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Here’s a story of a coworker who crossed the line as she insisted on knowing her coworker’s husband’s salary. After having enough of her income questions, she lashes out, making her coworker regret her actions.
Income and Relationship Dynamics
The original poster, Patricia, has been with her husband since college.
Over the years, her husband had many career shifts and now earns many times more than Patricia.
Managing Disparities in the Relationship
Patricia and her husband’s income gap wasn’t an issue, but Patricia has learned to keep her and her husband’s income private.
She’s experienced many bad consequences after revealing her income to others.
Zero Tolerance for Revealing Income
In the past, relatives and friends would get curious about Patricia’s income and ask questions. Patricia would playfully entertain these questions with no issue.
The Office Gossip
However, lately, Patricia has adopted a zero-tolerance attitude.
She would no longer budge on revealing anything about her income if people asked.
Curiosity Turns Invasive
Linda, one of Patricia’s coworkers, is in her early 20s and has a reputation for gossiping around the office.
According to Patricia, Linda “craves wealth and status.”
Living the Lavish Life
Linda enjoys wearing “flashy” designer items and constantly asks the ladies around the office which men are single.
Here’s where things take a turn.
Coworker Small Talk
One Friday afternoon, Patricia’s office hosted a happy hour event.
Linda approached Patricia and started the conversation by asking how her recent European vacation went.
Popping the Income Question
Patricia briefly told Linda about the activities she did with her husband in Europe.
Then Linda popped the first income question: “So, what does your husband do?”
Patricia’s Firm Response
Patricia responded that her husband worked in finance, but Linda wanted more.
“How much does he make in a year?” she asked.
The Persistent Probing
Patricia tried to be polite and told Linda he makes a good salary.
However, Linda insisted on knowing what Patricia’s husband earned and promised not to tell anyone.
Setting Boundaries with Linda
Patricia felt the tension building up and politely declined again.
Now believing Patricia’s husband didn’t allow Patricia to share his income, Linda stated, “You’d think the stuck-up one would be the one with money, not the one without!”
Patricia Loses Her Temper
Furious, Patricia told Linda to learn to take “no” as an answer and stop being nosy. Patricia smiled and walked away.
Coworkers’ Reactions to the Incident
Later that day, a few of Patricia’s coworkers mentioned they saw Linda crying and leaving the office early.
They told Patricia to apologize for being too harsh with Linda, but Patricia refused.
Relating to the Incident
“Oh, trust me, I know exactly what you mean,” someone said. “I’ve encountered my fair share of those too, and my new coworker is definitely one of them.”
“She kind of low-key tried to get to know his salary so she can hang on him and be his girlfriend,” one person speculated.
Why Do You Ask?
“. . . I have always found ‘Why do you ask?’ is more effective than vague answers to unacceptably personal questions,” another shared. “If that fails to end it, still don’t give any answers: ‘That’s not something I discuss outside my family and my tax guy.’”
Considering a Fake Apology
When Patricia told her mom about the incident, she also believed Patricia was too harsh to Linda.
With mixed feelings, Patricia was wondering if she should “fake apologize” to move on from this incident.
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