Post Mortem

I made a mistake last week.  For the period of about 1 hour, there were some people who could not access some information.  It wasn’t the worst mistake in my career, but it may have been the dumbest.  I made the mistake and then I left the house, and I found out about it about half an hour later at the grocery store.  There is now a checkout clerk, and a bagger who have heard me swear, and seen me panic.  As I rushed home to fix the problem, I imagined myself getting fired.  I imagined crying, and then coming to understand the situation, then slowly feeling a sense of liberation and happiness.  I realized I was wasting my life, and if I could make this kind of mistake, then all this work has been for nothing.  It’s all over, I need to return the piano*, and become poor, but fulfilled in some other career.

I got home, put the ice cream away and fixed the problem.  Then I cried and cried.  Boo hoo hoo.  I made a mistake.

Monday I talked to my boss and suggested that he fire me.  He said no, and that people make mistakes.

He also said that I have some sort of crazy guilt thing, and that when I say I am a recovering Catholic, I should maybe focus more on the recovery.  Long story short, this is my confession.  I made a mistake, people.  I am sure I don’t need to point out that I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I see the humor in all of this, or else this blog post would be a lot funnier.  I mean, it’s not like the time I thought I was going to get fired because I accidentally told my boss he was “the worst” because I got my IM chat windows confused.

Remember when you used to watch E.R. and someone accidentally killed a patient and then they had to sit through an inquisition where they relived the terrible nightmare, second by second, and explained all their actions?  I had to do that.  I was glad that I had the worst allergies in 10 years, or possibly a terrible cold because if I started crying, I could cover it up with a sneeze.  After I wrote up the postmortem, I had a talk with another co-worker about how to explain what happened because all that came to mind was, “I am so dumb, and I totally screwed up.”  The correct thing to say is, “The cause of this problem was human error.”   I compromised with, “I made a typo.”  The customer said, “Mistakes happen, I get it.”

So, I survived.  And not only did I survive, but the mistake that I made did not lead directly, or indirectly to anyone’s death.  So maybe this career has some things going for it after all.

* We bought a piano.

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