In a tale of surprises and consequences, the Original Poster (OP), an IT professional, finds himself at odds with his HR girlfriend over a birthday surprise – a two-week vacation in Switzerland that she’d arranged without his consent. The tension mounts as friends and coworkers weigh in, prompting a climax that sees OP caught between personal principles, the allure of a Swiss adventure, and a relationship hanging in the balance. As OP makes his difficult decision, one question remains: who is in the wrong?
A Romantic Gesture Turned Sour
OP and his girlfriend work for the same company in separate departments. OP’s girlfriend plans a surprise for his birthday: a two-week trip to Switzerland. However, this surprise infuriates OP as he believes his girlfriend’s actions to be unprofessional and invasive, causing a rift between them.
The Unwanted Birthday Present
OP’s girlfriend gifts him an envelope containing return flight tickets to Switzerland, an extravagance intended to make his birthday special. This gesture backfires, as OP instantly worries about the leave he had not applied for. To his surprise, his girlfriend had already arranged it with their shared boss, a revelation that only deepens his concern.
Unforeseen Professional Consequences
OP feels his girlfriend’s actions are unprofessional. She had discussed personal matters with their boss without his knowledge or consent. OP believes this could potentially damage his career.
A Question of Consent
Beyond professional concerns, OP is frustrated that his girlfriend didn’t consult him about how to use his vacation time. He would prefer to relax at home instead of traveling abroad. Now, it seems he has no choice in the matter, which frustrates him and makes him feel boxed in.
The Inevitable Clash
OP’s lack of enthusiasm over the surprise leads to a confrontation. He expresses his dissatisfaction with his girlfriend’s actions, causing a fallout. She becomes annoyed with him, resulting in a tense situation.
Friends Weigh In
OP’s friends are aware of the situation and offer their advice. They perceive OP as being ungrateful and urge him to go on the trip. This external input fuels the ongoing controversy and introduces a new perspective.
Personal Principles vs. Public Perception
The criticism from his friends leaves OP conflicted. Despite his belief in his own actions, their comments make him question whether his response was appropriate. He wrestles with reconciling his principles with the perceptions of those around him.
A Trip to the Boss
Feeling the weight of his friends’ judgment, OP consults with his boss about the leave situation. His girlfriend’s actions, while thoughtful, have put him in an uncomfortable professional position. It’s time to address this matter head-on.
An Unexpected Response
Upon speaking with his boss, OP receives an unexpected response. Instead of concern or disapproval, his boss applauds the thoughtfulness of his girlfriend’s surprise. This encounter further complicates OP’s feelings about the situation.
The Ski Resort Revelation
OP learns from his girlfriend that she has also paid for activities like ski resort visits, pushing the cancellation cost even higher. Realizing the financial implication of backing out adds more complexity to his decision.
The thought of losing significant money and the charm of the Swiss Alps start to make the trip seem more appealing to OP. He begins to reconsider his initial refusal, although he remains troubled by the initial breach of trust.
A Friend’s Advice Reconsidered
One of OP’s friends, learning about the situation’s escalation, reiterates his advice to go on the trip. He emphasizes the potential positive memories and experiences over the professional and personal concerns.
The Conversation Revisited
After his conversation with his friend, OP shares his doubts, fears, and concerns about the potential professional repercussions with his girlfriend. During their conversation, she apologizes for not consulting him before planning the holiday and acknowledges the importance of his professional concerns.
Was The Boyfriend’s Behavior Appropriate?
Torn by his decision, OP turns to the internet for validation. The readers in the community forum where he posts his story had much to say. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Imagine how you’d feel if you spent months and a lot of money planning for something for your girlfriend, and when you finally surprised her, excited for her reaction, she gives you that. Think about others instead of yourself.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “How you’re going about this sounds ungrateful and dumb. Unless you have a deep opposition to going to Switzerland, this is one of those situations where you go in with an open mind and try and enjoy it.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “While her heart was in the right place, you don’t just make travel plans for someone. She’s obligating you to use two weeks of your limited leave time and never gave you a chance to have a say in it. Travel plans are big deals. You should have a say in when and where.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Your boss is aware of your relationship and probably wishes their significant other would do something like your girlfriend has done. That’s what vacations are for spending time with people you love! There’s nothing unprofessional about it.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.