Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 11: Honesty + Organization

Today I learned...
...that honesty and kindness can really go a long way to facilitate a positive outcome. I made a mistake at work today. Actually, I made a mistake a couple of weeks ago and just discovered it today. It wasn't a huge, life-altering mistake that couldn't be fixed, but it wasn't a tiny mistake either.

In the course of rectifying this mistake, I had to find a file. I looked everywhere. I told a co-worker. She helped me look...and eventually, after I had exhausted all possibilities, she found the file on my own desk, beneath a pile of work. As the image quote suggests, silent gratitude isn't much use, so I told her "Thank you" three times with feeling and gave her a hug (not inappropriately - we're friends). She laughed for a second, but felt appreciated.

Then, in order to fix the situation, I had the unpleasant task of calling someone my mistake involved and explaining that I had messed up.

It went something like this:

Me: "Hi, L. It's Arielle from C. How are you?"

L: "Hi, Arielle! I'm good. And you?"

Me: "Good, good. I'm calling about A."

L: (explains the situation that ensued from my mistake and asks if it is correct)

Me: "L, I have to apologize. It's completely my fault. Her case is totally fine. I'm so sorry. She came in on (date) when we had all that bad weather and then our office closed early and told us all to go home. So when I came back, I forgot that I had not cleared (the discrepancy) and...I didn't even realize until today." The last part was said even more shamefully than the first part.

L: "Oh, honey! It's okay! It's fine! I can't even imagine how you deal with the caseloads you have over there! Don't even worry about it!"

Me: "Thank you! And thank you for following up with me."

L: "That stuff happens from time to time. I understand. It happens here too!" (She laughs.)

Me: "Thank you. (I do quick case-related confirmations.) Have a great day!"

L: "You too!"

I was honest instead of covering things up or just offering no explanation. I was kind instead of irritated by the situation or myself. And L was honest and kind right back.

Today I am thankful for... that help me stay organized. With a huge amount of responsibilities, deadlines, and commitments on my plate, my last semester of grad school in full swing, and a lot to remember(!), I bought a new planner, some highlighters, and pens, and I hunkered down with all my syllabi and calendars for work, grad school, internship, and personal life...and I got completely and utterly organized. I feel so much better!

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