Friday, August 24, 2007

Expensive Mistakes

Have you ever made an honest mistake, at work or in your personal life, that cost you or someone else a lot of money? At work today, something came up where due to a minor proofreading error, something happened that will cost someone at least $10-20,000 as far as I can tell. It's a little up in the air right now as to who has to eat this loss, and the people involved are, understandably, a bit anguished about it!
I'm glad I'm not in any way personally responsible for this mistake, because I'm sure I'd be giving myself an ulcer about it if I was! I'm not sure what I'd do if I was liable for something like that, where the money involved was so large in relation to my income and savings. If I was in someone's house and broke a vase or something, of course I'd offer to pay for it and unless it was some priceless antique vase, I could probably absorb the cost. And if I crashed their car presumably someone's insurance would cover it. I have homeowner's insurance that includes some liability coverage, but I think that is only for things that happen on the premises of my condo, not for stupid mistakes made elsewhere. Now I think I want to read my policy to check!
What would you do if you made an expensive mistake?

11 comments:

~Dawn C said...

I did, with debt/bankruptcy- I learned from it and tried not to make the mistakes again.

Rich Minx said...

If I made a stupid mistake that cost the company $20K, I might cry. And I hear Bermuda is nice at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I'd take ownership of it and explain what happened to my boss, and get her input on how to present it to the client or affected parties. Depending on the situation the firm or the client would absorb the cost, but not me personally, except indirectly by having bonuses and promotions withheld, or possibly being let go. For that reason, I'd start scrambling to do damage control and fix my reputation, and double check every single piece of completed work for similar mistakes (trust me, it's better to find them yourself), and be extra careful going forward. In my field, this kind of thing can get you fired, so I'd have to rely on my past performance and start working extremely hard to keep it from happening again.

Chief Family Officer said...

Madame X - If you're concerned, you should look into umbrella insurance.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica- Different departments at my company makes them. Once it had happen with me just for listening to someone who worked there for years. I've learned to ask my supervisor. ALWAYS cover your butt at work!

OptionedUnarmed said...

It is hard to know the ramifications of a 10K or 20K error without knowing the context, such as how much money this person oversees in a typical year... If they are responsible for millions a year, a rare 10K error might not be such a devastating thing. Or even if not, one big mistake every several years, if caught in time (ie, meaning perhaps costing money, but not resulting in embarrassment or a tarnished reputation for the firm) should be forgivable if committed by a good worker.

Green said...

At my job, we check every number we put out three times by three different people. If the department I work for made a mistake on most of the numbers we put out, it could potentially cost the company tens of millions of dollars. Needless to say, our three checks are not the final eyes to look over the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Your homeowners/renters insurance policy protects your personal property anywhere in the world. You go to China and loose your camera, its covered. If a vehicle is stolen, the property inside the vehicle is covered under the home/rent policy. More is better.

Anonymous said...

My homeowner's insurance will cover loss of personal property outside of my apartment only if I sign up (and pay extra for) for off-premises insurance (they also charge extra for things like jewelry and silver.) I don't currently have it, so when my luggage was lost, it wasn't covered. Check with your insurance provider.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica..a co-worker made an expensive mistake. It cost the job more than 4k! He has been working there longer than me. To make it worse, the email was sent to everyone at the job about it.

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