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Woman snaps at 'nosey' coworker who keeps asking about her husband's salary. AITA?

Woman snaps at 'nosey' coworker who keeps asking about her husband's salary. AITA?


In most contexts, it's considered rude to straight up ask someone's salary. Unless you're close friends openly talking about finances, or coworkers looking to unionize or collectively boost people's earnings, it usually doesn't come up in a natural way.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for calling her coworker a name after she 'dug' for info about OP's husband's salary.

She wrote:

AITA for calling my coworker a 'nosy b*$@h' after she kept insisting to know my husband's salary?

My husband and I (both 33)have been together since college. Over the years, he's had quite the career trajectory. He's a quant PM and makes like 10x what I make (and I make a good salary haha!). As we've grown wealthier, I've learned that people become nosier. Friends, acquaintances, relatives, you name it.

In the beginning, I would entertain the nosy questions, but since I turned 30, I've adopted a 'take no s@$t' attitude. When people ask me how much he makes, I no longer say anything. I've learned the hard way that giving an exact number can have bad consequences. My co-worker, 25, is new and she already has quite the reputation. Very chatty, catty, gossipy, you get the gist.

You can just tell she craves wealth and status. She wears a bunch of flashy designer items and is always asking the ladies around the office which of the men are single. Last Friday, our office hosted an afternoon happy hour. She approached me and asked how me and my husband's recent vacation to Europe went. I told her it went well and briefly summarized what we did.

Then the conversation went something like this:

Her: 'So what does your husband do?'

Me: 'He works in finance.'

Her: 'Oh wow, he must make a ton then to be taking you on all these lavish vacations! I hope you don't mind me asking, but how much does he make in a year??'

Me: 'Yes, we're very lucky that he makes a good salary.' Polite smile

Her: 'Oh c'monnn I won't tell anyone. How much does he rake in a year? Millions?'

Me: Awkward chuckle 'I'd rather not say, but it's up there!'

Her: 'What, he doesn't allow you to give an exact number or something?'

Me: Visibly annoyed 'No, I just prefer not to say.'

Her: Laughs in my face 'You'd think the stuck-up one would be the one with money, not the one without!'

Me: 'You should learn how to take 'no' for an answer and when to quit being a nosy b#$%h. It's a valuable lesson.'

Then I smiled at her and walked away. Later on, I had a few co-workers reach out to me and say that she was crying and left early and that I should apologize for calling her a rude name. I refused. I told my mom and she said I was too rude to the new girl and that she's young and might not fully understand 'salary talk.'

I think she's old enough. Husband is fully on my side but said maybe I should fake apologize for the sake of office politics, which I somewhat agree with. But still, AITA?

People had a lot to say about the topic.

lmfakingamnesia wrote:

I know women like her. The type to find out it's 'millions' and then starts sleazing all over your husband. NTA.

Bo_O58 wrote:

NTA. Though I agree that she is young, and it was harsh. And I agree that for the sake of office politics, you should say something like 'I apologize for calling you a b!$ch, but I do hope it was a valuable lesson for you, and next time you are able to recognize other people's boundaries when they draw them.'

ManufacturerNo6126 wrote:

NTA. Report her to HR.

She low-key tried to get to know his salary so she can hang on him and be his girlfriend.

rapt2right wrote:

NTA. But I have always found 'Why do you ask?' is more effective than vague answers to unacceptably personal questions. If that fails to end it, still don't give any answers. 'That's not something I discuss outside my family & my tax guy.'

GimerStick wrote:

ESH. I don't think I need to go into why she's an AH. You should be able to walk away from someone at a work event without calling them a b!@#h. There are certainly situations that might warrant it, but she didn't assault you or steal something or otherwise act beyond the pale where you can justify losing control. Just...walk away.

Don't put your coworkers in the position where they have to debate justifying you/anyone calling someone a b!#$h. The workplace isn't somewhere to put someone in their place, it's where you deescalate and then bring it up to the appropriate people.

Bulky_Accountant6490 wrote:

ESH. She was rude, but you were too. You have to be professional in a work place setting, because conduct like that can harm your reputation. Was it really worth it to escalate the situation like that? You could have easily been NTA if you had just said 'excuse me' and walked off.

chapkachapka wrote:

ESH. Yes, she was being rude and unprofessional. Your response was also rude and unprofessional. The first time being polite fails, be direct. If being direct fails, say “it was nice to meet you” or “have a good day” and walk away. If we all swore at everyone at our jobs who deserved it, nothing would ever get done.

While the internet is clearly divided on OP's verdict, it's clear she'll need to apologize, in the very least, for appearances.

Sources: Reddit
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