My Co-Worker Is Asking Everyone To Donate PTO, And More Of This Week's Best Work Drama

 A new recruit realizes there was an extra cost to his Chick-fil-A mac and cheese lunch.

We're tackling something we all must deal with at some time: work drama. Each week, I'll bring the juiciest stories from across the web to our little virtual water cooler. From toxic bosses to nightmare workplaces, I'm here to speak a little justice on behalf of the average worker.

While you're here, please note that this weekly series is meant solely for entertainment purposes. Please do not have your HR team call me tomorrow saying you heard it from Joel at Digg.

Welp, I Let Word Get Out And Now I'm The 'Office Nerd'

[Image credit: Pixabay]

I'm just venting here and figure this community wouldn't tease me over the fact that I enjoy reading and attending book clubs, unlike my coworkers 😕 Last week I told my team that I wouldn't be at sponsored company dinner because I had plans that night. The plans were that it fell on the same night of a monthly book club meet at my local indie bookstore (for a book I really enjoyed, might I add!). I mentioned this and one of my coworkers scoffed and rolled her eyes so hard. Whatever, right? Reading isn't for everyone and that's fine. But ever since I've totally must have became like such a "nerd" in her eyes because she seems to be mentioning it more so, in a joking manner but it also just feels like she just completely scoffs at it and can't believe I would go to a book club. I don't know, I'm baffled and frustrated over it. I said I'm going to the next dinner and she goes "Ohh, so no BOOK CLUB?" in a condescending tone. Really and truly never sharing my damn hobbies with coworkers anymore holy s—ite.

Edit: Oh my goodness, you all are so funny and I really appreciate all the input! I did not expect all the feedback but it makes me feel much better nonetheless since I was pretty down about it. To answer any curious minds: the book I was going to the book club for was a literary fiction called "Martyr!" by Kaveh Akbar. I think an irony that I left out is that we work in community mental health, and she is also technically my superior.

Edit two: I think it's also worth to add here that this happened in Florida. I'd reach as far to say that education is nothing anyone upholds much around here...

People are bored as hell at work. I'm sorry that you're the collateral damage from the co-worker who scoffed; she probably has nothing else to do with her life. I'm with the top comments, be upfront with her about this kind of passive-aggressive behavior. Be assertive, and I promise you she will back down. Most people like that don't know how to defend themselves. You are not someone to mess with, and you don't need to create a whole scene to let her know that. By letting her know you're aware of her behavior, you've already made the best first step before going to HR and letting them handle it. I know it's not as gratifying as telling her off, but you're there for the paychecks, not playtime like her. Read the rest of the thread here.

I Have No Friends In The Office, And It Feels A Bit Personal

[Image credit: Polina Tankilevitch]

I work for a very small company. There are only four of us that work in the office and everyone else is in the field. The four of us in office are women. I am 28, the other three women are in their late 50s and 60s.

I am always excluded from everything; I catch them whispering about things at the coffee pot; they order lunch in without asking if I would like anything so I end up having to go fish for my own lunch; they sit in the conference rooms and chitchat and eat while I sit in my office two rooms away. They hang out after hours for happy hour or dinner. I never really did anything to make them dislike me and whenever they need me or I need them, they're very nice to me. I have tried so many times to make a connection and chit chat but each of them have walls up and end the conversation at the start. I don't know if it's because of the age gap, but I have just never been included and it really hurts my feelings that I don't get any of the "how was your weekend?" and "I love your outfit!" conversations. I really love my job but the loneliness makes me not want to be here. Can anybody relate? I've been working here for six months now and there are no work from home opportunities for us office ladies.

Be grateful they leave you alone because the friendship you seek from them only exists in fantasy. I'm glad the comments are stating how rude they are to do this. Yes, I get there's an age gap, but it's not like you're an infant who they can't swear around. You say there's no remote work option for you, but with your setup, you basically have it. Enjoy your basic privacy setup: order that fish take-out, make a few personal calls, and let a couple of winds rip. You're basically in your own bubble. One last thing, little walks in and around town are the best way to start creating a new life for yourself outside of work. Read the rest of the thread here.

