From the article: Mistakes at Work
Everyone makes mistakes. Haven't you heard that a million times? Generally, making a mistake isn't as big a deal as what you do afterward. Do you tell your boss or do you try to hide your error? We all learn from our errors, hopefully, and sharing them here can help others learn as well. Tell us about mistakes you've made at work and, most importantly, what happened next. What did you do? What did your boss do? Did you keep it a secret? Did your boss find out anyway? Share Your Story
- I've been working as a server for 3 weeks now. I'm still learning all the ropes of course because I've never been a server before. The managers are typically mean, but I'm always respectful. The shift schedule is confusing at first. I thought I was off the next day. Thank God I called that morning to check because I the manager told me I was supposed to work an hour ago. So I apologized and then showed up. As a server if you are an hour late you get skipped, so you might as well go home because you don't have any tables to serve. So before I clocked out I apologized. I was told that I was on call later. So I was supposed to call at 6:00 & 6:30 pm ... I had fallen asleep then called an hour later and the boss rushed me off the phone and told me just to call on my next on call shift. Mistakes r normal when u first start but don't make them habits. No one is gonna baby sit you so if you're on call make sure you set an alarm to remind yourself.
- —Guest Amanda
Can't see number variances
- I have been in position for a few years and all of a sudden I can't see the deference between two contrasting numbers or maintain order. I placed the wrong number on one item and missed a .01 difference on another number during the check phase and after a bad audit I know my head is on the chopping block, even though I put in more time than my coworkers... I got sent home friday and was told to come back monday for a talk.
- —Guest Getting Worse
Embarrassed in break room
- I was in the lunch room with some of my female coworkers, and we were having a pretty detailed and shameless conversation about our sex experiences, and my boss walked right in on our conversation! It was so embarrassing!!! He kind of looked us funny and laughed it off, jokingly saying "what happens in the break room stays in the break room..." but he was really red in the face and I could tell he felt awkward. Even though he tried to make humor out of it I still constantly worry now that he is always thinking of this incident in the back of his mind whenever he sees me. And I worry that he will somehow base my performance on what he heard me saying that day... Ugh...
- —Guest Prudie
If I knew then what I know now
- In 2007, I was laid off from a really great job, six months later I got offered a much better position at a prestigious, international company that paid more, had a pension, all the perks. The supervisor was impressed by my previous skills and I did tell him I could handle the job that was very similar to another job I had in the past. I had three weeks to get back up to speed in MS Office to hit the ground running when I started but didn't. So I started the job but my lack of skills was obvious. I tried to get it together, falling on my face during the day but practicing after work and then was more confident the next day and so on. I even got a written notice from my supervisor that the other operators were not here to teach me Word and other Office programs that I should have known. Things were progressing for the better. A job in my bin stated that it was a Final Draft though if you opened the folder it stated three corrections needed. I tried to fix it myself but that was it. Fired.
- —Guest Michael
- I forgot an important procedure and the colleague who is always gossiping about me is pointing fingers at me. Now, I'm all nervous and scared. I'll try to be brave and fix it on my own. No doubt I'm going to hear more nasty comments but I really want to be a better person.
- —Guest Amy
- I had a two pizza deliveries. I arrived at the first house only to find out that I had left the pizza at the store. In my panic I had put the 2nd delivery on top of my car and forgot and hurried off to the second house only to discover when I arrived that I did not have his pizza either.
- —Guest Jeff
cash register was short
- I had been short before, a few cents and one time 5 dollars and I was written up for it but this time it was 16 DOLLARS. I don't know what happened. I remember saying $46 dollars as the balance to the customer then hitting the "pay" button and then taking the money, taking 30 dollars, plugging the amount in the received box and then getting no change out. He didn't want to do a split payment but he gave me 30 dollars for some reason and the computer said 30 dollars in the little box that tells you the original balance. I don't know why I didn't think to check why that was. But got a call from my manager asking me about it and told me i would be written up next time i come in and she said that she would tell my boss. And now I'm freaking out. I'd rather they just take the money from my paycheck and I'll tell my manager that. But i don't know what to do. I think it may have been a computer glitch. I'm freaking out right now. Won't have work again for several days (i'm a part-timer).
- —Guest Freaked out guest
Blind to spelling errors!
