A woman recently ducked out of driving a disabled co-worker home. She thinks she’s in the right, but she got a telling-off from her manager that has left her shaken.
Here is what she had to say.
The 21-year-old is currently working in a small retail store, and some months ago, in the middle of January, her manager, a 35-year-old woman, hired Frank, 46.
Frank is autistic and was hired as part of a program to help him navigate having a job with a disability.
Frank needs more support than most other people with autism, such as the woman. She, too, is autistic, but she doesn’t need as much help as Frank.
Frank volunteers at the store between 1-2 hours daily and works 2-4 days per week. His mother drives him to and from the store.
Although the woman knows who Frank is, they don’t interact much. He works in the front of the store, and the woman works in the back.
Frank recently finished his program and was hired by the woman’s boss. On the same day he was hired, his mother could not come and collect him from work.
The woman was told that it would be at least 30 minutes before Frank’s mother could come and pick him up.
“Frank’s younger brother was home but without a car, and their house wasn’t close enough for someone to walk with Frank and then back to the store,” she said.
“My manager had Frank sit in the office until closing, and I assumed that other arrangements had been made, but after we clocked out, she asked who would be willing to drive Frank home.”
The woman’s co-workers suddenly began a game of “not it” until she was left standing confused with everybody looking at her.
The woman struggles, in general, to pick up on the ‘not it’ game, and she didn’t think it was an appropriate situation for it anyway.
On the spot, the woman managed to come up with a lie, stating that she had prior obligations elsewhere and would not have the time to drive Frank home.
“I was honestly just not comfortable with being held responsible for getting someone else home and not comfortable with having someone who is practically a stranger in my car,” she said.
“I have trouble looking after myself and am not at all equipped to look after others whose needs are higher than my own.”
Eventually, the woman explained her situation to a trusted co-worker who then, apparently, relayed the information back to their manager.
The woman’s manager sat her down and explained that she was disappointed in her for her unwillingness to help Frank.
She said that she expected the woman to “step up” next time there was an issue similar to this one and that if she was caught in a lie again, there could be consequences.
The woman tried explaining to her manager that she was not comfortable taking somebody else home.
However, her manager said there was “no excuse for abandoning and discriminating against a co-worker in need.”
As such, the woman reached out to Reddit, asking if she was wrong for being unwilling to give her colleague a lift, as the whole situation made her feel very uncomfortable.
“I would never have agreed to take this guy home,” said one commenter.
“What if this man did anything harmful to you? It would be the manager’s fault.”
“You need to go to Human Resources or to the manager’s supervisor and file a complaint.”
What do you think? Should the woman have provided a lift home for her work colleague?