I messed up at work. And while it wasn’t the sort of mistake that puts people lives or health in jeopardy, it did make my company look really stupid. And when the company’s reputation is at stake people high up in the company suddenly care a lot about an application that until that time they had no idea existed. When the problem was brought to my attention, my stomach dropped. Oh shit. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. And it is entirely, 100% my fault.
My boss was being pretty cool about it, as was the project manager. It was a very simple mistake that was made in haste. Of the 300 or so of this type of action, the fact that only one went wrong is pretty darn good. But, the problem had been escalated far up in the company and now everything I touched was to be examined under a microscope. I had nothing to hide, but it hurt to be seen as suspect, as incompetent.
One of the eight worldly concerns in Buddhism, is attachment to good reputation. And I have that in spades. I’m fairly attached to the positive image I want others to see: smart, competent and responsible. It’s how I see myself in my work life, and for the most part that has been validated by others. However, there are less stellar aspect to my work self: lazy, disorganized and easily bored. So, with the positive image being questioned, I feel like all my negative traits are being exposed and being discussed behind closed doors. Simplistic, paranoid thinking? You betcha!
The first apology I gave to everyone was sincere. I feel awful that people are getting flack and having to answer for my mistake. However, the subsequent apologies are more of a request for absolution. My friends and colleagues have all related their fuck ups in effort to make me feel better. They have some doozies, where it could have impacted upon people’s actual health care. In the big picture, my error wasn’t so bad. But, still, it feels really bad.
In a day or two this will all blow over. But, I need to learn a bit of humility from this. There were ways this could have been prevented, but I was too bored and lazy to double check all my work, figuring I would have gotten it right the first time. I hope to regain my reputation at work, but I have to remember that I shouldn’t completely believe my own PR.