When you made a mistake at work, we do at some point in our career, the feeling is horrible. Especially if the mistake you made is impacting the others. At best, creating more work for other coworkers. At worst, a customer gets offended. That’s when you cursed and swore, maybe you hid in the washroom or the pantry and cried a little.
Don’t feel too bad, there are a few shinings in the mud if only you can see it through your tears. For one, you learned from your mistakes and try your best not to repeat the one you just made. Secondly, from your mistake, you probably will know how your coworkers think of you. Do they go ‘Sigh! We are clearing shit for him again…” or do they come and comfort you, telling you they are alright with the extra work that you have just dumped on them? Finally, you learned while you recover from your mistakes and if one day, something similar happen to someone else, you jump in to help like what others would do for you.
Who hasn’t made a mistake? I have. I am not perfect. I once mistakenly sided someone and misplace my trust on that person, blindly trust her words and back her up without verifying the facts. I was a young manager, I was boastful, I thought I was right to side my team mate up no matter what happens. Everyone in the department was disappointed in me, thinking I was biased and unreasonable. Until the facts were placed in front of my face, the truth struck me that I have been backstabbed and lied to by someone who I placed her words in front of my job. She left the company and me in dire straits to face my own decisions.
Oh boy! That feeling was terrible. I shamefaced walked towards my department, and sincerely and openly apologise to everyone. My boss walked out of his room and stopped me in mid-sentence, said “There is no need for apologies. Everyone makes mistakes. You may misjudge her but she is the one who failed you, failed all of us, failed the company. You made us learnt more in this incident about who she is, who you are and what all of us are made of. That is nothing to be sorry about. Okay, everyone get back to work otherwise you’ll have me to be sorry to!” The whole department got closer that day. We understand that we work as a team, we win as a team.
That is not the first mistake I made at work, and won’t be my last one either. What I get back from these mistakes are:
- Sorry are futile, get your ass up and solve the situation right now
- People may forgive you once but they will not forgive you if you make the same mistake again
- Human’s memory is pretty short term. You may still harbour the guilt but I can tell you by end of the week, no one will remember who made what mistake
- If you are wrong, own up your own shit. You get more respect and forgiveness that way, rather than to fob off with a feeble excuse
- If you have to say sorry, don’t drag it. Rip it off like a plaster on your arm, quick and fast but do sound that you mean it
- Don’t waste time indulging in your guilt, be better than that, grow up from it
- You now will know who are the coworkers who will stand by you and who walk away from you
- You will also discover who brags behind your back that goes around the office, telling everyone how he / she save your arse when it is not true
- As long as your apology is heartfelt and sincere, the meanest people will forgive you
- Even if they don’t, shrug it off, you have already said sorry. It is not the end of the world. What do they want you to do? Kneel down and kow tow to them?
Have you made a mistake before? How did you rectify it? How did you feel then? Let it off your chest by sharing with us in the comments below.
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