- I'm very good freelance designer and my clients are always happy. I have a couple of clients that come back to me every season for work. One of my favorite/ nicest clients of two years is working on a new project and he had me design the logo, the hang tags, etc.. He and the company that he's working with was enthusiastic about my work. The first time he told me the name, I misunderstood and misspelled it. No biggie I fixed it and all was good. Well, there were a couple of files with the original graphic. It's a difference of an "a" and a "u". Every- once in a while, it shows up on something because I copy and paste it, he tells me and I fix it. I LITERALLY CANNOT SEE IT! Anyway, over the weekend, did it AGAIN, I immediately fixed it and then under I wrote "By COMPANY NAME" and sent it off. I got an email this morning with how disappointed he is and said that he hopes I do better work for other clients. I may have lost him. How dumb. It's the last reason I thought I'd loose a client.
- I work as a cashier in a supermarket, and I made two mistakes in 1 day. At first I scanned a product which was scanned as 80 cent, but was actually 3 dollars. And a bit later I gave a product for free.. It didn't scan the price and I asked someone to look for the price, and I thought I already added it.. but didn't... I really don't know if anybody saw it or if my boss is gonna fire me. It was also my first month.. Next week I'm working again and i'm really curious if they're gonna call me to the office.
- —Guest Girl
The WROOOONG Path!
- I administer a bank of servers for a hospital system. Once while creating a new set of files for our archival storage, I accidentally set the filepath wrong. For those of you who don't know information technology, this basically means I sent the archived medical records files in the wrong direction on the server. Weird things happen after that, such as one person's labs ending up in another person's chart. Pretty scary and dangerous. I worked with my bosses and other engineers not realizing that the mistake was mine and totally not thinking about that possibility because when I tested the new file I'd created, files were going into it. It worked! They were just going down the wrong path. After at least a month of this agony and meetings and conference calls and abject terror, I found out the worst. It WAS my fault. Being a person of character, I went to my boss' offices and just 'fessed up. They were surprisingly not ready to kill me at all, but were ready to defend me! Still there!
Messed up attendance
- I inputted attendance twice in one day for the morning and night group for four days. My supervisor noticed it and this might cause a problem with the billing. He found a way to minimize the damage, but still isn't sure if the billing will be messed up. Now, I am feeling horrible and guilty because I might have messed something up. Big time.
- —Guest Feeling so bad
Lost my confidence.
- I work for one of the embassies in NYC. I was always known for a fast and efficient worker and people tend to give me a lot of assignments to do, and I would try complete them fast. So one day, I accidentally sent a fax that was meant for the UN secretary general to the whole 100 plus embassies in New York. My boss is on holiday, but his assistant has been stern but understanding about it. I have since then lost most of my confidence and I tend to stay away from assignments that I'm afraid of making mistakes in. I also work slowly and carefully till it starts to get to a crawl. I feel like s*** now.
- —Guest No Confidence
- Last week towards the end of my shift my last customer left, and I noticed they left their cell phone.. and I took it and turned it off.. and she called and checked to see if anyone found a phone, so the host asked me if I've seen it and I said no. Till the customer came in and tried looking for it herself, and asked me and my managers and I said no.. I just couldnt go on lying any longer. I felt so guilty I wanted to die and thinking at the same time what am I doing.. then I knew I had to come clean to her and my manger.. she was shocked, disappointed.. and I just felt so stupid and embarrassed. I had to tell the truth. My mangers sent me home and released my next shifts.. and now I have to meet with my GM to discuss this.. I'm not sure if I'm terminated or hopefully he gives me a chance.. it was the stupidest thing I've ever done.. and now i may not have my Job anymore.
- —Guest jamie
I'm not dumb but I feel dumb
- I can't blame anyone but me, for my mistakes, especially in the environment I work in. If you blame others, you look like you aren't taking responsibility. I feel like a child, like I'm being forced to feel guilty for something I don't understand. The explanations for what I did wrong aren't clear as I've only been doing it for a little over two weeks.
- —Guest dfhgh
I am So Embarrased!
- I work as a front desk assistant at my college. I have only been working there a month, and thought I was getting used to the job. I was experiencing a normal uneventful shift, so I was enjoying myself. Suddenly I get a call and someone's fire alarm is going off in their room! I run to try and fix it, but I forgot the key! Another maintenance guy got to it before me, and said "That's why you bring the key next time!" I was mortified! And to make it worse, the girl I was trying to help probably thinks I am a joke now!
- —Guest Erika
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