Made A Mistake.

Question:

I have made a mistake where I have not taken money out of a supervisor’s check for health insurance. for about 10 weeks. Their checks are salary most of the time with no changes in them so I do not check as close as the hourly employees. But he would have noticed that it was not taken out, he has not lost coverage, but never said anything about it. Today he asked for an increase in his retirement and that is when I found my error. I should have caught this early. I have gone to my supervisor and informed her what I did. I have taken full responsibility but now I feel like a fool. My supervisor said she would speak to him about the deductions and ask how he would like this mistake to be handled since he is also a supervisor. Do you think I could lose my job over this?

Signed,

Very Upset!


Answer:

Dear Very Upset!:

Could you lose your job because of this mistake? Possibly. Some individuals would notice that such a deduction had not been made and report it, but not all. And to learn that a 10-week sum would have to be deducted would be a frustrating shock. If you have a good record of responsible and effective performance, probably will not be fired but you might have this mistake lower your performance evaluation. What lesson have you learned from this mistake? Is there a way to prevent such errors in the future? I would think that such mistakes would be programmed preventable in your system. Are not other deductions such as taxes and social security? Is that not possible? Might you discuss with your supervisor ways to build into the system ways to prevent such mistakes? Thinking about ways to improve the quality of your job and the operation of your workgroup should be an ongoing aspect of your attitude and mindset.

Sure, you are embarrassed about this and upset. I can see that you are not taking this mistake cavalierly. You feel like a fool. But, those in positions higher in your organization likely have made worse mistakes. To put your mistake in perspective, think about the big mistakes in the way our world works–devastating natural evils of hurricanes, tornados, and pandemic diseases. So do not be obsessed with your error. Humility is good, but so is the ability to forgive oneself. Don’t beat your self up by talking endlessly about it with co-workers and family. Rather focus on being cheerful and helpful. What might you do to cut wasted time, supplies, effort, and to help make other’s job more effective and easier? Does this make sense? A workplace is rarely without error or conflict. Coping with mistakes is part of working with others. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and more of that can come from this mistake.

William Gorden