July 1, 2024 at 11:48 pm

Employee Set Boundaries About Not Working Outside Of Regular Hours, But When A Coworker Asked For Help And She Said No, Big Drama Followed

by Heather Hall

Source: Reddit/AITA/Unsplash/Evangelina Silina

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for good mental health. For some people, this means setting clear boundaries at their job and sticking to them.

So, what happens when a coworker uses her child as an excuse to get you to stay late? Do you help out or refuse and say you have plans?

In the following story, a woman deals with this exact situation, only to face drama when confronted by the coworker during her personal time.

AITA for telling my coworker that my solo picnic is as important as her daughter’s recital?

I(29F) started working at a new company 8 months ago.

I was head hunted specifically for the role I have, which gave me enough power to negotiate my contract like I wanted. One of the things I managed to get was a clause that prohibited my employer from contacting me outside work hours.

If it is a true emergency, then they can send me an email. Otherwise they can’t even send me a text. Furthermore, I have a separate work phone that I shut down at 5 on the dot, then turn on at 9am.

She values her personal time more than some of her coworkers.

Another thing is that I don’t work OT. I am very efficient, so my work is done by 3pm, 5pm if we have an emergency. I also take my whole lunch break outside the office, and my coffee breaks away from my desk.

My coworkers are not the same, they tend to socialize during work hour, and have work left for afterwards.

They sometimes ask me to “help,” but I always decline by saying that I have plans. I don’t go into details, I just say that I have plans.

For her, plans are plans, and there’s no such thing as cancellation.

These plans are 99% of the time just include going home, reading books, or sleeping. But that is my personal time.

Monday, a coworker asked me if I could stay a bit later to help her out. Apparently, she was late with some essential work that had to be done by that night, and she had to attend her daughter’s recital at 6.

I said that I was sorry, but that I had plans.

It was a nice day, so instead of going home, I just went to a park to read while breathing some fresh air. Brought some fruit and bubble tea, and made a picnic out of it.

This is where things take an ugly turn.

My coworker found me there, and she was upset. She said that I could have helped her if I didn’t have plans, I said that I do have plans, this impromptu picnic.

She said that it wasn’t as important as her daughter’s recital. So I said that for me, it was even more important than her daughter’s recital.

She called me an AH, and some of my friends agree.


It’s easy to see both sides of this situation. Your personal time is your personal time. But, for a mother, there are only so many recitals to attend.

Let’s see how the folks over at Reddit weighed in on this situation.

This person agrees that it’s the coworker’s responsibility.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person agrees that the coworker is the AH.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person has a great point.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This comment is brutally honest and not wrong.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person empathizes with the poster even though they do not agree.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Being a team player is essential when working in an office.

A little sacrifice never hurt anyone.

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.