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Woman punished for demanding coworker cook her homemade lunches; weeps at desk. Updated 3X

Woman punished for demanding coworker cook her homemade lunches; weeps at desk. Updated 3X

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"AITA for rejecting my colleague's request to make her lunch?"

Uncle-Barnacle

I have a habit of making my own meals to work, simply because I love cooking and health related issues. So I just started a new job in a new company three months ago.

And seeing me making my own lunch everyday has gotten me some attention from some colleagues, with that I was able to talk and mingle in a new environment. My colleagues tend to ask things like recipes, how long did I take to make it so and so; just small talk questions.

Everyone was okay except for this one girl from the same department from me, which I will name her as Sally (27F), a junior designer. From the first day she saw my lunch, Sally has thrown in a lot of comments like how envious she is that I could cook my own meals etc.

It was fine until after one week later, she started asking me questions like "so when will you make me lunch?" I was taken aback but I thought she was joking and waved it off with a smile and a nod.

After that, at least once a week, Sally would ask me the same question again and sometimes she'd even say things like, "you still owe me a lunch made by you" or she'll whine about me not wanting to cook for her. I've kindly turn her down every time she brings up about this issue.

Last Monday, she offered to pay me if I make her lunch, for 3 dollars. I told her no again and she was visibly upset. She told me it's not that hard to make her lunch since I'm already cooking for myself every day, single and I am being unsociable and unfriendly by not making her food.

Since then, she has been passive aggressive towards me. As well as not willing to cooperate at work when I hand her new tasks. It has made me feel bad about it and I have no idea how to go about this. Should I have just made her lunch just to keep the peace? This feels horrible.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:

taisynn

NTA - She’s acting extremely entitled and is now harassing you AND ignoring the work you’re doing and not cooperating with you. You need to go to HR like yesterday. She’s interrupting the flow of work just because you won’t cook for her.

$3 doesn’t even cover food costs much less your labor and time. And even then, even if she paid full price, you shouldn’t have to because she is jealous. HR. Yesterday. Once you do this once she will never let up about it and desire it everyday.

The OP responded here:

Uncle-Barnacle

Tbh when she said $3 was her best offer I was too stunned to speak. I'm not sure if hr will look into this but I think I will try it tmr.

the_greek_italian

NTA. The actual gal and entitlement from Sally! Does she think money grows on trees for you? She can make her own lunch like an adult.

The OP returned to add:

Uncle-Barnacle

Edit: After reading all your comments, I think I will try to talk to Sally about this ad if that doesn't get through I'll have to discuss this matter with a same-ranking colleague or my supervisor 😔

The next day, the OP returned with an update.

"(Update) AITA for rejecting my colleague's request to make her lunch?"

Uncle-Barnacle

Not sure how do I post an update so I will just write it out on my own profile. First off, I would like to clarify some details I left out in my previous post, you can skip this if you don't really bother with the deets.

For those who said Sally is flirting with me: I am 26F and Sally is anti LGBTQ, so I think flirting is highly impossible. For those who asked about my job: I work in a design agency as a senior designer. Sally is my work junior. I work closely with the juniors as I oversee their work.

Also, I am actually from South East Asia, I used USD in my previous post was because Sally legit told me $3 because USD is 4 times more than our currency, somehow she believes it sounds nicer(?)

So after reading most of your comments, I have gave it a long thought about how I want to approach this issue. With that, I decided to not make lunch today and bring Sally out for lunch as to confront her about this whole lunch thingy privately.

I offered to pay for her lunch on the condition I pick the venue and she was quick to agree and her attitude went back to how it was before I declined her request. Which I find it weird, but yea. I was first relieved that at the least I could talk to her about things and hoping I can iron this out on my own.

That 40 minutes of my life felt like hell. I brought up the issue of me not being comfortable with her recent attitude and her requests after we have ordered our food. The whole time I was talking to her she either zones out or just retorts with "why?" Or "why not?"

Here's a little snippet of how our conversation went:

Me: Sally, your constant pestering about how I should make you lunch is making me uncomfortable, I'd appreciate if you'd stop that.

Sally: Why?

Me: I mean like, I don't cook for anyone other than myself.

Sally: Why?

Me: ... Because Sally, I'm your colleague not ur boyfriend or mom or family.

Sally: But I don't see why you couldn't make me lunch just once, I'll pay you double this time.

