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View Full Version : Want to crawl in a hole and die - I made the biggest mistake :(



Kitty
04-12-2005, 08:30 PM
So, I made a huge mistake. I'm scared i'm going to lose my job!!!

I was in charge of an invitation for a very formal event. I've been working on it for a month. Somewhere along the line the Dean's name got spelled wrong (missing an L).

I sent it out for final review. My bossess boss, the Dean, and the senior director gave it the OK.

Then the senior director caught the mistake after it was printed.

I feel so bad, ultimately this was my project and I never caught the mistake.

I don't know what to do, or how to handle this. I'm dreading going to work :(

capella
04-12-2005, 08:33 PM
[QUOTE=Kitty]
I was in charge of an invitation for a very formal event. I've been working on it for a month. Somewhere along the line the Dean's name got spelled wrong (missing an L).

I sent it out for final review. My bossess boss, the Dean, and the senior director gave it the OK. QUOTE]

So.... wait. The Dean gave the final approval with the Dean's name spelled wrong? I mean c'mon. The guy/gal didn't notice his/her name spelled incorrectly?? Was it the same Dean in question? Cuz, then um, they suck for not catching their name misspelled. ??

Kitty
04-12-2005, 08:34 PM
yeah, he didn't catch it...it was in a PDF.

WeirdBrake
04-12-2005, 08:36 PM
First, keep some perspective. What's done is done. You didn't kill anyone on the operating table, crash a plane, or lose millions of dollars. A name got misspelled. Think: If, in the future, you ended up in some high-powered position, and a 20 something employee didn't happen to catch your name being misspelled, would you be annoyed? Yes. Would you want to cut the employee's head off? Probably not.

I've seen misspellings happen in the most ridiculous places. My law school acceptance letter got two letters mixed up in my last name. And my last name is only six letters long!

capella
04-12-2005, 08:37 PM
Yeah, but PDF or no.... I'm sorry that sucks. I hope all goes OK. Maybe they won't notice.... ?

Kitty
04-12-2005, 08:39 PM
First, keep some perspective. What's done is done. You didn't kill anyone on the operating table, crash a plane, or lose millions of dollars. A name got misspelled. Think: If, in the future, you ended up in some high-powered position, and a 20 something employee didn't happen to catch your name being misspelled, would you be annoyed? Yes. Would you want to cut the employee's head off? Probably not.

I've seen misspellings happen in the most ridiculous places. My law school acceptance letter got two letters mixed up in my last name. And my last name is only six letters long!

The thing is, I was hired specifically to catch crap like this. Ugh. I was so detail oriented too - I must have looked at that invitation a billion times. I think I just looked at it TOO MANY times. I honestly have no idea how I didn't catch it. I'm normally so good w/ stuff like that.

And yes, they already noticed. We have to re-print.

capella
04-12-2005, 08:46 PM
*Clears throat*
I know what you mean... I was a copy editor (probably the most anal people on the planet. I mean grammar is no picnic). It was like my total job to make sure crap wasn't misspelled, or out of AP style or etc, etc, etc, but everyone makes mistakes, even meticulous people. It sounds like your kicking yourself more than they would kick you. I know it seems like the end of the world, but take a breath and repeat, "I will be fine and in 10 years no one will care about this." It's not carved in their tombstone or anything. I hope you feel better. :bigger:

Kitty
04-12-2005, 08:49 PM
Thanks a lot Capella. I really appreciate it.

I apologized and said I felt really badly. I don't know what will happen to me.

wordsmith
04-12-2005, 09:25 PM
Remember when I put "shit" in the newspaper? My boss laughed. Shit, quite literally, happens.

Kitty
04-12-2005, 09:32 PM
well, this is a costly error because we have to reprint 4k invites.

It's also a high profile error. All the important people will see it.

pisces2473
04-12-2005, 09:52 PM
Kitty, I'm sure people in your office have made bigger mistakes. Is the event tomorrow? Is there time to correct and reprint the things?

Has anyone said anything to you about this yet? Like, chewed you a new one? Or are you afraid of the other shoe dropping?

It will be okay. This will not matter next month. Or next year. Or 10 years. This is not Enron.

miner_engineer
04-12-2005, 10:15 PM
Hi Kitty,

I agree with others that what is done is done. No matter how badly you want to take it back, you can't. It sucks to screw up but honestly one day you will look back and laugh it off. You apologized and I am sure they sense your sincerity. Plus, venting about it also helps!!! So, what part of the situation is still under your control? It is how you respond from here on out. Stay cool and they may be impressed with your ability to handle pressure and tough situations. Besides the idiot dean okayed the damn thing so they ain't gonna get too self-righteous!! Hang in there and good luck!!!!

cheshrcarol
04-12-2005, 10:29 PM
Kitty, I know exactly how you feel. I'm in publishing and every time something like this happens and you should have caught it, you start wondering if the mistake will cost your job. It's hard for people outside of the industry to understand the consequence of these kind of errors and the associated cost. I would just try and stay calm. I don't know how your office works,but at my company it takes a history of egregious errors to get fired, not just one.

