Man Feels Guilty For Getting A Co-Worker Fired After She Didn't Give Him A Secret Santa Gift

Was it wrong?

male worker reacting to bad news Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock

A man turned to the subreddit ‘ATIA’ (Am I The A**Hole) to ask if he was in the wrong for getting his coworker fired because she didn’t get him a Christmas gift.

The man, 19, explained that he works in a small office and in November one of his other coworkers decided to organize a secret santa gift exchange for Christmas.

“It was optional but most people joined in so I did too, though I do not celebrate Christmas (I am ex-christian) but I still celebrate the holiday season & I thought it would be fun,” the man wrote in his Reddit post.


One of the people who was in charge of organizing the secret santa was a woman, who is called Jen, 50, in the post. 

“She is a devout Christian, I know because she had a lot of religious items on her desk & she is always saying religious stuff & talking about church,” the man wrote.

After everyone picked the names for secret santa, Jen approached the man and said that she was glad he had joined because “it’s nice to see young people getting involved in the spirit of Christmas.”

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Jen then asked the man if he would be going to Mass for Christmas, which the man responded, “no.” 

“She asked why & I told her that I'm actually [an] ex-christian so I don't go to church," he writes in the post.

"I don't think I was rude about it but she started acting weird and said that I shouldn't have joined secret santa because I was ‘profiting off other people's generosity in the celebration of Christ's birth.’”

The man told Jen that he would still be getting someone a gift for secret santa and he couldn’t back out now because then that person wouldn’t get anything.


Jen ended that conversation saying she’d pray for the man before leaving, and the two coworkers didn’t really interact after that.

It had been a few days before Christmas when everyone at the man’s job was supposed to exchange their secret santa gifts.

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“I gave the person I picked their gift & then I was waiting to receive mine, I didn't know who picked me of course but eventually it seemed like everyone had gotten their gifts except me,” the man recalled. 

“Then Jen came over & said she was the one who picked my name, but since I didn't believe in Christmas there was no reason for her to get me a gift in celebration of it.”


The man was shocked but Jen had left before he could say anything, but it did bother him, although he decided to let it go because he didn’t want any drama.

The man was later talking to another coworker, Amy, 22, who asked what had happened with Jen.

“Amy said I should tell our supervisor about it because Jen has said similar things to a coworker of ours who is Muslim," he writes.

"I told her I didn't want to make a big deal out of the secret santa thing & I thought we left it at that."

Once the holidays were over, the man’s supervisor, Mark, 50, called him into his office and asked about what had happened between him and Jen during the gift exchange.


“I didn't want to lie to a supervisor so I told him what she said, but also that it wasn't a big deal to me, it was just a present.”

The man’s supervisor thanked him and told him not to worry but that the situation was connected to “a greater trend in Jen’s behavior,” and that he would “have to take action.”

The man then noticed that Jen’s desk had been emptied, realizing that she had been fired after asking Amy about it.

The man ended his post by saying he felt bad and didn’t care that Jen hadn’t gotten him a present for secret santa.

“I dont think it's something that warrants getting someone fired. I told my friend Sam (19M) about it & he said I shouldn’t have told Mark what Jen said because it was just a dumb disagreement between us,” the man added.


Most people under the Reddit thread were in agreement that the man was NTA (Not The A**Hole).

“She didn't get fired for not getting you a present, she got fired for the things she said and did. She did this to herself, not you,” one user commented.

This is likely true as the man's employer may have been concerned that Jen was discriminating against other co-workers for their religious beliefs. 

Another user commented, “You were not the reason she got fired. She has probably previously had similar instances of this type of conduct with other employees.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.