A worker took to social media last week to share that they upset a co-worker by asking him “provocative” questions about his family.
Posting in Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) forum under the username u/refreshed82, the worker asked: “AITA for asking questions about my co-worker’s daughter?” The post has garnered over 6,300 upvotes and more than 1,500 comments slamming u/refreshed82 for being unprofessional. You can read the full post here.
Kerry Flynn Barrett, the founder of Flynn Barrett Consulting LLC, told Newsweek that people should exercise caution when conversing with co-workers.
“Sometimes it’s better to stay away from something and not bring it up because you just don’t know what a person’s feelings are,” Flynn Barrett said.
“We’re here to work—it is not a social setting,” Flynn Barrett continued. “Sometimes people cross [boundaries] because we work closely with people and we think that [we are friends] as opposed to [co-workers]. But the fact of the matter is, we are co-workers.”
Unfortunately, u/refreshed82 recently learned the consequences of treating a colleague like a friend.
Redditor u/refreshed82 said that their colleague divorced his wife several years ago. They share an adult daughter who’s somewhat “famous” online, so occasionally, u/refreshed82 said they will check on her accounts to “see what she’s up to.” In a recent sweep of her profiles, u/refreshed82 noticed that the woman doesn’t post much about her father, u/refreshed82’s co-worker. They also noticed that the woman uses a “stage name” vs. her real surname.
Curious, u/refreshed82 decided to ask their colleague about his relationship with his daughter. Apparently, the two co-workers had previously talked about u/refreshed82’s divorce, so u/refreshed82 said they felt it was safe to ask their colleague about his daughter.
We spoke for a bit [and] I asked why he doesn’t appear in any photos on her accounts. He sarcastically replied [that] he was camera shy,” u/refreshed82 said. “I then asked why she likes using the stage name on her Twitter and Instagram [accounts]and he replied that he ‘doesn’t really f**king know.'”
Redditor u/refreshed82 said they could tell their co-worker was annoyed, so they stopped asking questions. When they arrived at work the following day, they noticed their colleague was ignoring them. And later in the day, their boss pulled them aside to issue a “warning.”
“Apparently, I was asking him [my co-worker] ‘provocative’ and ‘harassing’ questions, despite him not looking too bothered when I asked them. I [tried] to talk to him [but] he just [told] me to f**k off and [left],” u/refreshed82 wrote. “AITA?”
Redditors said u/refreshed82 was wrong to question their colleague about his family and even accused them of having an “unhealthy obsession” with the woman.
YTA [you’re the a**hole]. You first seem to have an unhealthy obsession [with] his daughter, and you didn’t quickly grasp that they don’t have a great relationship [and] you kept pestering him about it,” u/Supergoch wrote.
“Why are you so invested in his daughter’s life and relationship with her dad that you’re scrolling back 5+ years to count how many photos she’s posted of him? That’s creepy and weird, and your questions were invasive and nosy,” u/ oneblessedmess said.
Redditor u/OrangeCubit added: “YTA. Your dive into her socials [was] WAY too deep, and then you used that to interrogate a man about very personal things. There were multiple points in that conversation where you should have stopped, but you didn’t. You were rude, intrusive and blind to social cues.”
Newsweek reached out to u/refreshed82, and they declined to comment. We could not verify the details of the case.
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