Tuesday, 21 October 2008


I made this huge stuff up at work today and I thought oh bother. Actually I said something else much more colourful – but you get the picture. I was feeling like crap – 3 sleeps until the gall bladder goes – not that I’m counting – and I had no idea how to fix what I had done. I was talking to best friend Ethel via email as I do everyday. She is on the south side of Brisbane while I am a northerner. Anyway, I mentioned the ginormous mistake to her. Her words of wisdom? Can you shred it? Oh, if only life was a matter of shredding mistakes huh? And no, it wasn’t shredable as I had already had that thought myself.

Mistakes – yeah, I’ve made a few thousand in my time…maybe more…who counts after the first hundred? We used to have this flow chart at Promptel (code name for crap phone company I used to work for) and it was made up by management to avoid management dealing with problems. It was, as management liked to call it, ‘empowering staff to overcome mistakes and making decisions to effect a win-win solution.’ Management translation – When a manager is outside having an unauthorised cigarette break, you are to leave them alone and read you’re bloody chart and sort the problem out yourself because they probably don’t know anyway. I hate flow charts. Any time I have had to make one I have refused. In my refusal I have explained the people act and think according to the situation and stopping to read a flow chart as the building is on fire is not going to happen. So, I never got to make flow charts and I have a few black marks against my name but life goes on and flow charts are stupid.

So management had their ‘empowerment’ flow chart. Naturally staff had their own with boxes and arrows pointing to who you could blame if you could not hide the mistake, what was the probability that you would get caught for stuffing up, was this the sort of mistake the required you bursting into tears and/or suddenly becoming sick (amnesia was a popular one) or was this mistake going to turn into enjoyable chaos that you and the other staff could gossip about for weeks and or would it cause the building to be evacuated? Evacuations are always popular. See? Every mistake has a silver lining.

What did I do in the end to correct my mistake? I employed helpless female routine number 52a and got a man to work out it out. What’s that? A cop out you say? Oh honey, if you cannot or won’t work you femininity to save your arse then you are probably tying yourself up in knots. Men are natural problem solvers. They love to help women. So let ‘em I say. Mistakes – I make ‘em and will continue to do so. Worried about ‘em? Nope…never sweat the small stuff.

“Don't take 'no' for an answer, never submit to failure. Do not be fobbed off with mere personal success or acceptance. You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world” – Winston Churchill
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?