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Woman Threatened With HR Complaint After Trying To Force Baked Goods On Married Coworker

Woman baking variety of goodies for work
Morsa Images/Getty Images

Tensions can often be high in the workplace while everyone is trying to get their work done, and positive workplace relationships can make all the difference.

But some coworker relationships can become too positive, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, at least for one coworker.

Redditor Due-Side-1634 enjoyed bringing baked goods and snacks to share with her coworkers, but when a man began working there who she was interested in, she upped her game.

When he attempted to deter her politely, the Original Poster (OP) became confused about what was going on.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for trying to accommodate my coworker’s diet?”

The OP enjoyed sharing treats with her coworkers. 

“I (27 Female) have been at my current company for about two years.”

“I like to cook and bake and my roommate is obsessively a healthy eater, so I usually have a lot of leftovers, and I always bring them to the office.”

But she especially liked treating one of her newer coworkers.

“About a year ago, ‘Denzel’ (29 Male) was hired. He and I hit it off right away, and within a few months, people were joking that he and I were ‘work husband and wife,’ which I thought was super funny and cute.”

“Denzel is already married, and we have great chemistry, but nothing has ever happened between us (I wish, lol (laughing out loud)).”

The OP was surprised when Denzel’s behavior began to change toward her.

“At first, Denzel seemed to really like my baked goods, but then I noticed he had stopped eating the snacks I brought.”

“I asked him why, and he said he and his wife were trying a keto diet.”

“I decided to make some keto snacks so that Denzel could still partake, so I made a batch of Keto muffins the next week.”

“Denzel didn’t try those either, and when I asked, he said he was trying to lose some weight.”

“I said he didn’t look like he needed to but that I’d try to make some healthy snacks next time so that he could partake in my food without compromising his diet.”

“He told me I didn’t need to make anything special on his account, but I found a recipe for low-calorie keto scones, and I made and brought those in a few days later.”

“I also forwarded him information regarding fitness and calorie-counting apps that he could use as a resource.”

Another coworker broached the subject of boundaries with the OP.

“Another coworker ‘Megan’ who is friends with Denzel and his wife outside of work took me aside and said that I needed to stop pushing food on Denzel, that I was making him uncomfortable, and that it made it look like I was interested in him.”

“She threatened to report me to HR (Human Resources) if I didn’t stop.”

“I was shocked, and I tried to tell Megan that I was just being nice and trying to accommodate everyone when bringing treats to the office.”

“I added that Denzel never said anything about being uncomfortable, and reporting me to HR seemed like a huge overreaction on her part.”

“I’m so confused now, AITA for offering food to coworkers and trying to accommodate Denzel’s diet?”

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 felt terrible for how Denzel was being treated by the OP.

“I doubt the keto thing is even real. OP put him on the spot and asked why he wasn’t eating her baking (which is super creepy in and of itself), and I think he was trying to find a diplomatic way to deflect and get out of that awkward convo.” – Jannnnnnnnna

“She is all up in his business when she should be minding his own. He probably doesn’t need to lose weight. He is probably just saying that as a nice way to reject her advances. Because that is what she is doing.”

“The more he accepts her food, the more validation she gets that she has a chance with him. Like when I worked on-site, I had male coworker friends, but our relationships always remained professional.” – DifferentFun9286

“He even mentioned his wife when he said that he was Keto. Get the hint!!” – tehDarkness

“Plus, he could have allergies, he doesn’t know if your kitchen is gross. He doesn’t know if you’re putting weird s**t in the recipe or even sticking to it.”

“You lack boundaries already, and your judgment is off, why trust your cooking?”

“Maybe he cooks with his wife. I bet he needs to know exactly what’s in the food he eats, and OP is already overstepping, so he’s not going to want to know more about the recipes to find out. I have a big allergy, so I don’t touch homemade food and explaining it x100 is a pain in the a**. Everyone wants to give me advice.” – pairidoiley

“It’s probably the whole he picked up on OP’s massive crush and wants to make sure he isn’t encouraging her.”

“People, especially OP, just need to accept no for an answer. That covers everything, somebody with allergies, somebody who’s a little paranoid that you let your cats walk on the cookies, that you’re making them uncomfortable.”

“Just take no for an answer, and don’t monitor what other people are eating.” – shhh_its_me

“Denzel already said no a bunch of times.”

“This is basic marriage etiquette, and OP should have taken the hint. Let me try to phrase this without sounding like Mike Pence, but you have to be conscientious of new relationships you foster with people from the opposite sex (in a hetero marriage).”

