To think that I am just pathetic

(82 Posts)
suchawimp Wed 03-Jul-13 20:12:47

and it isn't normal to be like this at 26.

I did something wrong at work and have to tell my manager tomorrow. I feel sick and am shaking and going hot and cold - I just can't seem to deal with stuff like this. It just makes me feel small and useless.

I don't know what she will say but it won't be nice. I hate being told off and really hate confrontation and raised voices. I don't know why and it is pathetic I know.

Is there a way to toughen up and get over this sort of thing?

suchawimp Wed 03-Jul-13 21:17:39

I just know that I will get really hot and start blushing and stammering. I am a worrier by nature.

I just can't think of anything else. I don't know how I am going to walk into the office tomorrow.

I don't know how to approach her or what to say. My mind is just circling. sad

FinallySaidMama Wed 03-Jul-13 21:18:11

I've been there. In fact I still have a fear of 'authority figures'. Fortunately as a SAHM I don't have to deal with these things at the moment, but one day I will.

I'm sorry I don't have any sage words for you but hopefully some of these wise mnetters words will help you out. Best of luck.

specialsubject Wed 03-Jul-13 21:20:17

we've all made mistakes. The most sage advice I was given by an excellent boss was words to the effect of 'well, not good, but glad you told me now rather than letting it get worse'.

unless you are a brain surgeon with a shaky hand, it really won't matter in ten weeks, let alone ten years. But do 'fess up.

Hmm, being scared about this makes me wonder whether your boss is horrible, as others have suggested, or maybe whether your parents were particularly difficult when you made mistakes, as a child.

suchawimp Wed 03-Jul-13 21:27:26

My parents weren't really difficult with me as a child. I always felt that I had to be good all the time so not to increase their stress due to a family situation.

Authority figures scare me a lot - I remember ending up in tears when I was late to class after a teacher told me off.

Ah, were their parents (older siblings, whatever) difficult with them?

One way or another, you learned the lesson, as a child, that messing up was a DISASTER and must be avoided at all costs. That can't be fun.

Oopla Wed 03-Jul-13 21:33:05

It's how you deal with these things that makes the difference. It's awful admitting mistakes but makes you so much more self aware admitting and making things right than running away.
You can see you're not alone from the replies here. Big hug from me, wish you well. You're doing the right thing. Honestly. What is the worst that could happen. You could try envisaging your boss whilst you fess up wearing a nappy if that helps grin

suchawimp Wed 03-Jul-13 21:36:34

Even little mistakes were always a huge deal to me. I just have felt from a really young age that I let people down all the time. I even remember feeling like that before I started school so at 4.

I don't even know how to start the conversation. I am even dreading that I will wake up in the morning and have briefly forgotten and then it will all come back to me.

NoisyDay Wed 03-Jul-13 21:58:29

I am sorry you are feeling this way. When I make a mistake in work I feel like this as well,I really hate to feel embarrassed that I have got things wrong, especially if it's something that will be obvious to loads of people. What I do is write down in colums,firstly, what went wrong , then the reasons why it happened, then two things I can do to either rectify or reduce the severity of the situation. Then write in the last column the worst possible outcome of the situation and how I will feel if it happens.i think breaking things up like this helps to reduce the situation into something more manageable. Maybe you could try this?good luck.

LaQueen Wed 03-Jul-13 22:03:01

such do you think your boss will actually raise their voice, or get verbally agressive with you? Because that's really inappropriate, and just demonstrates that they are actually crap at their job.

I've managed a team in the past, and currently manage a small number of staff. It simply wouldn't occur to me to raise my voice, or be verbally abusive.

I do sympathise with you...it sounds like you have very entrenched good girl morals (google Coleberg's Morality Principles, if you fancy a bit of psychobabble), and that you have been brought up to always please, and be compliant, and do the right thing.

Explain what you have done wrong. Be very direct, don't down-play it, don't exagerrate it...apologise, and then have a suggestion ready for what you can do to make amends.

If your boss continues to berate you, after you've done this...then, frankly they are just being pathetic and spiteful, and enjoying being a bully.

busyboysmum Wed 03-Jul-13 22:05:19

I think you are reacting normally, I do in such circumstances and am 43 and my mum does and she is 70! It's really hard but you are obviously a caring thoughtful person with high standards who hates to make mistakes. Just think that it is far better to admit to your mistakes than trying to wriggle out of it or pin the blame on someone else as many do. Best of luck with it.

SplitHeadGirl Wed 03-Jul-13 22:07:46

OP, you have been given great advice. I was always a bit of a mess in front of the boss (thanks to a previous boss who took great delight in bullying his female staff) but over time, I got to be friends with my bosses and realised that they are just human like me, lacking in confidence at times, trying to struggle on at work, and with different insecurites.

All I can say to you is that the key to interviews with people is twofold. Prepare well, and have confidence. And if you don't have confidence, ACT like you do!!

