Thursday, August 27, 2009

Failure.

I've had a really hard week. I made a mistake. A big mistake. Now, after the fact, I can look at it calmly, but believe me, when the clock has struck midnight and you realize you've made a monumental error that will cost thousands and possibly be irreparable, you don't get much sleep that night.

It was fixed. Luckily. But those 12 hours... those were tough.

Of course, I did what any red blooded girl does after all that drama. I went shopping. 2 shirts and 3 dresses later, I feel renewed. I couldn't cut my hair - my default option - since I have a wedding in a few weeks!

In the moment of panic, however, I was a mess. It was a strange sensation of watching myself be a mess. Crying. Imagining all sorts of horrific scenarios and unreasonable consequences, like my fiance dumping me over this (it was a work-related failure, so this wasn't really.. likely), my impending layoff, or my demotion to burger flipper. I imagined all the things I'd like to do to escape, including running out the door into the night, hiding under the bed, throwing myself out of the window (I live on the 1st floor), and even preemptively quitting my job. It was a rush of "how do I make this go away" thinking. 

The only mature thing to do was to hang on. To own the mistake, and then to fix the mistake. I really wanted an excuse like "oh, it was someone else's mistake along the way." But, that excuse simply wasn't there. It was all mine to own, which was painful, since I sort of pride myself on accuracy and consistent delivery. It was a silly clerical error with massive ramifications. I could write it off as stupid - but in some sense, it wasn't. And in some sense, it totally was. 

I can't quite get my head around whether I can learn a lesson from a clear clerical mistake. Attention to detail, sure. But, nothing like the lesson I learned from Greeley nearly 10 years ago. Maybe the lesson from this is, everyone makes mistakes. And I'm clearly no different. 

2 comments:

Fringe Oblivion said...

Hire a clerk!

Priya said...

the only thing to learn here is how to prioritize. at my workplace it's called majoring on the majors. it's hard cuz you get flooded with stupid tasks from all directions, but you have to keep your eyes on the most important task and put more attention to it than anything else.