“Don’t accept special treats or gifts from opposite-sex coworkers unless it’s a special occasion like your birthday. Don’t go on one-on-one social outings outside of work. It can be a slippery slope to emotional cheating.”

“I’ve had good chemistry with coworkers, and maybe if i/we hadn’t been in relationships, we may have hung out more outside of work, just platonically. But it’s something you just kind of pump the brakes on.” – MontiBurns

“The OP’s motivations are what tip it to YTA for me. I have a friend who likes to bake and bring things into the office, and she does go out of her way to accommodate everyone, that alone would have been NTA for me, but OP seems to have certain other motivations here and is being a little too pushy about her… accommodations.” – Ehgender

“Poor Denzel. He tried to say no politely a whole bunch of times. He knew OP would never hear no without throwing a fit. Mad props to Megan, though, for taking one for the team and putting OP in her place. I just hope after hearing from everyone here how out of bands that is, OP will stop.”

“Or not, but HR is there for that.” – False-Explanation702

“YTA. Learn to read a room. Denzel is married. Denzel has another woman trying to feed him who does not take no for an answer.”

“He TOLD you not to make him anything special. And you kept at this. When he quit eating your food, you should have taken a hint.”

“I think he called it EXACTLY right, you’re parading yourself as potential wife material, and you’re a very thin line from being pulled into HR to talk about appropriate work behavior.”

“You weren’t bringing leftovers anymore. You were baking for a specific employee and pushing it at him. Alarms are ringing, and you owe Megan a huge thank you for cluing you in before you lost a job.”

“Go look for AVAILABLE males that you do NOT work with rather than hoping the married coworker decides to cheat.” – maroongrad

Others were hung up on the OP’s “I wish” comment. 

“It was cringy that OP was like, ‘I wish.’ D**n, girl. Have some self-respect. You wish to be a side piece who breaks up a marriage? Sad.” – Historical_Divide673

“One thing I know for a fact is if someone is self-aware enough to write something like that ‘I wish’ when they are trying NOT to seem that into someone, then their actions in person are likely way more obvious than they think.”

“She is probably properly flirting with this poor chap constantly, and it likely started off fine and got more and more obvious. Hence the poor chap becoming uncomfortable and trying to ease her off.” – Oxygene13

“The moment I saw the ‘I wish lol,’ I knew OP was YTA.” – kokoromelody

“I thought maybe she’s just… like… SUPER clueless (I have ADHD that sometimes makes me miss social cues, so you know, I try to relate).”

“But the ‘I wish’ sealed it into YTA territory. Hopefully, if she backs off now, they can all try to forget this ever happened.” – Mei_Flower1996

“The implication is right there, especially if one were to look at the baked goods as a bit of a metaphor. ‘Look, Denzel, I made them just for you! One bite won’t kill you… it’s okay to cheat a little… on your diet, that is…’ Not exactly subtle.” – trivialissues

“She didn’t say she wished she was married to him. She said that they have great chemistry and they hadn’t cheated on his wife yet, but she would totally be down to do so. Which is even more disgusting.” – BelkiraHoTep

“I wouldn’t have thought anything she was doing was weird. She would have just simply been a nice person if not for that very specific comment. It changes the entire context of her behavior.” – Inphiltration

“Being kind and accommodating someone’s dietary needs, there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s all platonic/friendship. But that comment changes everything for me, OP is clearly making these people uncomfortable with her potential interest.” – Ferret_Brain

“Even worse, she wasn’t saying she wished she was married to him. She said, ‘I wish,’ when clarifying that ‘we have great chemistry, but nothing has ever happened between us.’ She isn’t wishing she is married to him but rather wishing he would break his vows to his wife and cheat on her with OP.”

“OP, YTA, and a huge one at that. Find a man who is single.”

“There is nothing wrong with bringing treats, baked goods, snacks, etc in into the workplace to share. I personally was the ‘snack lady’ where I used to work, and I would bring in donuts, cookies, veggie trays, etc, to share with my team.”

“But I never accommodated anyone’s diets unless THEY asked me to, and if someone refused an offer, I took it as just that, a refusal, and moved on. You should, too.” – metastatic_mindy

The subReddit was grateful to Megan for bringing these issues up with the OP, especially after Denzel’s kind approach hadn’t been able to reach her.

There’s such a thing as bringing innocent snacks to the office for the whole team, but when a coworker begins to bring snacks for one specific coworker over and over, it begins to draw the kind of attention an employee shouldn’t want, especially a married one.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.