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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:47 am




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 Post subject: So, I'm one mistake away from getting fired...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:58 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:40 pm
Posts: 20
So, I'm one mistake away from getting fired...

I don't really understand why, but I keep making mistakes. I'll be posting a page to a website and accidently write over the wrong page, or I'll forget to ask someone to make a backup of something, or I'll miss a formatting mistake in an e-mail.

So now I'm wondering if IT really is what I should be doing... I really like hands-on type jobs, and I love learning new stuff all the time... but aparently I suck at getting the little details. :-\

Anyone else ever had a situation like this?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:07 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1274
QA is important, and if you don't have an eye for it you might try to insert an extra set of eyes into your workflow so someone else can look at your stuff before it goes out. We're all human and sometimes we just have a run of bad luck where we make lots of mistakes in a short period of time. But if it's a bigger pattern then either you need to sit back and force yourself to take time to review everything carefully or else ask someone else to do it for you.

As for overwriting things by mistake, you might want to look into a version control system like SVN...that way if you make a mistake like that it's a cinch to revert back to an earlier version. We use it on all our web-related projects and it has saved our butts many times.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:04 pm
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I recommend "best practice" checklists. Every time you make a mistake, journal it and then develop a list or flow chart to help you prevent mistakes of this kind. Then double check your work until the list becomes second nature. You'll be slower at first, but in the long run you'll produce quality work in a reasonable amount of time as the list becomes reflex. My job is very detail oriented and I didn't do so well with it at first until I began actively note taking.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:25 am
Posts: 120
Location: Central New York
I like the current suggestions.

It is probably equally important to let your superiors know that you have implemented a system to keep things from happening more than once.


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm one mistake away from getting fired...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:35 am
Posts: 1444
jasontest47 wrote:
So, I'm one mistake away from getting fired...

I don't really understand why, but I keep making mistakes. I'll be posting a page to a website and accidently write over the wrong page, or I'll forget to ask someone to make a backup of something, or I'll miss a formatting mistake in an e-mail.

So now I'm wondering if IT really is what I should be doing... I really like hands-on type jobs, and I love learning new stuff all the time... but aparently I suck at getting the little details. :-\

Anyone else ever had a situation like this?


servers are great, because you can just undo your mistakes.

re: email, sounds like you need to run spell check or something before you hit the send button.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:40 pm
Posts: 20
Cleverbeans wrote:
I recommend "best practice" checklists. Every time you make a mistake, journal it and then develop a list or flow chart to help you prevent mistakes of this kind. Then double check your work until the list becomes second nature. You'll be slower at first, but in the long run you'll produce quality work in a reasonable amount of time as the list becomes reflex. My job is very detail oriented and I didn't do so well with it at first until I began actively note taking.


I'm going to try this. Someone else on a different forum recommended it also, so I've begun to put together little lists of common tasks I do (and mess up). Hopefully it'll help me, I really want to work here and be a good employee.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:30 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Reno
I recommend taking ginkgo pills. That stuff improves the blood flow to your brain and, basically, makes your thinking faster and more coherent. Personally, I use "Ginkgo Smart" pills that are sold on Amazon. I'm an interpreter, and being able to concentrate and think fast is incredibly important in my line of work. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:07 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:45 pm
Posts: 179
Slow down and really focus on your work when you're working. My mind tends to run wild and if I don't concentrate on my work I mess up routine things just like you're talking about.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:19 pm
Posts: 620
graphicgeek wrote:
It is probably equally important to let your superiors know that you have implemented a system to keep things from happening more than once.


This. This. This.

Bosses will often work with people who are trying to fix their problems. However, they have to know that the employee is trying to fix the problem. They also have to believe the plan is workable.

Everyone makes mistakes, and managers know this. The problem is patterns of mistakes, and if you can show a pattern of improvement, it will help a lot.

