I can still hear my piano teacher begging me to rehearse because “the only way to improve is to practice.” Despite my hours of practice, I still ended up sounding like I was tickling the ivories with boxing gloves. Though my teacher’s maxim didn’t hold true for my musical career, it is definitely being proven in my summer job.
After a few weeks of solid inputting, my stats tripled. I was averaging 1,000 files per day. This job also proved another common adage: all good things must come to an end.
Unfortunately, in my case, perfection did not come with practice. Somehow while moving files to different folders, I managed to make my first big mistake. I accidentally deleted 178 files from the company’s drive.
After obsessively hammering Control-Z to try to undo my mistake, I faced a dilemma: do I tell my supervisor what I had done, or just leave it in the hope that the Late Great 178 wouldn’t be missed? I am terrible at lying and get excessively jittery when I’ve done something wrong so, for the sake of my sanity, I decided to come clean.
I called my supervisor over to my cubicle and, with the most innocent eyes I could muster, told her I made a tiny mistake. My supervisor is one of the sweetest, most soft-spoken women I have ever met, however, you never know what type of Godzilla-like destruction can be induced by mistakes. I braced myself for total annihilation.
To my great relief she remained quite calm … until I quantified my error. Then things shifted into high gear. There was no yelling or stern tone, just frantic calls made to tech support in an attempt to recover the documents.
After a high-stress morning, we were finally able to recover the files. However, this experience was not without consequences: I was strictly instructed to input the remaining 18,000 files in groups of 10 rather than the groups of 100 that I had been doing. My supervisor thought this revised process would help to avoid any future mishaps.
Unfortunately, it reduced my speed and efficiency by a factor of 10. I guess that is the price you pay for your first corporate mistake.
Other articles in this series:
- My Corporate Summer: Crawling out of bed at 7:30 a.m. is never dignified
- My Corporate Summer: The input monkey in the corporate circus
- My Corporate Summer: I’m a big kid now
- My Corporate Summer: You’ll find me in the ovary-friendly part of the office