The Huge Mistake I Made at Work

At 6:58am this morning, approximately three minutes after I should have already left my house, I found myself still in a deep sleep, likely dreaming about spending the day in bed. Blurry-eyed, I squinted at my phone, then let out a loud expletive as I registered the time. As if tripping over an electrical cord, not being able to find my shoes, and having unruly hair wasn’t enough, I randomly had a nose bleed (shit! shit! shit! shit! shit!).

I ran out the door still sporting a hairstyle that is only acceptable during face-washing, and with a coat of mascara on only my right eye. It was a take-your-makeup-to-work kind of day. Once I properly aligned the buttons on my sweater (accidentally skip one button and you end up revealing much more than what’s acceptable for a Wednesday morning) and turned my skirt around, I considered myself to be presentable, given then circumstances.

Determined to prevent any further chaos from ensuing, I went straight to the office after babysitting and arrived well-before my usual check-in time. Over the course of the day, I was continually updating a database of PR contacts for the fashion closet. The entirety of the morning was spent sorting through press releases, categorizing them by their products, and entering the information into an eight-page Excel spreadsheet. I loved flipping through each company’s lookbook and ogling the upcoming trends—the first time around.

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I was completely focused and finished my assignment faster than usual, so I took it upon myself to better organize the spreadsheet to make it more visually appealing. With one inadvertent click, my hours of work became irrelevant. I realized my mistake too late; the accurate information was unrecoverable. I basically managed to scramble all of the cells, it was like a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of grass—nothing was distinguishable.

I panicked for a solid three minutes, then ultimately admitted my wrongdoing to my boss. I was embarrassed, but my boss is extremely understanding and kindhearted (thankfully!). Fifty-six look books and two paper cuts later, I undid my disaster and saved one-hundred different versions of the document.

It could always be worse, right?

Are you as big of a mess as I am when/if you oversleep?

Have you ever made any serious mistakes in a professional setting? How did you handle the situation?

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14 Responses to The Huge Mistake I Made at Work

  1. I had a morning like that a few weeks ago! Woke up and needed to be at work 13 minutes later. Terrible!! I find that when I have mornings like that, they totally set the tone for the rest of the day. Even though I didn’t have a hugely stressful day … I was super frazzled while doing my work. It just screws with my brain!

  2. Those days are the worst and they happen here and there. I’m glad you have a nice boss!

  3. you poor thing! i can absolutely relate to a frantic work morning. i hate oversleeping! it disrupts my whole day.
    making mistakes at work sucks – but, making mistakes are how we learn :)

  4. Corrie Anne says:

    Ayy!! That’s the worst!!! I’m glad it was fixable and your boss was understanding!

  5. Can you believe I read your post last night, and then forgot to set my alarm? Luckily, I woke up around the time my alarm usually goes off! I am usually early wherever I go because I am completely thrown off when I am running late. So I am definitely a mess when I oversleep!!

  6. Ah, I’m sure that was SO frustrating!

    I’m the same way when I oversleep. I feel out of it for the rest of the day!

  7. Oh man :( Im sorry, but glad it worked out in the end…

  8. Kristine says:

    Oh boy have I ever been there. The worst feeling is the “oh sh!t” moment when you realize exactly what just happened. Happy you have an understanding boss though, and just think – once you mess up like that, you’ll NEVER make the same mistake again! :)

  9. Oh goodness that kind of situation is just the worst! I am sorry you had to experience it deary :( I have been there though..and admitting your mistake is definitely the best option! That is good your boss was so understanding, mine was as well when I made a serious error a few months ago!

  10. Ohhhh, gosh. I have never overslept (I set approximately 23483412 alarms to ensure I don’t, and I tell Mr. A to wake me up by a certain time every morning justincase), but I can only imagine the panic I would be in if I did. I am so glad that you have an understanding boss!

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
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  11. I set 5 alarms in the mornings and still manage to oversleep on occasion. I hate that panic feeling it messes up your whole day!

  12. Hey – first time commenter here. Love the blog.

    I’m so sorry about your work thing – that really sucks. I bet your boss really appreciates you were straight-forward, though. Still doesn’t make the situation any more enjoyable. Why do bad days always have to get worse?

    Goodness, you’re busy. Babysitting and then work!?

    Last week I slept 30 min into a 1-hour work meeting. 5 colleagues waiting JUST for me, and I show up 30 min late. It was great.

    -Gabrielle

    • Hi Gabrielle! Glad you left a comment!

      Bad days always seem to have a snowball effect–it can’t just end after one unfortunate event. Yes, my life can be a bit crazy at times. I usually babysit, go to work or class, then babysit again! I love my jobs and I prefer to be busy, but it can be overwhelming.

      Yikes! I would be mortified; being late is never a good thing, but it is a million times worse when others are waiting on you!

  13. yup. When I oversleep I become a nightmare
    And Oversleeping is what caused an accident at work. I was supposed to meet a candidate at the office at 7am for a director level position interview, and I slept through it. I ended up waking up at 8am, realizing what I had done. He had gotten to the office building and it was locked (since doors dont open until 8), and luckily one of the founders was at the office at 7am. I had to profusely apologize and make sure it would never happen again. That was one of the worst things thta has happend since I believe candidate experience is the most important thing during an interview process.

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