Do you like your job? I found that I tend to make more mistakes when I hate my job. If the job is irredeemably awful, sometimes it's just better to do your best while looking for something else.


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 Post subject: If your skills are in another area, why not explore that?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 320
Location: Canada
If you are one mistake away from being fired, before that mistake happens, ask your boss or co-workers if there is another department that might be a better match to your strengths. S/he may already be thinking of that very thought.

As painful as admitting you are in a bad fit, the theory being that if you only work on your weaknesses, you will just end up with a lot of semi-strong weaknesses, and not loving what you do. Perhaps you might stay in IT but be in another area which is not so detail oriented. Or get out of IT altogether. Life is long and can be filled with a lot of career moves.

As always, you know yourself best.

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 Post subject: Along with workflow, look for better tools and automate . .
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:43 am
Posts: 3
If you find parts of your job particularly error-prone, set up your environment and tools to make the errors less likely.

For example, if you tend to delete the wrong file, write a script that deletes files to a temp area, so that you can recover more easily. Or make sure the script prompts you so that you have a chance to rethink the deletion. Retooling is often far easier than retraining your brain.

I'm very bad at concentrating on repetitive tasks (easily bored!), so the more I can use automation and tools to avoid the common errors in those tasks, the better off I am.

I agree with the previous posters, that the most important thing you can do is show your peers and manager how you are improving your work process to avoid making the same mistakes over and over.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: If your skills are in another area, why not explore that
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:49 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Orange County, Ca
RICKLEE wrote:
If you are one mistake away from being fired, before that mistake happens, ask your boss or co-workers if there is another department that might be a better match to your strengths. S/he may already be thinking of that very thought.

As painful as admitting you are in a bad fit, the theory being that if you only work on your weaknesses, you will just end up with a lot of semi-strong weaknesses, and not loving what you do. Perhaps you might stay in IT but be in another area which is not so detail oriented. Or get out of IT altogether. Life is long and can be filled with a lot of career moves.

As always, you know yourself best.


This is terrible advice!! Doing this will give the message that you (as well as management) also have no confidence in your work, and that is the last message you want to give. If you have to leave this job, it would be far better to leave on YOUR timetable and not theirs, so again, don't ask them if for a transfer to another department doing different tasks.

If you think you're not suited for IT, then continue with the job, but start looking for other opportunities, and do this without the knowledge of management. Perhaps you might want to go back to school, and if so, keep your job and go part time.

Generatlly speaking, management is often not yorur friend; they have different adgendas.

While you'er on the job, be mindful, and fine tune your personal life in such a way as to support your ability to focus better, and to be mindful. Part of being mindful is growing up, and being mature, and having a sense of importance and urgency in all you do. Have a purpose driven workflow set in reason.

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Read Ayn Rand Books so you'll no longer be a lemming. ;-) I'm debt free, 49 years of age, male, Libertarian, 3 rental properties, two grown children, and a cat.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:51 am 

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 11:43 am
Posts: 175
You are suffering from a lack of documented policies and procedures. Sit down and create a list of all the common tasks you perform in the course of your job. Then take each of those tasks and make a bulleted list of steps used to accomplish it. The three main areas to focus on are a rollback plan (how do you revert if something goes wrong), what steps are needed to get the work done, and what steps you do to verify everything worked successfully.

Do this for everything. As you encounter new things create a document for them. Consult your procedures constantly when doing things, even if you think they are "routine". In an environment as complex as IT structure is your friend.


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 Post subject: Re: So, I'm one mistake away from getting fired...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:36 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Toronto
I think there is another possibility that no one has mentioned, and that is that you're simply working for a really bad employer and/or manager. I'm in IT too and I have worked in several different IT environments and they're all quite different. In some companies they value attention to detail above all else and no one is allowed to make any mistakes (horrible place to work), in other environments they value something else such as creativity more. My suggestion is that you're simply not a good fit for the environment you're in right now, and you should start searching for another position, better to start searching now than after you get terminated.


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