a parking lot just to be able to do an interview without his Mom being able to be present.”
“Edit: NTA.” ~ kitsl010
“NTA and it would be a kindness to the applicant to send him an email and let him know that his mother is what ruined it for him.”
“He may already know this, but at least you know you did right by this poor kid.” ~ nucleusambiguous7
The need to protect our kids is a natural, realistic intention to make sure our children grow up as safely and happily as possible.
Unfortunately some people take this idea too far and instead of helping their kids, the need to control them takes over.
Be careful that in your desire to help, you are not doing more harm then good.