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Mistakes at work

(20 Posts)
Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 18:32:08


I hope there is someone who can help.
I am a single mum of two young children. I have been in my current job for the last 18 month but couple of days ago I have made a huge mistake. I managed to loose a customer's cheque for the amount of £3000. I haven't actually seen the cheque myself but my supervisor said that it was in the post she checked and it was put on my desk. How do I ask the customer for a new cheque? The customer invoice is still outstanding and soon there will be questions asked. I feel sick and can't sleep or eat anymore.

AlternativeTentacle Mon 15-May-17 18:36:14

How have you lost it if you never saw it?

It sounds as if your boss lost it. Is this the official procedure ?

Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 18:41:39

Well she checkes the post and then puts it on my desk. I am worried I missed it and binned it by accident. There isn't an official procedure.

Asmoto Mon 15-May-17 18:45:23

I agree with Tentacle - if you've never set eyes on it, it isn't you who's lost it. The procedure of leaving a cheque on someone's desk without it being signed for or locked away doesn't sound very robust from a security point of view.

Have you asked your colleagues, and checked that no one else has processed/banked the cheque?

If the cheque can't be found, you will have to approach the customer for a replacement (with many apologies). I think you need to speak to your supervisor about implementing a more secure method for dealing with incoming cheques in the future.

Flumplet Mon 15-May-17 18:47:59

You just need to come clean and say it - even if it's not really your fault (which it sounds like it's not) but do try and come up with a solution rather than just the problem. explain to the customer what has happened, apologise profusely and explain that a new process has been put in place to ensure it doesn't happen again. Good luck!

LadyFlumpalot Mon 15-May-17 18:48:12

Personally I would just phone the customer and explain. Say it arrived in the company. It has since been mislaid. Ask the customer to cancel the cheque and send a new one. Apologise profusely.

No money has actually been lost, the cheque is a promise to pay money and unless it is cashed... it is just a bit of paper.

Going forward I would ask that incoming cheques are logged by the postroom and signed over to the desk dealing with it. I used to work for a huge finance company and we had a really strict policy with regards to cheque traceability.

AlternativeTentacle Mon 15-May-17 18:48:51

Well she could have thrown it away. Being the last to see it, she needs to trace what happened. And you all need a procedure.

Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 18:51:19

Thank you for your replies.

Yes the procedure is pretty poor and needs to be changed.

just hopsing the customer won't refuse to give us another cheque. I think I am going to loose my job if He says no.

JustMyLuckUnfortunately Mon 15-May-17 18:54:56

The customer's bank may charge for the cheque to be cancelled so I would offer to refund the customer if that is the case

Asmoto Mon 15-May-17 18:58:26

Is it within your power to offer the customer a modest payment/reduction to the invoice for the inconvenience of having to issue another cheque?

Notmyrealname85 Mon 15-May-17 19:02:46

If it's so important she should've ensured you got it personally and pointed it out to you!

Tell her "I'm sorry, but the cheque isn't on my desk - I'm going to get a special "inbox" on my desk for mail in future and contact the customer to let them know asap"

If she's arsey and thinks you've chucked it say a) you hadn't seen in, b) you're always careful with papers on your desk, c) others come by your desk and perhaps it was misplaced then

Do tell her asap though otherwise you become part of the problem

Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 19:04:01

No I can't reduce the amount on the invoice but certainly pay the charges for cancelling the lost cheque.
I can't wait for this nightmare to be over.

Bloosh Mon 15-May-17 19:05:43

She probably thinks she lost it and is covering her back.

I once binned an envelope contains a £6k cheque. My boss asked me where it was and we found it in the bin. It happens.

I can't believe companies still use cheques for large amounts though.

Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 19:08:06

Thank you everyone.

I feel much better now. Will speak to her asap and put some proper procedure in place for cheques received smile

Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 19:10:48

I know I can't believe anyone uses cheques these days. Why not just do a bank transfer?

fifipop185 Mon 15-May-17 19:11:03

What Bloosh said.

It should be easily solved with an apologetic phone call to the customer and a new cheque to be issued. Agree with having an inbox system for future mail and items of value to be stored securely / handed to you in person.

These things happen to the best of us, and more often than you'd think, try not to worry! flowers

ShyOyster Mon 15-May-17 19:12:32

Looks like there really is no procedure in place to avoid such situations. I really would just contact the customer and tell the truth. I would perhaps send them flowers or a hamper of some sort to apologise for the inconvenience. It's really not the end of the world, promise!!!
I have done so much worse and still in my job!
And don't let your boss get arsey about it. Putting a cheque on someone's desk is not a secure way of dealing with it!!!!!

Lora21 Mon 15-May-17 19:15:00

Thank you I will try to get a good sleep tonight. We are all humans smile

aheffalump Mon 15-May-17 19:15:11

It's really not that bad - the customer still has to pay the bill! It's not actual money that's got lost. But you need to let them know asap so they cancel the cheque. Agree an apology and cover any charges but if I was the customer I wouldn't be too bothered about it - it happens.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 16-May-17 18:54:50

As justmyluck said, I would offer to pay the charge if the customers bank charges for cancelling the cheque

Mistakes happen, you won't get fired especially since it's equally likely to be your bosses mistake!

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