She Always Arrived at Work on Time, While Her Co-Worker Was Consistently Late, when Their Boss Issued a Warning to Her Co-Worker, She Ended up Being Blamed

Alice and Jen are co-workers at a tech company who have had some recent incidents that have strained their relationship leading to tears and insults.

The Early Bird and the Late Riser

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Alice and Jen were co-workers at a tech company. Alice was an early bird and always got to work well before the start of the workday, while Jen was a late riser and often came in half an hour or more after the scheduled start time. Alice never minded Jen’s tardiness and never made a big deal out of it.

A Few Minutes Late

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One day, Alice was running a few minutes late and texted her co-workers to let them know. Jen made several jokes throughout the day about Alice being lazy and always trying to show off. Alice didn’t think much of it and didn’t realize that Jen was getting upset.

A Rude Comment

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When they were in the elevator together leaving for work, Jen said in a rather sharp tone, “You know, when you make a big show of telling everyone you’re going to be late when it’s only five minutes, it’s pretty obvious that you’re just trying to show everyone else up. You’re not going to make any friends with that teacher’s pet act, FYI.”

Shocking

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Alice was taken aback by this comment but didn’t say anything as she didn’t want to cause any conflict. It felt more insulting because Jen is late every day and Alice is never late!

Access Denied

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A few days later, the secure access cards that they used to get into the office were not working. Alice got to work early, but her card wouldn’t work. She tried calling a co-worker who usually arrived before her, but his phone was busy. So she waited for the next person to arrive, who happened to be their boss, who arrived at 8:30.

She Waited

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He asked Alice why she was waiting outside and she explained the situation. He then asked why Jen hadn’t let Alice in, but Alice said she hadn’t seen Jen that morning. The boss let Alice in and she thought that was the end of it.

A Terrible Insult

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However, a couple of hours later, Jen came into Alice’s office crying and closed the door. She accused Alice of embarrassing her and getting her written up by telling their boss that she was late. Alice was taken aback and didn’t understand why Jen was upset. Jen’s position was that Alice was a “brown-nosing little suck-up” who was trying to make Jen look bad for being late.

She Felt it Was an Overreaction

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Alice didn’t see anything wrong with what she did and felt that Jen was overreacting. She tried to explain her side of the story, but Jen was too upset to listen. Alice wondered if she should have handled the situation differently or if there was something she was missing. She hoped that she and Jen could work things out and find a better way to communicate in the future.

Straight to the Internet

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Alice didn’t know what to do about the situation. She didn’t agree with Jen’s reaction and subsequent insults to her but understood why she was perhaps angry. She decided to turn to a popular internet forum for advice.

The Internet Responded

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This commenter wrote, “I am not sure what answer would have been better than “I haven’t seen Jen today”. If Jen was there, and didn’t let OP in, Jen still looks bad. OP didn’t say “Jen doesn’t get here until after 8:30″ or anything to draw attention to the time.”

More Internet Responses

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Another person commented, “If she doesn’t want to be reprimanded for being late then maybe she should try… Not being late. You didn’t even directly tell your boss she was late; all you said was that you hadn’t seen her that morning. Presumably she could have been there and you just didn’t see her. Your boss knew something was up.”

A Final Comment

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This last commenter wrote, “You also really need to talk to him about her response to you as well. That sort of language is incredibly unprofessional, and if she uses it with you, it isn’t terribly far fetched that she would be unprofessional with your clients as well. Not to mention her response was outsized for a situation she choose to put herself in.”

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