We’ve all known at least one person who is really into pranks, whether they’re sweet and corny or way over-the-top arrangements.
Unfortunately, some of us also know someone who is willing to take their pranks much too far, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While assisting in the training of a new veterinary assistant, Redditor futonsvea pranked their new coworker during an invasive animal procedure.
When they were sent home without pay for several days, the Original Poster (OP) questioned if they had gone too far with their joke.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for playing a bit of a prank on a new veterinary assistant?”
The OP decided to prank their new coworker during her training.
“I work at a sort of combination veterinary and wildlife rehab center, and we hired a new assistant last week.”
“On her second day, we had a dog come in whose anal glands we had to express, one of the least pleasant parts of the job.”
“I trained her on how to do it and also said, ‘Also, it’s important to hold your face right behind so you can see what you’re doing better,’ mimicking the posture.”
“(Not true of course, no one does that. It can spray further than people think!)”
The prank totally backfired.
“So she gave it a try and got the hang of it really fast… and got sprayed in the face with the anal gland secretions more than I expected.”
“I laughed and was about to offer her a towel to clean off and say, ‘Welcome to the gross world of this profession’ or something like that.”
“But she took it worse than I thought, gagging a lot, and then running out of the room to the toilet right across the hall and, from the sounds of it, throwing up.”
“She was very mad and stormed out after.”
The OP was surprised by the repercussions of their prank.
“Apparently, she reported me. My manager and even coworkers all seem to be on her side about how horrible the prank was.”
“I got two days of unpaid leave and apparently, there was talk of me having to help with skunk rehab without protective gear on for a couple of days, if I want to keep working there at all (which seems totally disproportionate, that’s not at all the same and won’t wash off).”
“I didn’t think it was that bad of a prank because these sorts of gross incidents are a part of the job, and you have to get used to gross things.”
“I could see how it was a bit rough for a second day, though, but is it really the monstrous act that she seemed to think it was?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were worried about the health risks of what the OP had done.
“As someone new to wearing contacts, the first thing that came to mind was trying to fish them out so booty juice wouldn’t be trapped in their eyes.”
“OP is lucky they aren’t getting fired, charged, and sued.”
“It’s a biohazard, so definitely a health risk. I had gross s**t happen to me when I worked in the emergency department of a hospital, but my coworkers went out of their way to protect me and clean up if things went off the rails.”
“OP is a grown adult mean girl and that’s pathetic.” – NotAQueefAKhaleesi
“Isn’t this sort of putting her health at risk? I know gross incidents like this are going to happen regardless, but this is something that could’ve been prevented. If OP didn’t pull this dumb prank, yeah, it would’ve still gotten on her, but probably not directly in her face and eyes!” – ladybugh
“My first thought was, ‘Well, she’s probably going to get some kind of infection!'”
“OP was basically like, ‘Welcome to the team! Here’s some pinkeye and other fun with infections! Haha, such a good prank…'” – Deep_Middle9124
“Yes, gross incidents are a part of the job. What shouldn’t be part of the job however are gross coworkers and superiors who bully you on the job, making sure you get sprayed in the face with anal gland secretions just for laughs.”
“The gross world of this profession very much aren’t the anal gland expressions, but people like you. Be ashamed of yourself.” – MaralDesa
“Rationalize all you want, but get this through your head… playing a prank on a coworker, will ALWAYS make you an a-hole. It is unprofessional and plain wrong. Furthermore, that was not a prank, that was hazing bordering on harassment.”
“You are LUCKY you were just suspended. I would have fired you and maybe looked into filing criminal charges.” – The_A**hole_Judge
“YTA. What you did is vile. So horribly unkind to take advantage of someone’s inexperience and trusting nature. It really was an abuse of your position.”
“I’m really convinced at this point that there are two kinds of people in the world. People who enjoy pranking others on the one hand and good and decent people on the other. Very rarely do those two circles overlap.”
“You are most lucky that you don’t work for me. I would have bounced you out on your ear. Permanently.” – Ornery-Octopus
Others were certain they would never trust the OP again after this.
“Just imagine, every interaction going forward for this poor girl will have her second-guessing each instruction given to her when she is trained to do something.”
“If the OP’s goal was to make her distrust her coworkers, mission accomplished.”
“YTA.” – joe-h2o
“I would probably quit if I were her. How do you continue learning from someone who you don’t trust but still have to do what they tell you? Especially now knowing what an a**hole they are.” – RoosterMiserable1275
“YTA. Pranking a new coworker is hazing. Hazing will make her uncomfortable with her job and place in it.”
“Anyway, pranks are not funny unless the person pranked can laugh at them. Confuse, not abuse. You were helping her, and she needs to be able to trust you, which you broke.” – Difficult-Share-51
“YTA. The new hire was eventually going to get something gross on them, it happens all the time, but that was just mean-spirited. No protective gear does sound like a disproportionate punishment though.”
“Coming from vet med, she is going to never listen to you again, and I don’t know a single clinic where ‘pranks’ like this are common.” – No_Adhesiveness_1918
“YTA. I work in the veterinary industry, and the only time it’s funny when anal gland secretions go awry is when it’s BY ACCIDENT. My colleagues and I have almost died laughing so many times.”
“Recently, I came across a new tech at a practice (I install diagnostic analyzers in practices) who was tasked with removing hundreds of maggots from a necrotized leg and spay an incision on a cat. She looked like she wanted to DIE.”
“I was on my way out, but I grabbed some tweezers and went to help her. It was gross as f**k, but as we worked through it, I told her things like this would get ‘easier’ over time.”
“You’re lucky to be still employed.” – mlad627
Some educated the OP on what would have qualified as a good prank.
“A good prank at a vet’s office would be filling all the kennels with stuffed cats and dogs or something. Not having bodily fluids blasted into someone’s face.” – PoeGirl1135
“A prank is like “here’s a chocolate!” And when they open it, they see it’s a Brussels sprout. Anal secretions in the face is not a prank.” – sweetEVILone
“I’ve seen one prank that I actually thought was cute. On April Fool’s Day, a mom stuck a piece of raw broccoli on a stick and wrapped it up to look like a lollipop. The kids unwrapped it everyone laughed. Mom had real suckers afterward so the kids weren’t disappointed with not getting a treat. Everyone was happy.” – Ornery-Octopus
“I told my mom about an April Fool’s tradition about putting fish on people’s backs (I can’t remember where from). So what she does is she’ll cut fish out of construction paper and tape them to people’s backs on April Fools. It’s just a fish, not a sign telling someone to ‘kick me’, or something like that.”
“Everyone who finds the fish, even when confused, have a good laugh about it because it doesn’t hurt anyone.” – PaisleyEgg
“At least here on AITA, 99.9% of people who ask, ‘AITA for playing a prank on…?’ are most definitely TA.”
“What they call ‘pranks’ is bullying, abuse, hazing, or just downright sadistic behavior. Not really a prank.”
“A prank is a funny little thing you do to confuse or mildly startle someone you know and like. It has a punchline and or a relief component and is funny for the person who is being pranked. Pranks can be fine, but abuse and bullying never are.”
“Just like these people who call themselves ‘brutally honest’ or ‘a bit of a jokester,’ when they come to AITA, they are almost certainly a**holes, and not even remotely funny or uplifting.” – MaralDesa
Not only was the subReddit thoroughly repulsed by what the OP had done, but they pointed out how shocked they were that the OP even got to keep their job.
Because at the end of the day, this “prank” of theirs qualified as hazing, and it, at minimum, could have provoked the new veterinary assistant to quit her job in an industry that’s desperately short-staffed, and at maximum, it could have led to very serious health complications for the OP’s new coworker.