A Reddit user wrote on a subthread, asking the community if she was in the wrong for putting her plans above helping out a co-worker.
A New Job
The Original Poster (OP), a 29-year-old female, began working at a new company eight months ago. She was recruited specifically for her current position, which granted her the power to negotiate the terms of her employment contract to her liking. As a result, she successfully included a clause that prevented her employer from contacting her outside of work hours.
OP has established clear boundaries regarding communication with her employer outside of work hours. In the case of a true emergency, they are permitted to contact her via email, but they are not allowed to send her a text message.
She also has a separate work phone that she shuts down at 5 pm and turns back on at 9 am.
Additionally, OP does not work overtime and is highly efficient in completing her tasks, finishing her work by 3 pm or 5 pm in the case of an emergency. She takes her entire lunch break outside of the office and her coffee breaks away from her desk.
She Works Differently from Her Coworkers
OP has noticed that her coworkers have a different work style than her, often socializing during work hours and leaving tasks for later.
They sometimes ask for her assistance, but OP consistently declines, simply stating that she has plans without going into further detail. These plans usually involve going home, reading, or sleeping, as they are her personal time.
On a recent Monday, a coworker asked OP if she could stay late to help complete some overdue essential work that needed to be finished by that night. The coworker explained that she had to leave for her daughter’s recital at 6 pm. However, OP still declined, apologizing and stating that she had plans.
She Wouldn’t Stay Back to Help
OP decided to enjoy the nice weather by going to a park to read and have a picnic with some fruit and bubble tea instead of going straight home.
However, a coworker stumbled upon her and was upset, claiming that OP could have assisted her if she did not have prior plans. OP maintained that she did have plans, which were to have an impromptu picnic.
The coworker argued that OP’s plans were not as important as her daughter’s recital, to which OP responded that her picnic was even more important than the recital for her.
The coworker accused OP of being a jerk for not helping her with work due that evening, causing some of OP’s friends to agree that she was in the wrong.
What Redditors Said
After logging off for a few hours, OP returned to a significant number of comments providing judgments on Reddit. She clarified some important details, including that the park was small, near the coworker’s daughter’s school (unknown to OP), and that she was sitting closer to the street.
The coworker spotted her while driving around looking for parking and decided to confront her. Additionally, OP and the coworker are not on the same team, and the coworker only asked for assistance because she knew OP had the necessary skills.
OP is not overly concerned about her career and does not plan to climb the corporate ladder, as she has a highly sought-after skill set and provides a comfortable salary.
She has a fulfilling personal life with a tight-knit family and a great friend circle but prefers not to mix work and personal life, including not befriending coworkers.
Finally, OP emphasizes that enjoying her personal time, including having an impromptu picnic, has always been part of her plans.
She is Right To Maintain Her Boundaries
Many Reddit users agree that OP is within their rights to set boundaries and prioritize their personal time, with some suggesting that the coworker was out of line to expect OP to work late.
Some users express concern about the long-term consequences of refusing to help coworkers, while others support OP’s decision to not mix work and personal life.
However, some users criticize OP’s lack of empathy and perceived rudeness in their response to the coworker. Overall, the majority of users judge OP as not a jerk although some believe that their approach to interpersonal interactions could be more congenial.
What would you do as OP? How would you have handled this situation?
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