'Clingy' New Employee Slammed for Reporting Co-Worker to HR

A new employee was criticized online after reporting her co-worker to human resources for creating a "hostile work environment" when she failed to hit deadlines.

The anonymous woman, known as u/DueEstablishment8602, posted about the incident in Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum where it received more than 9,000 upvotes and nearly 2,000 comments. The post can be found here.

Toxic Workplace Behavior

According to a recent study by MIT Sloan, while the conversation around the Great Resignation is typically hyper-focused on low wages, toxic workplace culture is the top reason Americans are quitting their jobs.

Employees identified the following factors that contribute to toxic work culture:

  • Failure to promote diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Employees feeling disrespected
  • Unethical behavior
Woman slammed for reporting coworker to HR
Commenters slammed an employee for relying too much on her co-worker and hindering her from doing her work. The post has amassed more than 9,000 upvotes and nearly 2,000 comments. AntonioGuillem/iStock

Other reasons respondents said they quit included job insecurity or reorganization, failure to recognize employee performance, and poor COVID-19 protocols.


In the post titled "AITA for reporting my colleague to HR?" the anonymous woman, 26, said she started her first full-time job after finishing up her master's degree.

She said she works with a woman named Thea, 27, who joined the company two months prior.

"She is currently in graduate school, and I'm amazed at how she is very efficient and fast in her tasks," the post read. "I noticed that Thea is always assigned complicated tasks despite being new to the company, and I wanted to join the projects that she's in so I can learn from her."

The woman said she immediately noticed that Thea implements strict deadlines in order to get her work finished, but said she had trouble keeping up.

"I wasn't used to having such deadlines, but she would just tell me to be faster next time and move on," the post read. "Recently, she put up a huge whiteboard at her desk which detailed all her meetings and tasks for the month."

Impressed by Thea's set-up, the woman asked what the tasks meant and asked if there was room for one more teammate. She said Thea became irritated before she "snapped" and said that not everything with her name needed to involve her.

'Hostile Work Environment'

The woman said she was "surprised at her hostility" but said that Thea has been distant and "generally difficult to work with" since. She said Thea stopped being as helpful with retrieving documents for her, implemented stricter deadlines, and tries to "avoid" her by leaving work earlier.

"I felt that she was creating an overly hostile work environment that was affecting my productivity, and felt like the right thing to do was to report her to HR," the post read."I did so, after collecting some evidence, and HR said that they would talk to her. Well, the talk didn't seem to go well because now our boss has told me to just stay out of her way, and removed me from all projects that involves her."

The woman said Thea was moved to another section of the office closer to the senior employees who are trying to "placate her to stop her from leaving."

She said she felt "conflicted" because she doesn't want to "ruin" her workplace relationships, but said it was difficult to work with Thea.

"I did what I thought was the right thing to advocate for myself. AITA?" the post asked.

Employee Update

In an update to the post, the anonymous employee said they didn't expect to receive an "overwhelming vote" of YTA and said both she and Thea have the same title but different levels.

"I am not trying to ride on her coattails," she wrote. "I was asking about the tasks she had listed because they sounded interesting, and I was curious to know why hadn't I been included."

Redditor Reactions

Nearly 2,000 users commented on the post, many criticizing the anonymous woman for "narcing" to HR.

"You poked your nose into her business, slowed her down, kept poking around so much she started leaving early to avoid you, and you narced on her to HR. YTA," one user commented.

"YTA but you'll get there," another commented. "She wasn't being 'difficult to work with,' she was just declining to keep coaching you. Gathering 'evidence' and accusing her of creating a hostile work environment was a wild misread of the situation."

"Not only did you obviously hold her back, you were getting on my nerves just while reading this," another user commented. "I cannot imagine how she must have felt."

"You're being clingy to the point where it's hurting her productivity, and then taking her frustration as hostility," another commented.

Newsweek reached out to u/DueEstablishment8602 for comment.

Other Viral Moments

A financial expert went viral on TikTok after sharing common "toxic workplace phrases" and what they mean.

An anonymous employee from Europe also went viral after saying that they were stunned by their American boss's "toxic" behavior.

In another Reddit post, a worker went viral after saying they "gaslit" their boss into giving their team more paid time off.