Is that heartless son-of-a-bitch really a heartless son-of-a-bitch?

Aren't we too quick to judge people? Have you ever stereotyped a person and felt foolish about the misjudgment when you get to know the person better? We all have gone down that road before. A friend narrates an incident from his past illustrating not only this point but also a goof-up at work.

A few decades ago, my friend was working as a contractor at a firm reporting to a manager with whom he shared the coldest of cold relationship. Whatever my friend did, it was not sufficient to bring happiness for the manager. It was then when my friend was entrusted with a new mission. Recently, they had found around a million pounds lying around in the system which was never billed to the customer. So my friend was going to come up with a solution that will regenerate the invoices for this amount which was never billed.

My friend spent considerable amount of time to develop and test the routine. On a Monday, he rolled out his solution and was happy to see the solution picking up some of the amount which was never billed. This is where my friend left the scene feeling happy about the whole thing. Three days later, he received a call from a colleague about the unusual activity around billing. Invoices for around a million pounds were being generated every night. That is when my friend realized he had forgotten to include an important check in his solution.

Now, my friend was in a difficult situation. He was no coward to owning up his mistake. But given his equation with the manager, he knew this was going to be a very costly mistake. Nevertheless, he walked into the manager's room. He explained the issue. He accepted the responsibility of the mistake. He also said he was fixing this at the earliest and not going home till this was fixed. As he was a contractor, he was not going to charge for his services till the time this issue was fixed. After saying this much, he waited for the sword to fall.

The manager was cool. He shrugged and said it was part of the job they were doing. Mistakes happen. So my friend just had to fix it. Whatever my friend said, his manager wouldn't accept him working free for correcting his mistake.

Tags: Musings,Work,Contractor,Invoices


  1. That's the most interesting title I have read in a long while!
    Nice anecdote

    1. Thank you. A good title ensures footfalls. Isn't that what they say?


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