A fierce debate has consumed the internet after a server admitted to changing the order of a patron's drinks.
The patron was pregnant, and she was ordering alcohol.
Over on Reddit's board r/AmItheA$$hole, a user shared their story to ask the titular question.
If you're not familiar with this subReddit, commenters give three designations to the posts:
- NTA - Not The A$$hole
- YTA - You're The A$$hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
What to many seems like a straightforward situation gets more complicated the more you think about it.
It's a lot, but we'll try to sum up.
Reddit user u/YouGottaStopThat shared their story.
They had a table of women who were ordering drinks, when they overheard a conversation that made it sound like one of the women was pregnant.
When the table ordered their next round, YouGottaStopThat changed one of the drinks to a virgin cocktail and gave that to the pregnant patron. At the end of the night, after receiving her receipt, the customer confronted the server who admitted their switch.
The server was obviously in trouble with their manager, and it's likely their actions violated discrimination laws.
At least they stopped that woman from drinking alcohol that night.
"NTA. The fact that so many people think that you were rude for this is disgusting." - EiffelTowerRetreatPartassipant
"okay, I'm a woman. I don't think it's an a$$hole thing to do. I'm pro-choice, but I'm not pro intentionally drinking while pregnant. nope nope nope. Even if it already had a problem, even if she was gonna abort it. I'm actually kinda surprised it's not illegal to serve alcohol to a pregnant person. NTA, sorry about all the flak you're getting." - ilivedthru37f13s
"Drinking whilst pregnant is an awful thing to do.
Morally you absolutely did the right thing so I'm going to say NTA. Although from a work perspective you did take some big risks, but I still think you did the right thing. I would struggle to knowingly serve a pregnant woman alcohol without saying anything." - AXone1814
But were they supposed to just serve the woman alcohol?
Well, if you ask Reddit, yeah, maybe.
There were plenty of possibilities at play here. For starters, the customer did not confirm to the server that she was pregnant.
YouGottaStopThat overheard a conversation and said it was clear she was pregnant. But they didn't say what was said specifically.
For all we know, this was a misunderstanding. The server could have been hearing something out of context, and the woman wasn't pregnant at all.
But if she was, wouldn't it be better to spare the alcohol then?
Not if you do it secretly. People have a choice about what they do with their bodies, and as much as we might not like it, it's their choice.
The server could have verified the woman's status, and if they felt uncomfortable with it, asked to refuse service. Another server could assist her, or a dialogue could have brought one of them around.
"Yta. Unless you saw the woman pee on a pregnancy test, you had no way of knowing for sure that she was pregnant. She could have been talking about someone else, a past pregnancy, or she could be planning to terminate the pregnancy. That wasn't your call to make." - NUTmeSHELL
"YTA. I've spent most of my working years in food service, and half of that time has been in management. If I was your manager, I would've fired you on the spot. While I agree that pregnant women shouldn't be drinking, you NEVER change a customer's order without their consent. If you had an issue with her drinking, you should have taken it to your manager and let her deal with the situation." - Khal_Aegon
If you don't want to serve her, don't serve her, but don't try to trick her for her own good.
You would not be the asshole if you had told her what you heard and said you didn't feel comfortable serving her alcohol. You also could've cut them all off once you saw that they were intoxicated. That would be actually living up to your convictions and dealing with the consequences." - Fake_Eleanor
We've been very focused on how the server perceived and handled the situation. However, there are those who question the woman.
Assuming the woman was pregnant and planned to carry the baby to term, drinking has the possibility of causing fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS. This can lead to different developmental disorders for the child from physical to behavioral and learning problems.
Because of this, some put the blame on both sides of the equation.
"Esh but you had good intentions.
She sucks for obvious reasons, you suck because you had no way to prove she was a pregnant, you altered her drink without informing her, and you made a big decision without speaking to your manager." - Underground_Queen
"What the flying f***?? It's ESH if she has a viable pregnancy. Women who drink while pregnant disgust me to no end. I've seen FAS. I can't believe anyone would willingly do that to their child." - werq34ac
"ESH. She sucks for wanting to drink while pregnancy, but it's none of your business as well." - hoomanpinguin
The conversation is definitely a difficult one. Depending on your philosophy about bodily autonomy or child endangerment, you'll find many answers to this situation.
The Reddit post spawned almost 3000 comments before the thread was locked. The subreddit landed on calling YouGottaStopThat the a$$hole in this situation.
However, the debate sparked takes that extend beyond Reddit.
@BuzzFeedFood Both.— It's Leo! (@It's Leo!) 1564009747.0
These beliefs make me irrationally angry. Yes I know a woman in her first or second trimester shouldn't be drinking… https://t.co/Ig6mmNfIWV— Christina E. Mayr (@Christina E. Mayr) 1563978686.0
@exhausty https://t.co/3a0Wp4lvxV Op dumb but ppl are acting like they tried to poison her— kallie (@kallie) 1563991110.0
reddit thinks giving a pregnant girl non-alcoholic drinks means you're an asshole. https://t.co/2Y4XoxBXeV— FREE A$AP ROCKY (@FREE A$AP ROCKY) 1564024715.0
YouGottaStopThat has clarified that the woman was definitely pregnant. They have also spent a lot of time responding to criticisms of their actions.
Whether they learned their lesson or not, we'll likely never know.
The critically acclaimed, award winning book series What to Expect: The Congratulations, You're Expecting! Gift Set: (Includes What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect The First Year) is available here to answer questions for anyone who is or plans to become pregnant.