reddit am i the asshole

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Man blasted for making his coworkers babysit his child

He came to the wrong subreddit to look for affirmation.


Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 22, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 8:15 am CDT

If there’s an asshole checklist, then the Reddit user calling himself babyworking ticks every box. Like roughly half the entries on the subreddit Am I The Asshole, he came there looking for affirmation, specifically because his wife had told him he was one. He wanted a forum full of internet strangers to tell him she was wrong. Already not off to a great start, the story then dives off a cliff when he forces two female staff members to perform childcare for him before turning around and trying to discipline them for it.

The story begins with him taking his baby to work with him while on paternity leave so he could retrieve some documents. So far, reasonably OK, as many people bring their new baby into work to show their colleagues. Where things start to go off the rails, however, is what he did when the baby started to cry.

“I told my assistant that she can rock baby or walk around the office and they’ll go back to sleep. My assistant took her outside my office by her desk and I worked on gathering what I needed from my computer.”

As the Redditors were quick to point out, taking care of his baby was in no way her job.

It got worse when he looked up from his work and remembered his baby existed. Upon discovering that, having her own work to do and no more capable of doing it around a crying baby than he was, his assistant had handed the baby to an intern and the man freaked out completely. That’s somewhat understandable. His very tiny baby was now out of sight and in the arms of a stranger, something that would make any new parent panic. But this is how he reacted to the situation:

I went over to where the intern desks are and ask where Mary [the intern] was and they said she went to the bathroom. I asked if she had my baby they said she thinks so and I asked one of the female employees if she could go to the bathroom to get her. A minute later, they both come back, baby with Mary and diaper bag on her arm.

I took my kid from her arms and told her I didn’t appreciate her walking off with my kid. Mary said my assistant asked her to hold the baby and when she did, it seemed like baby needed a diaper change so she went and did that. I told her I appreciate the sentiment but didn’t like the idea of a stranger walking off with my baby.

This is the point at which it should be an alls well that ends well type of story, ideally with flowers and apologies for both women, as, once again, childcare is in no way a part of their jobs. Unfortunately, OP really is the asshole because this is what happened instead.

In private, I told my boss that how I felt and that I would feel uncomfortable extending her a job offer at the end of her internship but the status of her employment now was up to my boss to decide.”

He also reveals, further down in the comments, that he’s given his assistant a verbal warning as well.

Being a story of such rarely seen levels of assholery, the post immediately jumped to Twitter, leading to two social media platforms worth of people dragging this Victorian throwback of a man.

Ask A Manager was summoned and she passed judgment.

And even the sympathetic responses think OP was unreasonable.

Some people quite reasonably pointed out that if he can’t manage work and paternity leave at the same time then he shouldn’t be trying to do both (and is it actually even paternity leave if he’s working from home anyway?).

Other pointed out how if he’s also on leave, baby care is at least half his job, but he still thought of it as “giving his wife a break”.

People were all over the sexism of expecting female staff members to mind his baby while he worked, even though they also had work of their own.

Naturally, everyone sided with the intern.

Basically, everyone is hoping he gets fired. Or at least sued by the women.


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*First Published: Jul 22, 2019, 5:07 pm CDT