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Teen Wonders If She’d Be Wrong To Report Older Male Coworker To HR For Tickling Her At Work

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Figuring out how to navigate the complexities of a new job can take its toll, especially when you’re young and it’s your first job.

DoggoandKitty_Lover is having an issue at her first job. However the original poster (OP) is having an issue with her coworker.

To find out if she’d be wrong to report him, OP asked “Would I be the A**hole” (WIBTA) in the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and got feedback.

OP asked:

“WIBTA if I reported a co-worker for tickling my side?”

This was what happened with her co-worker:

“This just happened today and I’m not sure how to react.”

“This is my (17 F[emale]) first job and this has never happened to me before. Also, I’m on mobile so I apologize for that.”

“I work at a local grocery store. I only started a month and a half ago. Most of the people there are friendly, but one of my co-workers seemed more friendly than the others.”

“He’s an older guy who has been there for years. Earlier today, while I was clocking out and getting my things, he came up to me and tickled my side while I was bent over.”

“He didn’t grab my boob or anything and it only lasted for about two seconds. It did make me feel uncomfortable however.”

“My family thinks that he was just being overly friendly and I should’ve told him there, but I was in shock and surprised. I also have anxiety and don’t like conflict.”

“I’m thinking about calling my Human Resources manager and telling her about it. Just saying that it made me uncomfortable and I wanted a paper trail just in case something else happens.”

“However, I would feel bad if he got fired over this and I don’t wanna be seen as a trouble maker. Plus, I don’t want everyone mad at me.”

“So what I’m asking is if I would be the AH if I talked to the HR manager about it?”

On the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit people explain their situation and their reaction and are judged based on what they do or in this case, are considering.

This is done by fellow users who include one of the following in their comment:

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

A lot of people felt OP needed to protect herself as well as show her coworker this kind of behavior is not okay.

The most popular answer was OP would not be TA if she went to HR.


“He knows that this is completely inappropriate, and he’s hoping you’re young/new/whatever enough not to call him out on it.”Significant-Market-6

“THIS. He is testing the waters to see what he can get away with. 100%.”

“He’s seeing if she’s too uncomfortable to do anything and he can escalate his game. I’ve been through this one…the tickle is wildly inappropriate and just his warm up act.”

“When you call him on it he gets to say he was being playful or some crap and didn’t mean anything by it.”PurpleBrevity

“Let me tell you a little secret:”

“Every man on the face of the earth knows that he has no business touching a teenage female co-worker for any reason at work other than to save her life/major emergency — because he will look like a pervert.”

“This man ‘tickled’ you — which is completely inappropriate in any capacity, on your trunk, while you were bent over.”

“There is absolutely no world where this is acceptable, and he is depending on you being young, embarassed, and unsure to get away with inappropriate behavior.”



“Definitely NTA”

“No one should ever touch you without you expressly saying it’s okay. That whole situation just seems so weird and creepy!!”jay_19_

Others had a different train of thought. While many agreed that OP wouldn’t be TA to report him, they recommended speaking with him about it first.

It might end there, and she wouldn’t have to worry about him getting fired and others disliking her for that.

However, not everyone agreed.

A lot of debate ensued about how to best handle the situation.

“NTA to report him but I would personally give him one warning. ‘Please don’t ever touch me again.’ and go from there.”Lovegivingadvice

“NTA. Go to HR, and let them handle it. I disagree with the advice on here saying to talk to the coworker, he knows what he did was inappropriate, and if given the chance he will just get worse.”

“HR also needs to be aware because if you talk to him directly and he does back off he will only move onto the next young worker, he’s probably been inappropriate for years.”AnnetteyS

“Ignore the psychos in this thread telling you to call HR. Just f***ing talk to the man or have someone else do it for you if you aren’t comfortable.”Carlthellamakiller


“You MUST call HR. There is ZERO need for this kind of contact between coworkers.”

“I’d first talk to your direct supervisor and let them know and then contact HR. But don’t let the former dissuade you from contacting HR.”

“It’s just part of the process of: ‘this happened, I’m reporting it to HR, and I want you know’.”TwoCentsPsychologist

“Why not take it up with the person first before getting management involved? Might be a one-off due to a poorly read situation (on his end)?”beefjus

OP eventually made up her mind and decided to tell HR.

“Told HR about it, they said that they were gonna talk to him about it but the person basically defended him so I don’t think anything’s gonna happen.”

Nothing ended up coming out of the incident yet, but at least there’s a paper trail if this behavior continues. OP needs to be careful about how she interacts with her coworker and even HR department going forward, if they are defending the coworker’s inappropriate behavior.

Hopefully this will be a one off incident and nothing more happens.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.