Kids’ drawings are adorable and hilarious. Using them to decorate your office makes you a relatable person, and shows where your priorities lie.
However, some people think it’s unprofessional.
Redditor throwra_knjk encountered this very issue with a coworker. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for not removing my kids’ pictures and drawings from my office after my coworker told me to remove them because the office doesn’t look professional?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“INFO: All the drawings are framed, I have five frames (25cm x 20cm) one for each of my kids and I change the drawings every week, it’s not like I have thousands of drawings pinned on the wall in a messy way.”
“And for those who say he’s sexist, it could be, a few days ago he got mad at me because I’m pregnant and I’m gonna take a few weeks off because the cases of Covid in our city are increasing (it’s not my decision by the way) and he thinks it’s unfair, I think he’s sexist and that he really hates kids, I just don’t know why.”
OP explained the situation.
“This man (50’s) and I (27F) share the office, one half is his and the other half mine, on my side of the office I have pictures of my kids (6M, 4M, 4M, 3M, 1F) on the wall and some drawings that they gave me a few weeks ago (they’re constantly drawing so I renew them every week).”
“I also have a family picture on my desk, and most of our clients like the pictures and drawings because they find it funny, especially the drawings of my two little ones, because they don’t draw well yet, they just make different figures and that’s supposedly me.”
“And, on his side there’s nothing but his framed diploma and a small clock on his desk. He doesn’t have a single picture of his family or anything personal, and I respect that because it’s his decision, but lately he started to tell me that he wants me to remove some pictures and drawings because having that in the office makes the place look less professional.”
OP just wanted to see her kids’ drawings.
“I told him that I wouldn’t remove them because those are drawings that my kids give me with all their love and that in the company policy there’s nothing that says that you can’t have personal things in your office.”
“So, he got mad and told me that my part of the office looks like a circus (it doesn’t btw) and that no one is going to take me seriously if I keep having all that in my part of the office.”
“He told me that it costs me nothing to remove all those drawings and put them on my refrigerator or somewhere in my house, that I’m acting like a kid and that I don’t remove them just because I want to annoy him.”
“I ignored him but the next day another coworker (60’sM) told me that I should do what he told me, that he has a great reputation and that sharing an office with me is damaging it.”
“I talked to my husband (36M) about it to get another perspective and he told me not to remove them so I decided not to remove them, am I the a**hole for that?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“SHE’S a high-power executive juggling work, family, and the perfect bold lip.”
“‘Steve, can you grab me a latte? I have a meeting with Revlon at 3.'”
“HE’S always put work first and never made time for home.”
“‘I just don’t see WHY you need so many of those DANG PICTURES of your family here! This is WORK!'”
“But when 5 KOOKY KIDS WHO LOVE TO DRAW enter the picture, ‘Mom! Mom! Mom! I drew you!'”
“‘Oh, what a lovely red dress I’m wearing here!'”
“‘That’s a picture of our mailbox, you’re over here!'”
“‘Oh, how…. nice, sweetie!'”
“It’s anyone’s guess what happens next!”
“Tune in next Thursday for DRAWING TOGETHER, the new made-for-TV Disney channel instant classic your family is sure to love!” ~ Neurotic_Bakeder
“NTA. Not only do I suggest this, but tell him it cost him nothing to mind how own f*cking business and to not be so obsessed over drawings.” ~ ThatB*tchStaceyFR
Many said OP should reach out to HR.
“This this this this, OP, please go to HR. This is gendered AND ageist. If you were a man or were ten/fifteen years older, I bet he’d mind his own business. It’s also telling that the coworker who spoke to you? ALSO M and older.”
“They’re expecting you to buckle because you’re young and female. GO TO HR.”
“If you want to be ‘nice’ about it, ask HR if anything’s changed in the policy regarding decorations in offices, and be confused if/when they say no — your officemate is making such a big deal about your framed pictures, you thought for sure there was some kind of update? Gosh, you hope this isn’t going to create a hostile workplace since he’s trying to get other coworkers to bully you about your children’s drawings?”
“HR is there to protect the company, not you — but if you’re proactive, you can make HR believe protecting you IS good for the company.” ~ penandpaper30
“This is great advice. Be merciless with this guy. Some older men in office environments tend to treat younger women in ways they would never treat each other.”
“You bet he would be minding his own business if you were a 57 year old male. He is not your boss yet he is telling you what to do and engaging others to put peer pressure on you. Be as mean as you need to be and show him and his friend you can’t be messed with.” ~ obrienne
One shared their own experience.
“I had a professor in a Very Serious Course in my major who never talked about his personal life because he thought it was unprofessional who didn’t show up for class one day, then apologized the next class and said his 6-year-old had been in a car accident right before the prior class, and was hospitalized. We hadn’t even known he had kids.”
“The class organized quietly through passed notes (this was in ancient times before social media) and that evening we all convened in someone’s dorm and painted a Get Well Soon banner and we all made construction paper cards and gathered cash for a stupidly big stuffed animal and delivered it all to the hospital’s front desk in the morning.”
“Our professor CRIED at the next class because he was so touched and his kid so delighted. Anyway after that he started putting up kid drawing in his office and sometimes having his kids at department events (where other profs brought kids). He’d been so worried about seeming unprofessional that he’d been afraid to be human.”
“EDIT: thanks for the awards, kind strangers.”
“I had no idea this little story would strike such a chord! I didn’t mention this in the story, but he was the department advisor for all the undergraduate majors and that was a mandatory class that everyone in the cohort took together.”
“So, when we graduated a couple of years later, he stood up at our department lunch for graduating seniors and said what a lovely thing that had been, and that early in his career because he had a real babyface, one of his first supervisors told him not to talk about his family or no one would take him seriously.”
“And that he was sorry he had spent so many years deliberately hiding his whole self at work, because he had missed out on many years of students asking about his family and chatting with his kids at parties and just having deeper relationships with students in general. I think about that a lot!”
“People are really generous if you let them be, I think. I mean, mostly. I guess we wouldn’t have the sub if everyone was.”
“Also, major props to ‘that one girl’ who just happened to have copious banner-making supplies and paint and glitter and construction paper on hand. I feel like there’s always that one girl who probably made a lot of banners in high school for sports and cheerleading sorts of things? That girl turns out to be awesome.” ~ AliMcGraw
Hang those drawings for all to see.