Caution: cursing ahead.
In fact, fuck fuck fuck FUCKIN’ FUCK. Goddamn mother piss-bucket fuck it to hell and gone FUCK FUCK FUCK.
There is nothing that will kill a Friday faster, and threaten to thoroughly trash the weekend into the bargain, than working to clear up old items and finding out that a question you asked Person Designated to Deal with Questions re: Vendor X, which was “So based on what Vendor Contact 1 brought to my attention today, do you want to do A, or B?” And Designated Person said, “B, because $Reasons.” So you do B and go merrily along your way…without, for whatever reason, leaving your usual copious notes on the system, in this case explaining A vs. B and providing the details of B.
In fact, though, the correct answer was A, for $BetterReason. But this doesn’t come to light until, oh, nearly a year later. Today, in fact. When you were actually pleased at having enough time to deal with some outstanding emails. Including one raising questions on this very situation.
That A and not B was correct could have come to light the month after you did B…if only Vendor had actually sent certain necessary information in a timely manner. Or if CFO had not just seen the resulting anomaly, but asked about it — except the particular team dealing with Vendor has, due to the nature of their business activities, more than the occasional anomaly, so CFO assumed it was similar to previous anomalies and let it pass.
It might even have been discovered when Vendor Contact 2 finally got around to sending the Necessary Information, if only (a) VC2 had sent the info when you were in the office instead of at That Thing in the Desert, or (b) had not only sent the info, but said, “Things that would have removed this as an issue were handled as B four months ago, so this needs to happen,” so that (c) Direct Report who was covering for you would have had some inkling, despite the lack of Usually Copious Notes, that the instructions given to VC2 to take Course of Action C was precluded by B, and maybe been inspired to contact Designated Person.Or even if (d) VC2 had bothered to reply to Direct Report’s instructions to say that because B, Not C, which would have gotten the investigation going in the same fucking fiscal year as B was done.
But none of that happened.
So B sat there, quietly preparing to blow up, which it did today when, due to an email from Vendor Contact 3, I went back through everything related to the thing VC1 had brought up ten months ago. And discovered that the reason C didn’t happen was because B had, so I I went to Direct Report to explain. And Direct Report explained to CFO. And CFO…
Is a most unhappy camper because of the repercussions fixing B is going to have, especially since the last fiscal year is closed, so it isn’t even like we can clean it up in such a way that positive anomaly 10 months ago is balanced by negative anomaly three months ago.
I admit that I blew it. I made certain assumptions based on how we’d handled similar situations in the past and applied the standard method, which should never have been considered standard but only for exceptions. CFO was dumbfounded that, considering my usual modus operandi is to ask ALL THE QUESTIONS, in this instance I asked none of them; I didn’t even realize there could be questions. But CFO admits to also blowing it, to the extent of not investigating the positive anomaly resulting from B. CFO also pointed out that I’d asked the wrong Person about A vs. B, although Designated said Person might have been, since said Person would have no way of knowing the effects of B in the greater financial scheme of things.
I was *thisclose* to asking if CFO wanted my resignation. Whatever raise they may have been planning to grant me based on Awesome Review a few weeks back, I will not be surprised if it turns to dust, or a pittance. I will not be surprised if this blows next year’s review out of the water. I said none of this, of course, just went back to my desk and started pulling together an email for CFO with all the relevant info from Vendor. Direct Report came around to tell me not to beat myself up so hard, and I nearly lost it because dammit, I’m usually so good at this shit. And I felt like I’d let everyone down — CFO, Direct Report, Designated Person, the team that’s going to take the statistical dirt nap when the fix gets processed.
And myself, because why did I NOT do my usual process the questions and the notes on this one benighted thing?
This is one of the few times I’ve been glad I don’t have a full-size freezer, because if I had, it might have had ice cream in it, and after this afternoon, I could have eaten a gallon tub of Moose Tracks without blinking an eye. I’m actually glad it didn’t occur to me to just get off the bus at the grocery store and buy a large carton or two…since not having freezer space for the leftovers wouldn’t have been an issue.
I’m glad I still have a job. I don’t think it’s a firing in the making, at least I hope not, and I am more than willing to admit that every negative self-talk Goddamned Tape I have in my head is running at double speed and is therefore fighting to make it feel worse than the admittedly bad it already is. Reminding myself I’m a human and mistakes is what humans do sometimes? Not really helping.
The week had been going so well, too.