Friday, February 5, 2016

Why are you telling people you don’t know how to spell a username?

In a previous post I openly told the world that after 2+ days with a production issue, I found myself telling everyone “I mispelled the username.. my bad!”.  I told the story enough times my wife eventually said “Hey Dear, why are you telling people you don’t know how to spell a username”.  I laughed off the comment and proceeded to tell others as needed, but it did make me think a little.  Why did I not only decide to tell others, but also write a blog post about it.  I suppose I have 3 reasons…

The first reason is the simplest, I don’t live the most exciting life.  Finding out that I had a story to tell was just that, a story to tell.  I don’t mind self-deprecation, and I can see some authentic lesson’s learned ion the story as well, I mean.. the error messages clearly stated “Unknown Username or Bad Password”, what more did I really need to know? Self reflection isn’t a terrible thing, and sometimes you need to eat some humble pie.

The second reason for the post is that I believe in openness and honesty.  I have an ego, but I’m also not blind that we all do.  Ego’s aren’t bad, but big one’s are.  Telling the world “you wont believe what I did” is my way of saying “I’m human, but I promise to not do this again.” Mistakes happen, it’s not to blow off the fact that I screwed up and wasted some other peoples time, it’s to indicate that there’s been times in my life that other’s mispelled the username, or something similar.  Have patience, realize that mistakes happen.  It’s inconvenient, but also a great way to get a free beer time to time.  Those who act like they know everything often don’t, and are not fun to get along with.  Working with those who tend to say “oops, sorry” tend  to be the one’s who are also more than willing to help solve an issue rather than look like a rock star. 

The third reason is that apologies close  a loop.  Any philosophical argument can last a long time, sometimes ending with an “I agree to disagree”, leaving an open problem that isn’t resolved.  There’s something sacred when one says “sorry”.  It’s an opportunity to put to rest an issue.  It’s acknowledgement of a problem, ownership of the problem, and agreement on who did (or didn’t) do what. Telling other’s “sorry” admit’s fault and helps those wronged realize they were right and achieve a deserved satisfaction.  Take the baseball steroid scandal’s of the past several years.  Everybody thinks Barry Bonds is a jerk.  Is he?  Perhaps, but really what he hasn’t done is admit and apologize to something he most likely did.  That’s why everyone’s mad, the evidence is stacked against him but he still stands there with a smug look on his face.  Alex Rodriguez is just as polarizing, but he admitted to his “crime” and has been generally accepted.  They both guilty of similar offenses, but it’s lack of remorse that offends the public.

So please don’t read my last post as “I’m an idiot!” Please read it as “I did something stupid and learned from it, and needed a reminder that even the best of us make mistakes time to time.”

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