Ugh! Dealing With Mistakes at Work

In the long run, I probably won’t remember the events that transpired yesterday, which is fine since it’s a day I’d rather sooner forget. In the name of gratitude, I can’t say it was a “bad day.” Nothing tragic happened – my loved ones are healthy, I paid my rent, life is good – but there were definitely several challenges to my sanity on a personal and professional level. YS Weekly

My professional headache – and heartache – was a major problem with the YS Weekly e-newsletter I sent out to thousands of people. Something happened with the layout or coding and the top portion came out all scrunched together. And then instead of hyper-linking a graphic, it just included the actual loooong URL next to the image. It wasn’t a drastic error but it was ugly and a major turnoff from reading the actual content, especially considering it was the first thing people saw when they opened the newsletter. I even think some e-mail servers picked it up as spam. How mortifying.

It may not sound like a huge deal but I take a lot of pride in my work and this newsletter because it’s the biggest way we stay connected to our community. This issue in particular had such great information and tips on leaving a meaningful legacy so I was looking forward to sending it out. My hopes were dashed with the first “Uh oh, did you see this?” e-mail I received. Again, it probably didn’t matter as much to anyone else but me.

We are all our harshest critics, I know, and it’s essential that we learn to go easy on ourselves if we’re to preserve our sanity and self-esteem. We see every gray hair, wrinkle or pimple on our face, which other people deny are there. We remember that one bad review more than the 99 positive ones. If you’re a writer, you beat yourself up over every missing comma, misuse of a word or subject-verb disagreement, which most people don’t even notice. And if you’re like me dealing with a newsletter, you feel the pain of every dead link, pixilated photo and, the absolute worst, every unsubscribe notification.

Mistakes, errors and oversight happen and you just have to deal with the fallout and bad feelings so you can move on and try to better the situation. Some things are totally your fault and others are beyond your control. It’s up to you to figure out which is which so you can right wrongs and minimize the likelihood of the error happening again. And it’s also up to you to decide if you’re going to allow your entire day to be dragged down by something that, in the grand scheme of things, might be completely insignificant.