A small word that can be hard to say sometimes—especially to family members. One woman who didn’t mind helping her family with tech issues felt like she turned into their personal help desk after the pandemic.
The Redditor who goes by Spiritual_Media_3973 turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some objective thoughts on stopping the calls for assistance.
”AITA for refusing to be the family’s “IT girl” anymore?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained her familial upset:
“I’m 30 yo (f) and I’ve always been the person who fixes all things electronic. TBH I have no technical knowledge or whatsoever and most of my ‘solutions’ are things I google. My family is not very tech-savvy, so for them I am like that ‘The Hackerman’ meme.”
”I’ve learned some stuff in the way, but at the end of the day, I am still at user level in most things. However, for my family I am the designated ‘IT girl’ of the bunch. At first, I embraced that nickname.”
”Although I got urgent calls to answer why there’s no internet (‘mom, you have to connect it to the Wifi network first to have it’), they happened one in a while. Yes, sometimes these calls were annoying but I could handle them.”
Like many people the pandemic changed things for her.
“Things changed when the pandemic happened. Now my family is staying inside more so they spend more time on the computer or phones. Now I am getting these ‘IT’ calls and texts all day.”
”I am working from home in a new job where I will be ‘on probation’ for 3 months before they decide to hire me indefinetely. That means I have to do my best during this time. However, my family is so damn inopportune that they always need me when I’m on a meeting.”
“I snapped when my mom called me because she needed help. I got like 10 texts without her saying she needed me because she wanted my ‘IT’ help. I got nervous and I finished my meeting early (maybe something bad happened to her?).”
”I call her and she tells me her neighbor needs help with a virus in her computer. First, since when am I helping strangers? Second, I don’t know s*** about viruses! That’s so out of my league.”
“Mom joked with my dad and sibling about this in our group chat on how the ‘IT girl’ was kinda moody. Everyone joked about how overreacted and all. Keep in mind I come from a culture where talking back to elders is not acceptable so I joked and said that the ‘IT girl’ is resigning.”
”Everyone laughed but I decided this was enough.”
“Now, every time they call me asking me for help, I say I don’t know or say ‘you should google it’. This has been going on for one week and now everyone knows I was serious. My family says I am overreacting.”
OP got pushback from more than just family after her decision.
”My big brother says that he understands I am annoyed, but sometimes family annoys you and you have to deal with it. My bf says I am a bit of an a-hole but sometimes you have to be one, above all when I am always trying to be the dutiful one.”
”Some friends say I am an a-hole because some people, above all when they are old, cannot grasp technology like us. I understand that, but it is not like my grandma and parents are completely unware on how things work (they have tablets each one and smartphones), also I’ve had to explain the same thing over and over…”
“IDK maybe AITA because is such a silly thing. Still, I think this is a boundary I have to set.”
Redditors were asked what they thought by deciding:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors reached a consensus declaring the OP was NTA.
”My rule is that I’ll help my family AFTER work hours…but blow up my phone and they’ll be figuring it out themselves.”~themysteryoflogic
“I don’t think it is unreasonable for your parents to reach out to you for help with IT issues from time to time, but they should not be interrupting you while at work unless it is an emergency. Tell them to use Google or use the customer support services that come with the products they purchased. NTA.”~type1error
”NTA. You are allowed to set boundaries, and you shouldn’t have to constantly help your family with issues like this. Does your family know your work hours? If so, then they should know not to message/call when you’re working.”~ckbruinfan
“NTA. You should not have to be fielding these calls at work.”~Suonii180
The dutiful OP was thankful for Redditors kind comments and clarified some points in an update.
“I am so overwhelmed by all your nice comments. I am sometimes a pushover so I needed the positive reinforcement.”
“I’ll answer some questions here just to give some final context.”
“1. Why do I have my phone around? I usually text with my teammates during meetings and, since I am still new at work, I don’t have a separated business and personal phone.”
“I plan to get a new one ASAP so I can keep talking with my coworkers and ignore personal messages during these times.”
“2. Why your BF calls you an a-hole? I think I didn’t make myself clear there. What he meant is that sometimes you have to be blunt (hence, an a-hole in this context) to set healthy boundaries.”
“He is not saying I am wrong here, he’s saying that I have to be more assertive, even if that comes across as mean”
“3. Where are you from? I don’t feel comfortable disclosing that because people I know likes this reddit and might connect the dots, but let’s say my parents are immigrants.”
“We didn’t have the luxury to afford much technology until I was in high school. Still, I think they got used to it pretty quickly”
”Thank you again everyone! Have a wonderful day. :)”
Helping is one thing but being taken advantage of is another.
Maybe this family will learn if OP sticks to her guns on this one.