So I (23f) got emancipated at 16. My mother was highly abusive and my dad was a drug addict. Around when I turned 20, I fought for custody of my sister and my mom gave it up fairly easily as she was stuck w bills trying to support my dad’s recovery then his relapse.
My sister was 5 when I got custody of her. She is now 8 and we live together at my apartment. She has her own room, space and toys. She had begun to call me mom of her own free will, and I explained to her that that she can call me mom, but biologically I am her sister and I will never ever try and replace our mom even though my mom was awful to me, I don’t want her to live a lie.
Everyone at work knows I have a daughter and the ones I’m close with know she’s actually my sister. other people don’t really need to know that business so I don’t disclose it. Now my boss’s kids and my daughter go to the same school and I was asked in the break room, casually, I don’t blame my boss for this, if I was going to be attending the mommy daughter dance.
And I said I would and that’s why I took off that friday and he made a sound of like “ah” bc I assume he forgot. Then he said to send him photos of his wife and daughter since he willing be working. When my boss left my coworker, Wanda, whoIi’m not close with asked me why I had never mentioned I have a daughter and I replied that it just never came up.
She said I was such a young mom and asked how old my daughter was and I told her 8. She made a face and began little side comments about how I had a child so young and created a bad space for my child and how she would be limited in life.
Now this is where i might’ve been the a#hole because I could’ve just explained BUT there are women and moms out there who were abused and or just made the decision to keep their child and even though I had the luxury of being child free, I knew my mother was not in a place to have a child.
I made the decision for the better of my daughter. I feel strong paternal instincts and feelings for her. I taught her to ride a bike and to tie her shoes and I kinda felt disrespected and told wanda that as a mother herself, she should know what going into motherhood is like and she should never feel comfortable enough to speak on any mother's situation so long as they are putting forth their best effort.
Another coworker chimed in and said she had her daughter at 18 and it was a wonderful experience and is blessed to have a child and Wanda stopped talking after that.
A few days later I get called to HR where Wanda is sitting and the meeting basically entails Wanda crying that I never told her that my daughter was my sister and now everyone in the office thinks she is a bully and a bad mother, because of our conversation in the break room.
I told her that it doesn’t matter what my daughter is to me biologically. I adopted her and she is a child and she is mine and I have raised her in place of a mother. Wanda said the circumstances are different and I shouldn’t have let her believe she was my daughter.
HR dismissed the meeting after a formal apology was given on both sides and wanda has been avoiding me like the plague. I feel like I got too emotional in the moment and made it a learning lesson instead of just explaining the situation. Was I the ahole?
NTA she shared her opinions and she is facing the consequences of that. You didn’t force her to say those things. She was more than willing to scold you. So she should be more than willingly to accept the repercussions. Shouldn’t have apologized though.
NTA Wanda was judgemental and got called out by your coworkers. She probably left the break room and talked behind your back. She then got called out. She is now suffering the consequences and wants to shift blame to someone else.
You shouldn’t have gone into a huge explanation with HR . Just say it’s your personal business and Wanda was unprofessional in her interactions with you.
It would have majorly sucked for her if you had pursued this with HR. You HR team was unprofessional for asking for that meeting & not dismissing her complaint the minute she went to them. You could actually complain about the HR person here too.
NTA. This is the kind of woman that you want out of your personal business cause she’ll use anything against you. I’d put money that Wanda was talking crap about you, how having a baby at 15 is disgusting what trash keeps a baby like that can’t be a good mother at that age.
This crap 1) triggered every teen mother you work with
and 2) pissed off everyone else cause that kind of nasty gossip isn’t culture everywhere. And finally someone told her off that you adopted your sister, saved her from abuse and they’re tired of hearing Wanda being catty as hell.
Now people don’t want to talk to her (and I bet the story making the rounds is Wanda was nasty to OP for adopting her sister) so nobody wants to have anything to do with Wanda.
So instead of apologizing, she went to HR that you’re the cause of her being bullied. When it’s just people not wanting her to bully others. I would have flat out asked the HR person to explain why your personal and legal details are up for workplace discussion.
Ask if Wanda was now officially passing judgement on all legal, family and medical issues or is it just yours? And please put in writing why Wanda is allowed to create a hostile work environment. That’s language that makes HR head for the hills.
NTA. She was being a nosy brat and deserved to get told off. It's none of her business! You're working the same job she is, so if you're providing a bad home for a kid, chances are she is too if she's got one and is working there as well.
I mean if you've got roughly the same income, that means that you can provide basically anything she can.
People need to learn to mind their own business and you shouldn't have had to give her an apology. She's the one who was nosy, condescending and b^tchy. She's the one who decided to run her mouth and you don't owe her any explanation.
NTA. But you should have told HR that Wanda’s behavior was bullying, she said horrible things, and deserves exactly how everyone is treating her (but that you haven’t said anything to anyone else concerning what she said).
But also, you should have told them you’re damn sure not going to come to her aid, and you damned sure don’t owe her an apology over her decision to be nasty towards you.
NTA - why on earth did HR pull you in at all?? Wanda was so inappropriate, both in what she said but also in going to HR. Also, apologies on both sides? For what? Wanda owed YOU an apology for making inappropriate comments in the break room. You don’t owe her anything.