It felt like the conversation was going no where. The rest of lunch was filled with awkward silence. Sally would just sit there and stare at me without saying anything and I'm not sure if it's just her zoning out or she's somewhat pi$$ed at me. She didn't even apologize, not once. The whole thing made my stomach feel weird, like something is grabbing my guts and twisting them around.

The tension between us was awkward even the whole way we walked back to the office. Another senior designer, Mark, took notice and he pulled me away to talk about "work". Sally gave me one more look and walked to her seat. Mind you, up til this point, I have never talked to anyone in the company about Sally and things she had told me.

I was brought into a breakout room, Mark went straight to the point. "Did Sally ask you for something ridiculous or weird?" Turns out, some people in the office were unhappy with Sally and her little antics. She once pestered a colleague into buying her souvenirs as this colleague does a lot of work traveling.

In meetings, she would zone out when people are talking to her and she would always shift the weight to someone else; eg "well we have xxx so, there's nothing to worry about" also a few times she'd take bits of food off guys' plates like fries and would giggle if anyone tried to tell her off.

If the giggling didn't work, she would retort the same why's and why not's I got during my talk with her. Mark suggests I should make arrangements with my supervisor to talk about it. They have all done it earlier this year and that stopped her from doing what she did to them...well most of them. She still zones out in meetings or mid conversations.

I thanked Mark for his suggestion and decided it was a necessary next step. I have told my reporting manager about the gist of things, and I will be having a meeting with him tomorrow to give him more indepth details.

Somehow, it's assuring to see he actually had to massage his forehead followed by a long sigh when I mentioned Sally's name. I hope things will get better after this.

P.S. as I was typing this I couldn't help but think back on some of Sally's behavior towards me throughout these three months and at most times it is weird and idk what to make of them, maybe I'll make a separate post about it if anyone is invested haha.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's first update:

eatsmyfridge

So if it's not about her, she literally does not care. That's why the zoning out and not taking no for an answer, because it doesn't make any sense to her that something wouldn't be for/about her. How the hell did she get this far in life?

The OP responded here:

Uncle-Barnacle

Tbh I'm very baffled by the openly zoning out when people are talking to you, kinda disrespectful 😭

mirikitten

Sorry ur dealing with this, this woman sounds so silly I can’t help but laugh about it. Hopefully things get better for you in the near future.

The very same day, the OP returned with another full update.

"(Update 2) AITA for rejecting my colleague's request to make her lunch?"

Uncle-Barnacle

Not sure if anyone considers this an update but I just wanna write this out. I've talked about the whole Sally thing with my friends over discord last night while we were playing games. Apparently, some of my friends attended the same art school as Sally and were at one point sharing the same few classes.

This is quite a famous art school in my country, if you tell people you are a designer, people's first guess would be you've studied there. From what I've gathered from my friends, in short, they described Sally as a person with bad social skills but who is naturally gifted in design.

She doesn't talk much but whenever she decides she wants to be friends with you she could only spout questions that are uncomfortable to most people. In one instance, Sally asked a classmate why her parents got a divorce.

With such, they've concluded she has bad social skills but they have never seen her reacting negativity when people don't respond to her. They were shocked when I told them she was being uncooperative at work.

Also according to them, Sally behaves in a way that suggests her parents shield her from the world a lot. She's unaware of many things that are deemed common sense for most.

She once became paranoid because she learned about scams in college and believed picking up one phone call from a stranger would land her in a lifetime of debt. She's also very insecure about many things eg. her looks, her weight, relationships etc.

At the end of the day, they didn't know much about Sally personally because back then they thought she was nosy by always asking people very personal questions. However, Sally does have a few friends in college.

With this in mind, I recall how Sally asked me weird questions such as, my salary as well as me joining the company as a senior despite her having more work experience than me, as well as trying to dump her relationship problems on me.

Maybe it is her attempt at trying to be friends with me(?) Now that I think about it, she needs some sort of professional help more than discipline for her actions.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's latest update:

kitthefaxal

She definitely has some social issues and probably needs therapy but her behaviour goes beyond just not understanding social cues. She may be Nurodivergent (I'm Nurodivergent myself) and her parents protecting her has stunted her development greatly, but that's not an excuse for breaking boundaries continuously and only stopping when a higher up is brought in.

She must be an amazing designer to still have a job after all the things shes done and how she just doesn't seem to contribute to the team. She sounds like a nightmare to deal with honestly.

