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Woman Loses It On Nosy Coworker Who Keeps Telling Her She Looks ‘Ill’

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It’s a magical four-letter anagram with one simple meaning: Mind. Your. Own. Business.

Unfortunately, some people will forever have trouble minding their own business. We call those people busybodies—they’re always ready to spread hot gossip at a moment’s notice about everybody else’s lives.

Redditor HoloSl*ttyBitch knows one such person—her coworker.  And one day, when coworker was being as busybody-ish as a busybody can be, she lost her temper.

After some blowback and unfavorable reactions, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for feedback on her behavior.

She asked:

AITA for telling a coworker to f* off and mind her own business already?”

Our original poster, or OP, was immediately tired of her coworker’s questions as soon as she walked in the door.

“Yesterday, a coworker approached me and asked me if I was alright. I said yes, just being a bit tired.”

“She kept insisting that I looked ill and I should stay at home if I’m ill because I would otherwise put everyone’s job in jeopardy. I told her again that I’m fine. I knew why she was asking though.”

“Thing is, I have extremely heavy and painful periods and many other symptoms that people with endometriosis have, but apparently I don’t have endo.”

“But still, I feel like sh*t when on my period and I am tired and bloated and miserable.”

But coworker kept going and got more and more rude.

“I just wanted to be left alone tbh so she was getting on my nerves big time. Then she asked if I had seen a doctor about my tiredness.”

“I stood up bc I thought I could escape her by going to the loo and she pointed at my belly, which was extremely bloated and swollen, and loudly claimed ‘oh, you’re pregnant, why didn’t you tell us?'”

“To which I replied ‘oh my god, I’m not pregnant. Would you f* off and mind your own business already?'”

But now coworker is telling on OP behind OP’s back.

“She now tells everyone how rude I was and that she only wanted to help and I can’t stop thinking that maybe I was TA for overreacting and she probably really only wanted to help. So, AITA?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors thought OP was totally in the right for standing up for herself.

“She harassed you about a medical condition and then loudly claimed you were pregnant without receiving confirmation or consent to talk to others about it?”

“NTA. She’s just as nosy as she sounds if she’s talking about it to others.”

“You could’ve been more diplomatic but she was WAY outta line.”~TesseractAnn

“UEven when you’re in the right it sometimes is worth keeping one’s cool (if possible; I’ve had endometriosis and suspected PCOS, and I’m not sure I’d have managed.)”

“As it means you maintain all moral high ground to onlookers, and I am painfully aware that what other people see often winds up being more crucial than what actually happened.”

“But… I have learned that sometimes you can’t soften the blow without completely losing the impact.”

“And people who are determined to push boundaries and stomp all over you will often read any gentleness or consideration on your part as permission to continue with the stomping.”

“You end up having to be really g*ddamn blunt.”

“Of course it would be better in a professional context not to lose your cool and get frustrated and curse at someone – and again, that’s an understandable response, and I don’t think it’s morally an issue after that many warnings.”

“It’s just that it looks bad, and having to repair the narrative after that is a lot more work. But you know what OP didn’t leave here?”

“Wiggle room. Nope, there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this behavior was not okay with OP.”

“There is no plausible deniability for future pushiness or harassment around medical issues. None. Now, any further violations of that particular boundary will be very clear cut.”

“TL;DR: when you soften the blow, really determined people will decide that the line you are trying to draw is… a little blurry!”

“When you don’t, you sometimes look reactionary (whether that’s fair or not), but everyone sure as hell knows where you stand now. NTA”~cakeforPM

“NTA. People need to accept women’s answers when they say they’re not feeling well and not ask questions.”

“Although I would have told her I’m on my period and hemorrhaging uterine lining and that’s why I’m bloated.”

“I travel for work as a lawyer, going to remote communities. Also have terrible periods and not endo. I have to be on a plane before any stores that sell pain killers open.”

“One morning I discovered I was out of pain killers for day 1 of my period when I had to fly to a reserve. It did not end well.”

“I was done my matters, and so as I usually do, I went off somewhere else with my yoga mat while I wait for the rest of court to finish.”

“I’m not visible to people attending court, but the rest of the court party and the police know I usually do some yoga while waiting.”

“But I was curled up trying to get through the cramps. So when they’re getting just too unbearable, I ask the judge on a recess if he minds me imposing on an officer to take me to the local nursing station (no taxis on the res).”

“I’ve got tears in my eyes and can barely walk. Judge of course obliges, so I go to the 5 officers sitting against the wall and ask them if one of them could take me to the hospital.”

“The smart a** in the group says ‘weren’t you just doing yoga? Did you put your back out or something?’”

“To which I replied ‘no, my cramps are so unbearable that I think ripping out my uterus with a coat hanger would hurt less.'”

“That officer shut right up, and another one said ‘I’ll take you in my truck, let’s go’ and sat quietly as I yelped over every bump in the road, and asked if I needed him to wait with me once at emerge.”

“I don’t consider myself to have over reacted, neither did you.”~Belle_Requin

“NTA. First of all, this is why you don’t comment on other people’s bodies. Second of all, I’d go to a supervisor or even HR to let them know.”

