Post # 1
I’m a PA and have been for the past 10 years, since being a junior I’ve learnt every trick in the book and can now work to high professional standards and I currently work in the finance banking world. So big company, big bucks.
I book many flights for a number of people very frequently and have never messed up until now. So to my dilemma. It’s company policy to always try and book travel and flights at the lowest available cost which I do as standard. I can book via the companys travel agent on line and one very stressed week a couple of weeks ago I was booking for multiple people all doing different routes. Basically I’ve mistakenly booked a flight which I now learn is non refundable or changeable.
I’ve tried calling the airline directly who wouldn’t budge. I’ve tried calling the company travel agency who were equally unhelpful. My boss now tells me he wants to change his flight and usually I can do that without any problems as the tickets I usually book are about the same price but flexible.
I now need to tell him that he’s going to need a new ticket and that we’ll lose th original ticket of £1900. It’s all done on company cards and is expensed back so it’s not like it’s going to be coming out of his pocket and from a company perspective it’s pennies.
But for some reason I’m really worried about him being diappointed, I always strive so hard to make sure I don’t mess up. I’m (usually) meticulous about detail and check everything twice.
Post # 3
@Soon2BeeMrsG: while I do not have the same kind of work as you do I understand completely what you are probably feeling right now. I promise you it will be best to do it just like ripping off a band aid. quick and easy. I also find it makes things better when you just accept that everyone makes mistakes and that you are human. you ar enot the first, nor the last to make a boo boo at work. It happens ya know? I usually go in and say something like “ok so here is whats going on (insert explanation of boo boo here) …this is totally my fault and i am really sorry that I dropped the ball. I would really like to make this right as best as I can, how would you like me to proceed?”
be apologetic, admit the mistake, and don’t let it shake you too much. From a fellow perfectionist I know the pit in your stomach that you must have over such a mistake, but given what you say your usually quality of work is I doubt this will turn out as badly as it might feel right now. everything will be just fine! 🙂
Post # 4
@Soon2BeeMrsG: Everyone makes mistakes. Just explain the situation to your boss, be apologetic, and don’t make excuses.
Sounds like you take pride in your work and it shows, so I really wouldn’t worry that this will make your boss think any less of you.
Post # 5
I know it’s tough to admit you screwed up but the best thing to do is go tell him, in person, as soon as possible. Just admit exactly what happened, what you’ve tried so far to fix it, and that thus far you’ve been unsuccessful in obtaining a refund.
Most people will respect you for owning up to your mistakes and taking the consequences; if your boss is a good guy, he’ll take it in stride.
One time (many years ago) I booked a boss on a commuter flight instead of commercial by mistake. He was terrified of flying, anyway, and was stuck on this tiny little plane for about 3 hours. When he returned he chewed me a new behind, lol. Oops!
Post # 6
While I don’t work in the same field you do, I know I’ve messed up a couple times dearly and had to tell my boss. I’ve always just gone to her office, said “I’ve screwed up, I’ve tried to fix it, but I don’t know where to go from here.” It’s always been received well since I TRIED to fix it before going to her, but then I’ve admitted that I can’t fix it and now need help with the next step.
Post # 7
Thanks guys, believe it or not, your responses have actually settled that horrible jittery stomach ache I have! There is nothing worse when you realise you’ve done something wrong and getting that stomach drop feeling.
Boss is out of the office today, and I’d really like to do this face to face. I’m going to get in early tomorrow, bright eyed and ready to take whatever he says at me.
Completely agree with the pointers about being apologetic and demonstrating that I’ve tried to fix this the best way I can. I can then give him the chance to decide what he’d like to do next.
Like stardustintheeyes said, do it like a bandaid, just wish I could do it now. I don’t think it’ll come off very well over email or the phone though. Will just have to sit with this uncomfortable feeling a bit longer.
Post # 8
@Soon2BeeMrsG: I came back to add something. let me just try and make you feel better.
In one of my previous postitions I was in charge of booking the event space that my department had. It was used by every other department for different things and was in really high demand. I had gone like 3 years without making a mistake on bookings. Solid perfect record. Then I came in one day and realized I had double booked the room and it was for two events that we really could not move. The kicker? one of the events was an event being held by our executive director (im government so this is an even bigger deal). I had to go tell my boss immediately, no time to even sit there and be nervous about the consequences. We scrambled and fixed it but man oh man that was a bad one. And I was totally embarrassed. But it worked out in the end and I didn’t get in trouble, just a big sigh and a shaking of the head at me lol thank god! that could have been so bad!
So you see my dear? mistakes happen. they either get fixed or worked around and they blow over. I did it, im sure everyone on the bee at some point has done it. so try and not be hard on yourself 🙂
Post # 9
I agree with PPs that worrying about telling the boss is almost always worse than actually telling the boss. Most bosses understand that you’re human and make mistakes from time to time. The most important thing is to be straightforward and go to your boss as soon as possible so you can figure out how to resolve the situation.
Post # 10
It may seem like pennies to you from a company stand point, but mistakes like that add up and cost the company money from their bottom line. Your only option is to come clean and be honest, if you try to shrug it off, or conceal it, or even hold back from coming forward it will be viewed more negatively then if you just own up to it.
Post # 11
stardustintheeyes If there was a nomination for Bee of the day, I’d so give it to you! Thank you for understanding, and making me see the bigger picture.
I’ll feedback the outcome when I’ve let him know!
Post # 12
drummerbride I completely agree that “the only pennies” thing isn’t an excuse, but in that perpective I was only trying to demonstrate in relativity, that the out of pocket part isn’t going to make or break the company….
Post # 13
It will be okay.Just tell the truth.hugs
Post # 14
Oh bless you!
I’m a PA, too, and if I ever make a mistake I just apologise and apologise. They end up feeling sorry for you and are less likely to get mad!
(as an aside, flexi tickets from the UK that are almost the same price as standard ones? where do you get these from?! haha)
Post # 15
@Soon2BeeMrsG: ((HUGS!)) I know, it’s the worst feeling!! I’ve screwed up at my current job, before, too, as everyone on the planet has. You’re not alone.
My boss is the kind that wants us to go directly to him and immediately confess without making excuses – just spit out what we did wrong. It only pisses him off if he finds out later by other means than being told directly. And he’s helped me out of some jams, too. Also, I am the supervisor of several employees and appreciate directness from them when they’ve messed up. So far I’ve never gotten upset at anyone for making a mistake, I just help with finding a solution.
It will be fine. Everyone is right, the anticipation of telling him is way worse than the actual telling part will be. If he’s a good guy you’ll be fine. If he’s a jerk then you can keep your eyes peeled for a new job, lol. 🙂
Post # 16
@canarydiamond: “Everyone makes mistakes. Just explain the situation to your boss, be apologetic, and don’t make excuses.”
@Sunfire: “Just admit exactly what happened, what you’ve tried so far to fix it, and that thus far you’ve been unsuccessful in obtaining a refund. Most people will respect you for owning up to your mistakes and taking the consequences”
Totally agree with both of these. Own up to your mistake, explain what you tried to do to fix it, and don’t make excuses. If you’re typically a good worker, this really won’t be a big deal.