It’s easy to blame a lapse in performance on things like fatigue or the weather, but it’s how you follow up that can define who you are and what you value.
The other day I went shopping at our local H-E-B store and picked up some groceries because I’m an adult and eating out every day while fun, again because I’m an adult, isn’t cost effective.
It was late in the day, around 10 p.m., and the store was relatively empty.
I got what I needed, chatted with an old friend, and then headed to the checkout line. The line I was in was moving at a normal pace, but the cashier noticed there was an available and empty checkout next to me and let me know so I could move over and get out a little sooner.
I unloaded my cart and the cashier rang everything up.
As I wrapped up paying for my groceries, the cashier perked up and asked me to stop.
The transaction was completed and I let her know that and she sighed and explained she made a mistake and overcharged me for an item.
The amount she overcharged me? Twenty cents.
She explained that two of the items looked similar and she thought they were the same and apologized for the error.
She went through the process of overriding the charge, even going so far as to call over the manager to make it official, and then handed me back my twenty cents with an apology.
Let’s be clear about something. Twenty cents won’t break me, and I don’t blame her for making the mistake. It was late, she was probably tired and her voice sounded like she may have been battling a cold, which I know has been bouncing around town as the weather changes faster than the channels on our cable box.
All of those are perfectly good reasons to make a twenty-cent mistake and I wouldn’t have raised a peep about it.
However, this young lady, whose name is Paola T, according to my receipt, went through the proper procedure to ensure everything was on the up-and-up and to make sure I understood that she valued me as a customer and respect her job enough to make things right and ensure I got my money due.
So many times in our jobs we find it easier to make excuses as to why something happened and we’ve forgotten that it’s just as important to apologize or work hard to make it right.
Mistakes are an everyday part of our lives and because no one’s perfect, we often don’t even think about them until we lay down and are about to sleep and our subconscious reminds us of the error.
It’s also important to handle mistakes made against you as professionally as possible. Many times that person who made the mistake already feels bad.
You piling on doesn’t help anything.
We all share this world for a limited time. Let’s not make it harder by being terrible to one another.