Wuldric Wed 03-Jul-13 22:11:13

If I were your manager I would be utterly horrified that you were feeling like this. When my lot screw up (happens weekly) there are no recriminations, we know what has happened, they get an arm around them and we move on. I only ever get grumpy about repeating the same mistake. Which is just sloppy. And even then grumpiness manifests itself in a raised eyebrow. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. To err is human. Please stop beating yourself up like this. It's no good for you.

Unless you actually killed a patient, all mistakes can be rectified.

Now, 20 years after the event, I can almost laugh about my monumental cock-up that led to the pulping of 200,000 brochures.

briany Wed 03-Jul-13 22:18:14

lots of people make mistakes at work. it's the fact that you care that makes you stand out. you might be a bit of a detail person/perfectionist. that's a good employee to have. explain, apologise, rectify and move on. but don't be losing sleep over it. it happens to everybody at some time or another.

Ach. This too will pass. Try to picture yourself on the other side of the fessing up. Seriously, what s the worst that can happen? You will be fine and I say that as a fellow worrier.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Wed 03-Jul-13 22:43:24

It might be no harm to speak to your GP? I feel very similar to you (I have issues with needing to be 'perfect', not making mistakes and being good at everything, because if I'm not, people will see how 'stupid' I actually am) and went on a course of CBT. It's not about being normal or not normal, just trying to save yourself stress and mental anxiety.

CBT is not perfect, by any means, but it does try and give you tools to deal with specific situations, like how you are feeling now. For example, I had to make a small error on purpose, and write down my expectations and the actual outcomes, I observed colleagues when they made mistakes, and try and divorce my negative projections of myself onto other people's opinions of me.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 04-Jul-13 04:20:26

What bosses can't stand is staff who cover up or try and pass blame. They need to know in time to figure out a solution. They may think oh crap, a problem -but s/he will appreciate you bringing it to their notice. Okay they won't clap or do handstands but if they get a bit shouty that's a knee jerk reaction which is soon over.

Things you may consider saying:
Who you are
Who you report to
What you did + apology
When you realised
Who you reported it to (if anyone)
What steps (if any) you have taken since
Any suggestion you have to put it right

Have a tissue handy in case of tears but you're not a liar, you're not a thief. You are conscientious and remorseful. You will make a better impression if you have a solution in mind to rectify the error.

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 04-Jul-13 05:04:14

I could tell you about the time I made a small programming error, involving a single colon and nothing else, that resulted in ALL client deliveries being delayed for hours that morning.

Or about the time I was working for a big PR firm and sent an e-mail to ALL clients which contained the phrase 'big breasts' instead of 'big beasts' (yes, it sounds weird - it was a mistyped newspaper headline about politics).

Or about the time ten crates of posh food for an imminent dental conference luncheon meeting turned up right on cue... five miles across town, because they'd been sent to the invoice address rather than the delivery address.

It's a horrible feeling. But unless someone died, you'll be OK. For the 'breasts' mistake, which was easily the most egregious of the ones I've listed, I took full ownership of the problem and grovelled: that's always a good strategy. Like Donkeys, I concur that what bosses hate most is buck-passers and cover-uppers. You clearly do not fall into that category.

Purple2012 Thu 04-Jul-13 06:49:54

I agree that any reasonable manager will likely be ok with mistakes as long as they are not covered up.

Just go in, tell them the facts, that you have made this mistake and you are sorry. If you can give them a solution then do so. If not aak them for help in finding a solution.

Good luck.

LaQueen Thu 04-Jul-13 08:34:37

Someone I know (ahem...cough...cough) once mislaid a student's dissertation, that had been given to her for safe-keeping in the university library - and, this was back in the day when the damned things were hand-written, and it was her only copy.

It didn't turn up for over 24 hours (an overly enthusiastic shelver had whisked it away, and it was sitting quietly on a trolley).

That was a very, very unhappy, stressful 24 hours hmm

FayKnights Thu 04-Jul-13 15:34:03

How did it go? Hope you feel better and resolved the issue?

Agnesmum Thu 04-Jul-13 17:26:18

I once deleted an audio tape I was supposed to be typing for a doctor, it had taken him an hour to dictate and was very urgent. I felt like running out of the building when I realised i had pressed the erase key but I told him and he was ok about it. Good luck, I am sure,it won't be as bad as you think it will be. Everyone makes mistakes and I am sure your manager has made a few in their time.

suchawimp Thu 04-Jul-13 18:34:44

Thought I was going to be sick or faint as I went to work. sad Lots of people in the office today unfortunately so I kept putting it off but there was always someone about.

Set myself a deadline and went to talk to her. Basically she is really disappointed in me and I am not reliable and can't be trusted with any complicated tasks now. Plus she said it will probably mean that I won't be able to to do course that I wanted to as it means 4 hours a week out of the office and she doesn't feel that she can approve it now that I have let her and the team down.

I have to talk to my manager and her manager on Monday so am freaking out about that especially as my manager said that if there is any come back then I am on my own.

LaQueen Thu 04-Jul-13 18:42:04

ER...well, she sounds like a shit manager, frankly hmm

"my manager said that if there is any come back then I am on my own."

I don't recall ever learning that little homily, on any management training course I ever went on?

Is she an actual, properly trained manager? Because she doesn't sound like it to me?

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