Yesterday I made a pretty big mistake at work that could result in a grievance filed against our company for using non-unions guys at one of our job sites. Considering that I’ve been here 13 1/2 years and it’s the first time I make a mistake of such massive proportion I’d say my track record is pretty damn great. Plus I also managed to have an epiphany.
Imagine my horror as I’m sitting in front of my boss explaining to him who I just inadvertently talked to (a union agent) and that said man has pretty much given me the phone equivalent of waving a finger in my face along with a you’re in big trouble missy, and all at the same time seeing my boss’ face go somewhere between a state of panic, boiling disbelief, and just plain not knowing how to react. I instantly thought, oh no…this interaction between my boss and I has the potential to turn very ugly, very quickly. So what was my epiphany you ask? It was in my response and how I handled the situation.
You see, in my earlier years of inexperience and instant defensiveness, the latter would cause me to blurt out just the right word that would trigger my boss’ fuse to blow. So yesterday, in that second between my heart beginning to race and the defensive mechanism trying to burst out of me, I instead took a deep breath, apologized, calmly listed the reasons that led me to call this man, which in turn led to my boss realizing that we were both to blame for this misunderstanding.
I still don’t know what’s going to happen with the union and if we’ll be receiving a grievance notice because I haven’t heard back from the man after leaving him a message. I’m very proud though of the way that I handled myself and the situation and that my boss acknowledged his part as well. Oh the grief I could have saved myself on so many other countless occasions had I used this same thought process years before. Live and learn!