BTW, I'm in a similar position. Someone in our graphics department did a press proof for a really important job and approved it. I never looked at the press sheets he brought back because he said they looked good and now the job was printed incorrectly. As the account manager, I'm now partially responsible :rolleyes:

Kitty
04-12-2005, 10:45 PM
I would feel better if this were a job I had longer - but i've only been here 4 months. I am still in what they call "trial period" - which basically means they can fire me at whim. I'm so nervous.

pisces2473
04-12-2005, 10:53 PM
When does the trial period end? Most jobs it's 90 days.

cheshrcarol
04-12-2005, 10:55 PM
Well, you did say that two other people proofed the copy also. I would think it would be much more likely they'd fire you if you had the sole responsibility. Maybe you can kind of head things off by talking to your boss first about how you feel reponsible and you will take whatever measure in the future so it doesn't happen again?

shimmer728
04-12-2005, 10:56 PM
Kitty, try not to sweat it. I know that's easier said than done, as I'm someone who tends to beat herself up mercilessly for her mistakes.

Hell, I remember when I was 21 and working as an intern at a Columbus, Ohio magazine publisher. My assignment was to write a short profile of an upcoming event for one of our suburban magazines. Well, the dates of the event were wrong in the initial press release about the event. No one I interviewed pointed this out, so I wrote the story with the wrong dates. Was this ALL my fault? No, it wasn't, though my bosses made me feel about three inches tall when the story was printed with the erroneous information.

Yes, it sucked, but it was a good learning experience, cheesy as that sounds. Your bosses may be pissed off for a short while, but I doubt you'll make this mistake again, right?

Kitty
04-12-2005, 10:57 PM
When does the trial period end? Most jobs it's 90 days.

6 months!! I have two more to go. I know, its rather long.

pisces2473
04-12-2005, 10:58 PM
Ugh, that sucks!!!

Kitty
04-12-2005, 11:01 PM
Well, you did say that two other people proofed the copy also. I would think it would be much more likely they'd fire you if you had the sole responsibility. Maybe you can kind of head things off by talking to your boss first about how you feel reponsible and you will take whatever measure in the future so it doesn't happen again?

Yeah, I apologized. I was more in shock when I first found out though.

I have a weekly meeting w/ my boss and I'll probably talk about how I can fix problems like this in the future. (another person at fault in this is the graphic designer who changed the text from what I had previously provided).

Anyway, thanks for your input and for sharing your story. It really helps to know i'm not alone.

Kitty
04-12-2005, 11:02 PM
Ugh, that sucks!!!

I know, and I think its hard to fire people once they are official employees. I think thats why we have this policy in place. That way, they really can test you out and make sure you're OK for the job. They give themselves a large window to make sure because after that I think they're stuck with you for the most part.

pisces2473
04-12-2005, 11:12 PM
I know, and I think its hard to fire people once they are official employees. I think thats why we have this policy in place. That way, they really can test you out and make sure you're OK for the job. They give themselves a large window to make sure because after that I think they're stuck with you for the most part.
Yeah, us too...at my job...which I'm never mentioning again, lol.

Kitty
04-12-2005, 11:31 PM
well, hopefully all will go smoothly during the next two months.

I need to be super careful.

and1grad
04-13-2005, 01:22 AM
Like, chewed you a new one?
Chewed you a new one? THAT is funny!! :lol:

J-girl
04-13-2005, 08:57 AM
Hey Kitty people usually get fired for misconduct in the workplace not technical errors (as long as you are not doing it all the time). What they are going to look at is how you handled the situation in time of crisis. Was it deliberate? No. Did you own up to your mistake? Yes. Did you shift blame? No.

From what I see, you handled it pretty well and I dont think you should be fired for something as trivial as this. Mistakes are allowed in the workplace.

biodork
04-13-2005, 08:59 AM
Everyone makes mistakes, no matter what their job is! It's human, and they can't fire you for being that. We aren't perfect!

midtwenty
04-13-2005, 09:42 AM
The fact remains that you had others proof the copy before it went to print - including the boss man himself - and they didn't catch it either. Therefore, they share in the mistake with you. As well as the graphic designer who didn't precisely duplicate the copy you provided.

Let me tell you from far more experience than I care to have...it's not the end of the world. Far from it. Proofing artwork and copy is a HUGE part of my job, and when there are mistakes on the final product, everyone here knows that the customer, the graphic artist, the prep artist, the screen room, the pressman, AND the finishers ALL had a chance to catch the mistake. Shit happens. And it's just a name misspelling. WOOOOOEEEEEE. Do you have any idea how often people misspell "Julie" for crying out loud? For the record, J-U-L-Y is a freaking month, not my name!

Relax kiddo. Not a big deal.

Skyblade
04-13-2005, 11:58 AM
Hey Kitty, try not to worry about it too much. Ultimately it wasn't entirely your fault. You had multiple people checking your work and it was an oversight.

