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The Screw-Up? Yeah, That Was Me

October 19, 2020

I screwed up today. It’s not something I’m proud of. In fact I was pretty upset about it. It doesn’t happen a lot. (I still have a job.) But, when it does happen what do you do?

For me? I cc:’d my boss on an email that said, “I screwed up.” I explained how I had screwed up. And made it clear it was my own fault.

The details of the screw up aren’t really important. I misunderstood the details from a meeting. And then I misunderstood the follow-up email. And I spent a really nervous weekend and several days trying to solve the wrong problem and answer the wrong question. It didn’t work.

I suppose I could have tried to cover it up. I could have tried to explain that really it wasn’t my fault. I’m a pretty good writer. I could spin a reasonable sounding story. The problem is that I doubt it would convince anyone.

I mean, let’s face it, we are in the middle of a presidential election. We are lied to by professionals every day. And any time spent watching the news we have to try and figure out the truths from the lies.

And when we get done, we end up thinking they are all liars. That’s why I try to own up to my mistakes. For one thing, it prevents you from having to offer lame explanations.

If you tell the truth you never have to remember anything.
– Mark Twain

And admitting a mistake actually builds credibility. If you admit your mistakes, if you tell someone that you didn’t make a mistake, they ar emore likely to believe you. You become known as someone who tells the truth. And that’s worth something.

These are the things I told myself this morning as I explained my screw-up.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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