Woman sparks controversy with ‘cold’ behavior toward pregnant coworker: ‘I don’t care’

A 23-year-old refused to buy a gift for her pregnant coworker and it’s causing controversy at work. 

She wanted to set clear boundaries between her work and private life. However, her office environment had a much more intimate culture. The employee shared the incident with Reddit’s “Am I the A******” forum to get some answers. 

“I like to keep my personal and work life separate because I’ve experienced the downside of mixing them together,” she wrote. “It was a bad falling out with an ex-friend and coworker, so I kept them separate when I started this new job. I get along with my new coworkers and since we’re working from home, I’m forced to listen to some private life gossip from coworkers here and there when we’re in meetings.” 

Then a coworker announced her pregnancy. She congratulated the pregnant coworker but apparently that wasn’t enough. 

“Someone popped a message on the message board to get my attention to ask what baby gift would I get the pregnant coworker,” she said. “I was so confused and said, I’m supposed to get a gift? One woman said that because I was the newest hire, I didn’t know the tradition of this comfortable and relaxed office environment so she filled me in that everyone has to get a gift for celebrations. Birthdays, pregnancies, engagements, weddings, holidays, important events, etc. I understand birthdays and holidays to an extent, but the others are unheard of.”

She asked if $20 cash would be OK. But the pregnant coworker wasn’t satisfied with this. 

“Pregnant coworker said that gifts mean that I care about her baby as if it’s some kind of hint. I don’t really know her and I certainly don’t care about her baby,” she explained. “I’m not going out of my way to search for a gift or go onto her baby registry to buy some expensive a** gift. Another coworker said cash is impersonal and it’s disrespectful to everyone who takes their time picking out gifts because it shows that they care. I just wanna do my work and call it a day, but they insist that I do a gift. I told pregnant woman that it’s cash or nothing. She said, ‘don’t bother with my ingenuity’ and said she’s going to talk to HR about me putting toxicity into the work environment. I was just so impatient by then that I said, ‘go ahead. I’m keeping the $20.’ Others are put-off by my ‘cold’ behavior and wonder why I’m not happy for pregnant coworker.”

Reddit users were on the 23-year-old’s side. 

“This woman is trying to extort a gift and threatening to go to HR,” one user commented.

“No one should be forcing or coercing employees to give gifts to each other in any workplace,” another said

“You barely know this woman and owe her nothing,” someone said

For more office drama, read about this office prank gone horribly wrong.

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