In a situation that could only be featured on Reddit’s “Am I an A**hole” forum, a woman asked if she was the “a**hole for pretending to steal her coworker’s baby name.
The original poster (OP) writes, “I have a friend, ‘Julie,’ who has just come back from maternity leave…Julie asks me about when my husband and I are planning on having kids.”
Is It Wrong to Joke About Stealing a Coworker’s Baby Name?
The OP told Julie that they’re planning to have children within the next year. Another coworker, “Anna,” jumped in and told them they are planning to have a baby “right now” and they’re planning to name the baby Joseph.
The OP agreed that it’s a “lovely name” and noted that her dad’s name is Joseph.
Anna joked in response, “Don’t go stealing my name now.” While it was perceived as a joke, Anna mentions a couple of other times during the day that the poster shouldn’t take the name and, at the end of the day, tells her, “promise me you’ll wait until after me so I get Joseph.”
When they left work, the OP joked with Anna that she and her husband were going to make a baby that night. “The name Joseph is so rare I’m worried someone is going to steal it if I’m not quick enough,” she says she told Anna.
Anna was very offended by the joke, leaving the OP to wonder if she was an asshole or not.
OP adds for context that Anna is not well-liked in the office and also says:
“Also I know I could have said “I’m not naming my child Joseph” and been done with it but first off I’m not going to promise not to use it for the sake of a coworker I don’t get on with and also it is in the running, as a middle name, along with a few other options, in the 50% possibility that I get pregnant with a boy.”
Most commenters sided with the OP, saying that she was not an a**hole in this situation. “You are coworkers. It’s not like your twin sister is trying to baby name one-up you,” one wrote.
Another pointed out, “What’s to guarantee that both of them will even have boys? What if one gets pregnant significantly later than the other. There are so many different ways this could go, and Anna is just being incredibly petty about the whole thing.”
Though most overwhelmingly sided with the poster, some pointed out that her joke in the elevator was mean-spirited. “It’s a cheap shot made to hurt her feelings and get a laugh at her expense.”
A fair point, to be sure. But at the end of the day, we side with OP on this one. What do you think? Was OP wrong for joking about stealing her coworker’s baby name?
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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