Office Christmas politics are some of high-court-level intrigue. Somehow, you’re always on the wrong team and somehow everything is offensive to everyone. Hurt feelings, crappy gifts… why would you do this to yourselves?
Recently, a conflicted young worker took to the Reddit sub “Am I The Asshole” to ask for the internet’s opinion on a recent conflict. His coworker didn’t buy him a Christmas gift and was fired not long after the incident became known to their boss.
I (19M) work in a small office. In November a few of my coworkers organized a secret Santa gift exchange for christmas. It was optional but most people joined in so I did too, though I do not celebrate christmas (I am ex-christian) but I still celebrate the holiday season & I thought it would be fun.
The office organized a secret Santa. Here’s your first warning sign.
One of the people who organized it is a woman I’ll call Jen (50sF). She is a devout Christian, I know because she had a lot of religious items on her desk & she is always saying religious stuff & talking about church. Soon after we all picked names for secret santa, she approached me & said that she was glad that Id joined in because “its nice to see young people getting involved in the spirit of Christmas.” Then she asked if I would be going to mass for christmas & I said no. She asked why & I told her that I’m actually ex-Christian so I dont go to church. I dont think I was rude about it but she started acting weird & said that I shouldn’t have joined secret Santa because I was “profiting off other people’s generosity in the celebration of Christ’s birth.” I didnt know what to say so I said that I would be getting someone a gift too of course & I couldnt back out now because then one person wouldnt get anything. She said she would pray for me & left, & we didnt really interact after that.
And here’s our problem: Jen, a devout Christian, didn’t want OP, an ex-Christian, participating in Secret Santa since he “didn’t believe”. Don’t worry, guys, she said she’d pray for him.
A few days before christmas we all were supposed to exchange our gifts. I gave the person I picked their gift & then I was waiting to receive mine, I didnt know who picked me of course but eventually it seemed like everyone had gotten their gifts except me.
OP realized something is wrong when everyone else received gifts… and he didn’t.
Then Jen came over & said she was the one who picked my name, but since I didnt believe in Christmas there was no reason for her to get me a gift in celebration of it. I was honestly shocked but she left before I could say anything.
Jen had taken it upon herself to put OP’s beliefs down, refused to buy him a gift for the exchange, and left.
It did bother me a bit but I decided to let it go because I didnt want any drama. Later I was talking to another coworker Amy (22F), she asked me what I got so I told her what happened with Jen. Amy said I should tell our supervisor about it because Jen has said similar things to a coworker of ours who is Muslim. I told her I didnt want to make a big deal out of the secret santa thing & I thought we left it at that.
At this point, another coworker said that OP should bring it up to the boss because, shock of shocks, Jen behaves like this to other people who don’t share her Christian faith. OP didn’t want to make it a problem.
But after the holidays our supervisor Mark (50sM) called me into his office & asked about what happened with Jen during the gift exchange. I didnt want to lie to a supervisor so I told him what she said, but also that it wasnt a big deal to me, it was just a present. He thanked me & said not to worry but that this was connected to “a greater trend in Jen’s behaviour” & he would have to “take action.” Yesterday I noticed Jen’s desk was cleared out, I asked Amy about it & she said Jen had been fired.
Thankfully, somebody DID make it a problem because the boss confirmed with OP what happened and Jen was promptly fired for her behavior.
I feel bad because I didnt care about getting a present that much & I dont think its something that warrants getting someone fired. I told my friend Sam (19M) about it & he said I shouldnt have told Mark what Jen said because it was just a dumb disagreement between us. So idk. AITA?