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Old 09-29-2010, 08:15 AM
 
429 posts, read 659,619 times
Reputation: 207
Default I soooo screwed up at work

I can't say what I did, but how do you handle it when you do something you KNOW will not only disappoint your boss, but make you look terrible in their eyes?

This is my second time in 3 months screwing up this big...I'm so angry at myself. It's all about attention to detail in DC....we work with such important people on such important issues. There's no room to screw up.

I've been at this job for 5 months. It's my first job after college. I want to do such a good job and I keep messing up on really stupid stuff. I don't know how to feel better or get better or whatever.

Have you ever screwed up big time at your job, and how did you get over it?? I'm so upset right now I can hardly focus.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 52,971,138 times
Reputation: 16258
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewGrad2009 View Post
I can't say what I did, but how do you handle it when you do something you KNOW will not only disappoint your boss, but make you look terrible in their eyes?

This is my second time in 3 months screwing up this big...I'm so angry at myself. It's all about attention to detail in DC....we work with such important people on such important issues. There's no room to screw up.

I've been at this job for 5 months. It's my first job after college. I want to do such a good job and I keep messing up on really stupid stuff. I don't know how to feel better or get better or whatever.

Have you ever screwed up big time at your job, and how did you get over it?? I'm so upset right now I can hardly focus.
There isn't much of a solution other than time. You might want to print our your post and show it to your boss. If he is understanding and tolerant, maybe he will provide some coaching or training or mentoring.

Other more objective ideas: Analyze your processes, seek peer review of your efforts, perform risk analysis and risk mitigation.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,777 posts, read 9,091,610 times
Reputation: 6417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Other more objective ideas: Analyze your processes, seek peer review of your efforts, perform risk analysis and risk mitigation.
Agree! Sit down and think thru a process/checklist for yourself to go thru every time you complete a phase of your work product and come up with a way to quality check your work. Figure out what/why/how you messed up and develop a flow chart. Take your flow chart/checklist to your boss and ask for input. Make sure your boss understands that you have learned from your errors and you are going to come up with a way to deliver excellent results going forward.

As a boss, I had a very talented associate for whom I developed such a checklist. He agreed to comply but we still had occasional issues. I had to counsel him out of our profession. He simply wasn't the right person for the kind of detail work we did. He is now a successful travel and food writer/editor. He just wasn't made to administer/calculate executive bonus plans!
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:09 AM
 
536 posts, read 1,115,719 times
Reputation: 313
It it easier when you have a mentor. I had a good one out of school that taught me how to catch my mistakes before they made it off my desk. I have a hard time focusing so checklists are always good. When in doubt follow the company proccess to a T. (if they have one) I liked the previous suggestions above.

I still screw up. Cost my one employer 10k. Not entirely my fault, but I should have caught it. Not that big a deal to my boss. He jokingly picked on me about it and I didn't get fired. Probably because other departments were screwing up in the neighborhood of 100k. I still feel bad about it (although I left there years ago), but it did help my focus.

You learn as you grow. Fresh out of school isn't an excuse, but I think you should give yourself some time. Jobs are nothing like school. Different flow, and school doesn't teach you anything about handling a work environment. Every company is different. Even across the same field/product.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,254 posts, read 6,908,827 times
Reputation: 4102
Oh boy, been there done that. Basically, tell the truth and as quickly as possible. Take responsibility for what you did, apologise, promise it won't happen again and keep that promise! With luck your honesty and willingness to accept the consequences will count a great deal in your favour.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,192 posts, read 18,936,825 times
Reputation: 6610
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
Oh boy, been there done that. Basically, tell the truth and as quickly as possible. Take responsibility for what you did, apologise, promise it won't happen again and keep that promise! With luck your honesty and willingness to accept the consequences will count a great deal in your favour.
^^^^ This ^^^^

Own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on. In all my life I have never met a perfect person.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
1,893 posts, read 4,146,372 times
Reputation: 2351
Is it possible for you to fix the mistake?

We all screw up. Usually I take a minute to think about who my mistake affects and how I can fix it. I also have a game plan so it won't happen again. Then I go to my boss and just tell him/her that I screwed up, here's my idea on how to resolve it, and here's why I won't do it again.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:55 PM
 
6,078 posts, read 5,227,543 times
Reputation: 5954
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
Oh boy, been there done that. Basically, tell the truth and as quickly as possible. Take responsibility for what you did, apologise, promise it won't happen again and keep that promise! With luck your honesty and willingness to accept the consequences will count a great deal in your favour.
People screw up, we're all human but the last thing you want to do is try to cover it up.

Go to your boss and tell him about it. Much better to hear it from you than be surprised with it later.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,777 posts, read 9,091,610 times
Reputation: 6417
Talk about messing up.......this TV show hostess named the wrong winner!

'Australia's Next Top Model' Names Wrong Winner on Live Air (VIDEO)
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:59 AM
 
395 posts, read 773,725 times
Reputation: 184
Its OK. All of us mess up things from time to time. Dont beat yourself; like someone said, keep a check list in front of you.

On the other hand, why isnt there any control in place to catch mistakes like this? If you are approving something (just an example), will there not be anyone who is releasing it for you? If its an important decision which has a huge impact (like in your case), you need proper controls in place.

Think about how this mistake of yours could have been caught. If I were you, I would tell my boss (ASAP, escalation is the key here to mitigate any business risk) about the mistake and then I would also suggest that there be better controls in place to avoid future mistakes. It could be a simple thing like a detailed procedure.
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