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Man tells interested woman the real reason coworker is disabled, 'it's not from service.'

Man tells interested woman the real reason coworker is disabled, 'it's not from service.'


We all know the feeling, a friend is telling a story about their lives and there's a lie slipped in. The first time, you let it slide, but after hearing the heavily edited version in group settings multiple times, you finally decide to speak up and give an inside scoop.

However, correcting a friend's white lie can cause some serious backlash and even go so far as to ruin the friendship.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he's wrong for telling a woman the real reason his coworker is disabled.

He wrote:

AITA for telling someone why my coworker is disabled?

I have this coworker let's call him Dave. He's a great coworker and is excellent at his job. We've worked together for a little over 5 years. Dave is in a wheelchair. If you ask him about it, he'll tell you that he's a disabled veteran. However, his disability isn't service related. Recently we've finished a job for a big client under time and under budget.

The company gave our team big bonus checks last week and our manager thought we should all go to a steakhouse to celebrate. A few of us decide to go to a local brewery afterwards. I have a coworker give me a ride after dropping my car off at home. At the brewery I start chatting with this woman let's call her Amy. Amy and I really hit it off.

She's there with some friends and we all end up sitting at a table. One of Amy's friends is being really friendly with Dave. Amy and I get up to get another drink. I mention how her friend seems to like Dave. Amy says her friend also served and Dave is a disabled veteran. Probably because I had been drinking, I tell her a secret. Dave's disability is from a drunk driving accident, not service.

After that round, Amy and her friends go to use the restroom. When they get back, Amy says it was nice chatting and says she still wants to keep talking to me. I go sit with them for the rest of the evening. Amy's friend is pissed about him not telling the truth and calling himself a disabled veteran. Her friends talked her out of telling him off and making a scene.

Monday at work one of my coworkers asks if they did something to piss them off. I tell them the story. Later Dave comes over and calls me an a**hole, goes off about how hard it is to find people who are willing to date someone in a wheelchair and tells me to mind my own business.

I apologized and said I shouldn't have said anything, but considering how pissed off she got, maybe it was something Dave should have told her. Dave says screw you and leaves. It's become somewhat of an office gossip subject, and I've heard different opinions from my coworkers against my will. Reddit, AITA?

EDIT: To clarify, yes, Dave did serve. But according to Amy's friend (I don't know that much about it) disabled veteran means disabled due to service. Otherwise, it's a NSR (non-service related) disability which is a different classification by the VA. Dave has a DUI, he was drunk driving. According to him his vehicle went off road and he hit a tree.

The internet did not hold back.

amp_ro wrote:

I'm honestly on the fence...I know everyone else is going straight for you being the AH but at the same time, lying about your past like that is a real AH move. Especially if you know someone or have someone in your life who's been affected or killed by drunk driving, it's no wonder that people don't respond well to that and get angry. It would be an immediate no for me and if I were her, I would want to know that info.

On the other hand, it wasn't really your business and not your story to tell. If it were someone that you were close with, I would understand you wanting them to have that information, but this was a friend of a coworker you hardly knew. Overall, I'm gonna say ESH.

BabserellaWT wrote:

ESH. Dave shouldn’t be lying, but y’know what? His interaction with Amy was NOT your business. I’m 12.5 years clean from pill abuse.

Although I’ll tell people about it if they notice something (e.g., wanting to know why my husband keeps my medically-necessary but easily-abused medication under lock and key and distributes my doses at the proper times), I don’t go about opening conversations with.

“Hiya! I’m Babs! Ya ever pop so many Ambien that you start hearing voices in the oscillating fan? What about Xanax? Ever take so many bars at once that you’re running into furniture and your parents nearly have to take you to the ER on Christmas Eve, and you spend Christmas Day coming down and feeling sick from withdrawal? Because wooooeeeee, I have!”

Why would I immediate reveal that information to someone I just met? (Barring that the conversation started BECAUSE of that past experience.) I want new people to get to know who I am NOW, not who I was THEN. When I feel the time is right and trust is established, I can let the person know in an appropriate way.

I did this with my husband when we first started dating. The topic was broached after we’d been a couple for a couple of months and things were getting more serious.

So let’s pretend he was over at my place for a visit (before me revealing my past to him), and my brother pointed out that my Mom was giving me my nightly meds in a baggie before I headed upstairs to bed and said:

“See that? My parents have to control her medication and give her the prescribed dosage every night. Wanna know why? Tee hee, it’s because she was popping anything she could get her hands from roughly summer of 2008 to October 2010! Fun secret, huh?”

I. Would. Be. Pissed.

Why? Because it’s not his story to tell, and he doesn’t get to decide when I discuss it. True, the difference is that Dave is actively lying. That’s why this is ESH. But I strongly suggest minding your own business in the future.

DruidMoonDancer wrote:

Dave is a veteran. He did serve. He is disabled. The injury occurred while DUI. Here's where I ask about why you needed to spill tea at a casual get-together. Are you angry at Dave? Did you serve? Are you jealous? Did you consider Dave might have been suffering with PTSD? That often causes people to drink. But again why did you need to ensure people know that.

Veteran will spend his life in a wheelchair because of a DUI after surviving active duty? How does this enrich your life? I'm not excusing the DUI, but I'm also not diminishing that he served, he survived, and it's highly likely the DUI is connected to his military experience. I think YTA because you sound so determined to erase his service.

You want people to think he deserves being disabled and ignore that he's a veteran. You are either petty or you have lost someone from a drunk driving experience and this is your way of fighting back. Either way, hurting Dave won't heal you. And using a military category to justify what you did is weak.

BlueSama wrote:

You're both a**holes. You disclosed his info to further your position with Amy while using him as a stepping stone. The same way Asian parents (mainly mothers) talk s**t about their kids to other Asian parents as if it's their only conversation topic they can think of. Even in f**king church this happens to me so I'm a bit biased. Learn to talk with people without bringing down your peers.

If you had good intentions by doing this, then what you attempted to do was morally correct but it does not come off that way and you should have told him privately instead of f**king him overall before he had a chance to do anything right. Dave may not even know that he's an a**hole.

He may have convinced himself that he's a disabled vet, connecting past war trauma as the main cause of why he started drunk driving. Ultimately leading to believe what he's doing is okay. It doesn't seem like you know this guy that well or why he drunk drove that night. Drinking could be his only (unhealthy) coping mechanism, could even be doing it in the car even when he doesn't want to.

Don't know for myself but I am assuming war trauma, PTSD and etc are real things and that war can have an impact on the rest of your life. At least in movies all the war veterans are drunkards with PTSD albeit not at all a realistic example(?).

If my assumptions are correct, who the f**k would say they that they have PTSD/trauma/panic attacks and cope with drinking as the first thing to a girl they just met and are trying to hit off with?

Either way, man's in a wheelchair this is probably his first chance to actually 1-1 talk to a girl in months. Like why did you pick the wheelchair guy?! He absolutely thinks you look down on him for being disabled which is why he thinks you're an a**hole.

It's pretty clear that OP was acting from a place of bad faith, even though Dave's lie isn't ideal.

Sources: Reddit
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