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Boss Tells Employee She Has A 'Lack Of Respect For Protocol' Because She Flew First Class While Boss Sat In Coach

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woman seated in first class seat working on laptop

A woman has found herself at odds with her employer over a first class plane ticket on a work trip.

Taking to Reddit's r/AmITheA—hole, the confused employee asked people in the subreddit if she should have handled the conflict differently. 

One woman requested nothing out of the ordinary when traveling home with her ‘boss’ from a conference they had both attended. She was shocked when lady called her out for being resourceful.

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Her boss believed she was entitled to her employee's first class upgrade.

The frequent flyer said that she had been booked on the same flight as her manager for the return trip home. The two, however, were not seated together.

Because it was commonplace for her to use her airline credit card when flying, she had accumulated enough points to get a free upgrade to first class and decided to take advantage of it. Her boss remained in the assigned seat the company had paid for. The Redditor didn’t think twice about it since they were never going to be sitting together even if she remained in coach.

Much to her surprise, after everyone deboarded the plane and stopped at baggage claim, her manager took to time to confront her about switching seats. The woman accosted her and claimed she had shown a “lack of respect for protocol” by upgrading to a first-class seat, leaving the employee stunned and confused.

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To make matters worse, the Redditor’s superior suggested that because the company had footed the bill for the tickets and she was higher up the business’s hierarchy, the upgrade should have been gifted to her.

The woman thinks her boss is way off base. She called her manager's expectation of utilizing a travel bonus obtained through someone else's personal credit card “insane.”

Nevertheless, she turned to her fellow Redditors to find out if she is wrong.

The first commenter posted, “NTA (not the a—hole). If you want to [make sure] going forward you can always email HR and ask, "X happened while on this trip and Manager Y advised that I should have done Z. Can you point me to where I can review the protocols, so I know going forward?"

The employee admitted that she liked the tactful idea of avoiding telling on her boss outright. She claimed that the woman had a history of retaliating against people who had made complaints about her to Human Resources in the past.

One woman took issue with the woman’s involuntary travel companion. She added, “Red flag coming from a red flag. Boss can’t try pulling rank like that to begin with and definitely not when it’s your personal spending that got you the upgrade. Plus if they like retaliating against complaints then they should be getting fired on the spot soon as proof is presented”.

Not only is weaponizing your position in the workplace a red flag, but it has also proven to be detrimental. It repels employees from presenting new ideas and limits healthy conversation. That, coupled with the alleged retaliation, is a recipe for a toxic company culture and a ton of turnover.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.