Workplace Mishaps (and Solutions)

Workplace Mishaps (and Solutions)

Everyone faces hardships in their lives, whether it is losing a family member, not getting into the school of your choice or maybe moving to a new city. As college students, adversity usually comes in the form of cramming for exams or recovering from a bad grade. When you enter the workplace, whether as an intern or an employee, new types of hardships may arise.


For some, discussing shortcomings or awkward situations with a co-worker (or worse…your supervisor) can be a daunting and intimidating task, especially as an intern. Recently, I experienced this for the very first time. A mishap occurred at work, and I was stressed out about the situation, unsure about what to do.


At first I told no one about the problem. Then, the thoughts consumed me, so over dinner conversation with my roommate, I brought it up. She was immediately annoyed with me that I did not inform my supervisor about my shortcomings and reminded me that I cannot assume “it’s just going to go away." After contemplation and a few more days of work, I brought up the situation to my boss (who is awesome, by the way). When I told him about the mishap, he was neither angry at me nor frustrated by my mistake, only disappointed I had not told him sooner.


The entire situation was stressful at the time, but after the awkwardness faded, I realized that this was an extremely valuable lesson learned. Denying pitfalls, or not claiming responsibility for mistakes is only exasperated when they go unresolved. Each and every day you do not inform your supervisor about the situation, it gets harder to bring up. So, just suck it up and do it! Take the negativity and grow from it.


Especially at The Washington Center, there are numerous people there to help if you find yourself in a bit of a conundrum at work. Your internship site supervisor should be the first person you go to for work issues. If you don’t feel that you can speak with your supervisor about the issue, your LEAD instructor is always willing to help you out. If your issue is still not resolved, intern coordinators from your respective universities can be helpful and may have dealt with a similar issue.


Whether an issue arises with a roommate, a colleague or with a peer, never let it go unrecognized. Once the issue is resolved, be Elsa and LET IT GO, then move forward with a newfound sense of enlightenment. With that, I leave you with this quote from writer Charles Caleb Colton:


“Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”






Read Nicole's previous blog posts here

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