“She’s going to make your life incredibly difficult moving forward so cover your a**.”

“I have endo and its sister adenomyosis, and that sh*t is exhausting; never mind that your body is literally attacking itself, you’re likely not able to get any pain relief because nothing touches it.”

“If you’ve already had exploratory surgery on your ovaries and inside your uterus and it came back with no lesions, make sure they check your GI tract, external uterine tissue (adenomyosis), and diaphragm, because it can hide other places!”

“My endo is on my bladder and colon, which is super not fun.”~norentalvan

“NTA. Could you have been more polite? Yes. Did she deserve you being polite? No… no no no no NO.”

“She was extremely rude, she kept digging and then loudly said you look pregnant (this is so f’king horrible).”

“I feel like we’d all like to believe we would be calm and polite in this kinda situation (like some sort of glowing wonderful period fairy lightly saying ‘oh hunny, no I’m ok but my period is killing me and I’m super sore and bloated’ – insert birds dropping a daisy crown on your head-), but honestly if I was on my period (also extremely painful and heavy) I would have lost my sh*t at her the moment she exclaimed I must be pregnant.”

“She was totally out of line. Honestly it would have been understandable for you to react super agro at her.” ~ RozHazDaBunz

And then on top of all that, her coworker was incredibly rude.

“Oh wow… ok this is a lot to unpack. I’d say NTA even on the basis of her one comment about your pregnancy, it’s pretty common decency to never ask someone if they’re pregnant.”

“Your coworker sounds like a major pain in the a** to be honest, but telling people you work with to f*** off is also probably not the best move.”

“In the future, I’d have a talk with someone higher up or even start with her to let her know that this sort of behavior is unacceptable in the workplace.”~Future_Breadfruit_90

“NTA. She sounds like a nosey gossip. You answered her questions, which you were not obligated to do. She should have let it go after that.”

“Maybe a little forceful, but not out of line. She wouldn’t leave you alone or take your responses as a cue to walk away. So that’s on her.”~Anthissa21

“NTA – she wouldn’t back off and took to harassing you to the point you snapped, then called you pregnant?”

“I would have taken to calling her out on her BS behavior in a better way but she definitely needed to learn to back off.”

“Hopefully this doesn’t escalate for you anymore than it has though. She was DEFINITELY an AH for the pregnancy remark and bothering you after you made it clear it wasn’t her business.”~EvocativeEnigma

“NTA- holy hell is it absolutely NEVER appropriate or acceptable to badger someone about their medical status.”

“It’s NEVER appropriate to give someone unsolicited medical advice. And it’s holy sh*t NEVER ok to make intrusive assumptions which you then blurt out for everyone to hear.”

“Your coworker is unprofessional, inappropriate, and was harassing. And while you could’ve spoken to her differently, she was literally harassing you about your medical status. That is never, ever ok.”

“Time to talk with HR. She not only behaved wildly inappropriately, she’s now spreading rumours around the office to cover her own a** after harassing you.”~CatteHerder

Being nosy is already rough, but adding rude on top of that?

No ma’am.

“She was harassing/pressuring you AND making false assumptions about a personal and medical matter.”

“She deserved this. I’d inform HR as in ‘heads up, just went off on (person) cause she wouldn`t stop asking if i was sick even when I told her to stop.”

“As otherwise this could bite you in the backside still. NTA”~Professional_Duck564

“NTA. She is not a friendly concerned coworker. She intentionally wanted to harass you and provoke you and she succeeded.”

“Tell her next time that unless she has a work concern to discuss that she needs to leave you alone. Also document her harassment. Document document document!!!!”~frauleinsteve

“Rude is when you insist on making someone’s else problem’s your business. The only time they should be your business is if self harm or abuse is going on.”

“Because in any of the other scenarios, what happens to you is your responsibility and no one else’s.”

“If she is genuinely concerned, I would have understood maybe just seeing what was up, and then leaving it alone if you aren’t close to the person or they don’t feel comfortable, and just providing reassurance that you can be a shoulder.”

“Otherwise, you do need to f’k off kindly. There’s nothing rude about someone not wanting to pull apart their sh*t to show you they ate corn the night before. NTA.”~ShakeSlow



OP updated her original post to reflect the action she’d taken against said coworker:

“I have spoken to my boss, he had a similar issue with her (which I didn’t know until just now) and will go to HR for me to advocate my case.”

“He knows how hard it is for me to work during my period, he has actually once called an ambulance because I collapsed due to blood loss, so he’s really pissed at her for being so insensitive about sh*t that’s not even her damn business.”

“Also, yes, I’ve had the laparoscopy (is that the right word? In my mother tongue it’s called belly mirroring, so I’m quite unsure) to rule out endo.”

“I have not completed diagnosis though, we are still searching for the reasons of my problems, but due to a lockdown my appointments had to be postponed.”

“Thank you all so much for your encouragement and kind words!”

OP will be covered by HR, and hopefully this person—who seems to have done something similar to OP’s boss—will be dealt with accordingly.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.