We spend more time with our co-workers than with our friends and family, so it makes sense that fights sometimes break out. That’s why there’s an HR department. But we also have to depend on our own good sense and communication skills. A guy posting under the name u/Unlucky_Sound_6040 doesn’t seem to have those, unfortunately.
He wrote on r/AmItheA**hole, "AITA for creating a meat-eaters-only club at work?"
In the title alone, I'd say "whatever," but the story itself is more complicated. He says his stuffy office has one fun perk. People can start social clubs, like books clubs or movie clubs, that are partially subsidized by the company.
"The process of creating one is rather simple: you need to have at least five members willing to join, a statement of purpose, as well as approval from HR and upper management in order to be compliant with our workplace regulations," he writes. He says one of his colleagues, Jane, is a dedicated vegan. It's never really been an issue. After a recent merger, more vegans and vegetarians joined the team. The group decided to start a Vegan Dinner Club:
Nobody had an issue with this. Despite this, issues surfaced after their statement of purpose became known after it was filed to HR. In the statement, which passed with HR, one of the rules stated that only vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians will be welcome, and that all dinner options will be vegan. This rubbed some of us the work way, since it was clearly exclusionary and divisive. Why would meat-eaters be excluded if only vegan options would be on the menu? After speaking to Jane, she seemed somewhat distant, and mentioned that I didn't understand that this was also a "lifestyle" club.
The OP says that the "workplace soon became divided" but the non-vegans decided not to file a complaint with HR. Instead, they started a "Burger and Steak Club," where they tried a different burger or steak place every week. That seems fine, but it wasn't enough for OP. They wanted the group to be exclusive:
In our statement of purpose, we stated that only meat-eaters could apply, due to this being both a culinary and lifestyle club. Soon after, some of the potential members got called to HR to tell us that the members of the Vegan Diner Club filed a complaint with them, stating that our club was exclusionary, offensive to their lifestyle, and that eating meat (as opposed to not eating meat) was not a lifestyle.
Despite this, the club passed with HR. In the weeks following this, we visited a different Burger/Steak place every Friday after work and just relaxed after working 50+ hours a week. However, despite my prior friendship with Jane, she now refuses to talk to me and is only spending time with her club members, despite everyone's attempts to create a friendly workplace. So Reddit, am I the a**hole for creating a meat-eaters-only club at work?
The response was almost as divided as the OP's workplace. He did manage to find one person who agreed with him about his decision, saying that if their statement is directly exclusionary to meat-eaters, his club was fair:
But there are a lot of people who thought that everyone in the story sucks. The whole situation is so unbelievably petty, commenters are wondering how any of these people are employed. It was also pointed out that the OP also posted his story on r/PettyRevenge, a subreddit dedicated to … pettiness. So he knows he's done something whiny and vengeful and just wanted more applause for it:
And then there are a few people who think he's a straight-up a**hole. If the entire existence of his club is just to take a dig at his co-worker, it's kind of a sucky thing to do. Wanting to have a place to enjoy a minority food practice is meaningful to vegans and vegetarians in a way that people who eat meat probably don't get. Some compared it to starting a Straight parade in response to a Pride parade. I don't know if personally would equate eating vegan with being gay, but I get what they're saying:
A lot of the comments from the OP got deleted by moderators, for violating Rule 3 of AITA: "Accept Your Judgement." I suspect this guy might just be an a**hole.