We've all heard the phrase "Two wrongs don't make a right," but how many here truly believe it?
I mean, sure you aren't supposed to be mean to others, but there are people who've earned it, right?
When someone is a jerk, is it better to counter them with your own jerkish attitude or kill them with kindness?
It's time we return to our favorite board on Reddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A$hole?"
Responses can vary, but are usually one of these:
NTA - Not The A$$hole
YTA -You're The A$$hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
INFO - Not Enough Information
Today's post comes from Throwdeadmomcoworker, which is a little long, so we're going to call him "Bruce."
Bruce has a problem with one of his coworkers.
"I work in an office about 100, and a team of about 30. I have a coworker, "Mark", who is about 55ish. I don't think he's a very nice person."
"He is always making snide comments about other coworkers, hates poor people and thinks that if you're poor it is purely because you're an idiot, makes derogatory jokes about women and anyone non-white. Lots of people try to keep their distance, and it seems he is generally disliked."
Despite complaints, no one at Bruce's job can do anything to remove Mark. It sucks, but what are you going to do?
We all deal with someone like Mark in our lives. It's a matter of time.
However, I don't think anyone expected Mark to be this horrible.
"Another coworker, "Sarah" (about 30) lost her mom to cancer about 2 months ago. I'm not close to Sarah but everyone knows it was a really horrible ordeal, and she is sometimes visibly upset in the office."
"When Sarah was visibly upset yesterday, Mark said 'Jesus she needs to get over it, everyone dies! She's bringing everyone down. She needs to be professional, it's pathetic'"
"It was said in a very harsh way. I don't think Mark intended Sarah to hear but she did, she got upset and left the office (only ended up being for about 20 minutes)."
Wow, wow, wow.
Mark was described pretty bad before, but this new thing is a new low.
The pain of losing a loved one, especially a close family member like a parent, is one of the most difficult things to mentally handle. It isn't easy, it isn't funny, and it isn't something someone can just "get over".
This was the final straw for Bruce, who retaliated against Mark.
"I was sick of Mark's terrible comments and said 'for god's sake you're such a DICK!! You're just bitter nobody will give a sh** when you die!'"
"I walked away before he could respond. We've been angrily avoiding each other since."
"Other coworkers are split. Some think Mark got what he deserved, others have said that what I said was one of the worst things anyone can ever say, especially as it is likely true because he's generally alone in life (by his own admission) and has nobody close to him."
So we have our question.
Is Bruce the jerk here for telling Mark no one will care when he dies? Or is Mark just getting what he deserves?
Many agree with the latter sentiment.
"NTA if he really is as bad as you say hopefully it'll be a wake up call to stop being a dick!" - Rtrnr
"NTA. People need to stand up to tools like this more often." - watermelonfriend
"NTA. Sarah was in a low place, Mark was being TA and seems like a bully/TA in general, what you said may be harsh but it was reactionary and in defense of Sarah."
"Well done for standing up to TA, his behaviour is the reason why he is bitter and alone." - flyingokapis
"NTA. People only deserve to receive as much as they give. Mark has totally shed any expectations of goodwill and compassion by being do toxic, period." - DarkMarxSoul
Mark was obviously not going to learn his lesson with people just being nice to him, and his comment went way too far. It didn't help that Sarah heard his comment.
While there are better ways to escalate a situation with a coworker who just doesn't get the hint, this felt somewhat necessary.
On the other hand, Bruce's attack didn't help Sarah, and it made Mark mad. It isn't about helping anyone.
Which is why some people said "YTA".
"Everyone has problems and hell I bet Mark has plenty. To me it seems harsh in any circumstance to say, "nobody will give a sh** when you die". It's just hard to see what other people are going through even if they are a$holes. YTA" - tjtarlock
"Yes, YTA. I didn't even have to read anything other than the title to know you're definitely the a$hole here." - ScionOfAsgard
"YTA Sarah overhearing this could have went to HR except you then turned it into a fight between you and Mark and took away the opportunity for HR to intervene in the matter on you and your co workers sides. Now he can go to HR and say you are the problem." - Tulip_Lung6381
"YTA. But my kind of a$hole. The well needed a$hole who set things straight at work place.. good going dude." - ekim_mtt
Mark could have had a better response. And as one of the comments mentions, Sarah might have been able to complain to HR about this.
However, Bruce has changed it to be about himself instead. He didn't comfort Sarah, he attacked Mark.
Obviously, Mark and Bruce are jerks.
"ESH, but you're chaotic good he's TA." - GerFubDhuw
"ESH but Sarah."
"Obviously Mark is an a$hole and a loser. But you were also an a$hole. I think you were more than justified, but that doesn't stop what you said from being cruel. You lowered yourself to his level."
"Hopefully it can act as a wake up call for him though." - 11008934
"Esh. Hurting people hurt people.It's tough, but killing sour people with kindness is the best thing you can do." - Redlynetheory
"ESH. Mark is a jerk, no question, but your clap-back was cruel (even if true) and lowered yourself to his level." - zwergschnauzer
It's hard seeing someone else dealing with the pain of losing a loved one have to hear a jerk comment on their grief, but when you use it as an opportunity to attack, you become a jerk yourself.
I don't agree that you should treat the Marks of the world with kindness. But your time is better served doing so for the Sarahs.