I totally know how you feel though. I once misstyped a phone number for a script for a voiceover we were doing for a flash demo and it cost us $200 to get the voiceover fixed. I felt like a huge idiot.

Radgirl
04-13-2005, 12:05 PM
Firing someone for a mis-spelling? That seems a little harsh, don't you think?

Bugsey34
04-13-2005, 12:15 PM
Just so you know, I have had somewhat similar problems in my office, and I find that often when you give something to managers to "proof" they don't really proof like you and I would. They proof read fast for content and design, not spelling errors because honestly thats time consuming and they usually dont have the time. THat's just my experience.

Before I sent anything to the printer, I take a few minutes to clear my mind and try to look at it as though I have never seen it before. On the words I would usually just glaze over like "Street" in an address or my boss' name, I make a point to spell out each word in my head as I'm reading. It can take an extra 5 or 10 but if you block everything out and seriously go over an invite or business card, etc. with looking for an error in mind, it pays off. Before I did that, I put in business cards with the wrong phone number, letterhead with misspellings, etc.

coll214
04-13-2005, 12:35 PM
Aww, kitty that's awful. As someone who makes idiotic mistakes all the time, I sympathize. Just this month I sent town two Employee reimbursement w/ the worng charging numbers and I looked at it, my supervisor, the business manager, AND the people in AP (not that they EVER catch anything). I was reprimanded for it, I apologized for the mistake, and said i'd try not to let it happen again. It sucks, but I thnk if you own up to it which it sounds like you did, they'll let it slide. I would hope so anyway. No one is perfect! And even if the other manager s only glanced at it, some of the blame goes on them.

Hell, I booked a flight for a manager here too who didn't bother to read his FLIGHT ITINERARY that he approved of and realized at the airport that it was for the wrong day. Tried to blame me too, but he's the one that picked the flights AND I gave him a copy of the itinerary. I can't force him to read it.

wordsmith
04-13-2005, 12:37 PM
The best proofreading trick I ever learned was to read things backward. Starting from the end, you're not reading the copy in context, and it forces you to zero in on words individually, rather than get caught up in context and read over errors because you're reading the meaning, rather than the individual words.

It really does help. Except when we're rushed on deadline and there isn't time to do that.

I only beat myself up so much about errors. In newspapers, they're practically inevitable, and we don't even HAVE a copy editor. I feel that if it were that important to our company to catch all typos, they'd hire sufficient staff. When we're on deadline, we're all too fried, and the extra eyes are needed.

Kitty
04-13-2005, 03:53 PM
I just want to say a big thanks to everyone who posted here. It really helped and was nice to hear all the reassuring comments. I cannot tell you how down on myself I was yesterday.

I think things will be OK because i've been working hard to correct the error. I will feel 100% better when I know this thing goes out and i'm done with this project.

Thanks everyone!!

paiger81
04-13-2005, 04:08 PM
Worst typo I made? At my last job, a letter was sent out notifying distributors about a huge price increase.

The President's Signature was to read Robert, instead it read Robber.

I got calls on that for a week.

You'll be fine Kitty :bigger:

pisces2473
04-13-2005, 04:26 PM
Worst typo I made? At my last job, a letter was sent out notifying distributors about a huge price increase.

The President's Signature was to read Robert, instead it read Robber.

I got calls on that for a week.

You'll be fine Kitty :bigger:
OH MY GOD. SO FUNNY, esp. given the subject of the letter. :lol:

Lumburg
04-13-2005, 10:23 PM
Although you probably feel bad for missing a mistake, your boss has got to feel like a total retard for not recognizing his own name misspelled.

NoWomanNoCry
04-13-2005, 10:59 PM
At least you made the mistake after you had a job - I once made one that cost me a job as an editor. They were seriouslly considering me for the position but I blew it in one e-mail. I was so excited about the prospect that I goofed up my phone number. Of course they caught the goof, I was completely humiliated and bummed out. :sad:

This is a very tough field - mistakes can happen to anyone. But remember, you were chosen for this job because you were good, and you still are. Keep your chin up! :0

Kitty
04-14-2005, 12:13 AM
OMG..more issues today...I can't believe this crap...

I won't go into it, but this is not going well...

shimmer728
04-14-2005, 07:37 AM
What happened, Kitty?

biodork
04-14-2005, 08:29 AM
I'm sorry Kitty! I hope things get better for you soon...

mishl982
04-14-2005, 09:35 AM
Eep, I hope your day gets better!

Kitty
04-14-2005, 10:47 AM
What happened, Kitty?

So, an email blast was going out yesterday. My boss sent it to me and his boss to review. I caught a lot of errors the first round. During the second round, I was kind of rushed because it was the end of the day..and as I was looking it over he was like, "Just go home....just go home" because I'm an expempt employee and they have to pay me overtime. I guess there were two other minor errors that his boss caught. he sent me an email saying i need to slow down. UGH! I felt so rushed because he tries to push me out the door when my times up..and I knew that was going to happen so I had been trying so hard to squeez it in by the end of the day.