I made a complete fool of myself earlier today. It is not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
On Wednesday this week, my team attended an all-day crisis preparedness planning session. One of the early conversations was around an actual recent consumer post on one of our Facebook pages. The original post occurred during a week I was on vacation, so I was sketchy on details of the original exchange, not having been involved with it as it unfolded.
Our planning session involved scenarios and discussion around how best to handle them. Most of the scenarios were entirely fictional from the beginning, but the first one was based on this actual incident. It is completely my fault for failing to clarify what did actually happen from the “what if” portion, but I came away thinking more had happened in that incident than really did. Part of the discussion that sounded matter-of-fact to me as something in the past tense was really just part of the “what if” speculation.
As I pondered that discussion more over the next two days, I became more concerned about a couple of things and wrote up a lengthy email to my team with my concerns, wrongly assuming some things to be historical fact that were not. As soon as I got the first response from a colleague, I knew I had blown it – that most likely everyone else besides me knew the clear lines in that incident between fact and fiction. Man, did I feel dumb.
There is nothing more to do in such a situation than to admit one’s ignorance, laugh it off and go on, so that’s what I did, thankful that I’d at least get a lesson learned post from it! I sent my team a link to the old Saturday Night Live! character Emily Litella saying “Never mind” and the team graciously let me get off without too much harassment.
If you’ve ever done something similar or even tried to let on like you didn’t just trip on a crack in the sidewalk in front of others, I hope you see the value of leap year lesson #311 – Learn to laugh at yourself.