Work stress and mistake keeping me awake at night. Need to get this under control.(6 Posts)
We've been understaffed for around 6 months now. Small team and I'm the only long term member of administration staff.
My boss acknowledges we're rushed off our feet but there are no plans to bring our staffing levels / hours back to previous ones. She keeps increasing our levels of extra tasks and admits she is more cavalier and isn't quite as spot on as we were previously used to. I told her weeks ago that we were at the stage we were going to make mistakes because we simply couldn't juggle the workload anymore.
I keep finding mistakes she and other members of staff are making, increasing the time I should spend on otherwise familiar tasks. And I messed up last week accidentally binning a note with some essential details on it - previously we would always email messages so they wouldn't get lost but someone left me a handwritten note and while rushing to get to the next thing I binned it, losing finance info I had to process. I'm gutted and not sleeping because it's going to piss off a customer I'll have to ring back again.
Am dreading this week. Got my screw up to deal with and the knowledge it's going to keep getting worse .
for you Meglet. I know how shit this is - we could very well work at the same place if you weren't the only long-standing admin person at your place (and I at mine!)
Pre-DC I used to work ridiculous amounts of unpaid overtime purely to keep customers happy and make my own life easier. Post-DC I simply can't do this, so I split every new task into urgent/important/non-urgent/non-important using a grid. Anything that falls into both non-urgent and non-important gets pushed to the bottom of the pile, I hate to say his but at least the urgent and important stuff gets prioritised that way.
As for mistakes made by others, I've taken a low-key, non-confrontational approach to handing the mistake back to the person who made it - "I've noticed xyz is missing from the file / has the wrong fee assigned / is dated incorrectly. I'm snowed under just now - can you quickly put it right for me please?"
Re your own mistake - it sounds like you're conscientious and don't like to make mistakes on a regular basis - just be upfront and honest with the person you think is going to be pissed off. Rip off the plaster, phone them first thing Monday, say "I'm so sorry but I've made a bit of a cock-up, I've shredded xyz by mistake, could I trouble you to email it so I've got a permanent record of it? The anticipation of their reaction is almost always far worse than their actual reaction I promise.
Sounds like medium to long term though, it wouldn't hurt to update your CV and put the feelers out.
Thanks wasp. I did email my boss in a panic on Friday morning (6:30am) about my cock up. I'd had a nightmare and dreamt I was being shot (helloooo anxiety ) then woke up realising what I'd done at work.
I need to sort my CV tbh. I'm slightly stuck as a lp because I can't afford to lose parental leave for the first year of a new job but in the long term I might be able to find a college or school based administration role.
Good advice from previous poster - get in and tackle your error first thing tomorrow. Honestly, it may be irritating for somebody, but it doesn't sound like a big deal, so they'll probably put you right at your ease. And if they can't accept that mistakes happen from time-to-time, they're dicks, and you shouldn't take that personally!
Good to hear that your mind's open to a different job. Your current workplace sounds horribly badly managed, and your reaction to this trivial mistake is really extreme - not a good sign for your mental health in the long term. Nobody should feel trapped in an environment like that. And it sounds like you have good, transferable skills. I think even the act of getting your CV in order and signing up for some job-alerts will give you a sense of control over your own life.
Thanks hedge .Update .
The mistake wasn't total my doing. Turned out to be a Chinese whispers style message that I ended up dealing with and even the customer wasn't sure what they wanted. All sorted on Tuesday.
However after my boss gave us two more things to add to our regular roles I decided I'd had enough, couldn't sleep on Tuesday night and took yesterday off with stress. They know it's stress, I decided to call them on it. I have an otherwise very low sickness record and good appraisals. Boss is now saying we'll get another part timer in the spring to replace the person who left and she took a hefty piece off work from me today and worked on it herself. Turned out it took far longer than she realised . Yesterday's queries took her a while to deal with too so I think she's realised where I'm coming from and what fiddly tasks I'm getting passed to me on top of our regular work.
Still peed off at work but had a more positive day today. My poor colleague is struggling too, eating too much and said she'd been smoking again. She'll crumble at this rate, I keep telling her to not panic but she keeps taking work home.
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