Given A Warning–Worried Sick!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about worried over warning:

I made a mistake at work and was given a letter of warning. If they had wanted to press the issue, they could have terminated me for it because I am a term employee. I took the lump, and am embarrassed that my actions caused this to happen to me. I am making myself sick over this. What can I do to make this up to my employer?

Signed, Worried Sick

Dear Worried Sick:

You say you made a mistake, got a warning, are embarrassed, and are making yourself sick over it. How do you put this mistake in the past? First, you face up to why you made it? Were you not responsible, knew what you were supposed to do and cut corners because you were lazy or were thinking more about your own concerns than those of your employer? If rather you made a mistake because you had not learned what to do well enough, that is not solely your fault. So have you faced up to what you did wrong and apologized if it was solely your fault? Or if the mistake was because you had not learned well enough what you were supposed to do, have you now learned what to do? Learning from our mistakes is a learning not to be selfishly centered. Learning from our mistakes is learning to be responsible.

Learning from our mistakes is learning to be competent. Learning from our mistakes is learning to say the past is past once we have faced up to what we did wrong and have done the best we can to make it right and committed ourselves not to make them again.

Second, how can you make up for your mistake? You can think like a manager or owner of your workplace. If you owned Disney Land and thought like a manager, you would do all the little things you could to make customers’ visit there especially happy–you would pick up trash you saw on the grounds, you would offer to help show customers where to find different displays, you would find ways to cut costs of supplies, wasted time and effort, you would suggest new ways to make the place more beautiful and adventurous, you would dress the part of and stay in character.

Get my point? Wherever you work, you can think as if you owned the place and act accordingly. It means attending to your assigned task and doing it the way you have been instructed. It means earning your pay and doing the extras that you would do if you were in charge. While not neglecting your assignments and not being nosy, it means doing what you can to make co-workers’ jobs easier and more effective. It means being a cheerleader for others and finding ways to make your work lighthearted. It means avoiding gossip and talking up your workplace. It means being honest and not doing harm.Do these thoughts make sense to you? Learn from your mistakes. Don’t wallow in regret. Think WEGO, not just ego. Let us know if these thoughts help.

William Gorden