My Co-Worker Wanted To Haze Me Into Paying His $22 Lunch

[Image credit: Jace Miller]

This is genuinely the dumbest AITAH I've ever made/read, but here we are. I'm a first responder and was riding along with another shift for training purposes. The first day we drove through Chick-fil-A. I ordered a small mac and cheese, in our area that's about $4. He ordered a whole meal. When we got to the window, they gave us 50 percent off making mine $2. The guy I was riding with said "Don't worry I'll cover you" Cool, thank you for covering my $2, I appreciate it lol. Second day we went to a local bistro that's decently pricey. I ordered a salad that was about $10. His meal totaled out to just over $20. When we went to the register to pay he told them "She's going to cover mine" while pointing at me. To say I was appalled is an understatement. The cashier looked at me and I calmly stated "No, I will just be covering myself." The guy I was riding with got mad and started saying he covered me for lunch yesterday so it's only right that I cover him. I'm not confrontational, but I'm also no punk lol. I calmly stated "$2 does not constitute $22 (or whatever the total was). If you'd like me to give you $2 to cover my small side I ordered yesterday I will absolutely do that. But I will not be paying for your meal," and handed my card to the cashier. He paid for his meal and we went outside where he refused to let me get into the vehicle. He continued to argue and cause a scene in the parking lot. He told me I'm not longer allowed to ride with him, so I called for a supervisor. Once the supervisor arrived he told them that he covered my lunch yesterday and that I refused to extend the same courtesy and that I embarrassed him and caused a scene and he no longer feels comfortable riding with me. I explained my side to the supervisor and apologized because this is literally so ridiculous lol. The supervisor essentially said I was wrong because I should've just been respectful and paid for him like he did me. At this point I was pissed and told them this sounds like extortion and that I wasn’t going to be taken advantage of. I told them that $2 is a whole lot different than $22. We're first responders, we don't make a lot of money. I continued to say if he wanted me to buy him a drink from the gas station or give him $2 I had absolutely no problem doing so, but I was not going to be bullied into covering his meal because he covered mine. I ended up riding with someone else because obviously riding with him is no longer an option. The person I switched to also said I was wrong and should've just paid for his meal. I don't think I'm wrong here. Had I known the previous day that I would be expected to pay for his expensive meal after paying for my $2 Mac and cheese I would've never let him cover me. I feel like since he put me on the spot, me putting him on the spot in return was only fair. I don't feel like I caused a scene, I wasn't the one who argued and refused to unlock the doors. But now everyone's saying that I'm not a team player and I embarrassed him as well as our place of work. Am I wrong here? AITAH?

Are you sure you want to be going into dangerous situations with this person? Honestly, this sounds like mild hazing, or at least a toxic bro code that you don't need to be messing with as adults. All of this feels like a group effort to punch down at you. Thank you for your interest in community service, but maybe it is better off somewhere with a team that isn't such a frat house, everyone's too grown for that. Read the rest of the thread here.

I Like My Big PTO, And I Cannot Lie

[Image credit: Ruel Madelo]

Hi. About two weeks ago my coworkers mother was involved in a car accident. She spent about three days in the ICU but has long since been moved to a regular bed in the hospital, but still has a long road to recovery.

My coworker decided that she's going to take off a few weeks in order to spend time with her mom and to help her recover.

Three weeks ago she was telling me that she thinks it's stupid to hoard and save PTO and that she's a firm believer in using it as soon as you get it.

Our employer is fairly generous with PTO, providing around 20 hours a month.

What my coworker does is she spends the PTO as soon as she gets it. She'll leave early, show up late or straight up take days offs right when the PTO hits her time off bank. She also likes to brag about taking time off, and loves to use the YOLO term when she describes how and when she uses it.

I'm not judging. What she does with her PTO is her business. I tend to save it up because you never know when you want to take an impromptu vacation, or when simply, life happens.

Last week our supervisor circulated an email asking if anyone wants to donate PTO. Of course I was like hell no, but some of my coworkers have eagerly donated theirs. Which, once again, is theirs to use as they please.

However, I feel as though the ones, myself included, are being shamed for not "being generous" with our PTO, which doesn't bother me in the slightest.

It got me thinking though, AITA here?

This is all your employer's fault — first, for enabling her, and second, for supporting the horrible concept of donating your PTO. Responsible people never want to cash out for this exact reason, because none of us know what could happen If an emergency situation arises. She needs to take it up with your boss. If his best solution is asking for PTO donations, that's a big red flag about this situation at work. Here's hoping she doesn't show up at the mall with all that donated PTO from your co-workers. Read the rest of the thread here.

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