Life and stuff: What to do when you royally f*ck up

what-to-do-when-you-royally-fck-upI really f*cked something up at work today. It was an innocent mistake but the outcome was epic.

It got me thinking about making mistakes in general. I have made loads of mistakes across just about every category of life.

I was the one who left the duck’s cage open. I was the idiot who told the journalist the wrong thing. I was the drunken lush who drank the extra special birthday gin and didn’t replace it.

My approach is usually to admit my mistakes because the truth will come out eventually. This has had some pretty uncomfortable consequences over the years including, but not limited to; dead ducks, incorrect national press stories and very terse notes from flatmates.

They say you learn from your mistakes but what no one adds is that the major lesson is in character; your own and the people you have wronged.

I have experienced the full spectrum, from full-scale psycho attack to laughing it off. These reactions taught me so much about the other person.

By the same token, I have behaved incredibly badly over stupid things and been magnanimous over things that should’ve have sent me off the deep-end.

The main lesson for me? I always feel better when I tell the truth, regardless of how horrendous the consequences. On the flipside, I always feel better when I don’t freak out and act in an understanding, respectful manner whenever something goes wrong for me.

It’s not about the mistake. It’s what you do afterwards.

Do you have any advice for recovering from a disastrous f*ck up? Care to share your tales of misery and mistake-making woe?

5 comments on “Life and stuff: What to do when you royally f*ck up

  1. When I was a journo, I once sent a woman an email that outlined what a pain in the ass she was being about sorting out an interview time – of course, I’d meant to send it to my boss. But then I sent the woman a wonderful apology, saying I was just stressed about deadline and terribly sorry if (ha!) I’d offended her. She actually apologised to me, stopped being a pain in the ass and still did the story. I got someone else to do it though, I was too embarrassed!

    tl;dr? Moral: suck it up, apologise, and hope for the best!

  2. Not professional f*ck ups by any means…but I once shot a hole through the side of our pool with a spear gun, got spied by the neighbours shooting my dads 22 (in the country) and crashed my parents car all in the one weekend…WAY too much to come clean on in one sitting…so i just let all these little indiscretions come out in their own good time thereby diffusing my parents wrath into 3 portions

  3. Two Key phrases are appropriate in such situations:
    1. It’s not a lie… if you believe it
    AND my personal fav
    2. Denial is not just a river in Egypt

  4. I always own up right away and suck up the consequences – can’t handle guilt.

    Worse journo mistake: calling someone “the late blah blah” – who is still alive. Sorry about that!

  5. Come clean as soon as you realise the stuff up – even if the injured party/parties don’t forgive you, at least you have tried to clean up your side of the street.

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