I made a huge mistake last week at work. Basically, my boss gave me a small but time consuming task, and I never properly took care of it. I always kept delaying the task because 1. it was low priority (it’s only marginally related to my sales position), 2. it’s very time consuming (I didn’t want to spend business hours doing it when I have more pressing things to worry about), and 3. I was never given a deadline on when it had to be accomplished. I let it slip last week that I never actually finished the task (I didn’t think it was a big deal, and I was going to finish it soon), and my boss got really upset with me.
My boss wasn’t so much upset because I hadn’t done what he asked (though I’m sure that’s part of it) but moreso because I hadn’t communicated to him that I didn’t have time (or didn’t want to take the time) to do it. If I was too overwhelmed with work, he could reassign the task to someone else who could get the job done. Since he always assumed everything was fine, the task went unfinished for months.
Of course, I should’ve known better than to think it was acceptable to leave a task unfinished for three months. I’m not even sure what I was thinking. My boss certainly had a right to be upset with me. Usually, though, my boss forgives and forgets pretty quickly; by the end of the day, everything between us is back to normal. But not this time. Even though I did finally finish what he asked of me, I think he doesn’t trust me at all anymore.
It’s very difficult to gauge how he feels now. We haven’t had a chance to go to lunch together all week (maybe he doesn’t want to, or maybe he’s just been busy), and our communication has been minimal. Our after-work meetings are brief and contain no friendly banter. He was out of the office for two and a half days on a business trip, and I had almost no contact with him (usually he at least calls or emails me to ask if everything is okay). I really feel like he’s giving me the cold shoulder, only talking to me when it’s absolutely necessary for work.
It’s been kind of a rough week. With the economy having one of its worst weeks ever, my sales have been down. That coupled with my strained relationship with my boss makes for a very stressful work environment. I’m really not looking forward to tomorrow morning.