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Man threatens cops on co-worker's mom, learns he made the right call. UPDATED

Man threatens cops on co-worker's mom, learns he made the right call. UPDATED

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This is a long, complicated story, so let's get right into it.

'AITA for threatening to call the police on my co-worker's mom?'

redditadmindumb87

I have a co-worker who works in a different city. We have a professional, friendly relationship. Some years ago we shared some beers together. But we are not what I would call 'friends' Unfortunately my co-worker has been struggling with some very serious health issues.

My co-worker is also married, and has a son who is in his teenage years (his son is probably between the ages of 14-17 I'm not entirely sure) My co-worker was born and raised in the city I work in.

Anyway my co-worker's mom came into my office, she introduced herself and I was sympathetic with her. I'm a father, and there's a very good chance she will have to bury her son, and that's really tragic. I'm also confused, why is my co-worker's mom talking to me?

Then she asks me, is her son in the hospital, or at home? I honestly don't know, and I tell her that. She then asks me if he is dead or not. I told her as far as I know her son is still alive.

We have a lot of back and forth and its pretty constant, she's asking me for information and I'm saying I don't know. But it starts to dawn on me.

She keeps telling me his wife, her grandson, and my co-worker are ignoring her calls. Well obviously I don't understand the dynamics of her relationship with her son, I'm suspecting there's a reason she doesn't know.

Then she asks me to call his manager and find out what's going on. But I feel that would be inappropriate to do.

Now this entire ordeal with my co-worker's mom is approaching 45 minutes and I tell her she needs to leave my office. I tell her I've told her what I know, its not my place to be involved in any of this, and she needs to leave. We have more back and forth. We are now approaching an hour of this back and forth.

She was with a friend/family member and I tell his mom 'Ma'am you need to leave my office, or I'm going to be forced to call the police and have you removed' I really did not want to say that...but I didn't have much of a choice (FYI I did not need to call the police, which I'm glad I didn't have to do)

She was offended at my threat, and I set a timer, and I told her she needed to leave my office by 3 minutes or I was going call the police on her.

I had work to do, she was in my way, and I also suspect she was trying to use me to get information that my co-worker for whatever reason has decided she doesn't need to know. The person she was with got her to leave and I didn't need to call the police.

FYI I called his manager on this, apparently his manager at the request of my co-worker blocked the mother's phone number which is why she wasn't able to get through to his manager.

His manager did thank me for not putting him on the spot and said he is aware of what's going on with my co-worker...but we are not at liberty to disclose that to his mom...nor do we as a organization feel that's appropriate.

So was I an a**hole for how I treated his mom? My wife thinks so.

Here is what people had to say after the initial post:

miyuki_m

Gentle YTA not for threatening to call the cops, but for giving her any info at all. Your co-worker had her blocked for a reason and while you may not have been told that, it should have dawned on you that she was asking for info that she would have known if she were on good terms with your co-worker.

ETA: A mother who is on good terms with her son would know if he were in the hospital and would certainly know if he had died because his wife would have notified her.

As a manager, I once had to fire a woman and a few hours later, her husband came to the office to ask what happened because the woman had gone home, packed a bag, and left before her husband got home from work.

I was advised by HR to tell him she was not there and to advise him that he had to leave immediately. I agreed with that because no matter how much our colleagues choose to share with us, we can't know the full extent of what goes on in their private lives. We can't know what info is safe to share.

For all I knew, the woman chose to leave so her husband wouldn't hurt her for getting fired and losing that income stream. I found out later that she did leave for fear of being assaulted and she was thankful that we didn't give him any info.

As I said, it's a gentle YTA. Under those circumstances, I would have had OP tell her that he can't answer any questions and had her leave immediately, not 45 minutes later.

onefrwar94

NTA- she was given fair warning to leave and clearly it would have been a bad idea to reach out to her son. Good work!

The OP responded:

redditadmindumb87

I don't know if I made it clear I did not need to call the police, which I'm happy I didn't have to do.

Oh, ironically enough recently I had to reach out her son for a work reason. His manager called me and his manager is the person who informed me he should be the point of contact for the work I needed to do with him as he is critically ill. This all obviously before his mom came in.

HanaBothWays

NTA. This sounds like one of those situations where a man stalks some poor young lady at her workplace except it’s an abusive mother stalking her son.

If your coworker told the manager previously to block her number and she showed up trying to get information out of you, well, that is really invasive and creepy and had to be shut down by any means necessary. You were right to call the cops on her. You should let your co-worker know she showed up too.

The OP responded here again:

redditadmindumb87

I do know more about my co-worker health...its really bad. Like he may not see October bad. I won't brother him with this news until he recovers, he doesn't need this drama in his life.

A month later, the OP returned with a heavy update:

redditadmindumb87

My co-worker passed...his wife came by to see me...I made the right decision.

Long story short, my co-worker has since passed away. His mom was trying to use me to get in touch with him. I refused and stone walled her. A week ago he passed away. Yesterday my co-worker wife came by to see me, and to thank me.

Apparently my co-worker's mom was toxic, and abusive. She allowed and covered up some truly horrible things that happened to my co-worker as he was growing up and my co-worker wanted nothing to do with his mom.

Apparently my co-worker's wife heard through the grape vine that I stone walled his mom from getting in contact with my co-worker. His wife, with her son (who is also my co-worker's son) came by to tell me my co-worker wanted to say thank you, but didn't have the strength or time, and they appreciated me not putting his mom in contact with them.

My co-worker was able to pass away peacefully surrounded by people of his choosing, which is how it should be.

Those who had followed the story from the beginning had this to say:

aventine_

Imagine being such a terrible parent that your child decides to not see you even when they're dying. My parents weren't perfect when I was growing but I'm glad I had them. This type of post makes me think I was one of the lucky ones.

Fluffy-Designer

I haven’t spoken to my mother in 3 years. If I ever find out I’m terminally ill, I have three friends lined up to marry me, take care of me and inherit everything so my mother gets nothing. Not even closure.

Some parents are so horrifically s**tty that their kids really don’t want anything to do with them ever again.

solvedproblem

Picking up on the important little tidbits of information from a terrible mom and being a good friend. OP is a good guy.

justathoughtfromme

Here's a life tip for 'helpful' folks whose initial inclination would have been to do what the mom asked: if someone who should have basic info like the health status of their child and whether they're alive or dead is coming into the workplace and speaking to a tangential contact like a distant co-worker, there's probably a good reason why that person doesn't know.

Cybermagetx

Man my parents are not the best and Im Lc/NC with them. But i don't know if I wouldn't see them if I was dying. I'm afraid to even imagine what she did or allowed to happened to him.

Desert_Fairy

You can tell the difference between a healthy work place and a not so healthy workplace. Someone comes asking about you in a healthy work place and all you will get is polite silence. Someone comes asking about you in a toxic workplace and your manager will give them your phone, email, and home address as well as all of the gossip.

Do you think this man did the right thing for his coworker or should he have helped this mom reconnect with her ailing child?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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