The dynamics of the modern workplace are intricate and delicate, with every action potentially echoing throughout the office. A seemingly small gesture can ripple out, affecting team morale, productivity, and even the overall culture.
For those in leadership roles, the stakes are even higher, as their behavior sets the precedent. Dive into this tale where a single snack becomes the epicenter of a workplace showdown, highlighting the profound effects of our actions, especially when entitlement meets passive-aggression.
Here’s How It Went Down
OP, a 34-year-old manager of a small retail store, decided to check on the store on her day off to ensure everything was running smoothly with the two new hires. When she arrived, she found her friend and employee Kate, who is 21, in the back showing off some fancy gourmet dark chocolate truffles that her boyfriend had gifted her.
Young love, huh? Gotta love it.
Kate had already eaten the other chocolates in the box and had been saving the last one for a special occasion, but had forgotten to eat it last night.
OP asked if she could try the chocolate, and Kate hesitated before telling her that she could buy some on the website and that she had a pamphlet with all the flavors available. OP insisted that she only wanted to try a nibble to see if it was any good.
Sharing Is Caring, Just Not Here
Kate hesitated again, saying that it wouldn’t be right to give away a gift from her boyfriend. OP tried to make a lighthearted joke, suggesting that Kate was being stingy. Still, it didn’t seem to land well with Kate, who closed the box of chocolates and left the room after muttering something about forgetting to do something.
Since Kate was a new employee, and OP was her boss, they didn’t have any close relationship. I think she should have let the lady have her treat.
OP left the store about twenty minutes later, but an hour later, she received a text from her assistant manager Marla, informing her that Kate had asked to leave early because she wasn’t feeling well. She approved Kate’s request but asked Marla to let her know that she would need to make up for those hours sometime next week.
While OP probably wasn’t looking to be passive-aggressive, her timing was quite off. It would come off to any person as offensive. It’s only fair that Kate reacted in a reasonable manner.
When OP asked Marla what was wrong with Kate, she didn’t have any specific information, but she suggested that it might have something to do with what OP had said earlier, as Kate had been unusually quiet since then.
She began to wonder if she had done something wrong. Was she wrong? She realized that maybe her joke about Kate being stingy had come off as insensitive and that her request to try the chocolate may have made Kate feel uncomfortable. She started to regret her actions and wished she could take them back.
The incident left her feeling uneasy and uncertain. She realized that even small interactions with employees could have unintended consequences and that it was important to be mindful of how her words and actions could affect others.
u/Iusedtobachicken thinks OP is entitled, and shouldn’t have even asked in the first place.
“It was her gift, the last one, and why would you feel so entitled to it? It’s not yours, and anyone with any sense of manners would never ask someone else for their last piece of chocolate, especially if it was a gift. Also, you’re her boss, which makes this 10x more uncomfortable for her- apologize and go buy the chocolates yourself and give her one to make up for your obnoxiousness. Also, just a nibble doesn’t make it any better.”
u/Airwick_UwU also thinks OP is wrong, and a pretty bad manager.
“[You] sound like a pretty bad manager. The chocolate wasn’t for you, it was Kate’s, and it seems to be nice/expensive stuff from Valentine’s. It was rude and awkward to ask like you were entitled to it. Making employees make up hours later is standard s—y retail 101. As a manager and leader myself, that practice is so antiquated and honestly embarrassing.”
In conclusion, dealing with a bad boss can be a difficult and frustrating experience. However, it’s important to remember that not all bosses are bad, and there are steps that employees can take to address the issue. I think she should have tried talking to OP again, but OP didn’t listen in the first place, so the situation is a bit tricky. That she asked for a piece of chocolate doesn’t make her bad, although she may have made a bad impression.
What would you have done in this situation?
This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Hello Sensible. You can read the original thread here.