Christmas is a time of giving.
A time for everyone to put aside their differences and spread good cheer and happiness to those around you.
Many would also agree Christmas and all it stands for can be celebrated by those who aren’t Christian, or who don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday.
But a colleague of Redditor vox1028 felt otherwise, even going so far as to decide the fact his no longer being a practicing Christian was worthy of a punishment of sorts.
A decision which ended up costing this colleague her job.
But concerned he may have been responsible for his colleague’s dismissal, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for getting a coworker fired because she didn’t get me a Christmas present?”
The OP first revealed how his whole, rather bizarre saga began all due to his involvement in his office secret Santa gift exchange.
“I (19 M[ale]) work in a small office.”
“In November a few of my coworkers organized a secret Santa gift exchange for Christmas.”
“It was optional but most people joined in so I did too, though I do not celebrate Christmas (I am ex-Christian) but I still celebrate the holiday season & I thought it would be fun.”
“One of the people who organized it is a woman I’ll call ‘Jen’ (50s F[emale]).”
“She is a devout Christian. I know because she had a lot of religious items on her desk & she is always saying religious stuff & talking about church.”
“Soon after we all picked names for secret Santa, she approached me & said that she was glad that I’d joined in because ‘its nice to see young people getting involved in the spirit of Christmas’.”
“Then she asked if I would be going to mass for Christmas and I said no.”
“She asked why & I told her that I’m actually ex-Christian so I don’t go to church.”
“I don’t think I was rude about it but she started acting weird & said that I shouldn’t have joined secret Santa because I was ‘profiting off other people’s generosity in the celebration of Christ’s birth’.”
“I didn’t know what to say so I said that I would be getting someone a gift too of course, and I couldn’t back out now because then one person wouldn’t get anything.”
“She said she would pray for me & left, and we didn’t really interact after that.”
When the big day of the secret Santa exchange finally arrived, the OP discovered he was on his secret Santa’s naughty list.
“A few days before Christmas we all were supposed to exchange our gifts.”
“I gave the person I picked their gift & then I was waiting to receive mine.”
“I didn’t know who picked me of course but eventually it seemed like everyone had gotten their gifts except me.”
“Then Jen came over and said she was the one who picked my name, but since I didn’t believe in Christmas there was no reason for her to get me a gift in celebration of it.”
“I was honestly shocked but she left before I could say anything.”
“It did bother me a bit but I decided to let it go because I didn’t want any drama.”
While the OP didn’t seem to care about being left out of the gift exchange, his colleagues weren’t as willing to let it slide.
“Later I was talking to another coworker Amy (22 F).”
“She asked me what I got so I told her what happened with Jen.”
“Amy said I should tell our supervisor about it because Jen has said similar things to a coworker of ours who is Muslim.”
“I told her I didn’t want to make a big deal out of the secret Santa thing and I thought we left it at that.”
“But after the holidays our supervisor Mark (50s M) called me into his office and asked about what happened with Jen during the gift exchange.”
“I didn’t want to lie to a supervisor so I told him what she said, but also that it wasn’t a big deal to me, it was just a present.”
“He thanked me and said not to worry but that this was connected to ‘a greater trend in Jen’s behavior’ and he would have to ‘take action’.”
“Yesterday I noticed Jens desk was cleared out, I asked Amy about it and she said Jen had been fired.”
“I feel bad because I didn’t care about getting a present that much and I don’t think it’s something that warrants getting someone fired.”
“I told my friend Sam (19 M) about it and he said I shouldn’t have told Mark what Jen said because it was just a dumb disagreement between us.”
“So I don’t know, AITA?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Everyone agreed the OP was not at all responsible for his colleague’s dismissal and she had clearly brought this on herself as evidenced by her past and present behavior.
“‘A greater trend in Jens behaviour’.”
“This is what got her fired, not you being honest when asked a question by your supervisor.”-fernAlly.
“This is about so much more than the present.”
“Her being fired isn’t your fault.”
“It’s Jen’s fault for discriminating against her co-workers.”
“The present is just one part of a larger problem with Jen’s behavior.”
“I’m sure that there are other incidents with other people in your company beyond yourself and the Muslim coworker.”
“Her behavior is unacceptable in a professional environment.”-TheUtopianCat.
“You didn’t get your coworker fired.”
“Your coworker got herself fired for trying to stick her personal beliefs where they don’t belong and showing blatant prejudice towards other people in the office.”
“Telling Mark the truth about what happened landed your work environment and coworkers in a less toxic place.”
“Your friend Sam should take note.”
“His way of handling things irks me and is probably how someone like Jan was able to get to the point of openly and comfortably acting like an AH at work to begin with.”-mightymikek7.
“Bro, She didn’t get fired for not getting you a present, she got fired for the things she said and did.”
“She did this to herself, not you.”
“She was a major liability to the company and opened them up to serious lawsuits.”
“Secret Santa isn’t a test regarding anyone’s Christian or non-Christian beliefs.”
“It’s a way to have fun during the holiday season with co-workers.”
“Your coworker didn’t operate in the spirit of holiday fun.”
“That, combined with other behaviors got her fired–not you.”-frankieandjonnie.
It is curious indeed how any devout Christian would have come to the conclusion the acceptable thing to do in this situation was to exclude the OP.
A hard lesson which Jen had to learn in the hardest way possible.