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Woman with high paying tech job calls plumber BF 'simple' to coworkers. AITA?

Woman with high paying tech job calls plumber BF 'simple' to coworkers. AITA?


Belittling someone for choosing a blue-collar profession seems to be happening more and more in the startup and tech industry era.

The truth is, blue-collar professions are often incredibly specialized and, above all else, necessary. One woman is in the dog house after bringing her plumber boyfriend to a networking event at her tech company. According to her, her coworkers noticed that her boyfriend didn't quite fit in, so she tried to clear the tension. She says that her comment was not intended to be insulting but, just read her post and see if it sounds like she percieves herself and her profession as superior to that of her partner.

AITA for describing my boyfriend as a “simple man” when I introduced him to a bunch of people?


I’m (27F) a young professional working a high paying job in the tech field. I live with my BF (25M) who’s a plumber. In terms of personality we mesh surprisingly well so his educational background and career never mattered to me.

Anyway I regularly attend events hosted in the industry and went to one last week. This one was a semi-formal networking evening and I brought my BF along. He was nervous about going but I assured him that he had nothing to worry about.

Fast forward to the event. We split up as I wanted to do my own thing and give him some breathing room too. At one point I started chatting with a girl and we were talking about our experience at the event so far.

She said that she enjoyed it but asked me if I had come across the “intimidating looking” guy too. She laughed that he must’ve gotten lost and I immediately knew she was talking about my BF. I cleared it up for her and she apologized profusely but it was still awkward.

I told my BF about this and he got upset even though I told him that it’s not a HIM problem at all but he should lighten up a little.

Well afterwards I spoke with a guy who used to work at a startup with a friend of mine. He took us up to the 3rd floor and introduced us to a bunch of people. I told them a bit about myself and eventually someone asked my BF what he does.

He told them about his job and there was an uncomfortable silence. I joked that he’s a “simple man” which is why I’m with him. There was laughter and the situation seemed less tense.

Well when we left the event we had a big argument. He said that it was insulting of me to describe him as simple and that I was clearly embarrassed to be associated with him at all. He said that I had straight up mocked him in front of everyone to make myself feel better.

I told him that he was waaaay overreacting and that I did NOT mean simple in a derogatory way. Am I the a**hole for using that word to describe him or is he overreacting?

Here are the top responses from readers:


Probably wasn’t intentional, but that is what you did. You put him down.


YTA. You don’t respect him or his career. It’s clear throughout your whole post, especially when you said you’re a “young professional working a high paying job in the tech field” and he is “a plumber” - you clearly value yourself and your own skills more. It reeks of superiority and self importance.

You know, you wouldn’t be able to do anything that you do without the trades men and women who build the homes, schools, businesses, grocery stores and hospitals that you use every single day. Get off your high horse and apologize to your boyfriend for being such a self important AH.


You probably meant 'simple' in a different way than it was taken, but you should have anticipated the response. I've lovingly called my partner a simple creature, but never in front of a group of people, let alone ones who were already acting standoffish and superior.

Also I'm over here laughing to myself at a bunch of tech startup bros thinking their jobs are safer or more aspirational than a skilled, unionized, necessary trades skill. It'll be a long time before AI can rough pipe into an existing structure.

Do you know how many years of training it takes to become a certified plumber? How many different skillets that entails? How much they get paid per hour? Do you know the level of benefits package most trades unions offer? Even if he's independent, do you know what a 4-hr call from a licensed plumber can run you?

It's simple to buy into a false narrative of the inherent superiority of white-collar v blue-collar work


NTA If you're ok with him calling you a narsacist when he introduces you to his parents.


YTA. Do you know how easy it is to work in tech? The entire f-ing industry overhired for years. You're not that special.

Conversely, do you know how f-ing hard it is to be a plumber? Just wait until you have a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night and wait for that emergency call out charge, then you'll know.

The whole thing is gross. Now I'm mad because I'm talking in an exaggerated Italian accent because I thought this was going to go-a the way of-a the Mario, but instead it just went-a the way of the snob. Boooooooo.


Being in a relationship with a plumber is my number one dream. YTA.

So, do you think this woman made a big mistake and insulted her boyfriend's profession or do you think he misinterpreted her statement?

Sources: Reddit
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