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Old 12-13-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: California
4,404 posts, read 5,459,577 times
Reputation: 2997

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A friend of mine has convinced herself that she is making all sorts of mistakes at work and is going to end up costing her job. I maintain there is a MAJOR difference between small mistakes and major ones. Her mistakes....

1. She asked her boss about doing something and either she was not clear or her boss was not, but either way she did something she was not supposed to do and it was caught by her boss, who walked over to my friend and told her "I must have misunderstood when you asked me about that, in fact that was not correct" and when my friend apologized, the boss said it was no big deal. (I say this is not actually her mistake as it is not her fault if she acts on her boss's instructions that turn out to be incorrect)

2. My friend is in charge of keeping a spreadsheet up to date that is used by about 3 different people throughout the day. She made a mistake about the fee they charge and by time the mistake came to the attention of the boss, who emailed her about it, she had already fixed the error. It did not cost the company any money, nor did it take more than about 2 minutes of discussion to fix it. The boss sent the correct amount via email and her response was that she had already fixed it...she replied to the email that it was already taken care of, the boss replied "thanks". (She is convinced this is a tragic mistake that makes her look bad)

3. She had an issue with the new employee and something showing up on his copy of the spreadsheet that was not on hers. Turned out that the new employee was using an old version of the spreadsheet and when he got the new version, it was fixed. She did not figure this out until she went to the boss about the issue and the boss told her how to handle the issue and what was going on. She feels that this was her error as she did not figure it out without asking for help. (I say it is not a big deal to try to fix something, to not be able to, and to ask for help...nor was it her fault for not knowing what could have caused the issue).


So, which one of us is right? I told her I would post this on here and that all sorts of people would tell me that I was right, because I am right.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:12 PM
 
217 posts, read 71,035 times
Reputation: 67
Excellent communication is all I can tell from your story. Tell her to keep up the good work.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:24 PM
 
Location: California
4,404 posts, read 5,459,577 times
Reputation: 2997
That's what I think. Tons of communication (she actually has 2 bosses and works directly with them daily) is a good thing.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:19 AM
 
Location: property tax hell
2,022 posts, read 3,993,730 times
Reputation: 1591
Everybody has bad days. I think she's fine. Case One looked like a communication issue. Case 3 is not even her fault unless this is the same spreadsheet from case 2 and she sent the old version. Even so, still an honest mistake.

That said - in 2 - she could have communicated the issue out and preempted the manger's email. Sort of a "hey, my bad - this is what happened, but I fixed it. And use the new version". Which may have eliminated 3 (if its the same spreadsheet) as well.

Nobody is perfect. But there's always a lesson in everything.....

She seems to be carrying a bit of baggage.... was her last job that bad (or maybe this one)?
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:06 AM
 
5,102 posts, read 5,219,364 times
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Assuming everything didn't happen on the same day, things like that happen. I don't feel great about it either, nor do I think I am going to lose my job over it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:54 AM
 
Location: California
4,404 posts, read 5,459,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macroy View Post
Everybody has bad days. I think she's fine. Case One looked like a communication issue. Case 3 is not even her fault unless this is the same spreadsheet from case 2 and she sent the old version. Even so, still an honest mistake.

That said - in 2 - she could have communicated the issue out and preempted the manger's email. Sort of a "hey, my bad - this is what happened, but I fixed it. And use the new version". Which may have eliminated 3 (if its the same spreadsheet) as well.

Nobody is perfect. But there's always a lesson in everything.....

She seems to be carrying a bit of baggage.... was her last job that bad (or maybe this one)?
Her last 2 jobs were rough.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: California
4,404 posts, read 5,459,577 times
Reputation: 2997
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Assuming everything didn't happen on the same day, things like that happen. I don't feel great about it either, nor do I think I am going to lose my job over it.
Not on the same day...but all in the same week, so she was worried. But as I said, the first and third one were not her fault (she did not send out a copy of anything that caused the issue on #3) the 2nd was fixed way before it was ever an issue and the first one was not her fault. IT was for a bill rate but there are not even bids for the project so no one ever used the bill rate for anything.

I just told her to go to work today and be extra careful.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:44 PM
 
5,190 posts, read 2,557,069 times
Reputation: 1721
Only #2 is a true mistake. If it happens too often, like more than once a few months, then it's a problem.

The other two are not mistakes.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
8,027 posts, read 5,872,111 times
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There are no small mistakes in my work. A small mistake is still a mistake, at it can mean throwing something away and starting over. That's a big problem when something has many hours or days of work already put into it. That's why the companies I have worked for have such a hard time finding quality employees. Pencils have erasers. No way to erase a mistake in my profession.

When I started out, I made a couple mistakes, including one that cost my company a couple grand. They let it slide because I was entry level, and my paycheck reflected it. They still made money on my time at the end of the year. They also dealt with folks at my level who made bigger mistake and put in half the effort to learn and progress. I guess that's why they kept me around.

These days, I might make a few here and there, but thankfully, most of them can be taken care of with some creative effort We all make mistakes. The main thing as that you keep them to a minimum. When pricing the cost of work, companies leave some room to cover the inevitable occasional mistake. The company that doesn't account for this fact is the one that will be going out of business.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: California
4,404 posts, read 5,459,577 times
Reputation: 2997
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeexplorer View Post
Only #2 is a true mistake. If it happens too often, like more than once a few months, then it's a problem.

The other two are not mistakes.
I agree. She has been at the job for 5 months and this is the first time that she knows of that she has made a mistake on the spreadsheet. So, 5 months and 1 mistake seems like a reasonable job...but she is freaking out.
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