A Reddit User shared their story about getting petty revenge on a family member who constantly talked down to them for not having an advanced degree.
Going to College
The original poster (OP) began by explaining that they went to college around the same time as their cousin, who they called “Oliver.”
The two majored in the same field and graduated around the same time.
Different Choices Upon Graduation
When they graduated, their paths diverged. Oliver decided to attend graduate school, earning a master’s degree in the field.
OP started an internship while studying for their bachelor’s and, upon graduation, accepted a full-time position at the company.
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The Harassment Begins
Oliver felt superior to OP for gaining the advanced degree, making snide comments, and tearing OP down at every opportunity.
“Oliver always made sure to tell me what a mistake I made by not getting an MSc degree. I will always be lower paid than him, no company will give me higher roles, I will get stuck at the bottom of the ladder, etc.” OP said, sharing some of the comments Oliver subjected them to.
It Comes to a Head at Christmas
Oliver couldn’t stop talking about how much better he was than OP at the family’s most recent Christmas gathering.
“He told me that now that he has both an MSc and 4 years of work experience, he will overtake me so fast. In his company, he will soon apply ( in 1 or 2 years) to a higher role, and he knows they wouldn’t hire a person without a master’s degree for that role.” Op explained.
The OP was tired of the constant belittlement and harassment. “That was when I decided to be petty and apply to Oliver’s company for said role,” they shared.
OP got the job offer, which came with a substantial raise. When OP told Oliver about the proposal, he threw a fit. “He called me a petty — and told me it’s insane that I would go to such lengths out of my ‘inferiority complex.’”
The Family Takes Sides
Unfortunately, the original poster’s family took Oliver’s side, causing OP to ask Reddit whether they were actually in the wrong.
“Our entire family is on his side, and now they treat me like a jealous, mean bully,” OP said, adding, “I mean, yes, it was petty. But nobody said a word when they heard Oliver tell me during family Christmas dinner that I will always be a nobody stuck at the bottom of the corporate ladder.”
Reddit users agreed that while OP was petty, they weren’t wrong.
The top comment explained the situation perfectly and received over 8,000 upvotes.
“Oliver is an AH and the family was apparently fine with him treating you that way, so kudos. Seriously, well played.”
One user said they enjoyed the petty revenge but cautioned OP on taking the job. “I wouldn’t take the job simply cause you’d have to be around insufferable Oliver – just now he’s butthurt, it would be even more insufferable than when his ego was floating high. Now you’ve proved your point OP, is disengage,” advised one user.
Others disagreed, saying OP would be in the wrong if they refused the job. “It would be unfair to waste the time of the people in his company, given that they are innocent bystanders.”
Some said they would be an AH even if they turned the job down, but it would be justified.
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Does OP Take the Job?
Most users just wanted to know if OP would take the job, saying they still wouldn’t be wrong if they did and that they should never turn down an excellent opportunity to make more money over petty family disagreements.
OP delivered, mentioning in a comment that they were going to accept.
“I want to take the job, yes,” they said. “It would be a great next step in my career, and I feel like it would be a mistake to throw away an opportunity like this. I would be working on a different project than Oliver, so I don’t think this thing between us should cause any issues at work.”
What Do You Think?
Was this Reddit user petty in applying for a job their cousin obviously wanted? Or were they justified in attempting to further their own career while teaching their family member a valuable lesson?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.