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Aunt tells orphaned niece 'life isn't fair' after she's left out of dogsitting over allergies.

Aunt tells orphaned niece 'life isn't fair' after she's left out of dogsitting over allergies.


Working a job as a teen is a great experience. Not only do you get to flex your work ethic, but you also have the chance to stack up money without the burden of bills or rent.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her niece she's not obligated to find her a job just because she's allergic to dogs. She wrote:

"AITA for telling a niece I'm not obliged to find her a job because she's allergic to dogs?"

I (29f) live with my husband and our two dogs a 20-minute drive from my childhood home. My parents are there with my two nieces, Sally and Emma (both 16). Sally is my brother's who passed away along with his wife two years ago, and my parents are now her guardian. Emma is my sister's who is currently working oversea for a few years.

She went to stay with my parents about the same time Sally did and her mom is due back in the middle of 2024. Emma's father has never been in her life. My husband's family lives a few hours away and we always spend the December holiday with them while my parents get Thanksgiving. Ever since the girls moved in with my parents, I offered them the chance to pet-sit my dogs for my husband and me.

They would need to take them on walks and feed them and all that. We offered a rather generous pay for the job. Sally is allergic to dogs while Emma is not. Emma took the job and did well and has been our December pet sitter for a couple years now as well as the occasional shorter-term sitter other part of the year.

Last week I went to visit my parents and to ask Emma if she will take pet sitting again which she happily said yes. I noticed that Sally was a bit sulky and asked her what was wrong. Sally said that Emma was lucky to be working for me at such a great pay and that she's guaranteed a job every December while Sally has to work minimum wage with the occasional babysitting jobs.

Sally said I should get her a job, too, to be fair. I told her I don't create jobs just to hire people for them. The jobs were just there, needing to be done, and it is unfortunate but not my fault that she's not qualified for a job I am in need of. Sally said an allergy is not something she can control and Emma shouldn't get to reap the benefits and it's not fair.

I told her sometimes life isn't fair and suggested she find what she can do and make the most out of it. My mom later called me and said I was being insensitive and maybe I could have Sally help file my documents or something. I told her I would be wasting money and time having Sally do something that doesn't need to be done.

My mom said my husband and I are well off enough we can spare a few hundred bucks this holiday to save Sally's feelings. I don't believe in coddling and I think Sally needs to learn things can't always go her way. AITA?

Redditors jumped on with all of their thoughts.

Natural_Garbage7674 wrote:

NTA. Unfortunately, Sally is finding out early the truth of the working world: it doesn't matter what skills you have or how skilled you are, if you can't do the work on offer there is no work. Supply and demand. You need a dog sitter, Emma can dog sit, Sally can't. It sucks for Sally, and it isn't her fault, but it isn't yours either. You don't owe her a job. You don't owe her equal opportunity with her cousin.

If it was me? I probably would try and find her a job. But I'd make it a "real" job. Deep cleaning the bathroom or kitchen, weeding the entire lawn, something worth the money. But I'd also make it clear that any job in my home also included the presence of the dogs.

Altaira9 wrote:

YTA for even offering her the job because of her allergies. Sally never even had a chance to watch the dogs. I don’t blame you for not creating work for Sally, but of course she’s going to be jealous her cousin is getting ‘generous pay’ for a cushy job that she simply can’t even attempt to do.

The generous pay part sounds like you’re paying Emma extra just for being your niece. Also, you’re the AH for suggesting an orphan doesn’t already know very well life isn’t fair.

Sha-Nanegins wrote:

What does Sally mean "get her a job?" If Sally is truly allergic to dogs, there's really not much of anything you can hire her to do, as being in your home where the dogs live isn't an option. Best you can do is offer to recommend Sally if you hear of a friend needing help that Sally's qualified to do.

guany wrote:

YTA because your attitude sucks. Sally isn't being coddled, she's an orphan who surely already knows that life isn't fair. Your tone is flippant and heartless.

SubstantialAd283 wrote:

YTA. You present it like you offered both girls the same opportunity and one was unqualified for the job. That implies that somehow Sally can change the fact she has a medical condition, like maybe there’s a local college offering an unallergic to dogs course. Would you offer a job climbing ladders to someone with no legs?

It is unfair. She’s had an unfair life. You’ve created yet another thing that differentiates her from Emma. That grows resentment and jealousy. Feigning surprise at nieces attitude(that you asked her directly about) is YTA. That child needs coddling, she already knows things don’t go her way.

While people are divided on this one, the votes are leaning toward OP being TA - largely for how flippantly she reacted to Sally.

Sources: Reddit
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