Covered in the Stink of Failure

It is important to me to do a good job.  I try really hard to do the right thing and take care of my clients.  Sometimes, however, things just don’t work out.  When they don’t, I take it pretty hard.  Even those times when I know I did my best with a particular circumstance, when a client or anyone I am working with or for is disappointed, I really feel the burden of failure.

Today was a tough day.  Unexpected emergencies, lack of available staff to answer all questions immediately, customer complaints, confirmed orders that were canceled, and other things that can really make a day difficult all hit me today.  At the very end of the day I got a call from a good customer, one that I really enjoy working for and that kind of went out of their way to do business with me again after not being a customer for many years.  They are the kind of customer for whom I really strive to work hard and give my best work.  The call, however, was a complaint call regarding some work that I had a part in recently.  While the work wasn’t under my complete control, I was responsible for the end product and it did not live up to what they expected.  I tried, I feel, to set those expectations properly before work started but things still didn’t turn out well.

I was, and still am, fairly upset about the situation.  I know their were things I could have done better but the situation was difficult at best.  Without going into details, sometimes things you do are destined for failure.  The environment, the conditions, or whatever just makes it impossible to excel at the task ahead of you.  This was one of those moments.  I think that is what makes it so hard to bear.  I suppose I expected failure but moved forward anyone hoping it would work.  It didn’t and I got called about it.

Of course now I see things that could have been done differently but that doesn’t change how I feel about the failure.  Although everyone fails, I still find it hard to deal with every time it happens to me.  Especially those times where I honestly cared about what I was doing.  Every failure contains an opportunity to learn but no matter what positive comes out of it, that one moment in time is ruined and can not be recovered.  That is what I find most regrettable.  There is no was to fix this failure.  The only thing left is to apologize, return payment, and move on to the next thing.  Disappointing.

I think I take things like this too personal but I have a certain amount of pride in what I do.  I might not always like it, I might not always enjoy it but I still desire to do a good job.  When I don’t I lose something.  I find it odd how some people can completely not care about the quality of their work.  I could not live with myself if I knowingly put out crap in my work life.  Then again, my life might be easier if I didn’t care.

There is always tomorrow.

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