The OP responded here:

Uncle-Barnacle

Yes she does do good work, and I do realise her behavior it's not something you'd see everyday. I've suggested to my supervisor that if its possible for the company to kinda talk her into getting professional help since we do have this benefit called mental health claims. Nonetheless, I do hope for the best for Sally; unfortunately, I have no means nor the capability to help her.

taisynn

She’s at an age where she needs to stop using Mom and Dad’s for protection. She’s responsible for herself and her not listening to clearly defined no’s is unprofessional. You’re her superior, and she should not be expecting you to cook for her. Period. The harassment isn’t social skill issues. It’s her stomping her feet to get her way.

The fact she’s done this to nearly all the employees at work shows this is not just a social skills issue, this is pure entitlement. Whether it stems from her sheltered upbringing, I have no idea, but I feel she’s just trouble waiting to happen.

The next day, the OP again returned with an update.

"Final Update"

Uncle-Barnacle

Hello everyone, this will be the final update. Took me a little while to write this post because I was busy at work. First of all, I'd like to thank you internet strangers for all the advice and similar experiences.

It helped me a lot with navigating this situation as a whole. However, I'm still baffled by such behaviors especially in a work environment where I was taught people are suppose to be professional.

Anyway, onto the main topic. I had my meeting about the issue I had with Sally first thing in the morning. I told my manager that the main problem is work, about how uncooperative she was with me.

It didn't take long for him to link this whole thing back to Sally making "unreasonable requests for colleagues again". He didn't exactly tell me what the company would do at the time but mentioned that the company would take appropriate measures in regards to this.

Soon enough, an email was sent to Sally with all the senior designers cc'ed. In short, Sally will be put on probation as well as receiving a 30% pay cut and she has been assigned to a more stern and experienced senior designer (I heard she's really scary) for work evaluation. Sally only gets one more chance to keep her job, one more of those "requests" from her after this would result in termination.

Sally started kicking and crying upon reading the email as she yelled "It's not fair!" repeatedly. Everyone looked at Sally briefly and went back to their own business.

I saw some colleagues put on their headphones and raising the volume. Some put in earplugs, and the ones sitting near her would just walk away with their laptops. No one consoled her, everyone just pretended she wasn't there. It felt as if I was watching a movie at this rate.

Still a little worried that Sally would do something to me, I asked Mark if he could sit with me during lunch in case Sally tried anything. I'm not sure if Mark meant it as a joke or what but he said, "no worries she's not smart enough to link this back to you." Lunch since that day has never been so peaceful and I'm looking forward to more peaceful lunches as long as I'm with this company.

Here were the top rated comments after the OP's final update:

knittedjedi

"Sally started kicking and crying upon reading the email as she yelled "It's not fair!" repeatedly."

These aren't the actions of a mentally healthy woman.

Natural_Garbage7674

I was just thinking about that comment. The one where her parents sheltered her. Because this sounds exactly like a woman I used to work with. Her parents (and their money) made everything easy.

The first time she encountered conflict at work, she literally stomped her foot. Hysterical crying over minor inconveniences (I hate the word hysterical and its connotations, but it's the only word that fits).

The problem was simple to identify. She'd never encountered conflict as an adult in an adult environment. She was sheltered, and that had made her spoiled. She acted like a child when her behaviour inevitably caused conflict, because she'd never learned another way to resolve issues. She did the "why" thing, too, again, like a child. Not healthy at all.

Leelee3303

I worked with a guy who had turned his daughter into this. And then he wanted her to work for us. We interviewed her, and she absolutely bombed. I very kindly rejected her, agreed to give her detailed feedback. Her response to everything was "no you're lying." She genuinely could not understand that not only was she not perfect but other candidates did better than her.

I quickly learned where that came from when her father was literally screaming at my boss as to why we were lying about his perfect daughter. Very long story short, decades later and this girl has got every job she's ever had because of her dad. And she's also lost every job she's ever had because she's a goddamn psychopath.

Icythyosaurus

Anyone else getting flashbacks to the guy who asked his neighbor whose name he didn’t even know to feed him daily meals and didn’t see why what was weird?

CheerilyTerrified

Soon enough, an email was sent to Sally with all the senior designers cc'ed in. In short, Sally will be put into probation as well as having a 30% pay cut and she has been assigned to a more stern and experienced senior designer (I heard she's really scary) for work evaluation. What terrible management. No wonder Sally's nonsense has continued for so long.

peter095837

Sally needs to learn to make her own lunch cause the audacity to act like this is just mind-boggling. No one should have to deal with people like Sally.

Have you ever had a coworker make a wild request like this? Did management have to get involved?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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