Co-workers arguing in the office

Internet denounces the “unhealthy obsession” of a worker for the daughter of a colleague

A worker took to social media last week to share that they had upset a colleague by asking him ‘provocative’ questions about his family.

Posting on Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) forum under the username u/refreshed82, the worker asked, “AITA for asking about my co-worker’s daughter?” The post garnered over 6,300 upvotes and over 1,500 comments criticizing u/refreshed82 for being unprofessional. You can read the full message here.

Expert advice

Kerry Flynn Barrett, the founder of Flynn Barrett Consulting LLC, said Newsweek that people should exercise caution when discussing with colleagues.

“Sometimes it’s better to stay away from something and not talk about it because you just don’t know what a person’s feelings are,” Flynn Barrett said.

Colleagues arguing in the office
Here, a stock image of colleagues arguing in an office. A worker took to Reddit last week to share that they had upset a colleague by asking him ‘provocative’ questions about his family.

“We’re here to work, it’s not a social setting,” Flynn Barrett continued. “Sometimes people meet [boundaries] because we work closely with people and we believe that [we are friends] as opposed to [co-workers]. But the fact is that we are colleagues.”

Unfortunately, u/refreshed82 recently learned of the consequences of treating a colleague as a friend.


Redditor u/refreshed82 said their colleague divorced his wife several years ago. They share a grown daughter who is somewhat “famous” online, so once in a while u/refreshed82 said they’ll check her accounts to “see what she’s up to.” In a recent analysis of her profiles, u/refreshed82 noticed that the woman didn’t post much about her father, u/refreshed82’s colleague. They also noticed that the woman uses a “stage name” compared to her real last name.

Curious, u/refreshed82 decided to ask their colleague about his relationship with his daughter. Apparently, the two coworkers had already talked about u/refreshed82’s divorce, so u/refreshed82 said they felt it was safe to ask their coworker about his daughter.

“We talked a little [and] I asked why he didn’t appear in any photos on his accounts. He replied sarcastically [that] he was camera shy,” u/refreshed82 told. “I then asked why she liked using the stage name on her Twitter and Instagram. [accounts]and he replied that he “don’t really know.”

Redditor u/refreshed82 said he could tell his colleague was annoyed, so he stopped asking questions. When they arrived at work the next day, they noticed that their colleague was ignoring them. And later that day, their boss waved them off to issue a “warning”.

“Apparently I was asking him [my co-worker] “provocative” and “harassing” questions, although he didn’t seem too bothered when I asked them. I [tried] talk to him [but] He just [told] me to get the hell out and [left]“wrote u/refreshed82. “AITA?”

Editors react

Redditors said u/refreshed82 was wrong to ask their colleague about her family and even accused them of having an “unhealthy obsession” with the woman.

“SURFACE [you’re the a**hole]. At first you seem to have an unhealthy obsession [with] his daughter, and you did not quickly realize that they do not have a good relationship [and] you kept nagging him about it,” u/Supergoch wrote.

“Why are you so invested in her daughter’s life and her relationship with her father that you’re scrolling 5+ years to count the number of photos she’s posted of him? It’s creepy and weird, and your questions were intrusive and curious,” u/ said oneblessedmess.

Redditor u/OrangeCubit added, “YTA. Your dive into his social media [was] WAY too deep, and then you used that to ask a man about some very personal things. There were several points in this conversation where you should have stopped, but you didn’t. You were rude, intrusive and blind to social cues.”

Newsweek contacted u/refreshed82, and they declined to comment. We were unable to verify the details of the case.

More viral posts

Redditors have backed a man for refusing to help his parents with his “very destructive and angry” brother.

Online commenters also backed a bride who accused a guest of having a ‘drinking problem’ in a tiff about a dry wedding.

And Redditors called a woman “heartless” for refusing to pick up her nephew from school.

Do you have a similar work dilemma? Let us know via We can ask experts for advice and your story could be published on Newsweek.

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