Another work issue....sigh...


Well-Known Member
I made a completely small and innocent mistake at work today and now it's blowing up in my face. It's my job to mark all the kids tardy in the computer and today I mistakenly marked the wrong kid late. The parents get automated phone calls any time their kid is late or absent from a class. Today the kid I mistakenly marked absent was actually home ill all day. His dad received the tardy phone call and was irate.

The mistake was quite small considering all the factors. For one thing, the student whom I mistakenly marked is late to school ALL the time. I am not exaggerating when I say that this kid has probably been late to school 50 times so far this year. He's not just a little late either. He likes to show up to school one and sometimes two full hours late. His attendance is horrid. I am so used to this kid always being late that I mistakenly marked him tardy rather than the other kid who happens to have the exact same last name as him. When you consider the fact have to input approximately 75 to 100 of these tardies daily, I don't think my ONE mistake in the nine years I've been working here is all that bad.

Well my supervisor would like to disagree with me. She got very very pissed off at me. Mind you, I do the majority of the work here while she is busy going shoe shopping online for looking at pictures on Pinterest. But boy was she upset. She is the one who happened to take the call from the angry parent because she speaks Spanish and the dad only speaks Spanish. He yelled at her then she passed him off to one of our Spanish Speaking counselors so they could get yelled at as well. Now this dad is furious at my mistake and is demanding a meeting with the principal about it.

This dad is making a way huge deal out of a little tardy and his son's attendance is just awful anyway! And now I am getting the silent treatment from my supervisor after she got mad at me and told me off about my mistake. This is the same woman who called me fat last year and made me cry. The very same person who gave me the silent treatment and treated me like total s*** after my dear sweet cat was euthanized a couple of years ago. Now she's at it again. I have a real big problem with people who get upset at me. If anybody gets mad at me for any reason whatsoever my anxiety skyrockets. Now I'm miserable and wondering how long the silent treatment is going to last. And now that dad is meeting with the principal and my job could easily be on the line. I do not need this at Christmas time. Help!


Well-Known Member
Ok first of all kids get marked absent and tardy all the time by accident. Explain it calmly. Don't get all dramatic about it and then let the people who make the big bucks deal with the parent. It was an accident plain and simple.


Well-Known Member
That certainly isn't big or uncommon mistake. Those happen all the time and no harm done.

But may I give a tip about workplace politics? When something like this happens, be careful what kind of excuses you give and how you take it. While there is no reason to get anxious or overly sorry, there are some excuses you better keep on yourself. Admit a mistake and give a good and acceptable excuse (you miss-tapped when there was other kid with same last name tardy.) Do not 'blame the victim' (it is totally irrelevant, if this kid has been tardy before or in fact giving that as an excuse shows prejudice and that exactly is a reason this parent is angry. It gives them reason distrust your system, if their kid is singled out even when he didn't do anything, because the administration just assumes that kid has to be 'the guilty' one because he has done same in past. Never ever admit that aloud even if it is true.) Also do not 'play martyr', it6 is not a good look for anyone. It is great that you are diligent worker and seldom make mistakes like that, but your superiors already know that. It doesn't help your case to come off as whiny (I have done this and that long and this is a first mistake) or blaming others (I have to do it all, my boss only shops shoes.) While I'm sure these things are true and they would irritate anyone, they are thoughts best kept on ourselves or at most shared with trusted people (and yeah, it is okay to say them here, but do not say them to your supervisors.)

It looks better, when you simply admit your mistake, give viable excuse if you have one, say you are sorry and promise to be more meticulous in future. Avoid any kind of controversial statements or blaming others or anything some could interpret whiny or trying to shift the blame. In this case mixing up two kids with same name is viable excuse, 'being used to always mark this kid tardy', is extremely controversial.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Very easy mistake to make. It's a shame it's being blown out of proportion. Best thing is to just own up to it, don't offer any type of excuse and move on. Don't let what other people think bring you down, you know in your heart it was an honest mistake.


Well-Known Member
I didn't offer any excuses at all whatsoever. I apologized for the mistake and left it at that. Everything I typed out in this post I completely kept to myself. I am incredibly shy and quiet and never stick up for myself...ever. Yesterday was no exception. My supervisor actually apologized for yelling at me after lunch and she's the one who brought up how lousy this kid's attendance was and how ridiculous it was for the parent to make a big deal. One tardy is not going to ruin this kid's horrendous attendance (He is also habitually truant.) Again, these are all points brought up by HER, not me. So all is good again except now I am paranoid about making another mistake. I am double and triple checking everything I do, which I guess isn't a bad thing.