Sometimes others decide they know a person better than they know themselves. That's the situation one woman is facing at work.
After feeling like her privacy was violated, she turned to the "Am I The A**hole" subReddit to ask if she would be the a**hole (WIBTA) if she addressed the problem with human resources.
Redditor TomboyTroubles2020 asked:
"[Would I Be The A**hole] (WIBTA) If I report my otherwise well-meaning coworker to HR for unwanted advice she's been giving me?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I've been having beef with my coworker 'Lauren' since she started working in the same office as me a year ago. I am a tomboy and been so my entire life."
"I look like a guy, I like to dress like a guy, and almost all of my fashion icons are guys but I'm straight and female and I am comfortable with who I am. It just so happens that I prefer to wear menswear for a plethora of reasons."
"Having short hair and an allergy to certain ingredients used in cosmetics makes me look even more like a dude."
"Lauren prides herself on being a straight ally, which I am cool with. She does her own thing, that is totally fine."
"What isn't fine by me is this weird fixation she has had on me ever since we met. Lauren is convinced that I am a closeted transgender man."
"When we are alone (which I make a point to avoid to begin with), she is always telling me how she will support me when I 'come out' and how she has all this advice for 'people like me'. She goes out of her way to track me down and tell me about these blogs about 'people like me', which is cool but please leave me alone so I can do my job."
"She once even asked me if I ever thought about doing hormone treatment."
"She creeps me the f'k out."
"So, thankfully I haven't seen Lauren face to face since our office began working from home. But every now and then, Lauren will try and reach out to me to talk."
"Which I ignore, of course. That is until last night and the reason why I am writing today."
"I don't know how she did it, but she sent me a personal email containing a link to a psychiatrist who specializes in counseling pre-op, pre-hormone therapy trans men and women. And the usual spiel about how she is always there to 'help me'."
"I'm reluctant to bring this up to HR because I don't want to discourage Lauren from offering up help to those who need it and do it on the reg. But I feel like she invaded my privacy big time by not only finding out my personal email, but bringing her unsolicited advice from the office to my personal life and thus violating my home/worklife balance."
"The other reason why I feel like this will be an a**hole move is because everyone at work would know that it is me who reported her. It's no secret about Lauren's behavior around me."
"I don't know if anyone else has reported her, but if I do and she gets fired, then this is all going to come back to me and I would be in trouble with my colleagues. While our office environment is pretty neutral, some of my coworkers are friends with Lauren and I am afraid that they will blame me."
"I just need a second opinion. I don't know how long I can take this harassment, but WIBTA if I report my coworker to HR for harassment?"
"I don't need her advice, I don't want her advice. I just want Lauren to leave me alone."
The OP added:
"Yes, I have told her I'm not trans. She is still convinced that I am in denial."
Redditors were asked to weigh in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP would not be the a**hole if they reported their coworkers harassment.
"NTA. She isn't an ally. She is a person in love with her self-perception as an upstanding person."
"She's trampling all over your reality in order to create a version of events where she can be the hero in your story who allowed you to find your true self. It's not okay, and if she won't stop on her own, you absolutely need to go to HR." ~ LeSchad
"She's not an ally, she's a narrow minded person who thinks OP is being a woman the 'wrong' way so therefore she's not a woman." ~ RandomUsername600
"This! It feels like she's almost after some kind of gratification in how great of an ally she is." ~ Detekzette42
"Right. She's ally of the year because she helped a trans man in denial come out. [sarcasm]" ~ GothPenguin
"The person pushing a person who they think is trans to out themselves is truly the one true ally of the year. [sarcasm]" ~ PM_ME_BOARS
"It almost looks like virtue signaling. She wants everyone to know she's a supportive ally and encouraging of Trans people etc... but doesn't realize how she is doing the complete opposite." ~ escaperoomlady
"Ally ship is about what you do. Advocacy. Activism."
"Standing up to systems and bullies and institutions so vulnerable groups don't have to do it ALL themselves. It's like going around telling everyone you're such a good person, or such an honest person."
"If you are those things, you just are. If you have to go around telling everybody...the lady doth protest too much." ~ miladyelle
"What she is doing is so inappropriate that she could be fired about it, OP warned her several times (perhaps too nicely) that her help and advice is not needed/welcomed but she keeps pushing."
"I hope she doesn't get fired over it or cause issues for OP and their team but she needs to learn her lesson." ~ escaperoomlady
"Yeah, this is why you can't just decide you're for equal rights and weeeee you're done. You believe in trans rights?"
"F'king bamf, now here's some good blogs to follow and resources to read so you can learn how to put that into action. How to balance speaking up, without crossing into speaking for."
"How to effectively advocate, aka tweeting ain't enough, y'all—write letters; call; volunteer. How to follow a trans individual's lead in how to address them, support them."
"Learn about CONSENT—it's not just for sex. Learn about the dangers and the risks they face so you don't inadvertently out them."
"Learn when to lead and when to follow—and allyship is mostly following. Listen, listen, listen."
"And learn how, for WHEN you f'k up, to properly apologize and make it right."
"Her enthusiasm is great, but it's so, so not great to hyper focus on an individual and try to Save Them without their consent. Put that energy and enthusiasm towards calling representatives, or writing companies with anti-trans policies to demand better."
"It's not an easy fight, for equality. New generations of enthusiastic, motivated allies are great—they have the will and the energy to keep the momentum going when the Olds are tired and burnt out, but it has to be directed in the right directions and in good ways. That is not on OP to do, though." ~ miladyelle
"NTA. This is harassment, and you are well within your rights to speak with HR. It is up to HR how they will handle it."
"You can let HR know she has good intentions, but that she needs to be spoken to about appropriate workplace behavior. Reporting to HR doesn't mean someone automatically gets fired."
"You should also try to be more explicit with her about the fact that you are not trans, you are happy the way you are, and you do not appreciate the unsolicited advice. If she still doesn't listen, HR is your next step."
"Make sure to keep a record of everything she does and everything you do in response to protect yourself. Written records are very important in the all too common situations where someone tries to go on the offensive after a complaint."
"Written records are a good backup if you ever have to defend yourself." ~ cdifl
The OP returned with an update.
"Holy sh*t, her behavior is not okay!"
"I am reporting Lauren to HR first thing in the morning. Thank you for helping me see that this is all f'ked up."