Mistakes Won’t Kill Us

Today was a huge challenge for me at work. Since my bosses went away for the weekend, I was given the responsibility of running my station all alone and closing out everything by myself. I was honored that they trust me so much with the responsibility, but also was overwhelmed by everything that could go wrong. If Michael J. Fox could handle going back to the future three times in order to save his family, I think I can handle working on my own for one day.

Still one of the greatest movies ever made. (credit: Wikipedia)

Still one of the greatest movies ever made. (credit: Wikipedia)

Besides my lack of sleep from nerves, the whole day went by smoothly. I remember how everything was organized and set it up as perfectly as I could. I even tried to help out my co-workers as much as they needed me, even though I felt like a broken record asking them ” Can I help you with anything?” a hundred times. While it felt like a breeze, there was bound to be at least one mistake.

My job is pretty much handling customers orders and ringing up the purchase. Since the day was going so well, I turned from the nervous newbie into the professional who could do all this blindfold. I started small talking the customers and helping them with their orders in record time. I was on a roll, until all of a sudden the machine made a noise I never heard before.

In the middle of my crowning performance, I looked down to see I pressed a couple numbers incorrectly. I tried voiding the transaction but the machine wouldn’t compute. After countless tries, I decided I would just ring it up twice. My gold crown of victory soon turned into a dunce hat of shame. I was quickly humbled and transformed back into the studious checker of all procedures. It felt like the end of the world, and the worst part was I knew I had to tell my boss.

The gold medal I was accepting in my head for being a mediocre worker. (credit: Wikipedia)

The gold medal I was accepting in my head for being a mediocre worker. (credit: Wikipedia)

So at the end of the shift, I took a deep breath and texted him that I made a mistake and rang up an order twice. Expecting for my phone to melt from his anger, I braced myself for the worst. I felt my phone vibrate and cringed at what I was about to read. My death note said : “Thanks for helping out. Don’t worry about it, I’ll fix it when I get back”. No smoke, no firing, no anger at all. This big problem I blew up in my head was nothing.

On my drive back home, I realized that mistakes aren’t something to be scared of. I used to be a huge perfectionist and would instantly be in a fury of madness at my first error. Not only did this make me give up many things before giving it a try, it really ruined the whole lesson of life. No one is perfect and we will all make wrong choices down the road. The difference is that people need to learn from their mistakes and see at it as an opportunity for improvement, instead of something much bigger than it is. Looking back, I am happy I made that mistake. Now I am more careful and more alert when working, instead of thinking I am the Lone Ranger throwing caution out the window. The worst that could happen is you learn from what you did wrong, because mistakes are just simple errors we can correct later on.

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4 Responses to Mistakes Won’t Kill Us

  1. We all make them. The trick is in how we handle them afterward. Sounds like you sailed through. πŸ™‚

    • I tried to handle it as beastly as I could. In the end, it wasn’t even a big deal. It’s just a simple mistake, just learn from it and move on. Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  2. Timelesso says:

    I have a tendency to be a perfectionist as well and when I can’t sail through something I give up before I’m even halfway through. Cue apt quote: ‘If it’s too easy, it’s not worth it.’

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