Making mistakes is ok

I made a mistake, but making mistakes is ok.

I forgot to bring my key card for work and had to ask to borrow a temporary one. I was really upset about it at first, but then I mellowed and saw the humor in the situation.

It was the first time that I had made this mistake in the year I had worked there. My coworkers were happy to hear that I had forgotten it since everyone else had forgotten theirs at some point in the past. It showed that I was human, and that I made the same mistakes as everyone else.

On another level it reminded me that the drive to be perfect was still around. It gave me a reason to relax and enjoy life rather then be tense. Many times in life we think that something is terrible, but the truth is that life is better than what we think it is.

Of course we always want to do the best we can in life, but at some level we also have to be realistic. We can’t always be at the top, and its ok to sometimes be at the middle or bottom. In fact it makes life more interesting when you have a different point of view and experiences.

Our ego and pride often make us feel embarrassed when we make mistakes. They tell us that other people won’t respect or value us when we do something stupid. The truth is that the best people don’t judge us by our mistakes. They are kind and forgiving and look at the best of us rather than a temporary weakness or mistake.

The other thing I learned is that when you feel hard on yourself there are always others who don’t view you in the same way. I was feeling bad for making this mistake but others saw it in a positive light and enjoyed and laughed at it. Laughter is so helpful, especially when we take ourselves too seriously.

Stories from My Past: Be careful what you ask for

In IT you often find that when you give people exactly what they want, they are sorry they ever asked.

I helped one person who wanted a new version of Adobe rolled out to the entire company. They were working on a project and that project needed a new version of Adobe. Not an unreasonable request. I asked someone to test that new version and they tested it.

A week later that person had a different problem and I went to help them. It turns out that the fix was to upgrade their versionĀ of Adobe just like the other person who was testing it. However when I went to upgrade them they said “Maybe we shouldn’t upgrade this because it might break my other applications.” This was the same person who asked for the entire company to be upgraded the week before. I agreed that could happen, and upgraded him anyway. It worked fine. Problem solved.

Of course I went to my supervisor and told him what happened. The same person wanted the entire company to be upgraded, but not himself personally. You can’t have it both ways.

Often the quick and easy answer seems to be upgrading the software. Many times this is the correct one. I personally like using recent and supported software. However not every company believes in this. Many companies use very old software that is poorly supported or not at all. This is the main cause why they have problems as well.

To me, when you quickly want to make a major change and don’t consider the consequences you are just asking for problems. If I had upgraded everyone that day like it was my technical ability to do, I might have unleashed worse problems. Having someone test a change is so helpful, and so basic in giving the best IT experience for users.

If you want disaster make a quick change. If you want stability, think decisions through.